Amazing pastries and less amazing dinners

An important part travel is food. It’s part of the cultural insight to to the place you visit, and a source of enjoyment on your adventure. This goes for Portugal as well, though I would keep my expectations on the lower side when it comes to dining out.

Whether it’s a visit to hole-in-the-wall-need-something-to-eat-right-now type of place, or a fancy restaurant, it seems that Portugal hasn’t really seen the point of moving beyond french fries, chips and a simple salad (usually sliced tomates with a bit of lettuce, onion and oil on top) for side dishes. Most of the time you fries will be a bit soggy as well.

Of course it could be just us ending up at the wrong places, but I’ve heard many others having the same culinary experiences when visiting Portugal.

That being said, there are definitely reasons to enjoy the food in this wonderful country. First off, in Cascais I got one of the best steakes that I can remember at a restaurant called O Poeta. Stop by there if you’re heading to Cascais. You might still get fries, but they will be more of the home made kind, and crispy. Good stuff.

Also, if you’re in Sintra, the newly opened Gelati di Chef serves the hands down best ice cream I have ever tasted. They need to be featured in the next editions of Lonely Planet, Rough Guide and other guide books. They’re that good. They’ve got their own home made cones, and my favorite ice cream combo is Coco Loco (more coconut in this than any other ice cream I’ve had), Biscotti di Chef and vanilla. Absolute perfection.

Now, to the pastries. I don’t think I’ve eaten as many pastries in two weeks ever before than I have in Portugal. Absolutely love them. If there’s a limit to how many pastel de natas you can eat, I haven’t found it. Add the pastries made with almond, milk and coconut flarn, and life in general is just good. In other words, who cares about the rest of the food, when you can enjoy some of the best pastries ever? You will need to up your game at the gym when you get back, but I say it’s worth it.


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