Although we signed up for a customized Lisbon culinary tour with Lazy Flavors, we actually received a two-for, with a walking tour of the historic Graça neighborhood of Lisbon. The Views From Graça Graça is one of Lisbon’s oldest suburbs, on a hill top that seems to tower over the rest of Lisbon’s hills and valleys. It is a few blocks northeast of the Sao Jorge castle, and is kind of a hike to get to. Don’t do what we did. Take the famous number 28 tram. We walked. By the time we climbed the stairs and narrow passageways to the top, we were exhausted. We rarely take advantage of public transportation in a city like Lisbon, as we prefer to walk everywhere, and use that as our exercise. But, there is a metro, a tram system, and the hop on hop off tourist buses that can get you around town. When we finally reached the peak of Graça, after failing to take advantage of any transport options, we stopped at a cake shop for a coffee and a pastel de nata, the famous Portuguese cream dessert. We figured we would then head to the square, Largo da Graça, near our meeting point, to rest on a bench before our Portugal food travel tour, but Mariana and Veronica were waiting for us there already. No rest for the weary. The Traditions of the Graça Neighborhood Graça seemed to me to be one of the least touristy parts of Lisbon. In an environment where people try to find the off the beaten path destinations in any city, Graça certainly...
We are becoming experts in food tours around the world, from Hanoi to Bangkok to Barcelona. It’s something I enjoy doing in order to better understand the local food scene, even in a city that I have traveled to before. When we returned to Lisbon, though, I wanted something a little more, well, unique. Lazy Flavors was able to customize a Lisbon culinary tour that was exactly what we had in mind, even though we didn’t know it. We approached Lazy Flavors, essentially asking them for a food tour. Although we had been to Lisbon before, our diet consisted mostly of shrimp with garlic, and pork sandwiches, called bifanans. All good, but we wanted some variety. This Lisbon culinary tour took our knowledge of traditional Portuguese cuisine to a whole new level. The owner of Lazy Flavors, Mariana, wanted to wow us. Sure, she knew we would be writing about the experience. She figured, though, it would be a perfect opportunity to test out their new customized Lisbon culinary tour, on a willing crowd – a couple of hungry guinea pigs, with big stomachs and open minds. We met Mariana and Veronica, our tour guide, in the Graça neighborhood of Lisbon, set on one of the seemingly highest hills of the city. After a walk around the neighborhood, learning about its history, we got to work. Food work. We met professional chef, Chef Patrícia, at her favorite fishmonger in Graca. She explained that she had prepared most of the ingredients ahead of time for our Lisbon culinary tour, but wanted to show us her fishmonger. The historic fish shop still...
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