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Best Churrasco Chicken?

a
airsey Apr 24, 2008 11:10 AM

Based on a previous posting I tried Bom Apetite on the Queensway last week. The chicken was tender and moist... quite delicious in fact. The same couldn't be said about the potatoes (hard and underseasoned) and the rice (mushy). My favourite would still have to be Churrasco on St. Clair (@ Christie) but I'm sure there must be varied opinions on that one.

I've also tried George's at Landsdowne and Dundas which I found absolutely dry and awful. Sardinha on Bloor isn't bad but not great either.

What's your fave?

  1. grandgourmand Apr 24, 2008 01:53 PM

    I was on my best piri-piri chicken quest over a month ago. Didn't hit as many spots as I would have liked...however, he's my list;

    1) Bom Apetite, which you mention, had arguably the best chicken. Agreed on the sides, but that wasn't the focus of my quest
    2) Churrasco St. Clair. Maybe it was the hype, but the bird lacked flavour in my opinion.
    3) Cantanhede O Bairradino. The best flavour, but the chicken was dry. Lots of other goodies at that place
    4) The one at St Lawrence Market. From what I've read, maybe the sauce isn't the most authentic. But I think this place is my favourite.

    Didn't try Piri-Piri Grill House or Bairrada Churrasqueira, which get some good reviews.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grandgourmand
      t
      turnertom Aug 18, 2008 08:17 PM

      I find that Alex Rei dos Leitoes (that's King of the Suckling Pigs for you!!!) does a very good churrasco chicken dinner. They are on Ossington, south of Dundas, a stone's throw from the Lakeview Lunch.

    2. Bobby Wham Apr 24, 2008 01:55 PM

      Churrasqueira Oliveira

      898 College Street
      Toronto, ON M6H 1A4
      416-537-7133

      8 Replies
      1. re: Bobby Wham
        g
        grilledcheese Apr 24, 2008 02:45 PM

        Oliveira's chicken has a strange chemical flavour. I've noticed it in other meats I've purchased in Little Portugal...some kind of cleaner. It is almost like lavender. I once bought three different kinds of meat (veal, ground beef, chicken) from Nosso Talho on Dundas and all of it was contaminated with the stuff. You can smell it in the air in their shop. I once even smelled it while standing on the corner of Dundas and Dovercourt at midnight. Totally weird.

        Anyway, the taste is there, subtly in the chicken at Oliveira. It's an aftertaste. Slightly metallic, slightly floral. Very unpleasant once you notice it.

        The best Churrasco I've had is from the place on College across from Queen Video, between Beatrice and Montrose Streets (don't know it's name). What they lack in manners they make up for with good chicken. And the place is VERY clean, which is nice. (The one on College west of Dovercourt in the big stone house is disgusting!)

        I never order those little round potatoes or the rice. Bland and boring. (Though the potatoes make excellent hash browns.)

        1. re: grilledcheese
          Bobby Wham Apr 25, 2008 05:13 PM

          I think it might be the fennel seed in the rub they use. And I wouldn't say Bairrada is disgusting at all, I think that's going overboard.

          1. re: grilledcheese
            Manybears Apr 28, 2008 10:27 AM

            "The best Churrasco I've had is from the place on College across from Queen Video, between Beatrice and Montrose Streets (don't know it's name)."

            This is the one that was in that little strip just to the east of the Dominion/Shoppers' plaza? It was gone when I went by Friday-- a real shame, since I too thought their chicken was the best I'd had so far.

            1. re: Manybears
              Delish Apr 29, 2008 02:58 AM

              I walked by yesterday and that place is still there with chickens on the spit. I think the store is called Brazil Portugal Butcher.

              1. re: Delish
                Manybears Apr 29, 2008 06:05 AM

                Huh! Either I was blind or really lost :-)

                Good to know-- thank you.

          2. re: Bobby Wham
            s
            Statick Jun 6, 2009 06:28 PM

            RE: Churrasqueira Oliveira

            STAY VERY FAR AWAY!! Just had this tonight based on other recommendation. Driest pieces of chicken breast i've had in my life, only managed to eat 1/2 of it because so dry and needed water and we were starving... worst chicken in any form ever sampled. Went to burrito Boyz directly after. Total waste of time and money. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. re: Statick
              jayt90 Jun 6, 2009 06:44 PM

              Dry chicken, especially breast meat, is a common criticism of Portuguese churrasco, on these boards.
              Thighs and legs are a better bet. Give the breast to white meat lovers. What do they know!

              1. re: jayt90
                duckdown Jun 6, 2009 11:00 PM

                hey i'm one of those white meat people! you guys don't know what you're talking about!

          3. 5
            5andman Apr 24, 2008 04:24 PM

            I do take out from Bom Apetite on the Queensway too. I order it w/ rice & potatoes and spicy. I usually like to let it sit w ith the lid closed, so the juices seep into the rice & potatoes.

            Too bad it's spring ... got to cut down on the carbs!

