Seventh Week of a New Life
Missing Lisbon..Well Most of It
As I am traveling back to the States to get my recently approved Portuguese resident visa, I have been missing certain things I’ve already grown to love about Lisbon. On the other hand, I’m remembering some of the things I am not as fond of…
The Green Café
The Green Café is by far one of the things I love most about Lisbon. In the past, I’ve never been a big breakfast person outside of a tea or coffee and yogurt. After discovering the Green Café, that has all changed.
The Green Café is a little slice of heaven which was the first place I went hours after arriving in Lisbon to start my new life. I settled into my apartment, which, with two suitcases, did not take long. Then I headed to find a place to sit and relax for a bit. After wandering for a short while, I found a simple cafe, chose a table outside and in the sun, ordered an espresso. That place was the Green Café.
After that first visit, I remembered they had what seemed like a good menu from the limited look I had. That weekend as I was wandering nearby, I popped in for breakfast. OMG that meal completely changed the way I think about breakfast. From the many tasty looking options, I chose Italian Toast which was a slice of toasted bread topped with the best mushrooms I’ve ever tasted, slices of black olives, and sharp and salty parmesan cheese flakes. The toast was decorated with two slices of perfectly cooked Italian bacon. Fresh OJ from the Algarve region, some greens, and a very good cappuccino made an addictive combination I have not been able to resist since. I have it once every weekend.
When it’s nice outside I choose a table up against the café so I can linger and watch people come and go. Two homeless people are always sitting on the steps of the church opposite the café, including an older woman and a middle-aged man. They bicker back and forth constantly in somewhat hushed tones. It’s hysterical. My regular waitress tells me that sometimes they beat each other. She says it provides her a good source of entertainment throughout her workday.
After such a decadent breakfast, I head over to give them each a coin, being the very least I can do. They both slap a smile on their faces when I finish my breakfast and head their way. They shower me with Portuguese words I cannot understand but am able to translate through their grateful expressions. Our little ritual makes me happy.
Egg Surplus and Chicken Shortage
One thing that is bewildering to me, is the incredible amount of eggs the Portuguese consume. This is not limited to breakfast but all day long. It blows my mind why one must put a fried egg on my ham and cheese sandwich, my pulled pork sandwich or most anything else I order. They can find a reason to slap an egg on almost anything they serve. I’m waiting for them to show up in my wine.
The widespread use of eggs in the Portuguese menu may explain why I have to live with a lack of chicken dishes. While I have been enjoying the heck out of having plenty of delicious seafood options including multiple choices of fresh fish, delicious shrimp pastas, and a local favorite, octopus rice, I do love a good chicken dish. When dining out in Portugal, you are lucky if you get one chicken option on the menu.
As far as I know, poultry is pretty common and I am not aware of any great chicken shortage. My best guess as to why there are so few chicken options on Portuguese menus is that given the massive amount of eggs required to feed the Portuguese people daily, these poor chickens are required to provide a long life of service. When you do get a chicken dish, he is probably Grandma or Grandpa McCluck.
Come visit Portugal and I will help you navigate the “challenges” of this incredibly difficult life! 🙂