While it is always great to want to seek out the most “popular” or “it” places when I travel (I mean, when I only have 3 days somewhere, why not?!), sometimes, the best way to enjoy a place is to try a local spot where they might not speak your language. Yes, Belcanto was lovely, but a local grill place is wonderful in its own way.
O Tachadas (March 2017)
Address: Rua da Esperanca 176, Lisbon
Hours: Not sure, but dinner opens at 7:30pm!
Price range: ~20 euros a person (including wine!). A bottle of wine is around 10 euros, main dishes around 10-15 (but really, more than enough for two people to share)
Reservations: Call them at +351 21 397 6689 (Website is: https://www.facebook.com/restaurante.tachadas). A side note, because this is a very local restaurant, the restaurant servers don’t speak great English.
O Tachadas is a bit out of the way of all the touristy areas in Lisbon. We had booked an Airbnb in a more residential area of town, and it popped up as a restaurant nearby. Described as almost a “canteen” styled restaurant, O Tachadas occupies a tiny storefront and is jam packed with tables covered white disposal table coverings. We arrived a little early – they open for dinner at 7:30 exactly, and realized there was nothing around to keep us entertained. The four of us huddled under the small covering at the doorway until a nice old man (who we guessed was the owner), had the servers let us in to sit!
The meal starts off with “table service” – which costs 1 euro a person. The day we went, it included iberico ham, marinated olives, and an entire block of cheese. Yum! Because it had been raining all day (are you seeing a theme? We spent a lot of time in restaurants because of all the rain – at least that’s what I tell myself!), we each ordered a bowl of the daily soup.
For the main courses, we helped ourselves to grilled steak and pork (on the wooden boards above). The grill is actually at the front entrance of the restaurant (possibly to entice people to enter?). Although I am not sure why, the place quickly filled up with big groups of people. It seems more like a communal dining location. Regardless, how could we not be happy with slabs and slabs of fresh grilled meat? The grill master is talented – the cook on the meat was perfect. For those nit-picky people out there, they do not ask how you want your meat cooked.
We also had a order of the local bacalhau. A local delicacy of essentially dried and salted cod, the dish manifests itself in so many different ways all over Portugal. We had a simple version grilled in olive oil, as you can see in the picture up top. Yummmm <3! It actually did take me almost the entire week to get used to bacalhau as a dish. I usually eat pretty lightly, and to preserve it, they heavily salt the fish.
Dessert is far less exciting. The options come from a menu of standardized ice cream related products.