THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON

Old Mar 24th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Matt,

Here's a list of all the Indian restaurants in the area:

http://www.indembassy-lisbon.org/uk/...staurantes.pdf

Enjoy!
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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Drum roll.....

And the 400th poster is

TIARA - hurray!

So we haven't decided on a prize yet...
Perhaps a membership to the Lisbon dining club?

Mnnn CURRY!

Matt
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Congratulations!! How long will it take to 500???

The club is out now as I write. Looking forward to the report.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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The Lisbon Dining Club get togethers are improving both in quantity and quality of participants
Today's excellent meal cost 19 euros/person including tip. Matt's full report including fotos is due within 2 hours time.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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CASA DOS PASSARINHOS review.

Today was the second reunion of the recently formed "Lisbon Dining Club" and I'm pleased to say that membership has now doubled to four. Okay so Lobo and I took our spouses and they didn't exactly need arms twisting behind backs but you have to be cautious meeting persons unknown from the internet, but Lizzy (my wife) though Lobo had looked trustworthy from the previous report so had no qualms in joining us.

Casa dos Passarinhos can be found at the following address:

Rua Silva Carvalho, 195 - 1250-250, Lisboa (Tel 213 882 346).

Although it is not within the so called tourist centre it can be easily reached on foot from Amoreira shopping centre (5 mins) or from Campo d'Ourique (10 minutes). To get there from downtown it is probably easiest to catch a cab. Anyway, I ended up driving to Amoreiras and using their underground car park - which is too low for my Landrover and I ended up scraping the roof bars and tearing out the aerial! Lob met us and we were soon at the front door:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/1.jpg

The restaurant is comprised of two dining rooms, a smaller one by the bar and the lower one which is larger:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/2.jpg

(As you can see we arrived early at 7.30 ish as Friday nights many of the tables were pre booked)

I lingered at the extensive wine cabinet:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/3.jpg

Which is next to the open plan kitchen area upstairs:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/4.jpg

The girls were considering the menu whilst Lobo posed for photos:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/5.jpg

(One thing you will encounter in many places is no matter the amount of people at the table you will only be provided one menu. Ask for more - and here they have an English version if needed.)

Wine has a habit of breaking the ice and conversation was soon flowing between the girls:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/6.jpg

Whilst Lobo and I toasted the 2nd night of the dining club:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/7.jpg

"Cheers Lobo" The wine we had was Requengos Doc red from the Alentejo at 5.50 E

We started with prawns cooked in a butter garlic and picante sauce:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/8.jpg

Which was extremely nice. We were unsure of the main dishes and so the waiter brought a selection of fresh fish to the table for us to select from and we decided on the bream (Dourada grelhada):

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._England/9.jpg

Which was served with boiled potatoes, carrots and turnip greens:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...England/10.jpg

We shared this 1 serving easily between the four of us and it was a meal in itself:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...England/11.jpg

The fish was extremely tender and light with a fresh taste, a squeeze of lemon juice drizzled over the top perfect. A slurp of wine and then in the interests of providing you the reader with the best information we order a second main meal ;-)

Secrets of the Black Pig and I'd wanted to try this for a while just to make sure it wasn't really deep fried testicles:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...England/12.jpg

What it in fact is are thinly sliced boneless cutlets from the back of the pig. (And I'll let Lobo talk about why the Black Pig is so special). I'm not a great pork fan but this was tender grilled and full of flavour, not at all salty as I'd feared it might be. Lizzy doesn't eat meat so we shared this one serving between three. On it's own with a side salad it would have been enough for a light lunch between us.

Desert consisted of - tarte Gelado bolacha (Frozen ice cream and biscuit tart):

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...England/13.jpg

Two portions of Arroz doce (cold sweet rice pudding with cinamon):

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...England/14.jpg

And chocolate mousse for me:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...ngland/145.jpg

(I had been scibbling on the paper table cloth and in my enthusiasm made a bit of a mess...)

So as we ate our puddings:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...England/15.jpg

We discussed the meal and compared it to our last outing to Trindade. And then we had coffee with the manager, Antonio Almeida and thanked him for his attention:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...England/16.jpg

In fact he told us a little of the restaurant's history - that it had been functioning since the 1920s and he had taken it over in the eighties and expanded it to the size it is now.

As I paid we were served complimentary glasses of Moscatel wine which wasn't a perk but served free to everybody.