            1. a
              airsey Apr 24, 2008 04:48 PM

              I really didn't realize that this was such a popular place! It really is in some non-descript type strip that you would never notice in a million years speeding down the Queensway.

              1 Reply
              1. re: airsey
                Teep May 7, 2008 10:04 AM

                I call it "da Bom" and we actually stumbled across it while looking for a place for lunch along that strip. Took some home to my dad and he liked it so much he wants to go there by TTC from downtown!

              2. w
                Westwardho Apr 25, 2008 07:31 AM

                I just did lunch at the Churrasco Villa on Eglington at Mt Pleasant because of a friend's recommendation. It was good. The "drumstick" wing appetizer cracked me up. They give you 6 drumsticks in lieu of wing drummettes. Their chicken was competent for sure. Best in the city? I'll give them best in the area for sure. Parking was a bit tough

                1 Reply
                1. re: Westwardho
                  l
                  lamaranthe Apr 29, 2008 06:49 AM

                  Sorry not to share your opinion, westwardho. I was there once and I don't intend to go back : the chicken was dry and burnt.

                2. Delish Apr 25, 2008 10:20 AM

                  I was very, very impressed with the chicken from Gaucho's at Dundas and Lansdowne (is that what you meant by George's?) a few weeks back. The skin was crispier than any other I've had, and the meat was moist.

                  I'm also a fan of Pirri-Pirri at Dupont and Lansdowne. Best sauce ever.

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: Delish
                    a
                    airsey Apr 25, 2008 10:45 AM

                    Yes, it was Gaucho's that I was referring to. I've been there twice and and both times I found it dry. Did you get BBQ or grilled?

                    1. re: airsey
                      a
                      ach Apr 25, 2008 12:33 PM

                      I was pleased with the chicken at Bairrada Churrasqueira Grill on College St., just west of Dovercourt. There is a fantastic back patio there too.

                      1. re: ach
                        g
                        grilledcheese Apr 25, 2008 03:11 PM

                        That's the place I was trying to think of above, with the disgusting kitchen. If you ever stood at their take-out counter for 15 minutes and watched them cook, you would probably never eat there again. It is a cross-contamination extravaganza.

                        1. re: grilledcheese
                          f
                          foodiemommy Apr 26, 2008 11:47 AM

                          That's too bad, because the patio is one of my favourites anywhere. I like it so much I might even take my chances...

                          1. re: grilledcheese
                            Davwud Apr 29, 2008 11:26 AM

                            Sometimes it's best not to know.

                            DT

                          2. re: ach
                            Davedigger Apr 29, 2008 02:05 PM

                            Love Bairrada Churrasqueira Grill's patio, but their chicken has become drier and harder to choke back over the past couple years. I stick with the grilled squid.

                          3. re: airsey
                            Delish Apr 29, 2008 02:45 AM

                            The one on the rotisserie - not grilled.

                          4. re: Delish
                            s
                            smr714 May 8, 2008 07:52 AM

                            I second the vote for the Piri Piri chicken on Dupont. Also if you just want the sauce, the piri piri sauce some food basics sells is very very good for home cooked piri piri

                            1. re: smr714
                              s
                              smr714 May 10, 2008 06:30 AM

                              In the new summer insider's report they now have piri piri sauce made by President's choice. And A/P -Dominion-Ultra are all selling pre-marinated piri piri chicken.

                              1. re: smr714
                                w
                                watt May 23, 2008 03:01 PM

                                Tried the President's Choice piri piri last weekend - it's only fit for marinating or as a bbq sauce, not to serve on the side as a condiment. Bummer.

                                1. re: watt
                                  mrbozo May 23, 2008 03:05 PM

                                  Macarico Piri Piri is the sauce for me.

                                  1. re: mrbozo
                                    s
                                    smr714 Jun 17, 2008 10:41 AM

                                    Food Basics in Hamilton carry the Macarico Piri Piri sauce, for about 2.39 a bottle in most locations.

                                    1. re: smr714
                                      Pastryrocks Jun 17, 2008 01:29 PM

                                      At which location has Macarico Piri Piri? I’ve been making my own, which takes a week or so to develop full flavour.

                                      1. re: Pastryrocks
                                        s
                                        smr714 Jun 17, 2008 02:34 PM

                                        Centennial and Barton location. they carry the macarico piri piri sauce. When I visit my friends in the US I fill the bottom of my suitcase with the sauce.

                                      2. re: smr714
                                        mrbozo Jun 17, 2008 04:55 PM

                                        I buy mine at the No Frills at Alberta/St Clair W or the one in Dufferin Mall. Also 2.39 a bottle.

                                        1. re: mrbozo
                                          Pastryrocks Jun 17, 2008 11:52 PM

                                          Thanks to smr714 and mrbozo.

                                      3. re: mrbozo
                                        Pastryrocks Aug 27, 2008 10:07 PM

                                        Finally tried the Macarico Piri Piri sauce and found it a little too salty for my taste. I prefer making my own with Thai chilies, unable to find Piri Piri peppers here in Toronto but there are some available on line Making my own sauce enables me to control the amount of salt. The only down side is that the home made sauce takes a week or more to develop flavour.

