This past weekend we had special visitors that happened to be diehard Benficistas, fans of the Lisbon-based soccer team S.L. Benfica. With a game scheduled to start at 10:45 p.m. on Saturday night, we ventured out into the depths of Pâquis to the House of Benfica (Casa do Benfica) for dinner and a game amongst other zealous fans. The food at the Casa do Benfica was surprisingly yummy:

  • “Benfica Codfish”: breaded and fried codfish, cooked later in the oven on a bed of julienned onions and red peppers (an homage to the Benfica colors?), served with broccoli, green peas and scalloped fries.
  • Octopus with smashed potatoes and french fries.
  • Pork in the Alentejo style, with clams, veggies and french fries.

Red and white reigned supreme in the paint colors, the team-themed decorations – even the wooden chairs were spray painted red! The mascot was also on display: a white eagle statue on a stand that sat next to the wall-length projected TV screen. On the outside it didn’t look like much; on the inside the House of Benfica was nothing short of an altar in honor of the soccer gods.

Benfica won the game that night, 1-0 against Sporting CP.