So in total the bill came to 76 euros including tip and can be broken down thus:

Starters - bread cheese olives etc: 5.60E

Seafood - 9 E

Fish - 29.50 E (Although seemingly expensive this is per kilo which was 2 large fish including the vegetables)

Meat - 9 E

Wine - 5.50 E plus another 3.75 for a half bottle of Borba

Dessert 8.40 E

Coffee 2.60 E

A few notes made at the time:

The restaurant is comprised of 2 dining rooms which are nicely furnished and decorated in a traditional style with tiled walls. There is an open plan kitchen as you enter with the fish and meats displayed with a large wine cabinet to salivate over. There are No non smoking areas but I didn't notice the smell of smoke even as the place filled up. I advise arriving before 8pm especially on the weekend so not to wait for a table. Immediate parking outside is difficult though there are large carparks nearby.

In comparison with Trindade this is a less touristy restaurant more cosy and with more locals from that area eating. The mix of diners was both young and old and lively conversations circulated the room.

The service was good and two things I thought stood out was the waiter bringing us the fish and when we changed wine (1 bottle not enough for 4 so we ordered an extra 1/2 bottle) new glasses were provided.

It is a good idea to ask for 2 different main meals to be served one after the other as we did thus giving a contrast of flavours.

So to tally up (out of ten):

Surroundings - 7.5
Ambience - 7
Company - 10 ;-)
Wine - 7
Starter - 8
Main - 9
Dessert - 8
Service - 8

Give this a big thumbs up for value: we paid less than 20 euros each, and without the prawns to start or puddings (which usually I don't eat but I'll make an exception for the Lisbon dining club) one could eat for a lot less. In fact the bream was enough to serve the four without the pork afterwards.

My only criticism (and it is only small) is that perhaps too many tables were in the lower dining room and that space is a little cramped.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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For some reason some additions were chopped off so I'll redo it now (I had edited all spelling mistakes but for some reason it rejected them in the edited post )

In terms of what a normal tourist would want afterwards it is a cab ride away from downtown or Bairo Alto, but for those prepared to take a trip and enjoy good company in nice surroundings (with excellent food) this is perfect. I for one will be returning...

Matt
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Matt and Lobo - thank you for the terrific dining report! Looks like you had a fantastic time and a delicious meal. Perhaps my husband and I can join you when we're in Lisbon in May?

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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Matt, your report is perfect as expected. But allow me a minor correction: We didn't have 2 Douradas, but one. It is prepared in the way showned in the picture (escalada) to assure uniform grill.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Bailey, consider yourself an honourary member of the Lisbon Dining Club!

Lobo, it may have been 1 fish but it looked like 2, so big it was! BTW we thought your wife was lovely - you lucky wolf you!

Matt
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 05:41 PM
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Hey, I was talking with Lobo tonight about my trips, NYC and Africa etc, so you know what a European person does for holidays, (at least this one) look here for my two African journals - the first is climbing Kilimanjaro and the second relates to my time in the Serengeti and Northern circuit parks:

http://clubs.wanadoo.co.uk/pictures/...lbumID=5272073

http://clubs.wanadoo.co.uk/pictures/...lbumID=5280137

That should take up a few minutes of your time.

Have a great weekend everyone, ours has started in a most excellent fashion!

Matt
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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Looks like a wonderful second meeting of the LDC. Sorry about your car though Matt.

The reports are so inspiring that we may try a Potuguese restaurant here in DC tonight. I will let you know how it went.

Hope everyone's weekend is going well.
Barbara
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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Hello everyone, Thanks for all the great info on this thread. At Matt's suggestion I am posting my intinerary here in hopes that you can all help me. I am most interested in cheap but nice places to stay in Evora, Sintra and Lisbon. We may need 2 rooms to accommodate all of us. I checked out the apartment in Lisbon on VRBO that looked great but requires 3 nights and we only need 2. Thanks for any suggestions this is only our 2nd time out of the U.S. We are a family of 2 adults and 3 kids ages 15,11 & 8. We will be in Portugal for 14 days. If anyone has suggestions for our itinerary I would appreciate it. Still looking for hotels. We may need 2 rooms so I am trying to keep costs down.
June 19 Arrive Lisbon 21:00 stay near airport? rent a car at airport
June 20 drive to Salema where we will stay 8 nights (We love the Beach!)with day trips to Tavira, Sagres.
June 28 drive to Evora stay one night(considered Monsaraz also but probably not time to do both)
June 29 drive to Fatima then Sintra stay 1 night
June 30 to Lisbon for 2 nights
Leave Lisbon July 3rd at 7:40am
Thanks for any help you can give.