                                        1. re: Pastryrocks
                                          grandgourmand Aug 28, 2008 05:08 AM

                                          Yeah, I bought a bottle a while back on College St. Definitely agree it was too salty. And the flavour was not much different from Franks Red Hot, frankly.

                                          The best sauce I've bought is from the churrasco place at SLM.

                              2. spoilina Apr 25, 2008 03:06 PM

                                As a former west-ender I miss this stuff so much but in my neck of the woods (Beach) I have found a great place called PortuGrill. For those that can't bear the trek to the west, this place is new (1.5 yr), clean and delicious. It's a real family run operation, the chicken is fantastic and they also have killer homemade hot (piri piri) sauces. The extra hot is deadly but great if you can handle it.

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: spoilina
                                  grandgourmand Apr 26, 2008 07:20 AM

                                  Can you give the location of PortuGrill? Can't find it online.

                                  1. re: grandgourmand
                                    g
                                    Go0deATs09 Apr 2, 2009 11:30 AM

                                    PORTUGRIL
                                    480 DANFORTH RD. (at Birchmount)
                                    416-261-0010
                                    www.portugril.com is their website. Simple and informative...Bon Appetite!

                                  2. re: spoilina
                                    JamieK May 3, 2008 06:36 AM

                                    is it the place on Danforth Road just east of Birchmount?

                                    1. re: JamieK
                                      spoilina May 4, 2008 01:32 PM

                                      Yes, it is in the small plaza at Danforth Road and Birchmount (NE corner)with the Sun Valley in at, at the east end of the building. I now have the route burned into my memory from my house...

                                    2. re: spoilina
                                      h
                                      Hondapendragon May 21, 2008 06:40 AM

                                      It looks like they are building another Portugrill on St. Clair near Dufferin. The patio looks nice.

                                      I will check it out when it opens and see how it compares to Costa Verde :)

                                      1. re: Hondapendragon
                                        f
                                        fickle May 21, 2008 09:25 AM

                                        Where is it on St Clair? East or west of Dufferin?

                                        1. re: fickle
                                          h
                                          Hondapendragon May 22, 2008 09:24 AM

                                          It's west of Dufferin on the north side of St. Clair. At the corner of one of the side streets.
                                          It's still under construction though.

                                          1. re: fickle
                                            mikeb May 23, 2008 07:25 AM

                                            It's on the NE corner of Harvie--where Connections Grill was before it burned out. Major intersection would be Lansdowne and St Clair. It seems to be coming along pretty quickly.

                                            1. re: fickle
                                              g
                                              goodeats32 Aug 17, 2008 06:10 PM

                                              The Portugrill on St. Clair is terrible. Save your money and go elsewhere. The chicken lacked any flavour and the sides where over salted. Also the restaurant lacked cleanliness especially in the washrooms. The service was quite poor as well. Honestly, the are much better places in the area than this new addition on St.Clair

                                              1. re: goodeats32
                                                s
                                                smr714 Aug 17, 2008 08:34 PM

                                                In contrast the Portugrill in Scarborough on Danforth Road, at Birchmount is spotless, ladies room was pristine. Chicken was tender and the service great, it is a take-out counter, but with my cane, they would not let me carry anything myself to the table.

                                                1. re: smr714
                                                  Fizzzzzy Jun 9, 2009 02:22 AM

                                                  I go to the Portugrill on Danforth Rd. as well and totally agree. The chicken is amazing (and their chicken pasta dish too). It's spotless and the service is wonderful. I actually ordered my cooked Christmas turkey from them a couple of years ago and it was DELICIOUS.

                                          2. re: spoilina
                                            m
                                            mo_07 Jun 6, 2009 07:46 AM

                                            This Sounds REALLY GOOD and is much closer to me than the downtown locations. I will be trying this place out soon.

                                            I use to go to Churrasqueira Do Sardinha when I was child. It was really, they recently moved from College St to 1213 Dundas St. West. I haven't been there yet, so not sure what the taste is like any longer... Anyone have an idea about this place?

                                          3. duckdown Apr 29, 2008 12:29 AM

                                            Nova Esperanca in Brampton

                                            www.portuguese-chicken.com is their website

                                            1. i
                                              ilpalazo Apr 29, 2008 07:17 AM

                                              The correct answer is Costa Verde on on Oakwood I believe, north of St.Clair. Great chicken, great piri piri sauce. Bom Apetite is solid as well.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: ilpalazo
                                                h
                                                Hondapendragon Apr 29, 2008 10:51 AM

                                                Costa Verde (Oakwood and Rogers) is my absolute favourite.
                                                The grilled chicken with piquante sauce is amazing.

                                                With a glass of pineapple Sumol... yummmmmmmmmmmy!!!

                                                1. re: Hondapendragon
                                                  h
                                                  homebaker May 9, 2008 11:30 PM

                                                  ...Have been known to drive through rush hour (yes, on the 401) traffic just to get two of their delicious grilled chickens and a bottle of hot sauce.

