Sunday, June 30, 2013
Shit. Lorenço just poured a single vintage '68 called a Colheita. I've had old US ports--the difference here is this didn't come out of the barrel until last year. Unreal.
Where was I? Don't know...Porto, former capital of the country named after something sensible like a dessert wine. Or an aperitif--there's dry, white port, too. We had that before dinner. Then I ate half a roasted lamb and some amazing potatoes. And saltcod and potato fritters. I think carrots and collards were involved. I vaguely recall Karen eating some cheese and maybe a fish while VH1 played videos from the '80s and the...oh, it doesn't matter.
Where is Lorenço?
Truth is, though, Portugal is friendly, beautiful, helpful, clean, traditional, hip and delicious. One of those countries that got the Boy Scout oath really right.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
John Lewis, btw, is Irish, and after two decades of playing I finally understand why it's not the blues and why it's not country, yet I know every chord.
Oh, the women's restroom is located in the former confessional. Karen wanted me to snap the picture. Personally, I've always had more use for the former than the latter, but at the end of the day they are philosophically identical.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Dinner was excellent. Our first choice was booked, so we ended up at a restaurant recommended by the hotel. We had it to ourselves because Thursday was strike day and everyone stayed home. Octopus salad arrived first, and the marinaded peppers and herbs and the buttery cephalopod were sublime. A tomato and eggplant gratin and a spinach crepe gave us something to write home about. But it was the bacalhau-stuffed peppers that made us weep: so simple, so rich--perfectly perfect.
Then they hooked Karen on the white port.
So we headed for the Palacio des Port, and though they were closed (on strike), the back alleys were bustling. It didn't take long to find a wine bar and start sampling. I'm partial to the '76. Meanwhile, the Canadian-Portugese post-production duo struck up a conversation and several drinks later we were making Senegalese spiritual advisor friends over caipirinhas, at which point we realized it was two in the morning and we were the only people going to bed. Fun town.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
We also wolfed down some garlic shrimp and the "edible crab." No word on the other kind. But this one featured big claws requiring some explosive and comical mallet work and, stuffed into the carapace were all the innards, blended into a chunky, livery pâté. Also delicious.
Steak sandwiches for dessert.