Casa de Pasto

Susan P:

Some of my favorite foods this week.

Originally posted on Salt of Portugal:

Casa de Pasto

Casa de Pasto was the designation given to humble restaurants that served comfort food to country folks, making them feel at home when they visited the city. So, it was with low expectations that we walked up the stairs of a Lisbon restaurant called Casa de Pasto. We were greeted by an exuberant decoration that combines ceramics and artifacts sold in country fairs with a deft sense of design.

The food was a revelation. First, a gazpacho so intense that it could make a Spaniard blush with pride. Then, the freshest sea bass, perfectly grilled, the kind of delight that you can only enjoy in Portugal. Next, we shared a grilled veal T-bone steak, so large and succulent that it would bring tears to the eyes of a Florentine. The meal’s ending was a chocolate mousse so perfect it could convince a Belgian to move to Lisbon.

Casa de Pasto is a restaurant…

View original 28 more words

Memorable pastries from Vila Real

Susan P:

If you are not hungry before you look at this, your sweet tooth will be clamoring for some!

Originally posted on Salt of Portugal:

Crista de GaloMore than a century ago, a baker from Vila Real was given four secret recipes from the local Santa Clara convent. The pastries she made with these recipes were so extraordinary that she decided to turn her bakery into a pastry store.

Today, her great grandchildren continue to use the same prized recipes at Casa Lapão, a pastry store in Vila Real. Their most popular pastry is called “Crista de Galo,” which means rooster comb.  We recommend that you try them with your eyes closed so you can better appreciate the heavenly combination of the flaky dough with the egg and almond filling.

If you’re near Vila Real, a stop at Casa Lapão can turn an ordinary day into a memorable one.

Casa Lapão is located at Rua da Misericórdia 53/55, Vila Real, tel 259 324 146, email Click here for their website. 

View original

Relaxing in the Gerês pousada

Susan P:

I wish I was vacationing there right now!

Originally posted on Salt of Portugal:

Pousada do Gerês

If words could describe how great it is to stay at the Caniçadas pousada in Gerês, you would not need to drive up the Gerês mountain to find this hotel ensconced in the woods, overlooking the Cávado river. But even poets would have trouble putting into words the feeling of starting the day sitting in the hotel’s veranda, our eyes feasting on the spectacular vistas.

The origins of the hotel go back to 1951, when temporary accommodations were built for a group of engineers working on a dam on the Cávado river. Naturally, the engineers chose a location with an amazing view. In 1968, the building was converted into a hotel and an annex was built to house the chauffeurs of the wealthy patrons who came to Gerês to recharge their energies.

The staff of the pousada gave us wonderful recommendations for what to do in Gerês: trails to hike, rivers to swim…

View original 62 more words

Beach moments

Susan P:

Gotta love the beach no matter where in the world it is!

Originally posted on Salt of Portugal:


Life is like a train trip. We eagerly anticipate getting to the next station but, once we’re there, we can’t wait to move on.

Much of life is a blur, like the views from a moving train. We remember the arrivals and departures of those we love. And we remember some of the train stops, when the pace of life slows down.

For us, many of these leisure moments are spent on a Portuguese beach. We recall the beauty of the seaside, the wonderful weather, the delicious food and, most of all, those who shared these happy moments with us.

View original

What I’ve Been Up To This Summer, part 1

Susan P:

Hair today…

Originally posted on The Girl Who Couldn't Eat Anything:

before body spritz

So, one of the things I’ve been up to is working on my Lemongrass Spa business. My favorite part of that is exploring the different products in my home and figuring out what all I can use them for! I LOVE that they are all natural and even though they might be marketed as one thing, they can be safely used for many different things!

One of our favorites is the Body Spritz. It’s a great alternative to perfume, but the Princess’s favorite use for it is a detangler for her hair! Ever since she was a wee tad, she has HATED getting a shower/bath and getting her hair washed. A lot of that had to do with the fact she has a lot of hair and it easily gets tangled! Enter in the body spritz! A few sprays on her hair and she’s as happy as a clam, plus…

View original 16 more words

The third island

Susan P:

The Azores are part of Portugal also. Such beauty.

Originally posted on Salt of Portugal:

Açores 47 - cropedThis year we visited Terceira, an island in Azores. After Madeira and the Canary islands, Azores was the third group of islands discovered by Portuguese navigators. Initially, the Portuguese called the whole archipelago Terceiras (the Portuguese word for thirds), but later they renamed it Azores and reserved the name Terceira for the largest island.

Terceira is a perfect destination for a relaxing vacation. There are many beaches to enjoy and hiking trails to explore. Restaurants serve great food for modest prices. And the traditional architecture makes us feel as if we are in a time gone by, when life was simpler and time was not a luxury.

Vitorino Nemésio, a great poet from Terceira, wrote that here you are “at the very bosom and infinitude of the sea, like the medusas and the fish.”

The green valleys of Terceira compete with the beauty of the sea. For Nemésio, this competition is futile because “The…

View original 12 more words

Our favorite tasca in Lisbon

Susan P:

I have eaten in some of those delight full little “holes in the wall, and I can vouch for the great food in those places. I need to visit this one!

Originally posted on Salt of Portugal:

Das FloresTascas are modest, inexpensive restaurants that offer a small, seasonal menu. They are often family affairs; the parents cook and the kids wait the tables. The quality of tascas is highly variable, some are good, a few are great, many are just passable.

When tascas become popular, they often have trouble coping with success, and their quality suffers. That is why people who find a great tasca usually like to keep it secret.

We’ll break with these social norms and tell you the name of our favorite tasca in Lisbon: Das Flores in Rua das Flores. This establishment is not to be confused with the more posh (and also very good) Taverna da Rua das Flores located on the same street.

You could write a dissertation about the eating habits of Lisbon residents by studying Das Flores’ menu. It includes items like poached grouper, grilled sole, codfish cakes with tomato rice, pork and clams Alentejo, and grilled lamb chops. All perfectly prepared with pristine ingredients. Many items on the menu cost less than 10…

View original 72 more words

Flash Mob In Coimbra

Coimbra is approximately half-way between the north and the south of Portugal.

“The history of the University of Coimbra dates back to the century subsequent to the very foundation of the Portuguese nation, since the University was established in the 13th century, in 1290.”

This is a very short but beautiful “Flash Mob.”

If you are interested in more info about Coimbra, check out this link:

Oh Porto!

Susan P:

Porto is where I first saw women at a communal wash house where women could do their laundry if they did not have facilities at home. The closest I came to it was washing our clothes by hand in the bathtub.

Originally posted on Salt of Portugal:

O Porto, Rui Barreiros Duarte, ink on paper, 2015.

Portugal’s second largest city and the unofficial capital of the North is called Oporto. The city has a much older feel than Lisbon. While much of Lisbon was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, Oporto preserved its meandering medieval streets and ancient buildings.

Oporto is a place full of surprises. The city looks austere, but its granite architecture is just a ruse to make the gorgeous Douro river look even more seductive. Life in Oporto is hectic, but residents always take the time to give visitors a warm reception. There are plenty of restaurants that look ordinary but serve great food. And there are many hidden treasures in the port-wine caves that store, sometimes for centuries, the precious nectars from the Douro valley.

The Portuguese call the city Porto, while the English call it Oporto. There are two theories about this discrepancy. The most plausible is that…

View original 63 more words