Tasca!

So when you come to Lisbon as a tourist, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the sheer wealth of restaurants available to you. While the majority are Portuguese, most cuisines are represented and prices range from the extremely reasonable to Michelin starred restaurants with prices to match.

But, something that I alluded to in my last post is the vital importance that the Portguese place on food. As a result of this, also as I mentioned in my last post, there is a huge abundance of restaurants where prices are really reasonable, despite the food being locally sourced, traditional and, often, of a very high standard.

These restaurants are called Tascas and almost every neighbourhood has one, or five, or more. To give more of an idea of this phemonenon, I’m going to talk about one of closest and favourite restaurants of this kind:  Flor Do Imperio.

According to Zomato, it gets just 3.4 out of 5 for the food, but I’m very surprised by this. The way the restaurant works is that they have a main menu, but they also have a series of pratos do dia – dishes of the day, which are at a fixed price of 4.95 Euros. Add to that a beer or a glass of house wine and an espresso to finish and your meal comes out at an even 6.50 Euros.

As for the type of food you can expect, here are a couple of dishes of theirs that I’ve had recently, each from the Saturday menu.

Bacalhau á Minhota

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Bacalhau or salted cod is one of the most traditional foods of Lisbon and this dish comes with a piece of floured and fried bacalhau, topped with sauteed onions. On the side are hand cut chips, olives and sliced peppers.

Coelho á Caçador

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This dish involves the rabbit, casseroled with mixed vegetables, served on top of a slice of fried bread, with boiled potatoes surrounding it and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Neither of these are small portions and other dishes I’ve enjoyed there include Cozido a Portuguesa and various Brazilian influenced steak dishes.

The staff are friendly, the environment is clean and there are an array of cakes that I’ve yet to even get around to eating. Needless to say, as long as I live in this area of the city, I’ll be a regular customer, but if you ever find yourself in Arroios and feeling peckish, stop by and eat something delicious for pocket change!

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