Portugal: Pastéis de Belém
It's impossible to look up Lisbon without coming across Belem...and Pastéis de Belém. Belem is gorgeous and definitely worth the day trip. But even if it was a barren wasteland, you should still go for Pastéis de Belém:
Just follow your nose. And the line of people.
Get in line if you just want to buy pastries to go. You'll eventually end up at the counter inside:
Don't be like us and wait until you get to the front of the line to change your mind and decide to sit down inside:
So what's the big fuss about? Oh, my friends. It's all about this:
Pastel de nata. Also known as Portuguese egg tarts. People go all the way to Belem to buy these babies by the box. And I totally get why. I'm Chinese. I don't like egg tarts. I never have. (Sorry ancestors, but I can't lie.) I didn't expect to like pastel de nata because really, how different could they be from the Chinese variety?
Apparently, they're worlds apart. While Chinese egg tarts are dense and jello-like, Portuguese egg tarts are flaky and soft and custard-y and so damn delicious. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, with cinnamon, or with nothing at all, I love them.
Everything else at Pastéis de Belém paled in comparison. Don't even bother.
Mushroom and leek quiche (2.15 €)?: Pssssssh:
Don't order it.
Duck pie (1.65 €)?:
Not exactly memorable:
Puff pastry with chicken (1.50 €)?:
Forget it. It's not worth the stomach space:
Tuna sandwich with boiled egg and lettuce (3.50 €)?:
Not even worth mentioning:
Get the pastel de nata. Get a lot of them. Eat there. Then buy a bunch to go. They're 1.05 € each and totally worth it. Really.
Pastéis de Belém
Rua de Belem 84
Lisbon 1300-085, Portugal
+351 21 363 74 23