Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Thing Thursdays: Lisboa

A few years back, when Hubs and I spent a few days in Italy, I made sure to get the most bang for our buck by including a 23 hour layover in Portugal. Sneaky, right?
View from our hotel room in the fanciest Marriott in the world.

Lisbon was so lovely, but despite our long layover, we really had just six hours of usable time once we factored in going through customs twice and sleeping. So, it was a mad dash of tourism. We wandered through an old fort, saw the Christo Rei from afar, peaked into a church, accidentally stumbled into a block party and bought some new shoes.

But, one thing you must do in Lisbon? Eat chorizo.

As the sun was setting, Hubs and I found ourselves on a street that was quickly being deserted and we were getting hungry. An English pub sat across the street from us, but we weren't really looking to eat British food in Portugal, so we kept walking. As it got dark, the streets really started to clear out and we were afraid we'd wandered into a bad neighborhood. (This story is going somewhere, trust me.)

The Alfama neighborhood, where we felt nice and safe. These apartments are covered in tiles! So sweet.

My hungry little brain was racing. I wasn't really in the mood to be kidnapped by Portuguese gangsters or have my last remaining euros jacked. I wanted Hubs to find us a restaurant and fast. My eyes scanned the street ahead: coffee shop (closed), ice cream shop (closed), shady looking convenience store (open), hooligans on the corner, spooky stairs, Hermes, that stupid English pub - um, wait. Hermes - the fanciest of the fancy shops? First: big relief, we were not in a Portuguese ghetto about to be stolen away forever! Hooray! Rejoice! Second: OMG, I've never even been anywhere classy enough to see an Hermes store. I think I've arrived as a lady.

Renewed in our confidence, we decided to eat at the restaurant at the bottom of the spooky stairs across from Hermes. I've Googled my heart out to find the name of this place, but I couldn't find it. If you're ever in Lisbon, find Hermes and then find some suspect stairs and get ready to be very happy.

The chorizo was brought out with the bottle of red we ordered. It had been sauteing in some kind of hot sauce and was served in a tiny bowl that we quickly devoured. It was smoky, a little spicy and had a kind of gelatin quality. I don't even remember the rest of the meal. I think I ordered mussels, but I'm not sure. That chorizo ruined me for all other cured meats.

By the bay

Time for two things? Hail a cab. In Lisbon, every cab we used was a Mercedes and every cabbie wore a suit. Bonus points for wearing big sunglasses and carrying a high-end bag. Nothing beats playing a fancy-pants rich lady for a day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Directory