Close to Rossio Station is a street full of somewhat touristy restaurants, with mildly pushy touts attempting to get you into their restaurants. This is Rua das Portas de Santo Antao. In one of the small side streets leading back to Praca dos Restauradores is one of the most well known and highly recommended restaurants in Lisbon, Bonjardim. There are actually two Bonjardim restaurants across the alleyway from each other....kind of strange. I read that the food at both places are the same so we just picked the newer looking one, sitting outside with a nice view of the graffiti.
Like most places in Portugal, there will be bread and other items placed at your table, if you touch, you pay. There was one item that looked especially good.
I just couldn't resist these Pastéis de Bacalhau, which were piping hot. Loved the flavor, not too salty, but wonderfully savory, light, moist, and tender, without too much filler. Very nice croquettes (4.8 E)
The Missus and I were still not super hungry after our morning pork-fest so we just kept to the point. Plus, we had dinner reservations at Assinatura. Bonjardim is renowned for their Frango Assado, roasted chicken, which borders on legendary. So how could I resist.....call it pollo ala brassa, kai yang, or whatever, I'm fascinated by different takes on spit roasted chicken. I ordered a third of a chicken, which wasn't very hot when it arrived.
The skin was rubbery, the flavor quite salty, but not bad. The meat was very dry, not quite what I was expecting. I loved the piri-piri sauce which I could probably drink. It was decently spicy with a nice kick to it.
The Missus had the chicken soup, which She said was delicious.
Overall, my most disappointing meal in Lisbon. I'd read about rather surly service, but our Server was decent if somewhat detached. Perhaps this was just a bad day/time.....
Travessa de S. Antao 11
This location has a tragic past which is reflected in it's somewhat spooky and haunting interior. Before the church was built, a convent as located here. This was also the site from where sentences were read out during the Inquisition. Even before then, an event called the Lisbon Massacre, where hundreds of Jews were tortured and killed. The site is marked by this memorial.
The church was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake with material left from the ruins. Part of the church was destroyed in a fire in 1950 and you can still see the scorch marks from the fire on some of the pillars.
Looking toward our left we noted the figure of two children in rather modern looking attire. This chapel had the most candles. We came to find out that this was a chapel to Our Lady of Fatima. The two children represent Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the three children, along with Lucia santos who witnessed the three apparitions at Fatima. Both children were victims of the 1918 Influenza epidemic. There are only two children because Lucia Santos was still alive when this chapel was constructed. She died in 2005 at 98.
The square itself is the gathering place for Lisbon's African immigrant community.
We spent a good amount of time in the church. Soon it felt like a good time for a nap.
As we walked back to our room, the Missus mentioned that the sky just seemed so much more blue in Portugal........