Archive for February 3rd, 2010

3rd February
2010
written by spd
While walking through the winding streets of Alfama to Graca and Santa Clara, this pattern-on-pattern scene caught my eye.  I couldn't stop looking up the entire time we were in Lisbon.  These stunning azulejos (hand painted, tin-glazed ceramic tiles) adorn virtually every building, from churches and train stations to ordinary homes... and the hanging laundry only adds to the charm. (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

While walking through the winding streets of Alfama to Graca and Santa Clara, this pattern-on-pattern scene caught my eye. I couldn't stop looking up the entire time we were in Lisbon! The stunning azulejos (hand painted, tin-glazed ceramic tiles) adorn virtually every building, from churches and train stations to ordinary homes... and the hanging laundry only adds to the charm. (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

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3rd February
2010
written by spd
Our feast of split chicken piri-piri at Bomjardin (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

Our feast of split chicken piri-piri at Bomjardin! When we returned for the second time, the weather was so fine that we dined outside and people watched on Rua de Sao Jose. (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

Our first meal in Lisbon just happened to be our favorite, and one that we recreated dish per dish later in the week. Bomjardin, a Chowhound favorite that’s just as loved by locals, serves the best Frango Assado (Chicken Piri-Piri) in the Baixa. Judging from the throngs of Lisboetas occupying it’s dining room and its annex across the street, perhaps the best in Lisbon!

There are no frills here, just fantastic food. A dismal window aquarium possesses the world’s saddest lobster, his criss-crossed claws bound for probably a decade, since the only plates exiting the kitchen carry split chicken. The frango is irresistibly juicy, and it’s crisp flavorful skin packs a punch of flavor. For extra spice, a tiny clay jar with a basting brush is available for extra piri piri. Unsanitary? Perhaps… but when in Lisboa… With a half bottle of the vinho tinto de casa, esparregado (spinich, not asparagus), batata frita (french fries), agua com gas, and the usual accompaniments of bread and queijinho sec (a simple, but delicious cheese), the meal comes to just over 20 Euro. We feel as if we’ve just robbed someone, and leaved stuffed and very, very happy!

Bomjardin, Travessa de Santo Antão 12, 1150 LISBOA Lisboa, Portugal. ph. 213 427 424

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3rd February
2010
written by spd
The first round of a generous tasting at ViniPortugal (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

The first round of a generous tasting at ViniPortugal (img: Sean Patrick Doyle)

I can’t speak highly enough about this incredible initiative to promote Portuguese wines! Grazed over in my guidebook, I wouldn’t know to make a visit to ViniPortugal had it not been for the incessant chatter on Chowhound. Located on the western side of Praca do Comercio, this vaulted showroom gives an incredibly informative introduction to this country’s wines with a four-glass tasting, free of charge! It’s competent staff cannot help you choose specific wines, as all of the vineyards help to fund the initiative, but they guide you by educating you in the three regions that are the current stars of their rotating showcase. David and I fell in love with Lagos, a complex vihno tinto from the surprising region of Algarve. We also sampled the caramely Muscetals of the Setubal region.

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