When I learned that Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was airing a travel and food show in Porto, Portugal the news brought back memories of the first time I was in Porto and came face to face with a real “Francesinha”.
Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal after Lisbon, is located along the Douro river in Northern Portugal and is known world wide for its Porto wine, a fortified after dinner wine and for its Francesinha sandwich, a distant relative of the french croque-monsieur that a Portuguese emigrant brought back when he returned to Porto and adapted the sandwich to the Portuguese taste.
Francesinha (means little Frenchie or simply Frenchie in Portuguese) It is a famous Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto, made with bread, ham, linguiça, sausage, steak and covered with melted cheese and drenched with a special tomato and beer sauce served with fried potatoes.
It was in August 2013 when my wife and I visited Porto. At the time I asked a local friend where I could get a Francesinha (One of Portugal’s popular Portuguese Dishes) and he suggested I go to Café Santiago in Rua Passos Manuel near the Coliseu do Porto.
When I entered a full to capacity Café Santiago I was quickly asked to wait for my turn along with others who were most likely there for the same reason. To eat one of their famous Francesinhas.
I ordered a Francesinha à Santiago, a very hearty sandwich, made with two slices of bread, fresh sausage, linguica, steak, fried egg, mortadella, ham which is then topped with cheese and served with french fries and a generous portion of a special sauce.
Can’t wait for Anthony Bourdain’s show on Sunday, July 2nd, so that I can reminisce about my August 2013 visit to Porto and my first experience eating the famous Francesinha sandwich.