Lisbon and the Azores – The Best Stuff We Ate

While our last stops in Europe were emotionally bittersweet (so many feelings about going back to the States!), they were also gustatorily triumphant. We alluded before to Portugal’s sometimes perplexing nature, but on this second trip through we kinda nailed it. And… we nailed the food, too. Most of what we consumed was real, real good. Below? That’s the great stuff.

  • Tapas and ham at Antiga Bacalhoeira da Baixa, Lisbon (instagram link b/c the website is insecure). Iberico ham, sausages, and real-deal patatas bravas with a spicy kick. Excellent!
  • Alleyway dinner at La Provinciana, Lisbon (no website, just find it). Really neat place – the late owner was really into clocks, and the staff was delighted to have a five-year-old goggling at all the insanely interesting timepieces inside. We ate outside, and loved our fresh sausages, balcalhau (grilled codfish), and steak (that was for Fiona, of course).
  • Custard tarts (pastel de nata) in Lisbon. They’re famous for a reason.
  • Grilled fish at El Rai Dom Frango, Lisbon. We were all a little tired that night, but it was lovely to get a table here before the crowds descended, and kind of gratifying to see the hour-long wait outside as we left. Fish was delicious, too!
  • Ginjinha in Lisbon. Not technically a food – it’s a cherry liqueur. You order it from a bar (or, in our case, a bar that also retails), and drink it by the shot with a sour cherry at the bottom. It’s a rare treat. Also, as far as we could tell, the bars that serve it only serve ginjinha. No martinis for you, pal.
  • Dinner at Ta Gente, Ponta Delgada. Fiona ordered her steak medium rare, and the hipster-ish waiter asked “are you sure? That’s the way I like it.” We all affirmed, and you can see a very happy kid below. It was a fantastic steak – one of the best of the trip. Julie and I shared a few tapas dishes – the highlight was the broken eggs with chorizo, sweet potato, and asparagus. Stunning.
  • Espetada Acoriana at Churrasco, Ponta Delgada. Slow-cooked beef, grilled shrimp, and pineapple on a skewer. It was like surf n’ turf al pastor.
  • Gelato at Artisani Gelato, Ponta Delgada. Long lines for awesome ice cream. If it wasn’t the best gelato of our whole trip, it was definitely in the conversation. Unfortunately for Fiona, the mint chocolate chip was sold out both times we went. She survived anyway.
  • Our last dinner in Europe at Bistro Louvre Michaelense in Ponta Delgada. Everything was fantastic, including a delicious parmesan/tomato/arugula salad, and an amazing gnocchi dish. We hung out here for nearly three hours – what a perfect way to end the European – and international – part of our trip!

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