I’m taking lots of photos, but haven’t had time to download them or post properly. But here’s what I ate and drank yesterday in Lisbon.
Mid-morning snack: in the area of Belém, where I visited the lovely Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (a World Heritage Site) and the Naval Museum, there’s a well-known place to get the ubiquitous Portugese pastry pastel de nata (custard tarts). The most famous store to get them in Lisbon is the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, which has been serving the locals since 1837. There was a huge line outside waiting for the specialty, pastel de Belém.
I bypassed the line and took a seat, consuming two tarts and um galão (coffee with milk). The tarts were excellent: warm and especially good with a sprinkling of cinnamon from a handy shaker:
Back into town for a wander and a visit to the fantastic Igrega de São Roque, one of the few churches to survive the devastating Lisbon earthquake of 1755. It contains one of the most elaborate chapels I’ve ever seen: the chapel of St. John the Baptist, full of gold and with columns of lapis lazuli. It was constructed in the Vatican in 1742 and then, after the Pope celebrated Mass in it, dismantled and shipped to Portugal. I’ll have photos of it later.
But I felt thirsty after my wander, and so for only 1.35 Euros I procured a copa of the famous local cherry brandy, ginginha. I had mine “com” (with cherries). It was great (and sweet): just the pick-me-up I needed:
After a preprandial rest, we repaired to a famous local seafood restaurant for crustaceans and molluscs. It was jammed, but we had reservations. Here’s the ambiance (crowded!) and only a part of the seafood on offer:
We began with local raw ham, thinly sliced, with toasted and buttered bread:
My favorite seafood—percebes (in Spanish), or gooseneck barnacles: hard to collect, rare, and expensive, but oh so tasty! Sadly, I overexposed the photo. Oh well; this is The Remains of the Plate:
A luscious plate of baby clams in garlic-butter sauce with coriander:
And a HUGE crab, somewhat resembling the stone crabs of Florida, which had been thoughtfully disassembled. The roe and innards had been made into a delicious soup that filled the shell. Alongside that we got a huge plate of fresh shrimp (this restaurant, whose name escapes me, is famous for the freshness and quality of its seafood):
It was all washed down with vinho verde, the local “green wine,” which was light and refreshing. An estimable meal indeed.
Today I’m off to Porto, where, of course, I’ll visit the vintage port lodges as well as giving two talks. Vintage port and Sauternes are my favorite sweet wines, and I’ll have a full report.