Okay, internet. I’m just over a month away from Euro18* and I need your help. Yes, you! Tell me your travel secrets. I have two and a half days to spend in Lisbon, eating all the things and getting all the culture. Where do I start?
Oh man, I can hear you already.
Q: Olivia! You can’t see a city like Lisbon in 2.5 days!
A: Have you met me? Brussels: 24 hours. Vienna: 36 hours. Iceland (a whole country!): 58 hours.
So, we’ve determined that I can in fact get a taste of a city in two and a half days. What I’m counting on you for are recommendations to make sure that I see the real Lisbon, and not the touristy version that’s been adapted for visitors.
Please, leave a comment on any or all of the below questions:
- Where would you go for good local food? If there isn’t an English menu, consider me intrigued.
- What’s your favourite activity in the city?
- What’s a “can’t miss” sight that I need to check out?
My loyal readers (shout out to my three family members), I am back with a vengeance this spring, and can’t wait to let you know all about my travels.
*Refers to my incredible two-week European adventure coming up, not some music festival. But, I get it. We’re heading into Coachella weekend so I can’t fault you for going there.
Don’t worry, I’m not speaking a foreign language in the title of this post. Chances are, unless you’ve travelled to Canada, or can call a Canadian one of your close friends, you have no idea what poutine is. Oh, readers. How my heart aches for you. Actually, my heart aches because I ate too much artery-clogging poutine on my last trip to Montreal, but that’s another issue.
Living abroad, whenever someone asked me about Canadian cuisine I would always have to explain that being such a multicultural country, Canada has very few Canada-unique dishes. One of our claims to fame, is poutine. Poutine is fries, topped with cheese curds (the squeakier the better, in my books), covered in hot gravy. Try explaining this to an Italian. I should have created a separate blog just to record the looks of horror they gave me. To this day, I’m still not sure what gravy is in Italian, but I liked to refer to it as meat juice, or meat sauce. Drooling yet?
While in Montreal a few months ago, during a food tour, we stumbled across a little restaurant in the heart of the Mile End neighbourhood with a queue that would rival the cronut queue in NYC. Wait, are kids still lining up for that?
So, after seeing said line up, we took to Google to find out more about this restaurant. Fabergé had great reviews, and there were rumours of a breakfast poutine. The next morning we got up early and sauntered over, excited to beat the brunch rush. Let’s set the scene. Two clueless Torontonians round the corner only to discover the WORLD’S LONGEST LINE. Truth. You can read about it in the Guinness Book of World Records. Take two: same Torontonians set alarms to arrive at the same restaurant 22 hours later. Conclusion? We got a table for two where I tasted the below breakfast poutine firsthand, and washed it down with a mimosa or three.
Address: 25 Avenue Fairmount Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2L9
Phone: + 1 514 903 6649
I know I left you hanging on my last post with promises about our wine cost negotiations. Well, after refreshing your browsers hour after hour, the moment has arrived. Today you will learn why a smile, and a promise of drinking a lot of wine, can be financially beneficial.
Canadian girls: Oh, look! Retsina is only 3.50 euro per half litre. But a half litre isn’t very much. I wonder if we order a litre if they’ll give it to us for 6 euro.
Server: What can I get you?
Canadian girls: We will have a lot of food (I can’t remember specifics, sorry.) And we will have two half litres of retsina, but we will only pay 3 euro for each half litre. Ok?
Server: … … … … Ok.
Canadian girls: Great! We will have three litres total of retsina.
We came across the restaurant after a day of sailing with George*. George’s wife lured us in one afternoon with the promise of a great day of sailing on a small boat and seeing the Greek islands. She was adorable, and after some negotiations to make sure we paid a student rate, we agreed. When we showed up that morning we realized that George’s lovely wife would not be joining us. George was hilarious, and if you aren’t offended easily then I would probably recommend spending a day sailing with him. He will likely insult you, unless you are a female in which case he will 100% insult you, at least five times. He can’t insult you just once, because females never listen so you won’t even hear the first few insults.
Anyway, back to how we came across this restaurant. After our day of sailing, George recommended that we go to a restaurant just off the water and tell them that George sent us to get a free appetizer. Interesting fact of the day: the words “it’s that white building there – tell them George sent you” can apply to every situation in Greece. There are no non-white buildings, and no one not named George. I’m 87% sure I could travel the entire country telling people that George sent me and get some kind of nod of recognition at each place.
*Sailing George is not Hotel George. I told you there were a lot of them!
Sailing wasn’t all bad. We did get some great pictures, and you can’t photograph an insult so I’ve almost forgotten how offended I should be by George. Some more retsina will help, I’m sure.
Apologies if the title of this post is a little unclear, but I like to throw in the occasional French word to sound très chic. Did it work?
There are going to be many posts about Paris, because j’adore Paris, but because this restaurant received great reviews from everyone I sent there, I begin with La Cave Gourmande. This was one of my favourite meals in Paris. We were wandering our way up through Montmartre one evening, and starting to scope our restaurants, when we happened upon this cozy little restaurant. After chatting up the owner, he swore to us that he served the best bœuf bourguignon in Paris. Well, always a believer, we promised to return on our trek back down. We started with the foie gras, which as long as you don’t focus too much on where it comes from, is absolutely decadent. Followed by the hyped-up bœuf bourguignon, at which point I nearly fell to my knees to beg the owner to either hire me, marry me, or feed me for life. None of these happened.
I’ve sent multiple people back to this restaurant since I went in Spring 2014, and all have written to me afterwards to tell me how delicious it was. World, you are welcome. Now go forth and manger!
Address: 96 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris, France
Phone: +33 (0)140400330