First tastes of Lisbon

We arrived in Lisbon just after midday today after a connecting flight from Madrid, and the weather was surprisingly holding up despite weather report threats of rain. Based on just a day here, it’s a lot like what I expected: hilly, colorful, lots of random street art, endless beautiful printed and painted tiles on buildings, both commercial and residential, and thankfully nowhere as crowded as crazy tourist magnet cities like Paris, London, and Venice. On certain streets, it just felt like it was us and a bunch of locals, leisurely strolling to get from point A to point B. Some hills were so steep that they required steps; it was like an older, more colorful and historic version of San Francisco.

The coffee and baked goods are as rich and delicious as I was expecting; the coffee was beautifully roasted, strong, and cheap at just 1.10 euros. The pastry we shared, a pao de deus, was thick crumbed, dense, moist, and topped with a large amount of sweetened and buttered coconut. We later had dinner at a restaurant that was recommended by a YouTube food traveler we follow and watch avidly named Mark Wiens, and we enjoyed their oysters, crab soup, sea bream fish, and octopus. Everything was so fresh and tasty; the octopus was Chris’s favorite octopus dish he’d ever had – thinly sliced, grilled, tender, and flavorful, not even a hint of rubbery texture. The fish was extremely moist and so good with the Portuguese olive oil it was served with.

I read a lot of different reviews for restaurants across cities we’d be visiting in Portugal, and it is always such a turn off whenever a review starts with a massive bias or outright disgust for some country’s food. One person who reviewed this restaurant started his review with, “Not a fan of Portuguese food and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but this place was an exception!” So what, are we supposed to respect this place even more now and want to try it because you are so bigoted that you would X out every single one of the dishes in this entire country of 10 million people? I just don’t get how people want to seem like they are cultured or well-traveled when they make such ignorant and stupid comments like this.

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