Monday, July 29, 2019

A Michelin Bike Ride

Beautiful Scenery

After walking the coastal road on our first day in Cascais, and seeing the lovely bike lanes all along the way, we decided to rent bikes and pedal up the coast today. The fellow who looks after the apartment also rents bikes for a very reasonable price, so we picked up two good bikes and took off for the day.

Riding bikes along the coastal road is great, the bike lanes are clearly marked and although you sometimes have share with walkers (They do have their own sidewalk . . .), it makes for an easy worry free ride. Not so much in town . . . . narrow streets, one way streets, pedestrians, etc, make riding in the town a bit more challenging, but we only had to get from the rental place to the coast and we made it without incident.
Great Views on the ride

Riding the coast really was lovely. The bike lanes are convenient and the terrain was level. Once you get out of town, there are actually not a lot of places to stop. The scenery is spectacular and we covered over 16 km in total. I did stop once to look at an oddly shaped wall in the middle of a field on top of a cliff. The wall was protecting people from falling down a hole into a cave which was washed with waves from the ocean. Very deep, so the wall was a good idea.

It was lunchtime about 7 km out, so we decided to have lunch and turn around. There were a few
Michelin Signs
Regis' Crab
restaurants in a cluster at this spot. One was closed (Portuguese Mondays), another only served to hotel guests, but another had a nice “Open” sign on the door along with MANY Michelin stickers. There were no Michelin Stars, just
“Recommendations”, but this should have given me pause. We walked in in our shorts and T-shirts, and while being looked up and down were asked if we had “Reservations”. This was in a large restaurant with perhaps six people seated in one section. We replied to the negative and asked if we could have lunch. We were led way across the restaurant to a table well away from the “Real” guests. The menu was a shock with one item, “Lagostins” (That's crawfish in English) at 220 euro a Kg. When the waiter came over and we pointed out a couple of items on the menu, he suggested that clients usually chose their meal from a basket of fresh catch that would be brought to your table for you to choose. No thanks, I did not want to accidentally choose one of those 220 euro per kg of crayfish. We insisted that the items we chose from the menu were adequate.
Biking Home!

Now once they realized that we actually did want lunch and we were not going to be intimated by attitude, we got along famously. I ordered a squid appetizer, cooked in butter with garlic, and a tenderloin sandwich, and Regis ordered a crab appetizer. The Squid was cooked perfectly, and I am an expert on squid, and Regis' crab was delicious (And she commented that it was the first time she actually got enough bread to spread the carb on). All in all it was a great lunch! It was obviously an up-scale place and we ended up with two servers waiting on us, and they were very attentive but by the time we were finished we were joking and laughing together. His phone buzzed in his apron and he was very embarrassed, but I just brushed it off. He asked me if I wanted another beer and I told him I was biking and did not want to drink and drive. Then when he took my VISA for the bill, he noticed my name. “Oh!” he exclaimed, “Arthur . .this is my son's name too!”.

Leaving the restaurant feeling satisfied, and perhaps a bit more upper-class, we remounted our trusty bikes and heads held high biked home.

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