“Flor dos Congregados” the flower of the congregated (Literal Translation) is one of the oldest restaurants in Porto. It has been maintained for three generations in the same family.
This Is probably one of the hardest reviews that I have had to write until now and you will soon understand why. The decoration is somewhat fancy but authentic and the service is impeccable. Unfortunately this is what you’re paying for when you eat here as the food is of standard quality and in my opinion overpriced in relation to other places. I understand why it is like this because the main market that they have is touristic, so it is an obvious choice.
In order to understand what this place feels like I will explain my personal journey. Dinner for 2 with a friend, we walk in and automatically feel like we need to be serious and well mannered. We are then shown to our table on the first floor, there are only tourists sitting upstairs. A table of Spanish and another of Koreans. We sit down and are given the menus, we pick the veal cooked in the red wine €10 and the “Alheira” €8, for this price we are expecting something magnificent or at least above average. Disappointment ensues when the meals are served, and I apologize to my friend for bringing him here.
We decide to go for a cigarette and we notice in a small corner of one of the billboards outside that they have a house sandwich; we ask ourselves why we are only noticing this now. We then order a sandwich for the two of us. It is funny how half a “Lombo Assado” Roasted pork loin and “Presunto” Portuguese Parma ham sandwich saves the whole meal for us both and finally gives us something to be excited about here.
It is at this point that we realize that we have fallen into the tourist trap and if we had ordered a smoked meat/cheese platter and a sandwich each, we would have left this place much more satisfied than we did. It is a shame that this restaurant has given in to the demand of their main client base and chosen conformity instead of tradition.
Don’t get me wrong this sandwich was one of the most interesting I have had in a while but it was a shame that it was surrounded with all of this capitalist “make-up”. The sandwich is defiantly worth trying €5 for one with a glass of sparkling wine (red or white) and for €10 if you feel like a whole bottle. Still pricey for what it is but worth trying.
This restaurant really made me think and question what this city is turning into with the tourist flood gates having been opened. It is a shame that out of the 160 years that this place has been open the only that has survived and is exciting is this sandwich. I congratulate this family for keeping this tradition alive but in the end everyone has the right to their opinion. I understand that they have bills to pay to keep this place going, but in my opinion this place has the foundations to be a Porto city staple restaurant, but falls into the standard average quality taste of all the others out there. It pains me to write this, but go at your own risk and know in advance what you should order.
Address: Travesa dos Congregados no.11
Opening times: Mon: 7:00 pm – 12:00 am, Tue – Wed: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am, Thu – Sat: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am