This is the greatest sandwich ever created.
And you can get one in Portugal.
It may look American -- it almost looks like a burger, it seems similar in concept to a Philly Cheesesteak. But it's not. This is a prego no pão. Prego for short. It's crazy simple and absurdly good. Bread, cheese (well not for me), and steak. Simple. Perfect.
The best spot for pregos in Porto is Casa dos Pregos (go figure). They are always slammed and with good reason. Because of the simplicity of the prego I think it would be easy to mess this up. At Casa dos Pregos they do it right. They start with fresh steak, like straight-from-the-butcher fresh, never frozen -- so fresh it probably hasn't even had the chance to cool off from when they cut it from the cow. Fresh. The steak is cut to size, salted, and then put on a rip-roaring hot, flat top grill. The outside is seared and the inside is barely heated. The bread is fresh-baked-that-morning fresh, and the baker brings it over in a basket -- these little buns of joy have never seen a plastic bag. Each one is cut and toasted to order. I can't say much for the cheese (due to my intolerance of lactose), but they cut it straight from a wheel. Their display case has two things in it: beef and wheels of cheese (which are not packaged in plastic). Each piece of cheese is sliced off of a wheel specifically for each sandwich.
Seared beef, freshly sliced cheese, on a freshly made, toasted bun, served on a plate. Have one, or two, with a couple of beers or some local wine. They have other dishes, but don't bother looking at the menu. Just walk up to the counter, order your prego (maybe some frites if you feel so inclined) and an alcoholic beverage, and enjoy. So simple, so good.