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Nov 30, 2007 10:49 AM

Ranking Portuguese restaurants

Here's a list of some of the more popular Portuguese rotisseries. How would you rank them and why? Some are dine-in and some are take-out. If there are other places that you think deserve consideration, please feel free to mention them in your reply.
1. Romados (mostly take-out)
2. Portugalia (mostly take-out)
3. Coco Rico (mostly take-out)
4. Le Roi du Plateau (mostly take-out)
5. Chez Doval
6. Jano

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  1. I think that Romados has the best chicken, so they're definitely number one for that.
    I am actually in love with the ribs at Coco Rico, but I am less than impressed with their chicken.

    1. I don't know, I've always stuck with a restaurant that doesn't appear on your list, Brazeiro. Has it closed or something? I went there this summer (it was delicious, by the way, their chicken is awesome and their veal is to die for) and haven't gone back since, and I never hear anyone talk about it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: gremlin2

        I noticed this and thought of Braseiro - really don't think it has closed and indeed it is a lovely little place. I've mentioned it on the board before - probably it is because it is in northern Villeray (north of Jarry) and out of the way for a lot of people. Actually it is easy to get to by public transport (55 bus, north from de Castelnau, or even north from the lower St-Laurent métro) and it is not hard to park that far north in Villeray if you go there by car. Was too busy working to post earlier.

        Isn't Le Roi du Plateau also a somewhat hole-in-the-wallish but certainly eat-in resto?

        And of course there is Rotisserie Portugalia, the tiny place just east of St-Laurent on Rachel...

        1. re: lagatta

          I'm guessing Le Roi du Plateau is mostly eat-in(eaten there once years ago).

        2. re: gremlin2

          As of last month, at least, Braziero was still open. Probably not on most people's radar because of location. Same for Côte des Neiges's Mavi (which is certainly one of my top two or three chicken joints, and not just because it's the closest to my flat), the Village's Barroso and Rosemont-Petit Patrie's Adega. As far as I know, Coco Rico's is the only true rotisserie chicken (in the English sense) -- all the others are grilled over charcoal. As a result (and also due to the lack of piri piri sauce), it's also the least interesting, though the potatoes are killer.

          1. re: carswell

            Brasiero just happened to be reviewed in today Montreal Mirror paper. It got a rave from their critic(except for their fries). Here's the link

        3. Well, sounds like we'll have to try Brasiero...

          I must admit I really like the taste of rotisserie chicken, and so I do like Coco Rico best for chicken (especially that little lump of fat and skin at the butt end of the chicken, it is particularly luscious at Coco Rico, am I completely crazy for liking that part? I know it can't be healthy, but at least it is small). Although I agree the taste of grilled meats is unmatched, I do sometimes find it can dry out the meat if one is not careful. So I like the juiciness of a rotisserie chicken (although goodness knows I've also had overdone dry rotisserie chicken!) when well prepared.

          Romados impressed me with the sheer quantity/quality /price of its dinner specials. We also had a really delicious pork cutlet there, served with fries and salad. We had 3 meals from the one special (which was maybe about $8-10), crazy amounts of food!

          6 Replies
          1. re: moh

            I really like the Coco Rico chickens so I always gets surprised when people say they don't like it. Perhaps it is a matter of preferring charcoal vs rotisserie; but Coco Rico birds are good, especially when they are fresh out, douzed with lots of sauce and spice. They saved my life many times when I arrived home tired, famished and lazy.

            You are not alone about that butt-fat part. I love it too. It is crunchy and fatty at the same time with no nutritional value whatsoever. My BF thinks it is gross, but it is OK, more cholesterol for me.

            1. re: emerilcantcook

              yes, it is a good thing that butt-fat part is so small ( what a great term for this! makes it even less appealing to those who aren't acquainted with the joy of this savoury litle morsel, as you say,more for us!)

              I particularly love Coco Rico chicken with some brown rice to make me feel less guilty, accompanied by any combination of the following condiments:
              1. Watermelon Rind pickle a Southern classic which goes really great with rotisserie chicken
              2. pickled beets
              3. Hot lime pickle (Patak's). I guess I replace piri piri sauce with this pickle. It sounds weird, but it really works with Coco Rico chicken.

              1. re: emerilcantcook

                I think it is called either the Pope's or the parson's nose - guess which depended on old sectarian battles.

                1. re: lagatta

                  Whoo hoo! I love it! "nose", very subtle way to refer to butt-fat. Kind of reminds me of the french-canadian dessert referring to nun's farts (pettes de soeur (sorry for spelling).

                  But I digress. What's the best place to get Portuguese grilled sardines? (another foodstuff that some people hate, but boy I love them.)

                  1. re: moh

                    Most of the sardines I got had that "the person who cleaned me didn't properly gut me" taste in them; so I have decided to stop ordering them out. The best of the bunch was perhaps Roi du Plateau, very minimal gut taste with fresh tasting sardines.

                    1. re: moh

                      The best place to get the grilled sardines is at the outdoor festivals at the Portuguese church at the corner of St-Urbain and Rachel (there is another thread on that).

                      I know chez Doval has them.

              2. So, after reading the replies, here's a brief resumé:

                - Braseiro (St-Laurent) recommended.
                - Coco Rico (St-Laurent) recommended.
                - Rotisserie Mavi (Gatineau) 1 recommendation.
                - Adega (Beaubien) 1 recommendation, tough to get to?
                - Grill Barroso (Ontario) 1 recommendation.
                - Chez Doval (Marie-Anne E.) mentioned.
                - Jano (St-Laurent) not mentioned.
                - Romados (Rachel E.) take-out, recommended
                - Portugalia (Rachel O.) take-out, mentioned.
                - Roi du Plateau (Rachel O.) mostly take-out, mentioned.

                Not sure that we have a clear winner here, but Braseiro has generated the most favorable response so far, followed by Coco Rico. Further comments welcomed.

                3 Replies
                1. re: red sauce

                  Thanks, red sauce. We must remember that you are referring to rue St-Laurent, the street, not Ville St-Laurent, the borough and former independent suburb.

                  Portuguese people who own a small (non-food) business near me had business cards from Casa do Alentejo, a Portuguese grill place at 5938 St-Hubert 514.272.9797 (between Rosemont and Bellechasse, the block north of the railway viaduct that is NOT part of the semi-malled "Plaza St-Hubert". I've passed by there many times and noticed a takeaway special of a chicken (don't know how it is cooked, whether grilled on charcoal or rotisserie) for $10. These people often order from there and like it, but I haven't been.

                  1. re: lagatta

                    The chicken at Alentejo is grilled over charcoal and it's quite good.

                  2. re: red sauce

                    Your statistics may be skewed, since your sample's small and it wasn't clear your original post was a poll. If you search the board for references to the various restos, you'll find many raves for Portugalia (which, by the way, has a few tables for dining-in) and at least a few for Mavi, but even then the results will be skewed by the fact that there's far more discussion of, say, the Plateau than, say, Côte-des-Neiges. While I've not gone back and looked, my impression is that, speaking purely from a food standpoint (not service or decor), Portugalia is the board's historical favourite.

                  3. Anyone know what goes into that amazing Coco Rico sauce they pour over their sandwiches ?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Glow68


                      An awful lot of chicken fat...