flor dos congregados – dining at a restaurant with 160 years of history

our travel budget has seen a lot of ups and downs over the last four months, most notably when we arrived in hong kong as the number of flights and train rides have gone up drastically.  we’ve been trying hard to stay on budget so the majority of our meals will be casual (99.9% of them actually) with the odd ‘nicer’ one tossed in.  while looking up some dining options for porto, i came across flor dos congregados who is famous for their terylene sandwich and after they didn’t have availability to take us in the first night we went, we promptly made a reservation for a follow-up dinner the next night.  with a sandwich as their speciality, i expected a shack or at very least, a slightly clean diner, given that they’ve been in operation for over 160 years.  yes, you read that right.  over 160 years.

the decor was rustic, cozy and moderately fancy (think stone, dark grain wood and lots of dark brown & black with dim lighting).  both of us were excited especially after going on a sandwich spree on our first day in porto.  so 24 hours passes and we find our way back to flor dos congregados except this time we’re welcomed with open arms.

we sit down at our table upstairs and there’s only a few other diners at the time.

while we rarely order wine with dinner at home, it’s hard to not do so while in europe.  the waiter recommended a local wine, vinho verde.  translation: green wine, as in an early harvest grape.  a bottle was only 10euro and it tasted like a sweeter white wine with some carbonation… it’s the perfect drink on a hot day.  wish we could get this at home!

starters were simple…

slow-cooked chorizo glazed in liquer.  we decided on this dish 24 hours before ordering it when we saw it being prepared at the bar.  a chorizo sitting over low flame with the odd spark from the alcohol.  haha has a soft spot for chorizo

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We had to order the chorizo sausage when we saw it set on fire the previous night. You can see the bottle of vinho verde in the background. Bubbly deliciousness. 

the infamous terylene sandwich.  a double sliced, moist and dry (on the outside) bun filled with slow roasted pork and cured ham.  the pork is marinated for 20 hours, roasted for three and sliced to fit into one layer of the sandwich while cured ham fills the bottom layer.  a must do when in porto.

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tripe and white bean stew.  our first meal with white rice in weeks.  nothing fancy but our tummies were loving this comfort food

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So tasty and filling
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Love my offal

pork cheeks.  maybe the softest meat i’ve ever eaten.  it was fall-off-the-bone soft & melted in your mouth

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by fall-off-the-bone i mean exactly that

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dessert was very simple yet i wouldn’t have thought to mix the flavours together.  sliced oranges in honey and cinnamon.  it wasn’t much to look at but our eyes lit up like fishies when we stared at each other after our first bites

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we were already satisfied with our meal but i have to say, the service was over the top.  polite, attentive yet still casual.  i’d guess that most of the staff were in around the 25-35 year old range but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the service they were providing.  what i liked the most about the atmosphere was that they still kept it casual where you could actually joke and talk with them as opposed to just being waited on.  our plans to return to portugal later this trip were all started by a seed that one of these waiters planted in our minds.  he was a part time waiter, part time engineer that hailed from braga.  braga is a town north of portugal and boasts some beautiful nature areas that are fit for national geographic.  porto has definitely surprised us considering that we weren’t even planning to visit portugal until very late in this trip and likely only to lisbon.

flor dos congregados
tv. dos Congregados 11, 4000-179 porto, portugal

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