I had three days in Porto, Portugal. On day 2, because it was highly recommended and I’m always game for good food, I walked uphill in the rain for this sandwich.
Why was I walking in the rain? I think the best way to see a city is to walk as much as you can (and it looked so much closer on the map!) and I didn’t have an umbrella. But that’s not the important part. The important part, the best part, is the sandwich – this francesinha or “little Frenchie”. Bread, cheese, ham, sausage and steak smothered in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. A sandwich that doesn’t really look like much but filled with all that meaty goodness and drenched in that sauce, it’s filling enough to share but tasty enough that you might not want to.
Apparently the francesinha was invented in Porto and can be found at many restaurants, but I was told that Bufete Fase was the place to go. It’s a tiny space with just a few tables tucked into the back.
When I arrived they were still prepping to open but were kind enough to let me in, probably because I looked so sad standing in the chilly drizzling rain just peering in the window. The owners, father & daughter, were warm, welcoming and eager to chat as I watched him make my sandwich. Okay, maybe I didn’t actually chat with him since I only know a few words in Portuguese but we managed to communicate. He took such pride in creating the sandwich and stopped every so often to bring it over so I could see the progress as he built it layer by layer.
While not the healthiest meal it was delicious and incredibly filling. Definitely a ‘worth it’ meal. Thank goodness I spent the rest of the day walking around the city! If you are in Porto I recommend going to Bufete Fase (Rua Santa Catarina 1147) for a francesinha. And bring a friend because this is a shareable sandwich.