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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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Come on Barbara - what did you have for dinner then?

Hey there Sarasara, gald you could join us. I can't comment re the Algarve, perhaps Michi, if you are still about you could chip in? (And give us a brief trip report?) But one thing I think you should ammend is this -

June 29 drive to Fatima then Sintra stay 1 night:

From Evora that is a lot to do in one day - in fact Evora is such a nice place to stay it is worth more than one night: be sure to visit the Temple of Diane and the chapel of bones.

Bearing in mind the trip for Evora to Fatima will take 1 -1 1/2 hours, you will spend some time there (not my cup of tea but if a devout catholic, well perhaps it holds interest), then another 1 hour at least trip back to Sintra will not offer much time to look around the Moorish castle, Pena Palace, gardens, village etc etc. If it were me I'd ditch Fatima and head straight to Sintra. (I think Fatima will bore your kids too)

To ammend your plan perhaps knock a day off the Algarve, go to Evora early, and perhaps squeeze in Obidos?

Somewhere worth going from Evora for the day (get there early and do it in the morning is Badoca safari park - http://www.badoca.com/?path=/Portugu%EAs/O%20Parque
The kids will certainly love it and it will make a change from quaint little Portuguese villages...)

Lobo, you know of that area... Estremoz perhaps, Borba?

Matt
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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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Matt, as usual good suggestions. I think we will cut a day off Salema for the safari park. I showed the kids the web site and they thought it looked cool. We will have to stop in Fatima because I am indeed a devout catholic and I can't go to Portugal without stopping at such a sacred (although tourist trap)place. I haven't told the kids about it yet. thought I would spring it on them at the last minute.lol! After spending as much time as possible at Fatima I thought we would drive to Sintra in the evening and sight see the next day. then go to Lisbon again in the evening after dropping the car at the airport since I have read on this thread that a car will just be trouble once we go to Lisbon. Do you still think there will not be enough time because maybe we should only spend 6 nights in Salema instead of 8? Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.
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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Hi Sarasara

Beofre I go to bed, and many people here know the reasons for my seeming insomnia...

I have been to Badoca and it was great - it seems they have improved things slightly. The highlight is the tour around the grounds in the cars, the guides feed the animals as you pass and can stroke the zebra, giraffe, etc etc. The grounds are very nice with varied zones, forest, grassland lake etc. The only thing I found disappointing was the size of the cages for the cats, (though this might have changed since.) The restaurant is most excellent with very good food, I think I had the pork with clams - carne de Porco Alentejano with a red wine. Good value too. Make sure you see the deomnstration of the birds of prey, and once the crowds disperse you might get to handle some - I had some close contact with various owls and eagles. Go early to avoid the school parties...

Honestly re Salema? I'd cut off that extra day, but then I'm not a beach person. And don't forget about the Lisbon Dining Club, let Lobo and I know in advance (and our better halves ;-)) and we can organise a nice evening at a good restaurant. (Look at the pictures, we are <i>fairly</i> normal people...;-))

Matt
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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Sorry for the late dinner report - it has been a busy weekend.

Plus there is no dinner report! We drove around and around and could not find the restaurant. Of course we had not taken the phone number so we tried information, tried a phone book and no luck. We eventually called my son who we knew would be on the computer (in Boston!) and had him look it up since the place had a great web page. So we called and the number had been disconnected. I am not sure what that says about Portuguese food in DC!

There is supposedly another restaurant that we may try to find another time. But we may not get Portuguese food until we get there. All the more reason for the LDC.

We ended up at a Tapas place that was only fare (serves us right I guess).

Sarasara: I am planning on 1 night in Sintra as well after driving from Nazare and I am worried that will not be enough time to see the sights of Sintra. I guess it depends on the crowds as well.

Now I see the first weekend of June there is a big rock concert in Lisbon. Course that is just when we will be there. Matt/lobo do you think things will be crowded or it is something we will not even notice?

