Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Food

Regis and I like cooking, so when we travel we like to rent apartments that have decent kitchen facilities so we can find local markets, buy local food and experiment with the local cuisine. Here in Cascais, we were only staying for a week, so were not that concerned with the cooking. Good thing, because the kitchen is the size of a closet. It does have a bar fridge, a washer, a microwave, a toaster, a kettle and a little two burner stove sitting on the counter, but not really a good kitchen to do much cooking. We cooked breakfast, made soup and sandwiches, but mostly we ate in the many local restaurants.

Waiting for our first meal in Portugal
The food we have experienced has been amazing. We have yet to have a bad meal. During our travels we have learned some things about eating in restaurants. For example we have learned that if the cafe has to hire some fellow to go out on the sidewalk to entice people into the door, it is probably not that good. In contrast if you look inside and the place is full and you cannot understand a word of the chatter going on, it is probably 'local-approved' and the food will be good authentic local cuisine. Also, don't always take the recommendation of your host; the spot suggested by him was probably the least exciting place we ate.
Broad Beans & Chorizo, Octopus and Prawns

On the first day we arrived the fellow who rented us the apartment suggested a place downtown and although it was good, it was not especially exciting. The next day we found ourselves exploring the fort converted to hotel and art sector. There was a little cafe on one side of the central courtyard, and their menu sounded very interesting. We ordered three appetizers, broad beans & chorizo, Octopus salad and prawns. An excellent meal! The next day we actually did our research and decided on two restaurants that sounded good but both were closed, so we chose a random little spot on a side street downtown and I had an amazing grilled bream (One of my favourite fish), and Regis had a wonderful lasagna.

A little spot on a side street
We ate at a little spot in Estoril while waiting for the casino to open and had a delicious Italian style pizza. On the way home that day we stopped at a spot down in the local marina and had more Italian; also delicious. You have already read about our adventure with “Fine” dining and bike riding the next day, and yesterday we went back to one of the restaurants that was closed previously. This spot was highly recommended by a good friend who had visited Cascais earlier, but unfortunately it remained closed and we were unable to translate the hand written note on the door explaining why and when it would reopen. Instead we went to a spot that was highly rated on Tripadvisor, a tiny little wine
Porsche Parking . . where's the bike rack?
bar and restaurant that only sat about twenty people. As we entered the front door we were greeted by a full room and a cacophony of Portuguese; a good sign, remember. Fortunately it was a lovely day and there were two little tables outside under a tree, and one was free. We joined a couple from Belgium under the tree and left the locals inside. The menu was amazing and I was told that they had two specials today featuring wild boar or octopus; OMG what to choose. I finally decided to try the wild boar steak and Regis ordered a seafood stew, but the appetizer menu had so many interesting items I decided to splurge and ordered a local wild game sausage. I was expecting a sausage but what arrived was a perfectly cooked fried egg surrounded by sausage slices, broccoli and home-made potato crisps. The appetizer was delicious and our mains were equally good. Then to top it all off, the owner/chef came out and apologized for the meal taking so long. We hadn't even noticed . . .

And we still have one more day here in Cascais . . . where to eat today?
Wild Game Sausage

A Table under a Tree

Broccoli & Anchovy Spaghetti

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