                                                  Thanks to a former Portuguese landlady who recommended this to us when we first came to Toronto 10 years ago!

                                                2. re: ilpalazo
                                                  y
                                                  Yongeman Apr 29, 2008 02:19 PM

                                                  Agree that their chicken is good, but I'd bet that their piri-piri sauce is Frank's Hot Sauce. It's a good sauce, but not piri-piri, I think.

                                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                                    i
                                                    ilpalazo Apr 30, 2008 05:21 AM

                                                    I'm Portuguese, tastes like Piri-Piri to me.

                                                    1. re: ilpalazo
                                                      y
                                                      Yongeman Apr 30, 2008 07:02 AM

                                                      Ok, that's good to know.

                                                3. m
                                                  marcharry May 2, 2008 08:38 PM

                                                  Bairrada on St Clair West (west) - just west of the stockyards (keele) near George Bell arena. Takeout on the side. Packed with portugese folks picking up a party in a box.

                                                  Awesome sauce - a little greasy but good.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: marcharry
                                                    sylvrgirl May 7, 2008 10:11 AM

                                                    Good to know...been meaning to try it out and will do so sometime this week.

                                                  2. w
                                                    Westwardho May 7, 2008 08:58 AM

                                                    I ventured into the Bom Apetite based on the positive feedback. Felt like a time warp. (I tried to go Monday but they are closed) The grilled chicken was as good as I've had anywhere. Great hot sauce. Tried a (HUGE) chicken sandwich too. $5 pretty darn good, but I'm not a white meat fan. Their hot table kinda scares me a little. I did venture for a cod fritter too. A little soggy, but great taste. It took me 3 passes to find the resto. For reference it is beside the DEWALT tool moose on the north side. Nowhere to sit so be prepared to go home or eat in your car! Worth the greasy lap stains.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Westwardho
                                                      grandgourmand May 7, 2008 09:42 AM

                                                      There are a couple stools facing the windown and the wonderful scenery (not exactly). One of the better chickens I've had in the city. I tried the roast version. If you're after the hot table, you need to check out Cantanhede O Bairradino.

                                                      1. re: Westwardho
                                                        c
                                                        camp1980 Oct 27, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                        Bon Apetite was recommended to me a couple of years ago and we checked it out and enjoyed it. Never made it back until last week because it closes at 8 o'clock.
                                                        Well finally had an opportunity to go again last week and we were not disappointed.
                                                        Soooo good!

                                                        I have been told that the grilled chicken is even better then the rotisserie chicken.
                                                        Too bad about the sides, but I dipped the potatoes in the piri piri sauce and it was all good.
                                                        Man now I am craving some chicken.

                                                        1. re: camp1980
                                                          duckdown Oct 27, 2009 02:17 PM

                                                          The grilled variety is D R Y if you ask me

                                                          I prefer the rotisserie, although I seem to be in the minority

                                                          Also they seem to grill the chicken at too low of a temperature, the skin never gets nice and crispy or anything

                                                      2. s
                                                        snoobie May 10, 2008 01:09 PM

                                                        Not sure what all the hype is about at Churrasco on St. Clair. The chickens are so small with very little meat. Would like to find a Chrrasco with decent size chickens

                                                        1. Pastryrocks May 18, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                          My wife and I love Bom Apetite. The rotisserie chicken is killer! We also get the hot piri-piri sauce on the chicken and always ask for extra. Quite often I order grilled ribs and my wife will have the mussels. For the ribs they marinate them before they are grilled. The ribs are not dried out and are very meaty, what I like to do is use a bowl with piri-piri sauce and dip each rib into the sauce! They also have Pastéis de Bacalhau (codfish and potato cakes) which are very good. My wife and I have had fish, beans with pork, sausage from the hot table and everything was good.
                                                          I always get potatoes and sometimes rice. The potatoes could use more seasoning, but what we do is add salt and pepper and drizzle some good olive oil over the potatoes.
                                                          The only downside I see is that vegetables are not given the same care as the meat and fish. Through growing up with Portuguese neighbors, I don’t remember much vegetables being served except for lots of potatoes. Also, because they are busy I have had to wait for rotisserie chicken on more than one occasion, but that’s because they could not cook as fast as they sell!
                                                          We did try Churrasco further down the street called the World’s Best Portuguese Chicken. Don’t waste your time and money. The chicken we had was overcooked; dry and the piri-piri sauce had very little taste and was not hot at all. The rice was tasteless but potatoes where good. I’ve been to many Churrasco and I thought naming your Churrasco World’s Best Portuguese Chicken was arrogant, but after tasting their food, it should be called World’s Worst Portuguese Chicken.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Pastryrocks
                                                            Wiley May 19, 2008 09:28 AM

                                                            Churrasco alert! New place opening next week in Aurora, Wellington St beside Domino's where Country Style used to be...I won't get to try it until I get back from vacation.

