Sunday, September 25, 2022

Alpendre - Lisbon, Portugal

We got into Lisbon in mid-afternoon, took the subway to our hotel in the Alfama District, rested just a bit, then set out on a walk, determined to see the Castle of St. George (Castelo Sao Jorge) on a hill above our hotel. It was June 22, just one day past the longest day of the year and we knew it would be light until quite late in the evening. We walked down to the waterfront of the Tagus River near the beginning of the Tagus Estuary, then started to head uphill, first to see Lisbon Cathedral, which closed right before we got there, and ultimately to the Castle where we got some wonderful views of the city. 
Tagus River and Estuary.

St. George Castle on the hill. 

Lisbon Cathedral.

Tagus River and Estuary from the Castle. 

Part of Lisbon from the Castle. 

Castle walls.
Past the Cathedral and before the Castle we noticed kind of a non-descript restaurant on a relatively steep street that had a Trip Advisor sticker on the door. We were hungry and we figured it must have a decent rating. Fish and meat were on display in the front window (apparently refrigerated). 

We walked in and the proprietor did not speak much English, but had an English menu. Judy ordered cockles which I thought was just another word for clams. But now I find that they are different. The cockle has a rounded, heart-shaped shell and is slightly ribbed like a scallop. We've been saying they were some of the best clams we've ever eaten. We are actually finding out that we love cockles. The cockles were in a buttery sauce that was wonderful. I ate lots of bread dipped in the butter sauce. I would go there just for the cockles. 
I ordered four oysters on the half-shell. They were okay. I did not like them as much as the eastern U.S. and Canada oysters and I missed the traditional seafood sauce that goes on them at King's Fishouse (which I think has the best preparation and set-up for oysters I've ever had). 
Judy ordered melon and prosciutto which was delicious. 
I got grouper and asked them to under-cook it a bit. I like it very moist. It was cooked perfectly. I got the first of many servings of boiled potatoes, carrots and broccoli. Much of the boiled potatoes I smashed with a fork and poured the butter broth from the cockles on it - amazing. 
We kept hearing about sardines and I asked our tour guide in Sintra the next day about the best place to get them. She suggested that we go to one of the street fairs going on and get sardines from one of the vendors. We did that the next night and they were awful. They were bony and had kind of a nasty, strong, offal taste, like improperly cleaned tripe. 
The next day I suggested to Judy that the chef at Alpendre really knew how to cook fish. If anyone cook cook sardines, he could. We had other dinner plans early evening, but went back just to try a dish of sardines. I was right, the sardines were much, much better. They did not have the strong offal taste, but were still quite strong and very bony. I had no desire to try any more on the trip. 

1 comment:

  1. Lisbon is a foodie paradise. So much to love! Alpendre was outstanding.