Monday, December 23, 2019

YummY! - Good Portuguese Francesinha In Porto

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GOOD FRANCESINHA IN PORTO

Porto, Portugal - October 2019
It's our first time in Portugal, and we where there for a 3-weeks cycling tour after landing at Porto. And our first taste of Portuguese food was at this second largest city in Portugal.


In a way it was good, although a large place, the city had retained it warm neighbourliness and old look. The people are friendly and most of the buildings are quaintly old and conspicuously colourful.
Ok, I detract, let's get back to the food. We ate at several places, but these two are the most memorable, and interestingly on the opposite ends of the spectrum. One, Brasão Cervejaria Aliado, is slightly up-market and often caters for tourists who wants to try out one of Porto's renown dishes, Francesinha. The other is a small place called Nova Luanda, catering mainly to the working class locals, and served down to earth local Portuguese dishes cooked by mama!

Brasão Cervejaria Aliado
Let's see what we had at Brasão Cervejaria Aliado.This place has that warm, homey feel, with lots of brown timber around to make one feel cozy.


We started of with a bread set. In Portugal, if one does not want the bread (which could be too filling if one orders several dishes), just let the waiter know ahead.
 Any way the one's here were perfect, dense with crispy crust. It was served with some herbal butter.


For starters, these Mediterranean olives were superb. Just slightly salted they taste oddly sweet too and a bit crunchy. One of the best olives we have tasted.... so far.


More starters to whet our appetite: crispy flat bread sticks. These were very crunchy and goes well with the mayonnaise dip.


Okay, this is not those black salted duck eggs one finds in East Asian and South-east Asian countries. These are mushrooms served with a pastry covering coated with truffles!
Not sure how much truffles were used in the coating, but it sure tasted very good.


Cut opened, the minced mushroom can be seen inside. Tastewise the wet mushroom goes very well with the powderish truffles.


These meat crochets looked a bit lost, actually there were three of them but one was lost in someone's tummy before I had a chance to snap this photo. Consisting of minced meat with mashed potato rolled into a crochet and deep-fried. A good crispy outside belies the wonderful inside.


This odd looking flower is actually a geometrically cut large onion which had been quickly and skilfully deep fried to retain this flowery look. If you like onion rings, this is ten times better, crispy and without the batter!


The onion flower is served with this black mayonnaise, one don't find this in many restaurants and aficionados often end up having to make a batch for themselves, there ones here were superbly black and superbly tasty.


An heeeeere comes the star of the night, the main reason we are dining at Brasão Cervejaria Aliado as they are renown in Porto for serving the best Francesinha, one of the city's renown dish.
It is made with bread, wet-cured hamlinguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat, and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce. " It had its origin when a returned emigrant from France and Belgium, tried to adapt the croque-monsieur to the Portuguese taste when he moved to Porto. He first created the special sauce and populated the sandwich with local meats in 1953 at 'A Regaleira', a restaurant in Rua do Bonjardim, Porto; the Francesinha quickly became a very popular dish and deeply associated with the city, although it can be sometimes found elsewhere in Portugal."
This one show above is a Vegetarian Francesinha, made without the meat and topped off with a sunny-side-up egg. The top-most photo of this blog shows the usual Francesinha, both are served with tomato & beer sauce.



This one shows a cut-opened regular Francesinha, where the meat can be seen inside. Taste-wise it's okay only, but since in Porto, we just gave it a try. "Though numerous legends describe the invention of the dish, the most popular one claims that when Henry the Navigator went to conquer Ceuta, the locals supplied him with all the meat except tripe, which they then used to create this rustic stew. From the 15th century, the dish evolved into an iconic dish that is a staple in traditional restaurants in Porto. It is best enjoyed with cooked rice on the side." 
 wanted to try the Tripas à moda do Porto, another renown Porto dish, but my buddies were not up to it as this was made from pig tripe!

Desserts was Chocolate Mousse, but uniquely served rolled into small balls and covered with chocolate powder. I can only say, "Don't miss this!". But hold your breath when you take it in, otherwise one will get a snuff of chocolate.

This place even have their own brew, the Brasao Sovina, served in their unique cups.
Here's what "Beer Advocate" says about this beer:
"I've been told by the bartender that this is not an IPA (Indian Pale Ale) but a 'Pale Ale'. With this margin for doubt, I will review it anyway.

A: The body is coppery with a weak white to beige head that has an average lacing and minor retention.
S: The aroma is yeasty and malty, which probably says that it's not an IPA. It's more close to Belgian beer than any IPA variation that I've had before.
T: The taste is malty and yeasty, it's average again, not that interesting but it meets the objective of being a rather nice beer for heavy foods like the typical Francesinha. M: The body is medium to low. Carbonation level is low and bitterness is mild to be friendly with this mouth-feel."


Brasão Cervejaria Aliado have a cozy bar counter, and the ever-smiling staff whoe were very friendly and helpful.

Below are Brasão Cervejaria Aliado menus:
Brasão Cervejaria Aliado food menu.


Brasão Cervejaria Aliado Beer, Cider, & Sangria Menu.


Brasão Cervejaria Aliado Wine list.



Brasão Cervejaria Aliado Juices, Cocktails, Coffee & Tea Menu

Brasão Cervejaria Aliados
Rua de Ramalho Ortigão 28, 4000-035 Porto, Portugal.
Phone: +351 934 158 672
Hours:
Monday to Friday 12–3pm & 7–11:30pm     |     Saturday & Sunday 12–3:30pm & 7pm–1:30am
Web Page: https://www.brasao.pt/en/
GPS & Direction Map : 41.14919, -8.61173




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