                                                          2. Finnegan Jun 19, 2008 02:04 PM

                                                            Churrasco of St. Clair...end of story...great sides: peas and rice, potatoe, corn bread, etc. There's a reason folks are lined up outside the door

                                                            http://www.churrasco.net/

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Finnegan
                                                              a
                                                              airsey Jun 19, 2008 03:30 PM

                                                              I finally tried Costa Verde last weekend and I have to admit I'm still partial to Churrasco of St. Clair. Costa Verde was good but there simply wasn't enough chicken. Churrasco of St. Clair's chicken is jucier and MORE.

                                                              1. re: airsey
                                                                h
                                                                Hondapendragon Jun 20, 2008 02:22 PM

                                                                Where is Churrasco of St. Clair located? I've gotta try it!

                                                                1. re: Hondapendragon
                                                                  y
                                                                  Yongeman Jun 20, 2008 08:02 PM

                                                                  South side of St. Clair, just east of Christie. It's very good.

                                                            2. duckdown Jun 22, 2008 01:11 PM

                                                              Eek..

                                                              So I went to Bom Apetite today, because I love getting 1 rotisserie chicken and 1 grilled chicken for only $20, and was surprised to see an older couple working today (Usually when I go its the younger guy working here) and I proceeded to order my food

                                                              I paid for the chicken, and the lady was putting my money in the till and handing me back some bills and coins when she proceeded to directly handle the chicken with her hands right after fiddling around with my money!

                                                              Luckily the persons chicken she was man-handling was for the guy behind me, who also ordered some other soup that leaked all over the place, forcing her to wash her hands before cutting mine.. but I am convinced that if it wasn't for her spilling some soup that she definitely would not have washed her hands at all

                                                              I didn't want to be rude and say "Hey, wash your hands first" but does anyone else find this slightly disturbing? Just wondering what the rest of you would do in a situation like this.. Crusty old 5 dollar bills and change are certainly unhygenic... Kind of scary

                                                              Cheers..

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: duckdown
                                                                Pastryrocks Jun 28, 2008 06:12 PM

                                                                The older man and lady are I believe the parents of the ‘guy’. They also so I understand, started the business. I will say something the next time I in about the issue of dirty money.
                                                                I’ve been making my own Portuguese (Piri Piri style) chicken, so I’m unsure when I will be in Bom Apetite.

                                                                1. re: Pastryrocks
                                                                  duckdown Jun 28, 2008 07:19 PM

                                                                  Cool man

                                                                  This actually sparked a heated debate on another Toronto food forum that I posted my story on

                                                                  I think the thread is at like something like 2 pages long with 50+ responses.. Seems to be a very touchy subject with people all over the board on their opinions on if its overreacting or not

                                                                  I love the food there don't get me wrong -- I just do not agree with not washing your hands or wearing gloves

                                                                  Cheers

                                                                2. re: duckdown
                                                                  Pastryrocks Jul 2, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                                  Spoke with the guy at Bom Apetite today and he was rather upset, in fact he was visibly upset. He said that it will not happen again. Nor could he quite understand why it happened in the first place. I guess stuff happens. From now on everyone will wash their hands after handling cash before they handle any food.

                                                                  1. re: Pastryrocks
                                                                    duckdown Jul 2, 2008 06:31 PM

                                                                    Oh wow, no way

                                                                    Nicely done man, I thank you! I can now return there worry free :)

                                                                    I wouldn't have had the heart to say anything.. Thanks again man

                                                                3. j
                                                                  juno Aug 19, 2008 06:48 AM

                                                                  Went to Piri Piri Grill House on Dupont last night, lured by mentions on this thread, and it confirmed my suspicion that most Portuguese churrasco joints in Toronto aren't up to much. Everything was quite serviceable, but not distinct enough to make me hurry back, even at the acceptable prices.

                                                                  Piri Piri has two things going for it. If you're a wine drinker, the prices are easy to take compared with most wine markups, with many bottles under $25. And the piri-piri sauce has a nice kick, sneaking up on you about 30 seconds after you've ingested it and exploding in your head into a delightful fire.

                                                                  The sauce is served on the side with the grilled chicken. But the chicken itself seems indifferent in quality. You'll get it down if you douse it with enough piri-piri to enliven it, but it's not particularly enjoyable. I guess that explains the modest price ($13.25). Even more unimpressive was the quality of the grilled sardines, a Portuguese classic starter and occasional main dish. The usual way of doing sardines is to slather them inside and out with olive oil, salt and pepper, then broil them about two minutes on each side. The olive oil and pepper seemed to be missing in action in this dish, making for a rather dry taste - despite my dousing the sardines with the olive oil on the table. The sardines also seemed to have been lying around for quite awhile before being called to action. Altogether unremarkable. This is a simple dish to execute. Even incompetent-in-the-kitchen I can do it at home with sardines bought at either Diana's or the SLM triumvirate of fishmongers (where Mike's seems to have the best sardines - if not the best prices - both fresh and previously frozen).

