Extraordinary Adventure 2018 Day 16: A Wild Ride
Today was the first day of our entire 2+ week adventure that I could physically feel Jenn and I start to slow down. We only have a few days left on the trip and we both could sense it as we woke up this morning. We had one tour planned for the day and that would be it for the trip. The rest was on our own, We took our time waking up this morning, more so then normal, and made it to our 10 AM Tuk Tuk tour a few minutes late.
We’ve done a TukTuk tour once in Budapest and loved it. It’s less about the mode of transportation and the luck of the tour guide and thankfully we’ve gone two for two on TukTuk tour guides. We met our guide in front of the Hard Rock cafe down the street from our hotel and were off. The big difference between this tour and the one in Budapest was the Lisbon terrain. The city is just a string of major hills that in order to travel literally anywhere you’re going to be going up and down. Our driver (who’s name I forgot) thought it would be a great opportunity to show two Americans his driving skills and also show off to his fellow TukTuk drivers.
For the next two hours when we weren’t holding on for dear life we made our way through the many beautiful areas of Lisbon. Unlike Madrid and Milan where we could easily walk or take a metro to many of these places, parts of Lisbon just require a lot more work to get to. We made a couple of stops on our way up to São Jorge Castle at several cathedrals and look out points over Lisbon. There were two big takeaways I had from our trip around Lisbon today (outside of the major attractions). The first is that the tile work on the side of buildings in Lisbon is really pretty and gives an amazing character to different streets. The second is that they have a major graffiti problem in the city and they’ve done a decent job of counteracting that by letting real graffiti artists make beautiful displays on several walls throughout the city.
We had a great time on the TukTuk and lucked out with our great guide. It was nice learning a lot about how popular Lisbon has become in recent years and the influx of tourists coming in from cruise ships (three were in port just today).
We finished up our Tuk Tuk a little after noon and walked to a nearby Indian restaurant for lunch. We’ve had a lot of Spanish/Portuguese food in the last week so we wanted a change of pace. We found Royal Spice and it was one of the best Indian meals we’ve ever had. We started off with some chicken simosas which were beautifully cooked and delicious. We then had two entrees butter chicken (which was outrageously good) and lamb tikka with rice and naan. The entire meal was insanely delicious, one of those comfort meals that hit at the right time. When we got done with lunch we had thought to continue exploring but it was in the 90’s by now and after a few minutes of shopping we gave up and headed into our hotel room to watch some more Ozark on Netflix and wait for the heat to abate. In mid-afternoon we went back out to grab a quick caffeine jolt at Starbucks and then quickly retreated again.
We didn’t go back out until 6:30 PM when we walked out of our hotel to a much milder and more agreeable LIsbon. We walked around our nearby area and made our way to our dinner reservations at the Mini-Bar Teatro. When we arrived we got a corner table at the swanky restaurant. Jenn started out with one of their specialty cocktails and I had a glass of red wine. We then selected to do their “surprise menu” which was eleven different bites that were supposed to trick the mind. And that was absolutely the case for about half of the meal.
Our first three bites were probably the most interesting of the meal. One was an apple on top of a margarita glass and when you ate it, it really tasted like a full blown margarita. The second was a cocktail within an olive so when you put it in your mouth and pressed your tongue against it, it exploded in your mouth with a rush of cocktail. The third was in the shape of what looked like a small chocolate nutty candy but was actually foie gras. All three were super fun plays with food and as the menu said it was having a lot of fun with food.
The next round was equally as fun. One was ceviche on top of a lime that you squeezed as your ate and was divine. And after that was a cracker with three different mouses on top (cheese, avocado and chicken) and was like eating a sandwich from a taste profile. Once again just a lot of fun and also delicious. By far though the star of the show were the ice cream cones with beef tartare and tuna tartare. The beef tartare was delightful, great sauce, and the crunch of the cone with it was divine. But the star really of the entire meal was the tuna tartare in a cone. It was like having a really great tuna sushi roll or poke bowl. Simply divine.
From there things became a lot more tame. We had an egg with parmesan cheese bread and truffle that we mixed up and it sort of made like a carbonara. Then we had two scallops on top of a hot rock that was good but nothing special. And the entree of the meal was a really straightforward burger with three potato wedges. It was delicious but wasn’t really a play on anything.
For dessert we had two offerings. First up was a lime ball that was filled with a vanilla mouse that was divine. And then we had a small piece of sponge cake with white chocolate with nuts that was shaped in the form of a peanut. Both desserts were great and a nice way to finish off a very fun meal. We left the dinner almost two hours after it started and made the long walk back to our hotel enjoying the beautiful evening. We made it back and watched one more episode of Ozark before closing the books on a wild and fun day in Lisbon.