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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
JOHN BULL / BRITANNIA
Cascais is a delightful fishing village and tourist center just 19 miles west of Lisbon. You reach Cascais by a breezy electric train that runs right along the beautiful Atlantic. It's a delightful day trip from Lisbon.
Not being familiar with the area we just wandered around the town and took in the sights. When our stomachs started growling we began checking out restaurants. The John Bull / Britannia Restaurant had a good following so we decided to dine there.
You can sip a drink in the pub and savor the fact that this place has been around for a good, long time. Or you can head out back under the umbrellas and enjoy a nice luncheon under the sun. This day was so beautiful that it would have been a shame to dine inside! I'm told there is a nice full blown restaurant upstairs but we didn't have time to check it out.
There's a restaurant right next to this one and in the tables nearly touch where the restaurants adjoin out in the terrace area under the sun.
Salt cod (known locally as bacalhau) is a local favorite here as it is in so many parts of the world. Way back before refrigeration was available, they used to catch fresh codfish and then preserve it in salt. They would then reconstitute it by soaking it in several changes of fresh water over a long period of time. Then they'd fry it, sauté it, whatever. They still enjoy the tradition to this day. That's what I chose for my lunch and it was surprisingly good. They battered it up and deep fried it.
My wife and daughter had burgers and our son-in-law had shrimp. All were good but just about always when you're in Europe and order a burger, it just doesn't measure up to what we're used to in the U.S. Europeans probably find the same thing when they come over here.
We sipped a couple of beers during lunch and just enjoyed a good meal under the sun.
After lunch we continued our leisurely stroll around Cascais and I asked a local shop owner about the John Bull / Britannia. She gave me that "so so" look. But we enjoyed it and would recommend it to you. If there was one negative the waiters were pretty slow. But we were in no rush anyway on this incredibly beautiful day.
John Bull / Britannia is located at Largo Luis de Camoes 4A. Their phone number is 21/483-33-19.