Category: Uncategorized

Running Restaurant Reconaissance

June 21st, 2010 Permalink

On an early morning run in Lisbon I scout out a few places to return to: Pastelleria Suica (located in the main square of the city, Rossio) and a tiny snack bar called Saudade (near the Mercado do Ribeira) filled with patrons eating bean stew and fried fish. I don’t interrupt my run to eat, […]

On an early morning run in Lisbon I scout out a few places to return to: Pastelleria Suica (located in the main square of the city, Rossio) and a tiny snack bar called Saudade (near the Mercado do Ribeira) filled with patrons eating bean stew and fried fish. I don’t interrupt my run to eat, but later I drag Chie to both places to try them out.

On the top of the picture above is a pastry and a gallao from Pasteleria Suica. A gallao is a kind of Portuguese latte, but it’s very weak and milky. At the bottom is lunch from the snack bar: By the time we make it to Saudade the crowd has left and there are a couple of old men at the bar, just starting to feel drunk on a Saturday morning. Chie orders the patinascas de bacalhau (pictured above)–a kind of codfish fritter flecked with herbs, served with rice and a few black olives that the chef carefully arranges by hand before passing us the plate. Food is good. Atmosphere is amazing.

Sinal: The Art of Waiting

June 21st, 2010 Permalink

On the first night we follow some recommendations to a restaurant in the Bairro Alto called Sinal Vermelho. The food is fine but what really leaves a lasting impression is the wait for the table. People pile in the doorway, wait for beers, and every so often harass the headwaiter/maitre d’, who refuses to write […]

On the first night we follow some recommendations to a restaurant in the Bairro Alto called Sinal Vermelho. The food is fine but what really leaves a lasting impression is the wait for the table. People pile in the doorway, wait for beers, and every so often harass the headwaiter/maitre d’, who refuses to write down any names and only deigns to bring you a beer after you’ve been waiting for a good long while. There are lots of empty tables but he’s one of these perpetually harried souls who is forever rushing back and forth, (I think) accomplishing little. At first we think we’re getting the cold shoulder because we’re obviously foreigners among a clientele that is almost all Portuguese, then I witness his interactions with other people waiting and I realize that’s just his way of doing things. When he finally waves us over to a table his demeanor changes completely–we’ve gone through the hazing ritual and now he can welcome us into the fold.

First Food in Lisbon: Snails

June 21st, 2010 Permalink

First thing we tried were Caracois, tiny dried snails, that are being advertised at almost every snack bar, cafe, or small restaurant you pass. We stopped at a place near Placa Principe Real to eat a pile of snails. The eyes were a little intimidating. They were salt and garlic bombs. Everyone else in the […]


First thing we tried were Caracois, tiny dried snails, that are being advertised at almost every snack bar, cafe, or small restaurant you pass. We stopped at a place near Placa Principe Real to eat a pile of snails. The eyes were a little intimidating. They were salt and garlic bombs. Everyone else in the place was eating them.

Fonts of Lisbon

June 21st, 2010 Permalink

What strikes us first is the way that Lisbon seems to have resisted so much of the global sameness found in other big cities in the rest of Europe, America and Asia. The typography on the signs of so many stores, even shops located in the heart of the city, is distinctive, old and hand-drawn […]

What strikes us first is the way that Lisbon seems to have resisted so much of the global sameness found in other big cities in the rest of Europe, America and Asia. The typography on the signs of so many stores, even shops located in the heart of the city, is distinctive, old and hand-drawn but not self-consciously retro.

A grilled chicken restaurant the city’s food market, the Mercado do Ribeira, is one of Chie’s favorites, along with a sign on the façade of a hardware store that sells fluorescent bulbs.

This Paris Em Lisboa sign is on a fancy home store in an upscale neighborhood–it might be a retro cool gesture. It’s still a nice sign.