on November 19, 2011
In a bout of bad planning, we found ourselves in need of a meal near one of the touristy regions of Lisbon near the Castle of St George. We are always wary of those restaurants that cater to tourist parties (both for the quality of the food, and the forced hilarity and banal conversations of the folk thrown together on a package tour), and decided to stray a little down the hill from the castle.We fell upon the Restaurante A Tasquinha (Little Tavern) just a short walk down the hill and bit less busy than the places at the top. The menu looked very Portuguese with lots of grilled fish and meat. Prices weren't particularly keen, but it wasn't over the top for either a main course (around 8 Euros) and for a carafe of nice house wine. There was an option for a fixed priced lunch, but as my dining companions couldn't find anything they fancied on it, we just ordered off the main menu.I always have to have grilled sardines at least twice on any Portugal trip, and my meal at the Little Tavern was huge and plentiful, and served with plenty of salad and a large boiled potato. This was particularly true as we had decided not to wave away the starter plate of bread, olives and a choice of two local cheeses, which were particularly tasty (and not too pricy).My beloved had Tuna stake and it arrived swimming in butter and served with small boiled potatoes. While the tuna was a little overdone for my taste, it still arrived the right side of dry. Our dining companion had an equally large (and well cooked) piece of salmon; this time with salad.I heard tales of the owner and staff being particularly unfriendly at the Restaurante A Tasquinha, we certainly didn't find the same, although it was fair to say they didn't particularly have the time to stop and chat given the numbers of people dining. There is plenty of space to sit outside in an open town courtyard, although beware if you sit close to the edge of the tables as a constant line of tourist parties pass you by en-route to the castle. Despite that little annoyance, we found the restaurant a reasonably good place to stop by, and to watch the world go by.
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