                                                                  The soup of the day was tasty. There was a classic Brazilian/Portuguese stew on the specials menu which I can't begin to spell, but it wasn't particularly special. Altogether, rather disappointing. Though, to be fair, the dining room was at least half full (pretty good for a rainy Monday night) and others, mainly family groups, seemed to be enjoying themselves (unless they were faking it for Grandpa). Good service. The bread could have been fresher.

                                                                  This place cuts corners, and it shows, but it sure hits its price points. Next time I have a hankering for Portuguese, I'll stifle it, or save up, and save up more more, and go to Chiado, where bankruptcy lurks.

                                                                  1. The Chowhound Team Apr 2, 2009 04:47 AM

                                                                    A discussion about making soup from the chicken carcass has been split and moved to the Home Cooking board:

                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608860

                                                                    1. Davwud Jun 7, 2009 07:12 AM

                                                                      Went to Chursaco Villa for lunch on Friday. The chicken was very moist and the piri piri sauce was excellent.

                                                                      DT

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                                        deelicious Jun 8, 2009 02:10 PM

                                                                        Villa is one of the best in the city for sure! Potatoes are awesome too!

                                                                        1. re: deelicious
                                                                          Davwud Jun 9, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                                          I opted for rice. I'll have to try them next time.

                                                                          DT

                                                                      2. j
                                                                        justints Jun 10, 2009 09:12 AM

                                                                        I have to say that Villa Verde on Dundas and Manning (across from M&L lumber) is fantastic.

                                                                        The service is great and the food is totally amazing. The chicken is always moist and served with a choice of rice, potatoes, veg and salad. The porkchops are fantastic and, strangely, the well done steaks are quite good (i'm usually strictly a rare beef eater). The hot sauce is so good, my wife jokes with my that the food becomes simply a hot sauce delivery device for me. I always get a bunch to go.

                                                                        Something I really like, as I live around the corner, is that they always have some kind of interesting thing not on the menu - rabbit, braised cabbage, salt cod with rapini, braised lamb...i could go on - you just have to ask them if they're doing anything that day that's not on the menu. Going during lent is a trip as they have a dazzling selection of fish.

                                                                        Saturdays/Sundays are a good day to go as they do a lot of specials on those days - though go early as the place gets utterly packed with Portuguese people getting feasts to take back home on their way back from church. Its a nice kind of family-busy....but its busy.

                                                                        The prices totally reasonable - two people can eat a meal with wine for about $20-25 depending on what you order. The atmosphere is rustic and, initially, a bit intimidating as its hot, packed and - before the reno - very rustic, but the hosts are genuinely friendly and very interested in making sure that you're well looked after.

                                                                        As my neighborhood Churrascaria place, I'm perhaps a bit biased, but I've eaten Portuguese and Brazilian grill all over Toronto, NYC, and Philly and have to say this is one of the best.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: justints
                                                                          chocabot Jun 15, 2009 01:09 PM

                                                                          Based on this review we went on a Saturday night to try the non-chicken items. Bf concurs with above that chicken is good. He ordered the pork cutlet and I had grilled grouper. Both dishes took quite a while to come out but our server was really sweet and brought out bread (cut up pada) and butter (soft!). The pork was incredibly dry as was the fish. The fish, garnished with a couple lemon slices looked like a previously frozen halibut steak and I needed the piri piri for moisture. The sides were rice and waterlogged overly soft vegetables. Despite, the regrettable food, the atmosphere was authentically portuguese.

                                                                          1. re: justints
                                                                            l
                                                                            libertyvillage Jun 12, 2010 02:25 PM

                                                                            I just got take out from Vila Verde on Justin's recommendation, in part because it was so convincing, in part because it's pretty close to home. I got two whole bbq chickens, cut into quarters and a medium container of baby potatoes, which I love.
                                                                            The staff is extremely friendly. Local crowd, pretty much all Portuguese. The world soccer cup was on and people were pretty focused on the game... anyways, the chicken ended up being good... the white meat is a bit overdone and the potatoes are not crunchy. I would give it a 6-7/10. Since I live near Little Portugal, I can't wait to try more of these great little places.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Churrasqueira Vila Verde Restaurant
                                                                            869 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J1V6, CA

                                                                            1. re: libertyvillage
                                                                              s
                                                                              sumdumgoy Jun 13, 2010 04:53 AM

                                                                              How much?

                                                                          2. duckdown Jul 8, 2009 10:09 PM

                                                                            Is there any churrasqueira open late? like midnight or later?

                                                                            1. g
                                                                              goose54 Sep 19, 2009 06:13 PM

                                                                              Hand's down, the most authentic chicken is at a churrasqueira located on Lansdowne just north of Wallace (south of Dupont Street). Line-ups all the time. The clientelle is largely portuguese. The chicken is great, and the restaurant is renowned for the suckling pig. The name eludes me, but it's woth it.

                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                              1. re: goose54
                                                                                y
                                                                                Yongeman Sep 20, 2009 05:53 AM

                                                                                Damn...wish I'd read this last night before trying the churrasco at Churrasco Villa (Eglinton and Mt. Pleasant). Very expensive ($16 for quarter chicken with potatoes, salad and a pop), pretty good chicken, weird sauces--not typical piri piri. Anyone know the name of the place on Lansdowne?

