Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The best of Portugal

Porto Part I

I chose to go Porto for 3 reasons:
a) Because I have not been to Portugal
b) Because I like Luis Figo

c) Because of THIS ...
THIS ...


Woohoo! The land of Portuguese egg tart :P, and may I stress, authentic ones. Always had a soft spot for it since it was sold in the bakeries back home, until a friend brought some fresh back for me from Lisbon, and man (!) what have I been eating all these while is not really the real thing! The crusts are much thinner, yet still crispy even after its cooled down. Most importantly, you have to put cinnamon on top of it before the munch, gives it a better pungent kick I feel. I was really surprised when I bit into my first one (ironically at Delifrance Porto) which was at room temperature, expecting a soggy tart, to find that the crunch was still there :) And again, I'm a sucker for anything fresh out of the oven, so this is really good anyway.

On another note, Porto is the perfect place for slackers, because there's not much to do, have good (and cheap) port, restaurants and bakeries all around, and a few rows of shopping high streets. I refused to enter any church/museum on this trip, simply because I was so enriched culturally in my last trip to Rome, that I need some new experience. And yeap, Porto is the right place to be to escape the hectic Cambridge bubble. It's sunny, chilled out and most importantly near the river/sea :)

This is the main square in Porto in the evening, where my hostel was conveniently located.

So we went to this restaurant recommended in the guidebook called Abadia. It certainly made its mark on me forever :P (P.S. abadi means eternity in malay). Good food, awesome prices and serious portion distortion. A little more on the latter later. So, as usual, I had to try the local specialties in this region, and have known what to call for without looking at the menu. This is the famous Tripas à moda do Porto (tripe with sausage and beans). It's a perfect stew for the cold days really.

I ordered porco à alentejana (Pork Alentejo style), which was my favorite dish of the whole trip. It's a huge pork shoulder steak grilled to perfection with salt and pepper, I think. The best thing was the pile of green thing you see in the picture below, it is actually spinach cream, goes very well with meat dishes I must say! Had a lot of that to make me feel like Popeye ...

We had a huge shock with the portion distortion whilst there, since as you can see below, that huge slab of pork is apparently HALF a portion by its own! Even the tripe stew above, it is half a portion for that solid big saucepan of meat, sausage and beans all in one... o_OII

... and I thought the Americans eat loads. But I don't see a trend of big Portuguese people though.

Until I looked downstairs, checking out how much people are eating there generally. See the 2 aunties in the picture below? If you look carefully at the pile of meat they're consuming, maybe by clicking on the picture? LOL Portuguese aunties are quite hearty eaters :P But then again, they do have less sedentary lifestyle given the hilly town and all the walking they do... just not used to the idea probably as my grandma barely eats much meat at her age.


Anonymous said...

porto porto porto~


Anonymous said...

porto porto porto~