Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

CERVEJARIA RAMIRO, Avenue Almirante Reis 1, Lisbon, PortugalThis website is dedicated to the foods of New York (hence the name). But I spent the last few weeks outside of the city (outside of the country, in fact) in the Iberian Peninsula. And just like I do at home, I spent most of my time eating local, iconic food in Portugal and southern Spain.

I consumed my weight is pastel de natas in Lisbon, devoured tapas like gazpacho and braised pork cheeks in Seville, and drank one too many glasses of sweet fortified wine in Porto. Not such a bad two weeks.

But of all the amazing meals I had, the one that sticks with me the most was the first. We were still jetlagged in Lisbon when we made our way to one of the most popular restaurants in town. We were lucky to beat the lines at Ramiro, a haven for both locals and tourists.

This cervejaria (beer hall) specializes in unbelievably fresh seafood that shows how simplicity is the key to an amazing meal. In addition to tender, steamed clams and a buttery plate of garlic shrimps, we sampled some earthy pata negra ham and an ethereal steak sandwich for dessert (seriously!)

Grilled Tiger Prawns at CERVEJARIA RAMIRO

Yet the dish of the week (and of my entire trip) are the giant tiger prawns. The monster shrimp come butterflied and grilled until the shell is blackened. So much meat fell out of the shells that you had to eat the prawn with a knife and fork. The critters were slicked with a hint of spice and loads of local olive oil that enhanced the oceanic flavors of the protein. To top the experience, the best part was sucking the sweet innards out of the head. Just amazing! Primal and delicious.

When I got home, I discovered that tiger prawns (from Asia) are available for purchase at a few local seafood markets, including Lobster Place in Chelsea Market. You have to grill them yourself, but it is possible to get a taste of this Iberian delicacy right here in New York City. And it’ll save you the plane ticket.

CERVEJARIA RAMIRO
Avenue Almirante Reis 1 (at Rua Nova do Desterro),
Lisbon, Portugal
+351 218 851 024
cervejariaramiro.pt
LOBSTER PLACE
75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th and 16th Street),
Inside Chelsea Market,
Chelsea
(212) 255-5672
lobsterplace.com/a>
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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