Thanks as always
Barbara
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 03:05 AM
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Sarasara, you have a very tight plan. It's not so bad, because it gives you a good reason to come back soon.
Monsaraz and Obidos (and Marvao, a bit further north) are the same type of thing. Visit one and leave the others for next time.
My suggestion for a short visit: spend some time in Evora (chappel of bones, diana's temple, cathedral). Apart from the monuments, try to catch the feel of the town, sit it Giraldo square, let the children have a coke and amuse your self just watching people). Then go to Vila Vi&ccedil;osa to Braganza family estate. Visits are in Portuguese (very sad), call the palace in advance to know if any guide may do a English tour for you. If your kids are fed up with so many paintings, at least they will enjoy the kitchen XL size copper utensils.
From there, Estremoz is a short ride (20 minutes maximum). The open market is a must, with live stock that seems to amuse American visitors
Arrange schedule to be there by lunch time and visit Adega do Isaias as described in another post. I know children may be very picky, specially in foreigner countries, but a BBQ meat with French fries, will certainly please them. Call in advance. From Estremoz you need only 1.5 hours to Lisbon, 2 hours to Fatima, Sintra or Obidos.
The entrance in Lisbon is very interesting in both bridges, but the new Vasco da Gama bridge with 10 miles span, joining Lisbon just in the former Expo98 spot, is a must.
Sarasara, if you need the telephones of the before mentioned places or any others, just let me know.
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 04:03 AM
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Lobo sir, you are indeed a fountain of information...

Matt
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Patrick from Los Angeles emailed over the weekend and I'm pasting up his itinerary here for you all to see:

31 March - arrive Lisbon in a.m., transfer to Sintra (Hotel Tivoli).
Day trips from Sintra to Monserrate, Obidos, Setais, etc.
4 April - fly to Funchal, Madeira. Stay at Quinta da Bela Vista.
9 April - return to Lisbon in a.m. The group disbands, but we'll stay
3 more nights in Lisbon - York House in Lapa.
12 April, a.m. - depart for Los Angeles.

Whilst we're with the group, most of our meals are planned; BUT we have
a free evening on Sunday, 2 April. Is there any possibility that the
LDC could come up to Sintra for dinner that evening? Failing that, I
could try to get together with Mr. &amp; Mrs. Lobo Mau after we return from
Madeira - but it sure would be fun to meet all of you!

Our tour was organised by Horticulture Magazine here in the states, and
will concentrate on visiting both public &amp; private gardens. We're only
16 people - a good size - and all mad gardeners, so it will be a very
congenial group. The tour organizer has visited Portugal numerous
times, and we'll have an excellent local escort as well; so I'm sure
they'll find us excellent restaurants, as well as the best gardens to
visit.

My friend and I scheduled the three extra nights in Lisbon so that we
didn't have to rush home at the end of the tour. I'm sure we'll find
plenty to do, but I would welcome any recommendations you have for
Monday, since it appears the museums etc. are closed that day. That
might be the day we really play &quot;tourist&quot;, and do the sightseeing tram
ride and/or Belem (I'm not sure if the Monastery is open Mondays, I'll
check).

I'm also monitoring the weather situation every day - looks like I'll
be using my raincoat a bit. Is there any improvement forecast?

I look forward to hearing from you - and I sure hope we can work out a
meeting.

<b>So...</b> it looks like there will be a convening of the Lisbon Dining Club of the last weekend of Patrick's visit (Okay with you Lobo?) and regarding his Monday's activities I have suggested the red tourist tram, walking through Alfama, Elevador St Justa downtown and perhaps the ferry across the river to Cacilhas - but don't forget Belem, and should everything be closed as is the want on Mondays, spend the afternoon in Pasteis de Belem!

Welcome aboard Patrick and look foward to seeing you in a couple of weeks time.

Matt
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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Okay so another Matt_from_England post - you must be bored of hearing from me by now. (Anyway, that's enough fishing for compliments...;-))

This thread has surpassed many expectations when Michi gently nudged me to put something up about Lisbon - I want to put a question to you all.

Should we continue here on this thread or should I launch a son of Things to do in and around Lisbon thread? (or perhaps daughter for those that know me well.)

I want your input - personally I think that we can tie up both Lisbon and Portugal into one thread so that anyone visiting Portugal can be directed into this new thread: obviously it will be a continuation of this one, the first post being a link to this old one and the last post of this thread being a link to the new one. With up to 500 posts it can be a bit wieldy to search through.

Actually this was Lobo's suggestion - I think he still surfs with a 16.6 Kbs dial up modem and it takes 2 hours just to get into Fodors ;-)

Okay then so the poll - please respond:

YES - for a new thread.
No - to continue this thread.

Lobo and I have many ideas to launch in a new thread with more iteractivity like the Lisbon Dining Club reports, having learnt some lessons so far.

Look foward to receiving your continuing positive feedback and support.

Matt
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