Did I say Francesinha?

Franchesina from Cafe Santiago

The day we arrived in Porto, we were somewhat tired and run down. It had taken us two days to get from Houston to Porto as our connecting flight from Frankfurt had been cancelled due to snow. Because we were permanently moving to Porto we had our two cats with us. They generally don’t like to travel much, not do they like change. Nor do they like being stuck in a hotel room for a week while our apartment was made ready for us to move into! What we needed was a Francesinha!

Anyway, I digress. As I said, we wanted, nay needed,  to try the famous Francesinha – google it if you haven’t already, they are sublime. Not health-food by any stretch of the imagination, but sublime none-the-less. We decided on Cafe Santiago as it came up in search after search as making one of the best.

We arrived at about 22:30, put our name on a list and waited outside with about 5 other parties. After about 10 minutes we are called in. The cafe is a long, narrow affair, with doors at either end, opening into parallel streets. Nothing fancy, just a nice, clean cafe.

The waiter came and asked for our order – the menu had a fair bit of variety but we were clearly there for the Francesinha! He told us in no uncertain terms that we wanted the Francesinha Santiago, so that’s what we ordered. And beer of course. IMO the two are inseparable. And in Porto, I think that beer will frequently lead to eating a Francesinha. It’s perfect drunk-food for sure.

Anyway before I ramble on too much, come to Cafe Santiago and try their Francesinha. You can get them almost everywhere in Porto, but you could do much, much worse than popping your Francesinha cherry here. They are cheesy, meaty, tomatoey and beery. The sauce is sublime and deep , having many layers of flavour. One of these days I think I will just order a plate of chips (that’s fries to you colonials) drenched in the sauce. A sort of Portuguese Poutine.

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