Nobody in Philadelphia loves Portugal more than Felinto Marques.
He boasts of the don that all Portuguese have with acquiring languages and assimilating, their likeability and easy-going nature, and how he descends from a long line of adventurers and discoverers.
He decorates with unmistakable photos of classic scenes and monuments from his homeland, such as O Elevador de San Justa.
His restaurant’s menu is (save for a Kid’s Menu featuring the usual suspects of chicken fingers and hot dogs), unapologetically and undisputedly Portuguese, offering grilled quails, chicken gizzards, grilled sardines, and of course, cod in seemingly infinite variations.
Yet, at Café Liz on 5437 North Lawrence Street, the regulars include police officers, employees from The Esperanza Center, construction workers sipping beer, soccer aficionados, and Pelé’s friend (really!), all in the same bi-level space enjoying the same dining experience and ambiance.
Accents from opposite sides of the country and languages from distant continents fill the air symphonically, synchronizing with the audio of a Brazilian television station and the crackle of flames rising from a plate of chourico assado.
With a welcoming and entertaining space for clientele of all backgrounds, and the effusive characters of Felinto and his restaurant employees, Felinto embraces his new country’s diversity by lovingly incorporating his own immigrant narrative into his cuisine. His determination to translate pride for Portugal and pride for being an American is apparent in the way that he helps the guests ofCafé Liz choose how to properly order from the menu to get a gratifying and authentic experience.
What better way is there to celebrate the holidays than to do so with good pals, scrumptious and well-portioned food, and a glass (or three) of opulent portuguese wine? This event will take place on Thursday, December 14th 2017, starting at 5PM.
Like our two previous “Chef Series” guests of the autumn/winter season (Luis Liceaga and Judith Suzarra-Campbell), Felinto Marques’ full feature will be released on our weekly print edition and digital platform next week. Tune in soon!