It’s snowing today in Seattle and I’m reminiscing over sunny and slightly warmer days in Lisbon, Portugal.  One of the joys of travels is discovering new culture, and one of the most delicious ways of doing it is through food!  I wanted to share photos and thoughts of my culinary adventures in Portugal with you, dear snackers!

Portugal is famous for its seafood (proximity to the source) and Vinho Verde (fresh, slightly effervescent wine made from “green grapes”).  Our first meal in Lisbon was at a local restaurant, Restaurante Rio Coura, bustling with jovial chatter of the locals, clinking of glasses,and swishy sounds of paper table cloths turned over to greet new guests.

Unless you have a personal restaurant recommendation, picking a restaurant in a foreign country might be tricky.  Don’t get sucked in by menus written in English or bored waiters standing on the street, begging you to come in and taste their delights.  Instead, pay attention and find out where the locals eat!  If at all possible, pretend you are Rachael Ray and ask the locals for a recommendation (skip your hotel’s concierge).

Our meal started with a basket of bread and Bolinhos de Bacalhau – Portuguese cod fritters.  I’m not sure why, but the bread was stale.  We sipped on a bottle of Vinho Verde and awaited the delivery of our main course.

For the main course, we ordered grilled calamari and a mixed seafood platter.  Talk about seafood delight!  The calamari were some of the best I’ve ever tasted ~ no rubber here!  Grilled to perfection, charred and tender, they were simply delicious.  A healthy sprinkle of lemon went a long way.

The seafood platter had a variety of fish (salmon and white fish), grilled calamari, and boiled potatoes.

 Nothing but the bones were left.  Thanks for a delightful meal.

Have you been to Portugal?  If so, what was your favorite meal?

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