With apologies to my Jewish and Muslim friends, I did not make this rule: the name of the game in Porto is Pork-o. Like, for real. While true for most of the Iberian peninsula, this little rule seems to be magnified in Portugal’s second city . . . much to the disappointment of my travel companion who was excited to break his Yom Kippur fast soon after landing. Our gracious AirBNB host gave us more great recommendations than we were ever able to hit, but his stories so frequently included roast pork and the local favorite francesinha sandwich (think Portuguese Hot Brown with ham, sausage, roast beef, coated in a cheese and tomato sauce) that we had to do a bit of our own searching. Casa Guedes, however, had enough options on offer that we made it work.
This little family run spot sits at the corner of the pleasant park Jardim de São Lázaro. As with most of Porto, the locals that have been going there for years seem fascinated by the trickle of foreigners that seem to be coming in ever growing waves. (Yes, that’s a mixed metaphor.) Still, it’s a mostly locals spot and the counter service staff gets a kick out of foreigners who can actually manage to order in proper Portuguese. While the bolinhos de bacalhau (classic Portuguese codfish balls) and fresh country
cheese are worthy companions to the Super Bock on tap, the real star of the show here is the pernil sande – slow roasted pork sandwich. I chose the version with fresh cheese and it was to die for. I say this, mind you, with many years of consuming Cuban lechón straight off the Caja China and 12-hour Kentucky-smoked pork under my belt. But beware: you will most likely end up getting two or more and having your friends roll you out of here in a wheelbarrow. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a warm day, have an espresso or two on the terrace to recover. Bom apetito!
Casa Guedes, Praça dos Poveiros 130, 4000-098, Porto, Portugal