Saturday, March 23, 2013

Old Lisbon

For a while I drove by a place on Coral Way and 17th Avenue that promised to offer unique flavors of Portugal, and always told myself I'd have to try it soon. When I came across it again in South Miami, I knew it was time. The minute we stepped into Old Lisbon, located on 5837 Sunset Drive, we could sense the strong aromas coming from their open kitchen. Decorated with a simple Old World Decor, the place was authentic in its design and ambiance. The hostess quickly scurried us over to a table in the center of the dining room.

Codfish Croquettes
Portuguese Sardines
Once seated, we waited and we waited and we waited. Finally, the manager or owner (not sure which) came to take our order. Codfish and sardines are signature favorites in Portugal, so we decided to stick to tradition and sample some of those dishes. For appetizers, we ordered the Codfish Croquettes and the Portuguese Sardines sauteed with onions. I love croquettes in all of their splendor and different fillings so I was excited to try these. Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived. Served with a side of black-eyed peas, the croquettes had a tough exterior and not much flavor to them at all. Usually, codfish croquettes are creamy inside with an appealing texture. These were not and I honestly couldn't have more than one. The Sardines, although large, were not spectacular either. Being that this is such a popular dish in Portugal, I expected to be wowed. The saute did nothing for the sardines, and I was highly disappointed.

Stewed Codfish Rice
Bacalao Com Nasta
We asked our server for a recommendation on the entrees. I figured the adventure would pick up here. Their menu is very extensive and offers a wide variety of dishes. We decided on the Stewed Codfish Rice and he suggested I try the Bacalao Com Nasta. The Stewed Codfish Rice was excellent; moist, tasty and had generous chunks of codfish. The Bacalao Com Nasta was a dish prepared with shredded codfish on a bed of potatoes with a layer of cheese on top. The combined flavors of the fish and the cheese were good, but so extremely intense and bold, that after eating half of it, I couldn't continue. I could see this dish as perhaps an appetizer in a smaller portion, but as an entree, it is too much overload for the palate.

One Hit Wonder - The Delicia de Fatima
By now I was ready to go. Service had been awful, and I wasn't happy with the food. As we waited for the bill, I spied several tables ordering a specific dessert that I must say looked interesting. I asked the server what it was, and he said it was the Delicia de Fatima; an egg yolk custard crumpled with Maria cookies and topped with a white foam cream. I know, call me a glutton for punishment, but I ordered it. I have to say this was the best thing I had at the restaurant all night. It was smooth, sweet and absolutely delicious. I don't know if I was hungry from not being able to eat much of my dinner, but I devoured that sucker in two minutes. If you have a compelling need to try this place, you must order this dessert.

For more information on Old Lisbon, you can visit them online at or call them at 305-662-7435.

Old Lisbon on Urbanspoon

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