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Thursday, October 20, 2011


For a consistently good sandwich, try Sanpanino in the West Village.  Although they have other bread to choose from, you have to go with the uber-thick slices of focaccia.  I had the San Classico (sopressata, mortadella, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic) grilled and could taste every single ingredient.  It also happens to be filling, so my $7.95 went a long way...half for lunch and half as an afternoon snack.

A Fork in the Road: Cafe no Chiado (Lisbon, Portugal)

Cafe no Chiado is beautifully situated and decorated, next to the San Luis de Teatro, with a design of mid-century modern wood and Gothic stones.  The walls are library-like with real books as well as wall lithographs with books stacked and floating all around.  As expected, there is an after theatre crowd as well as the famous Tram 28 passing the front of the restaurant, yet somehow it isn't a tourist trap.

I try to keep the pao (bread) consumption to a minimum, but it proves to be difficult.  This bread has a trio of butter, olive spread and what else?  A bacalau spread.  Instead of ordering a cod dish, I decide upon arroz con pato (duck with rice Portuguese style).  I'm delighted to see it is served with a green salad, barely dressed.  The duck is tender, cooked in bacon fat, but the Portuguese style rice was hard on top, soft underneath.  The composition was nice, although I was not blown away.  I was blown away by the chocolate mousse.  It is fluffy and rich with dark chocolate chips that I eat gladly with eat bite.  It was quite possibly the best chocolate mousse, or dessert for that matter, that I've ever had!