“O Golfinho” The Dolphin has been open since 1998 and used to be called “Casa Armando”. Sr. Silva, the current owner worked for 19 years in a Restaurant/Bar called “Piolho”. When he left “Piolho” the opportunity arose to buy this establishment, all he needed was a name. In the middle of many friend’s suggestions, he once asked his children what they thought the name should be and they suggested it be called the “Dolphin”, he liked the idea and it stuck, for 17+ years now.
Like every traditional, family owned restaurant “O Golfinho” has the daily specials available in an all-inclusive menu; for €4.50 you get a soup, meal, drink and a coffee. Even though you have these options the reason you should come here is because of the “Francesinha”, a little French Girl, literally translated. This is a traditional dish from the city of Porto which looks and sounds like a heart attack on a plate, but in my opinion is one of the best “beer foods” in existence. It consists of a sandwich with several meats and sausages covered in melted cheese and served with a “special” tomato based sauce that may include port, beer, wine or whiskey depending on the cook.
Sr. Silva has been perfecting his sauce for almost two decades, his recipe is a secret which only he knows. He has not even told his wife, who he works with in the restaurant. After asking him how he would pass down the recipe after he retires or passes away, he replied “The only way I will share the recipe is if I am on my death bed”. Not even his son who also owns a café/bar has access to the ingredients he uses.
To me this is one of the best “Francesinha’s” in Porto. You have the option of asking for 2 versions of the same sauce, spicy or mild. The price is €7.00 for the standard dish and €8.80 with fries and an egg on top. For desert you should order the “Pudim Frances” flan pudding, €1.50 it is homemade and delicious.
Sr. Silva’s obsession with the “Francesinha” is completely understandable to me as I have the same thing with certain dishes that I continuously make. He always uses the same 12 litre pressure cooker and has made the sauce so many times that he knows the exact quantities off by heart. I am glad that Sr. Silva’s obsession exists because now I know where to go when I need my “Francesinha” fix; one man’s obsession is another man’s favourite “little French girl”.
Address: Rua Sá Noronha, 137 Porto, Portugal
Opening Times: 11:30am – 11:30pm Monday-Saturday