Lisbon definitely left its mark on me. Both figuratively (I just really dug the vibe there) and literally (got a little too into exploring the Torre de Belem – pic below – and now have a wicked bruise on my right leg).

But as much as I fell for Lisbon, and fast, have to admit that after just an afternoon and evening in Tarifa there are a couple key areas where, for me, Portugal has nothing on Spain.

Number one: food. Am sure the grilled sardines are delicious if they’re your thing. They just weren’t a draw for either G or I. Though we did enjoy two hours straight of watching them be grilled while sharing a jug of red wine in little restaurant in Alfama. Same goes for Lisbon’s famed Pasteis de Belem. We were both underwhelmed. All told there was only one new flavor Lisbon introduced to me that I took to. The salad I ate at that same restaurant came with these delicious grilled and salted strips of green pepper in it. Will have to try making them when I get home.

Tarifa, on the other hand, has so far served up the best mojito I’ve ever had, and a pretty decent falafel as well. Neither exactly what Spain is known for but am now really looking forward to trying out some more traditional fare in the days to come.

Number two: live music. May have just been the club we choose, but was not really taken in by fado. The live Afro-fusion band we caught Wednesday night in Tarifa, on the other hand, was a treat.

Will these minor drawbacks keep me from recommending / returning myself to Portugal? Not one bit. I really did love it there. Just couldn’t help starting to run a bit of a comparison while sipping the best mojito ever.

(Note: due to sporadic wifi access was not able to post this until about 24 hours after I wrote it).

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone