If you were under the impression that over-the-top gut-busting meals are the sole domain of the United States, prepare to be proven wrong, sir.  Because here in Porto, there’s an insane sandwich that’s just as artery-clogging as anything you’ll find at the carnival.

This magnificent creation is called the francesinha; I ate it at the Cafe Santiago, which is (rightfully) famous for its version of this particular sandwich.

It’s a ham, bologna, sausage, and steak sandwich — that alone sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?  But they’re not done yet.  The whole thing is topped with a fried egg and draped with melty cheese (that’s strategically placed to cover the egg white, but leave the runny yolk exposed).  Oh, and then they douse the whole thing in gravy and surround it with a ring of fries.  Why?  Why the hell not, that’s why.


It’s pretty magnificent.  I mean, how could it not be?  It’s an indulgent pile of meat, melty cheese, and gravy-soaked bread.  All of the meats are quite tasty, particularly the zingy sausage, though the steak is a little bit tough (which is probably my only real complaint about this thing).

The gravy — which kind of reminded me of a spicy version of Swiss Chalet sauce — really brings it all together.  And the fries are handy to help soak up all that gravy, because there’s a lot of it.

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