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The unrequested appetizers in Portugal

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In planning our two-week September trip to Portugal, I've come across numerous mentions on the internet of the practice of restaurants to automatically serve plates of cheese/bread/olives and other goodies that have not been ordered. Many times, unsuspecting tourist diners assume these are complimentary, only to learn upon receiving the bill that they are not, and that they can sometimes actually be pricier than an entrée.

There have been conflicting recommendations and suggestions on how to handle this, ranging from sending them back to the kitchen: eating them and then refusing to pay for them on the bill (one website I found labels the practice illegal); or just going along and paying for them without question.

Can those with experience in this area provide some guidance? I do not wish to get into a confrontation with a waitperson or owner over a few Euros, but also don't like the feeling of being taken advantage of. Apparently, the practice is widespread.

Thanks.

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