Archive for Europe

Porto’s Magic Slab

Posted in Beef, Pork, Sandwiches, Sausage with tags , , , on April 1, 2008 by chomposaurus

francesinha.jpg

The francesinha, or little French thing, is supposedly a signature dish of Porto, a city in northern Portugal famous for, well, Port. I’m not sure if this is true – it didn’t seem to be on the menu many places, and it definitely had a bit of a touristy look to it. But that doesn’t matter at all. Because there is one thing I am sure about when it comes to the francesinha: It is a magical meat lamp containing a crazy meat-loving genie who will grant all your wildest carnivorous dreams.

Ham, linguica (spicy portuguese sausage), regular sausage and steak are squished between two thick pieces of bread. Next, a huge slab of cheese is melted around the big brick. Then, the sandwich is served in a bowl. Why? Because it’s up to its waist in a thick beer and tomato sauce.

Safe to say, you have to eat this thing with a fork. And every bite contains a different array of meaty magic. On the one hand, you never know what combination of flavors you’re going to get. On the other hand, you could say it all has the same flavor: the flavor of awesome.

Definitely try this if you’re in Porto (it’s better than their other signature dish, tripe stew). But I think it might be just as good if made with American ingredients, and I’ve found one recipe that looks accurate:

http://www.bbcfood.com/offthemenu/Series2/episode10_recipe.htm

Rub this baby at your own risk. You might not be able to handle what the magical meat genie has in store.

King of Chicken

Posted in Chicken with tags , , , on March 31, 2008 by chomposaurus

Rei de Frango

Bon Jardim resides on both sides of a little alley between the Rossio and Restauradores in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal. Why does one restaurant take up both sides of the street? Well, the primary reason is most likely due to the fact that they serve the best effing roast chicken in the whole freaking world. It was nothing short of sexy. Seriously, as my carnivorous partner and I devoured these small, roasted miracles, we made sounds which would have to be censored on network television.

Imagine the best roast chicken you’ve ever had. Now imagine the skin twice as crispy, the meat twice as tender, and the whole affair seasoned ten times as richly. I’ve eaten a lot of meat, and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything that was as saltily satisfying as Bon Jardim’s chicken. You get a half chicken per person, served on top of a plate of fries. Although in fine European tradition you don’t get ketchup, it doesn’t matter because they poor a delicious, juicy gravy over the entire affair. By the time you get to the fries they are delightfully soggy with chicken drippings and sauce. No other condiments needed.

To top it off, it’s insanely cheap (7 euros per person), the waiters are friendly to dumb tourists, and they serve Coke in glass bottles. The chicken was so awesomely salty that my friend and I each had too bottles, which I know sounds scary, but it was, in fact, perfect.

There’s a reason the neon signs (again, hanging on both sides of the street) say “King of Chicken” in both Spanish and Portuguese. This chicken rules.