When I think about food in Lisbon, I think fresh seafood and lots of meat. So when I booked my second trip to the coastal city, I geared myself up for a weekend of salads and cheese. Boring, I know, but I’d rather go with reduced expectations and be plesantly surprised than wind up disappoinyed and eating fries from a fast food chain.
While I love trying new restaurants, I’m keen on revisiting restaurants I enjoyed as a meat eater to see if they still give me the same satisfaction. (E.g. Champor Champor). So it was a no brainer that I’d head back to A Cultura do Hambúrguer when the burger cravings kicked in. Tucked away on a small side street, like most of the best restaurants, is the cutest burger joint that can probably only fit about 40 people max. The first time we visited, we had to queue. Outside!
Once inside, you’ll weave your way past the kitchen/bar and an array of tables constructed from repurposed doors and mismatch furniture similar to that seen on the set of Nanny McPhee. Plenty of colour and character.
There was only really two options – a veggie burger or a Mediterranean salad. But who goes to a burger restaurant and orders a salad!!?
Beet, black bean and rice burger served with chedder cheese on a hamburger bun, with slices of tomato, iceburg lettuce and garlic mayo
Honestly, when I read that description, it didn’t fill me with sense of excitement. I know I said in green oasis in the city that if a description doesn’t make your mouth water don’t order it, but as I said, my choices were limited.
Anyway, fast forward about 20-30 mins and half a homemade limeade later and this beauty appears in front of me.
Firstly, I love (naturally) coloured foods – I eat with my eyes so it’s more attractive than beige foods. And the bun was so soft, almost brioche-esq. I couldn’t taste the beetroot, which was great because I don’t like foods that look like organs. But what i could taste was the sweetness of the beans coupled with the firm texture of the rice. Let me not forget the non-greasy chips (crisp outside, soft inside) that actually looked like they came from a potato. Win-win!
I didn’t time myself, but I know the food wasn’t on my plate for long.
And to top off the food, I shared a soft, rich chocolate cake (because deep down I was full, but my eyes refused to acknowledge it).
The great thing about dining downtown is the long walk back up Avenida de Liberdade, which burns off majority of the calories by the time you reach your hotel.
Thanks to my trusted recommendation, my brother ordered the burger I had the previous year. Though I had no time to envy his as I was too busy tucking into mine.
What’s your food experience in Lisbon been?