Café Santiago was a new looking and bright place, but has been in business since 1959 . Windows to the street were on one end of the long place that reached through to the next block where there was another entrance. A wood floor and tile walls are the room that housed the ‘lower level’ with closely spaced veneer topped tables. Photos are on the walls. Up a few stairs was the kitchen and a bar along with more tables. It had a large menu but they are known for their Francesinhas – sandwich original to Porto. It is commonly made with ham, fresh sausage and roast meat and then covered with melted cheese and maybe an egg and served with french fries. The sandwich comes in many variations and that seemed to be what most came for. There were a combination of obvious tourists as well as some regular locals, who were recognized by the staff.
We chose their namesake variety which had mortadela, fresh sausage, red sausage, sirloin beef steak and ham on bread and topped with cheese, francesinha sauce and a fried egg and all surrounded by and on top of french fries. One sandwich was more than 2 of us could eat. While there were a ton of ingredients in the dish it was surprisingly bland. The fries didn’t stay crisp, maybe because of all the nearby sauce and the egg was almost cooked to a hard status. It was huge and heavy, served on “Texas toast” that was toasted prior to being stuffed and covered. The cheese didn’t really melt into a sauce and the egg couldn’t add richness since it was barely runny. I really wanted to try this, as they are offered at many places but was pretty disappointed in the final product.