If you know me, you know I don’t really hold with maths (or mathematic as the Americans like to call it)…it’s some voodoo shit and I avoid it. I can barely count. I get anywhere near eleventy and I will flip the table and make an ungraceful exit. I mean, they didn’t even have zero until 3BC in Mesopotamia, and the mayans were happy without it until around 4AD. Before that it was like…how many cows do you have…less than ten…how many less? ten….ok, I’ll take 2…no you bleeding won’t. I say this because in the first paragraph I will be using some percentages that may not reflect anything that anyone that can make percentages will understand. Think of those percentages not so much as number bound but colour bound…and those colours are hues and shades rather than anything strictly clear. You get me? Here goes…
I’ve spent about 30% of my life living in Spain, and only 10% of it in Portugal. And I’ve spent almost every summer of the last 15 years living and working in Madrid most of the summer. Yet it comes to summer and I go all Portuguese. I’ll take myself all the way up to El Corte in Sol to buy vino verde and White Port (Portonic is THE summer drink…lot of ice, slices of lemon and lime, a 3rd of white port and a tin of tonic water. you’ll thank me. I’m not a fan of gin tonic…but the dryness of the tonic really works with the port…white port not as sweet as its red sister/brother/cousin but still slightly sweet)
I’m not sure why summer and Portugal seem so synonymus for me. maybe its because I never had my heart broken by a Portuguese woman, while the Spanish girls I’ve been involved with seem to take it as a point of honour to hurt me. And usually at the beginning of summer. Dunno.
While Lisbon is not the same city I used to live in, it seduces anybody who has spent time there. While I prefer my life and love my barrio in Madrid, I cant help but feel a stab to the heart if a see a picture of Lisbon or hear somebody talking about it. I describe Lisbon as my beautiful ex wife, an ex wife who has seen better days but has had some work done recently which I’m not sure if I like or not…Madrid is my plainer, current wife, who treats me well
(thats not a male leche picture…it’s a matter of privacy. all the photos I took in Lisbon last summer were of the person I went there with. Oddly enough, in reality her face is exactly the same as mine…fat, bald and with a salt and pepper beard)
anyway, I started my holidays officially yesterday. And what is a holiday but the absence of working, and going out for lunch…and drinking booze. and spending a good 18% of the day in the shower. If you get to become a zen master like me, you can combine the shower AND booze…but don’t try this at home yourself. Or anywhere else. Years of practice yo..
So I decided to combine my holiday and summer lovin’ with my saudades for Portugal and went here…
La Portuguesa c/Juan Alvarez Mendizabel no.39…not far from Templo de Debod.
Oddly enough, there are very very few Portuguese restaurants in Madrid even though the whole country is just around the corner. There have been some decent ones and some terrible ones, but they haven’t lasted very long. It might be because the Spanish think, and say, that Portuguese food is “just bacalao”…although if I said that Spanish food was “just badly cooked rice” I’d be shown the door pronto. Unfortunately the Portuguese restaurants haven’t dispelled this myth by always advertising their bacalao dishes. I haven’t helped, when people have asked me why I love Portuguese food more than Spanish food, I have listed at least 8 fantastic bacalao dishes and they basically won’t hear me if I mention pork with clams or claim Portuguese chicken a la brasa is just so fucking good.
so there it is. no I didn’t reserve it. or have my assistant reserve it. You know you’re not in Lisbon when you see the prices…vinho verde of the house was 16euro and main dishes were around 25. but fuck it, I’m on holiday and my knees too dodgy to get me to Portugal.
cold bottle of vino verde, obvs. bread and sardine paste to start, obvs.
bacalao with onions was what waiter suggested. I’d say what we portofiles would call bacalhao a braga…though I could be wrong. really was phenomenal. drop of wine in with the onions?
I’d have gone for the Carne de porco alentejana but it was only for 2 people and I’m not 2 people. Which is lucky I did cos I could barely finish my bacalao for one person and I am one person.
the very pleasant waiter/owner must have guessed there was something Portuguese about me…maybe my fucked up Spanish…because he just assumed I’d want a coffee. no bad thing…Portuguese coffee is the best in the world…just means I am not having a siesta now…I’m having a portonic and writing this. cheers
oh..the price…doesnt do a menu del dia…and you’re paying for the exoticism of not eating Spanish food for the nth time
come on! I’m worth it, papi #pouting #flickingbackhair