Hello from Portugal

Hello from Portugal

Hello from Portugal

Ok, we’re actually back from Portugal now.  In fact, we have been back for more than a week.  But I wanted to let you see us enjoying our time there, and to start off what will be a lengthy series of posts telling you all about the great fun we had there.  We ate lots of good food there – I wrote out a phrase in Portuguese telling our waiters about my dairy allergy, took it with me everywhere, and all was well.  And we saw lots of great things.  No, let me put that another way: the fibers of our eyeballs were exploded by the splendor and opulence of what we saw.

I will talk a little about what you are going to see in the coming days and weeks, but I also want to let you know that I have lots of non-Portugal-related writing to do in the near future.

For my birthday, which was May 2nd, the day our trip began, I received some new wonderful-looking cookbooks: Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson, Home Made by Ivette Van Boven, Simple to Spectacular: How to Take One Basic Recipe to Four Levels of Sophistication by Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Mark Bittman and Sharon O’Connor’s Italian Intermezzo (Menus and Music).  So don’t be surprised if you see me trying my hand at dairy free versions of the splendid recipes I have been salivating over in those books!

And of course I also have lots to tell you about things going on in my home city of New York.  Of special note for me is that I am moving to the Financial District, about as far downtown as you can get.  As I begin to explore the culinary options down there, I look forward to sharing with you what I find!

Getting back to Portugal, before I conclude this post, I just wanted to share with you some of the subjects you will find in upcoming posts.  I will update this post and link to posts on Portugal, but just keep on coming back to stay up to date!

Thursday, May 2, 2013:
Leaving from Newark Airport: Grand Central Oyster Bar, Sorbet from Ben & Jerry’s
Friday, May 3:
Living in Alfama: our Lisbon vacation apartment
Lisbon, Day One: unofficial guided tour, lunch at O Piteu
Saturday, May 4:
Day Two, Lisbon, part one: National Tile Museum
Day Two, part two: Fado Museum and Fado at Dragao de Alfama
Sunday, May 5:
Day Three, part one: Downtown Lisbon – Baixa
Day Three, part two: Bairro Alto, Chiado
Monday, May 6:
Day Four, part one: Decorative Arts Museum and Castelo Sao Jorge
Day Four, part two: Lisbon Cathedral
Tuesday, May 7:
A Day trip to Evora, part one: Church of Santo Antao
Evora day trip, part two: Church of Sao Joao Evangelista
Evora day trip, part three: Evora Cathedral and old Evora University
Wednesday, May 8:
Day Five, Lisbon, part one: Convento do Carmo and Port Wine Institute
Day 5, part two: Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and Pasteis de Belem
Thursday, May 9:
Day one in Porto, part one: Cathedral, Livraria Lello and Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Porto day one, part three: dinner at Barao Fladgate
Friday, May 10:
Date two in Porto: Rota do Douro river cruise
Saturday, May 11:
Final day in Lisbon and Portugal, part one: Museu de arte antigua and lunch at Concha d’Ouro
Final day, conclusion: Calouste Gulbenkian museum

So that will give you a taste of what is to come!  Some days were so full that I am sure I will have to split the day into more than one post.  Stay tuned!

About Karl Peterson

Karl Peterson is an avid traveler, passionate about food and food-related entertainment, completely allergic to dairy. He is founder, owner and principle contributor to "The Dairy Free Traveler" blog. The Dairy Free Traveler perfectly dovetails two of his greatest areas of interest: traveling near and far, and searching for great cuisine (especially dairy free!) The Dairy Free Traveler publishes original material about the dairy free lifestyle, eating the best food in the most interesting destinations around the world. Karl's tours take him from thriving New York City, to exotic Marrakesh, to elegant Paris bistros -- (yes! even Parisians have gotten on the dairy free bandwagon.) The Dairy Free Traveler himself also engages with independent dairy free food producers, highlighting new dairy free product launches and events that support dairy free entrepreneurs. Peterson is among the top 7 most widely read TripAdvisor reviewers in New York City and is repeatedly cited as a Top Contributor at TripAdvisor.com. His reviews have garnered more than 542,000 readers -- half in the U.S., and half among the many countries he has visited around the world. Beyond writing this blog, Peterson is a published author, with contributions to "Savoring Gotham" edited by Andrew F. Smith (published 2015 by Oxford University) and the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Cheese (a bit ironic, yes, but a professional is often asked to stretch beyond their comfort zone!).
This entry was posted in Cookbooks, Food writers, Portugal, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hello from Portugal

  1. Pingback: Lisbon, Day One: unofficial guided tour, lunch at O Piteu | The Dairy Free Traveler

  2. Pingback: Convento do Carmo, Port Wine Institute: Lisbon day 6, part one | The Dairy Free Traveler

  3. Pingback: Portuguese fish chowder: great new staple from Jean Anderson | The Dairy Free Traveler

  4. Pingback: Barao Fladgate: Porto day one concludes | The Dairy Free Traveler

  5. Jill says:

    Hello! I am planning a trip to Portugal with my family and also have a dairy allergy. If you don’t mind sharing, what phrases did you use to communicate with the wait staff? Did you have any problems come up that you hadn’t anticipated? I’m a little nervous, since my Portuguese is shaky at best, so any advice you can give me would be very appreciated. Thank you!

    • Karl Peterson says:

      Jill, when we went there, my Portuguese was worse than shaky, it was non-existent! I had gotten hold of a Pimsleur series of the language, the brand that I rely on (I’ve used it half a dozen times or more), but I never found the time to do the work leading up to our trip!

      As to how I did, there were several things that helped. One was that a good number of people in the center of Lisbon spoke at least some English. But more than that, it was these two factors: that the food tended to be simple (grilled meats and vegetables were very common, as well as paella that was oil-based, for example), and that I cooked for us at our AirBnB apartment. In the Alfama District where we stayed, there is a street filled with groceries, butchers, fisheries, where I shopped for fresh meat and vegetables, and just with a couple of rudimentary pans and simple spices, I was able to make a bunch of pretty good meals.

      Then of course there were times when I had to make my best guess, but I did pretty well with that too. For example, we took a cruise down the Douro River which offered a set lunch with just two or three options. We told the waiters (with some success I believe) about my allergy and they brought me what they thought was safe, but then I was careful about what I ate, knowing that they might not completely understand my issues.

      The best, most secure experience I had must have been at the Taylor Fladgate winery in Porto. The tour of the actual winery was minimal, but we had a wonderful meal in their restaurant (as I recall, getting the reservation was difficult simply because their website was confusing to navigate – writing directly to them by email was the trick). And their host spoke fantastic English and was able to communicate to his staff about my allergy.

      Good luck, and don’t stress too much. I would suggest using Google Translator to come up with a couple of phrases, and then show them to waiters at restaurants and the like. Let us know how you do, and have a fabulous time in Portugal!

Leave a Reply