                                                                                1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                  f
                                                                                  fickle Sep 20, 2009 06:16 AM

                                                                                  Cantanhede O Bairradino, 662 Lansdowne Ave, just south of Dupont.

                                                                                  1. re: fickle
                                                                                    y
                                                                                    Yongeman Sep 20, 2009 06:21 AM

                                                                                    Thanks for your quick response, fickle.

                                                                                    1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                      Davwud Nov 13, 2009 12:14 PM

                                                                                      I had the chicken for lunch today. It was amazing. I had extra hot piri piri and loved it.

                                                                                      I asked for chicken and was expecting a half chicken with rice and potatoes for my $10. I got a whole chicken, nothing else. Not complaining but for others, I guess you have to ask for a dinner or something.

                                                                                      I went last week intending to try it and couldn't get past all the great stuff on the steam table. I had bunny rabbit with potatoes and rice. $10.

                                                                                      I'm really happy so far with this place.

                                                                                      DT

                                                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                                                        Davedigger Nov 16, 2009 07:25 AM

                                                                                        Bunny rabbit?!?! I'm going to have to make a point of visiting this place. I haven't had bunny in forever!

                                                                                        1. re: Davedigger
                                                                                          Davwud Nov 16, 2009 09:26 AM

                                                                                          I didn't see any on Friday when I was there.

                                                                                          DT

                                                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jayseeca Nov 16, 2009 12:46 PM

                                                                                            I unfortunately live quite close to this joint and the smells of the barbeque chicken fill the street everday (except monday when they're closed).
                                                                                            of all the portuguese places I've tried this one is my favourite in flavour and the pretty damn reasonable prices.
                                                                                            the items in the steam table change daily so you can't be certain as to what they'll have but you can try asking.
                                                                                            my favourite dish there is their pork and clams with some black olives and a few slices of lemon. sooo good. a little on the greasy side, but where would portuguese food be without their pork lard???

                                                                                            1. re: jayseeca
                                                                                              Davwud Nov 16, 2009 12:51 PM

                                                                                              It's quickly becoming one of my new favourites too.

                                                                                              DT

                                                                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                s
                                                                                                sway Mar 10, 2010 08:23 PM

                                                                                                On these recs, I went with my SO and another couple.
                                                                                                FYI, there's only a couple of grungy tables (when we moved them together, our hands got sticky from the chairs) so we decided to join everyone else and get takeout instead. Another head's up, don't bother with the large posted menus, they don't carry most of what's listed during the week. We got a bbq chicken (fantastic, not dry at all), and from the hot table: breaded fish fillets (very moist and fresh), roast beef and pork (on the dry side), parisienne potatoes (very good, tasty and fresh), rice (mediocre: a bit bland and dry) cod (not what I was expecting, not a huge success, but I would eat it again). Overall, I'd say the food was above average, with the chicken being the best.

                                                                                  2. re: Yongeman
                                                                                    TorontoTips Nov 16, 2009 10:48 AM

                                                                                    I really love Churrasco Villa on Eglington at Mt Pleasant - great flame-flavour on the chicken and great roast potatoes or tiny little frites.
                                                                                    The sauce is admittedly rather reminiscent of an extra buttery frank's buffalo wing sauce but is yummy with the chicken, which is always juicy and delicious! ... and those little custard tarts... yum!

                                                                                    I'll have to try Cantanhede O Bairradino and report back :-)

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Cantanhede O Bairradino
                                                                                    662 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H3Y8, CA

                                                                                    Churrasco Villa
                                                                                    254 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P1K2, CA

                                                                                2. h
                                                                                  howdydoody Oct 26, 2009 08:10 AM

                                                                                  For all you Portuguese Churrasco Chicken experts does any recall the place on Agusta Street in Kensington Market that made the most fantastic chicken and hot sauce?

                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                    pastina Nov 16, 2009 05:56 PM

                                                                                    I've had pretty consistently good results from Churrasqueira do Sardinha on Dundas West, east of Dovercourt and opposite Lakeview (that would be where the Beer Store is). Can't vouch for anything else - just the chicken.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: pastina
                                                                                      g
                                                                                      goofibulator Jan 16, 2010 05:49 PM

                                                                                      I can not, alas, stand up for the chicken... it's been at times satisfying and at other times dry and *blah*. BUT... their potato balls are awesome- very garlicky and about as crunchy and satisfying as said balls can get, and the rice is OK too. But whatever you do, do NOT throw your money away on a sandwich! Five bucks (if I recall) for a bit of chicken and a bun. Ugh. It's one of those little family-run places that I want so much to like...

                                                                                      -g

                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                      engkev2000 Dec 10, 2009 07:32 PM

                                                                                      If you are willing to venture about the GTA outside of downtown T.O. I've been to quite a few Churrasco Chicken places. I always try a place more than once to give it a fair review. I almost always go for the grilled chicken spicy. Pretty much I found every place I went to have great tasting chicken at one point or the other. It's the different flavours and styles I am looking to try.

