After completing our stay in Lisbon, we headed off to Porto. Most people will probably take the train from Lisbon to Porto, and there are many trains that run between the two cities daily. You don’t have to buy your tickets in advance, which you can do online, but when we got to the train station, the next two trains were sold out. If you need to leave at a certain time, then buying your tickets online may be the better option.
We left from the Oriente station, and the ride took a little over two hours. The train arrives at the Sao Bento train station in Porto, which is conveniently located in the city center. From there, accessing the rest of the city is pretty easy. The metro station is located right across the street from the Sao Bento train station for those needing to travel on the metro to get to their final destination.
After getting situated, we decided on getting something to eat. What better way to kick off a stay in Porto then having the iconic sandwich, the Francesinha. The sandwich was supposedly invented in the 1960’s by Daniel da Silva who had spent time in both France and Belgium.
The Francesinha was his take on the classic French sandwich, the Croque-Monsieur. This sandwich is a meat lovers delight.
Café Santiago is one of the more revered restaurants serving the Francesinha. The restaurant is simply designed, and is rather large.
The Francesinha a Santiago is a hearty sandwich. The sandwich includes ham, steak, two types of sausage, topped with melted cheese and a sunny side up egg. The sandwich sits in a tomato, cheese and beer sauce. This comes with a side of fries along with more slices of cheese topping some of the fries. The sandwich is pretty impressive when cut in half, with an imposing amount of meat. The sandwich is good, and every layer of meat could be discerned. As if the sandwich needed any more richness, the egg yolk added an extra dimension of richness.
The Francesinha is the same sandwich, with the exception of the sunny side up egg and fries.
The sandwich makes a meal of itself. Although good, I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat this on a daily basis, but it was good to try the dish most associated with Porto.