Orlando, FL

The ‘Not So Great’ Experience at Lisbon Portuguese Cuisine

Debbie Centeno

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- image by the author

Trying Something Different

Spending time with family at a local family-owned restaurant is one of our favorite things to do. Especially when it involves learning about other cultures and savoring their cuisine. For Father’s Day, our children took us to Lisbon Portuguese Cuisine at 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd. Suite 12, in Orlando, Florida. The restaurant has great reviews, so why not give it a shot?

Lisbon Portuguese Cuisine Story

According to their website, Lisbon was opened in 2004 by Chef Rui Borges, a native of the Azores. His idea was to serve authentic cuisine in a Portuguese culture setting. The decor is simple but takes you back to Portugal with its beautiful white and blue tiles, Portuguese music, and even the old cock of Barcelos rooster stands tall on a side table. Most of the staff seemed to be Portuguese, too. Just as if you were in Portugal.

Not So Great of a Start

Since it was Father’s Day, we opted to reserve a table for 5 p.m. The hostess received us and led us to our table. Other than, “how many?” there was no other communication or expression. The hostess handed us the menu and was respectful but not friendly. The rest of the staff was polite. The restaurant was not full and there were plenty of servers going around. However, the service was slow.

The Appetizers get Two Thumbs Up

Most of the menu is codfish (salted codfish), but they also have other items, such as steak, octopus, lobster, lamb chops, and chicken. For appetizers, we chose salted codfish fritters and salted codfish bruschetta. Both dishes were delicious, and the portions were generous.

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Codfish fritters and codfish bruschettas- image by the author

Entrées Did not Impress Us

For the entrees, my daughter chose Bacalhau a Bras. This dish included shredded codfish, onion, fried potatoes, and scrambled eggs, all mixed. My daughter did not seem impressed with her meal. I had a taste and did not like it either.

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Bacalhau a Bras- image by the author

My son and husband chose the Bife a Portuguesa which was a fried egg served over a steak in a red sauce with a tad of spice, with a side of white rice and French fries. The menu did not specify that they smothered the steak in a sauce. We expected a grilled steak or pan-seared, but not in any type of sauce. Both my husband and son agreed the steak lacked flavor other than the sauce. They, too, were unimpressed. For a $30 dish, we expected something better.

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Bife a Portuguesa- image by the author

I chose Bacalhau, a Ze Do Pipo, which is a dish of codfish, mashed potatoes, and mayonnaise baked together. The presentation was not that great, but the meal was good. Not something to brag about, but it was the best out of the entrees chosen.

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Bacalhau, a Ze Do Pipo- image by the author

Desserts

When it was time for dessert, we all wanted to try the famous Portuguese “Pastel de Belem” which is a delicious egg custard tart. However, they ran out therefore we opted for Doce da Avo which has sweet cream, Maria biscuits, and a cream topping of egg yolk. It was good, nothing extraordinaire. The other dessert was just plain chocolate mousse.

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Doce da Avo- image by the author

My Overall Opinion

Lisbon Portuguese Cuisine is a pricey restaurant. For the prices, we expected a more tasteful experience. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Especially after visiting Lisbon, Portugal in 2019 and enjoying their famous codfish dishes. We thought this restaurant was an excellent choice. Other than the appetizers, we found nothing that merits another visit. However, they have many other dishes on their menu, therefore, we might consider returning some time not soon.

As I mentioned earlier, Lisbon Portuguese Cuisine has great reviews. Though it did not suit our taste buds, it does not mean you will not enjoy it. I will not recommend it, but you can make your own decision to eat there. Who knows? Maybe you will love it.

Originally published on Traveler Wows on June 26, 2022.

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My writing journey began as a way to cope with grief. I realized I enjoyed writing and began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection (https://debbiesreflection.com). I also enjoy traveling. Therefore, as a traveler, I began another blog, Traveler Wows (https://travelerwows.com), in which I share tips on places, landmarks, and reviews on airlines, hotels, and restaurants. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey.

Orlando, FL
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