The sandwich's origins are murky, but its name makes clear the connection to France's famous croque-monsieur: francesinha means "little French one." But a little thing it's not: the specifics of vary from restaurant to restaurant, but everywhere the sandwich includes the same basic components. First, two slices of bread — sometimes toasted sandwich bread, sometimes boot-sized slabs of country loaf. Between them, a cacophony of meats: thin-sliced ham; slender linguiça sausages, sweet and spicy; and anchoring it all, a tender, quarter-inch-thin steak. The whole thing goes under a blanket of broiled cheese, and on top of all that, a beer-based tomato sauce that's simultaneously sweet, rich, and tangy. Putting away an entire sandwich in one sitting is an ambitious prospect for even the sturdiest of eaters, but the first time I was presented with a francesinha I dug in with gusto, fork and knife flying. (This is very much not a sandwich to eat with your hands.) I made it about halfway through before, bested, I had to hand it off to my boyfriend, who gave it a champion's try before declaring defeat with just a few bites left on the plate. But we weren't disappointed; happy and sated, we walked hand in hand out into the Portuguese evening, and fell that night into deep, sandwich-filled dreams.