The Azores regional steak was born in the restaurant Alcides about 60 years ago, is a variant of steak in English, and today, in the restaurant of the Agricultural Association, sales reach 177 thousand units per year.
Pedro Melo, manager of the Alcides restaurant, says that his father, Alcides Cabral de Melo, was the promoter of the Alcides steak, today called regional steak and served in several restaurants on the island of São Miguel.
The meat used in the steak of the Azores is mostly from the archipelago, coming from the dairy herd that is raised in green pastures, in the wild, and considered by renowned cooks, like Chef Chakall, who has already made it on the island.
The businessman explains that it all started when the chef Manuel Craveiro, who cooked a steak in English for manor houses in Ponta Delgada, went to work for the restaurant of Alcides Cabral de Melo, who “decided to proceed with a variant of that steak with the so-called pepper of the earth and garlic of the island of São Miguel “.
The manager of Alcides restaurant had menus from 1963 already with the steak to Alcides to figure, costing at the time, 1.5 escudos, having clients that search that space “several decades”, some “with 50 years of home“.
The restaurant remains faithful to the traditional format of its steak, with Pedro Melo betting to continue to “fully respect” the recipe of the father and cook Manuel Craveiro.
But if there are nowadays several restaurants specialized in confectionery of regional steak, it is in the restaurant of the Agricultural Association of the island of São Miguel (AASM), in the county of Ribeira Grande, that they reach industrial dimensions.
Some consider the restaurant the “cathedral of the meat” of the Azores, being sought by thousands of tourists and locals, according to Simão Lemos, manager of the restaurant space.
Considering that “more than a space where you can enjoy a good steak“, in this place, which “became part of the tourist route of the island“, 214 steaks per day (77,040 per year) were made in 2016, 214 steaks per day increased to 434 units per day (156,240 per year) in 2017 and to 494 (177,984 per year) in 2018.
In addition to the traditional Micaelense steak, the São Miguel plantation restaurant presents other variants of steak with regional products such as pineapple, passion fruit and island cheese, says Simão Lemos, who points out that this was a way of “accompanying the evolution “dictated by new trends.
The official said that there are steaks for all tastes and in various quantities, from 200 to 400 grams, and there are other varieties such as hamburgers with regional steak sauce, among other products associated with meat.
Simão Lemos considers that “demand has been high because it is premium for quality” and admits that the restaurant has already been faced with difficulties in acquiring the raw material – bought in all the butchers of the different islands – to meet the demand, despite the meat be purchased “all year round” and stored in a large capacity cold storage unit.
Through the restaurant, various figures of the arts, the cinema and the spectacle have passed, going to Ponta Delgada to perform in their rooms, highlighting Simão Lemos personalities such as the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, along with European commissioners.