Lisbon, Portugal: Shopping and eating
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Here are some of the highlights from our meals in Lisbon. I’ve never eaten so much seafood in one week. All very fresh and rather light compared to eating out in Paris.

On our first day, we tried one of their national dishes, called bacalhau à brás, which is dried and salted cod (bacalhau), stir-fried with shredded potatoes, onions, and a cholesterol-inducing quantity of eggs. Unfortunately, I was too tired and hungry from the travelling that day to take a picture but it really just looked like a heaping mound of scrambled eggs. I’m pretty sure there were at least 8 eggs in that one dish. The two of us could not finish it. Other local diners at the restaurant didn’t seem to have a problem though. Needless to say, we avoided ordering that dish again.

Visiting the famous canned fish shop, Conserveira de Lisboa. It’s a family business that’s been operating since the 1930’s.

In the window display are tins of their trademark Tricana brand canned fish. You can get canned tuna, sardine, anchovy, codfish, and even mussels!

Walking into the shop takes you back to the 30’s. Very little has changed in their shop; the family tries to keep it as close to its original form.

I’m not a big fan of canned fish unless it’s hiding in deep-fried fish cakes but my friend bought a couple to try. We ended up eating it with instant noodles at our hostel since we couldn’t take it in our carry-on.

At Nova Pombalina for a quick lunch. It’s very popular with the locals and their specialty is the roast pork sandwich.

Carrot/squash soup

The roast pork sandwich from Nova Pombalina! Once again, minimal preparation seems to be a common theme in portuguese cuisine. Then again, if you’ve got such fresh seafood and meats, there’s no need to cover it up in sauce. The roast pork was really tender, really delicious but also really just that— roasted pork with some very light seasoning. I found it a little bit dry but after a couple bites, it proved to be quite addictive. We came back for another a few days later. 

Of course, we had to check out some french pastry in Lisbon. Here are pastries from Poison D’Amour. We didn’t try anything (too early in the day) but it looked nice, and the pastries seemed to be quite fresh. It was also a few euros cheaper than what you’d find in Paris.

Here’s another french pastry shop in Lisbon, Boulangerie by Stef.

I really loved the interior decor at this cafe. It had an art studio feel with some unique, mismatching, vintage furniture.

The pastry selection was smaller here; it is a boulangerie after all. The shop offered lots of croissants and baguettes.

The cafe was quite popular with the after-work crowd.

Taking a break from sight-seeing. I had a deliciously rich hot chocolate with croissants aux amandes, or some kind of variation of it. Croissants aux amandes are a common french viennoiserie made up of day-old croissants soaked in a light rum syrup, filled with almond cream, and baked until crisp and golden. Unfortunately, this one was completely soggy and ended up tasting more like a bread pudding.

On our way to dinner, we passed by this chocolate shop on a small street in the downtown area, Baixa. It’s called Xocoa, a chocolate shop from Spain.

They sell all sorts of chocolate creations from simple bars to dipped fruit and nuts, and even some pastries.

I tried some truffles, as well as a slice of raspberry-infused dark chocolate ganache on a marzipan base, both very good.

For our last meal in Lisbon, we came to this seafood restaurant that my friend had found from a travelling blog. It’s called Cervejaria Pinoquio, located steps away from Praça da Figueira (Square of the Fig Tree) in downtown Lisbon.

My order: a generous pot of clams in a fragrant broth of olive oil, white wine, parsley, and garlic.

Ting’s order: seafood stew filled with more seafood than rice.

Evening view of Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square).

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!