Lunch Café created by granddaughter in honor of the grandmother who taught her how to cook
When you stop by Dona Antonia, in Barcelos, order croissants with ham and brie and homemade tarts.
During the holiday seasons in her childhood, Nair-Baldente was always responsible for baking cakes and sweets for the family. It wasn’t an obligation, it was a pleasure: she did it alongside her grandmother, who inspired her to pursue a career in pastry making. At the beginning of June, the 22-year-old entrepreneur opened Café Dona Antonia in Barcelos. The space is in honor of his grandmother, who passed away on January 29, 2022.
“I learned a lot from her, she was a very important person to me. “Being able to open a space with her name and face brings me great happiness,” the young woman tells NiT. She says that although she is proud of what she has achieved, her absence “hurts her a lot.”
Nair is not alone in this adventure. She is helped by Miguel Vieira, her 26-year-old boyfriend. Both were already operating in the area, although more closely tied to the restaurant business. She, in turn, graduated in bakery and pastry in high school. “I knew I didn’t want to go the traditional route,” he highlights. Although she completed a vocational course, she considers that she learned everything from her grandmother, when the two of them were “around the pots.”
Before Donna Antonia opens, “I was afraid,” a feeling that has faded with time. The feedback was very positive, with many customers recognizing the shape that appears on the café’s logo. “My grandmother worked in several places and always lived in Barcelos, so she was a familiar face to people in the area,” he says.
The decision to create a brunch concept was easy to make: it was something missing in this area. The place is on the outskirts of the city and “there was nothing like that there,” says Nair. The goal is to offer something to suit all tastes, including desserts, classic breakfast suggestions and savory dishes.
“The croissants are highly praised,” he confirms, “particularly the croissant with brie, ham, arugula and a drizzle of honey (€6.50). The version with smoked salmon (€7.50) also “comes a lot”. As expected, dessert lovers will have plenty to choose from. Nair’s pies are bestsellers at home. “Many liters of milk and flour were spent improving the recipe,” he jokes. Prices start at 6 euros and vary depending on the toppings chosen: strawberry, Kit Kat, Kinder Bueno, Ferrero, Milka, and others (each additional suggestion costs 1 euro).
If you prefer, you can choose one of the menus. For example, the Mini Brunch à Dona Antónia (€14) includes fresh orange juice, hot drinks, scrambled eggs with bacon, toast, and yogurt with granola, fruit and toppings.
Inside, a businessman can receive about 20 people, and outside, 24 people. Animals are welcome, but they must be “well behaved.” “If they were, I wouldn’t say no,” he guarantees.
The environment is “comfortable, warm and elegant”. There, shades of green, yellow, brown and gold predominate, a very different look from the works that occupied the space in the past. “Before it was very rock and black. We wanted light,” he explains.
Next, click through the gallery and find out more about the new breakfast and brunch spot in Barcelos.
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