                                                                                      My favourite place is called Zita's Churrasqueira. It's on Creditview in Mississauga. They always seem to be grilling chicken every time I go. Fresh off the grill is best. Their spicy flavour is just perfect. This was one of the first Portuguese Chicken places I've tried and I've never tasted white meat so good.
                                                                                      I find most other Churrasco places while the Chicken and flavour is good but while I ask for spicy but I'm always expecting a certain level but always finding it way too mild. Chicken is still great though.

                                                                                      Bom Apetite, I will have to try again. The rotisserie chicken was great but the grilled chicken I had must have been sitting out too long was dry. Almost the same flavour as Zita's, I think they add dill to their sauce. Was disappointed with how mild the spicy version was.

                                                                                      Mario's BBQ. The chicken was good but a bit on a salty side. I just like how they're open all the time. Can satisfy the craving.

                                                                                      Brasas Churrasqueria. in Mississauga. They have a fire pit with chicken rotating over an open flame. Their sauce has a garlic flavour to it.

                                                                                      Bairrada in Mississauga was also very good. I'll need to try it a few more times to get a better read on the place.

                                                                                      Also a couple of Chicken places can try if you are up north. Red Rooster (Major Mac and Keele) and Roasty Chicken (Jane St. Across from Wonderland). Although I've been disappointed more than a couple of times at Roasty Chicken, it is still worth a try for others.

                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: engkev2000
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        jon.russell1212 Jan 6, 2010 07:53 AM

                                                                                        I moved to Mississauga recently and while I miss some things about the Ottawa food scene, I do love the Portuguese chicken places around the GTA. My favourite is Brasas Churrasqueira in Mississauga. The only bad part is the line-up around supper time. You can smell the wood fire and roasting chicken all around this building; it smells incredible (must get a little tiring for the neighbours though). Good value too for a quick family meal and way better than the chicken chains.

                                                                                        1. re: jon.russell1212
                                                                                          Pastryrocks Jan 6, 2010 02:01 PM

                                                                                          You can smell wood!? Must make the trip.

                                                                                          1. re: jon.russell1212
                                                                                            mogo Jan 7, 2010 11:41 AM

                                                                                            Oh, I am craving this stuff now. There's a place called Silva's BBQ that opened a few months ago at Tomken & Rathburn in the No Frills plaza. Great grilled chicken, and really really tasty sauce.

                                                                                          2. re: engkev2000
                                                                                            duckdown Jan 6, 2010 08:46 AM

                                                                                            Interesting suggestions, I'm in Peel region as well

                                                                                            I haven't heard of Zitas nor Brassas, I think I'll check out Brasas tonight for dinner

                                                                                            Good tips on the places around Wonderland too; I'm in that area occasionally...

                                                                                            i'll report back :)

                                                                                            cheers!

                                                                                            1. re: engkev2000
                                                                                              Pastryrocks Jan 14, 2010 12:35 PM

                                                                                              OMG!!! We have to move to the western part of Mississauga. Brasas does indeed roast chicken over coals! Was in today around 3PM and tried a sandwich, the chicken is very, very good. The charcoal does give the chicken some wonderful flavour, and then add some good piri-piri sauce, great sandwich. Also tired their bacalhau which was nice, the bacalhau is rather large. The cod was not very pronounced, but there are chunks of potato in the bacalhau, which is a nice touch imho.

                                                                                              While I was ordering the chicken sandwich, someone’s order of fries was placed on the counter. Well if charcoal Portuguese chicken was not enough, they also do fresh fries, which are quite good. In the corner are 10-12 50Lb bags of potatoes, so I would assume they must also make their own Parisienne potatoes or they sell a heck of a lot of fries.

                                                                                              But the chicken is really good, I mean really good. Yes it is a bit dry, but most Portuguese chicken is, and that of course is the reason for the piri-piri sauce. They sell piri-piri sauce in jars. The piri-piri sauce is not like your regular piri-piri sauce. It is hot and spicy, very peppery. I’ve never had piri-piri peppers, and god knows if all the piri-piri sauce I’ve eaten over the years tastes anything like using real piri-piri. Furthermore, it is also very thick; I guess they use Xanthan gum as a thickener. I do like the sauce, and welcome the difference (or maybe the real thing!?).

                                                                                              They also sell back ribs, but sadly where all out of back ribs. I’ll have to try these the next time I’m there. They also have a hot table with Portuguese potatoes and fried fish. There are smoked Portuguese smoked sausages, I forgot to ask how they sell the sausages, and of course Portuguese custard tarts.

                                                                                              The place is takeout, but does have a counter with some chairs. They are closed on Mondays and are open until 8PM and 6 or 7PM on Sunday. While we ate our sandwich, there was a steady stream of people coming in. So I assume that this place does quite well.

                                                                                              For the ride home all I could smell where the 3 chickens sitting in the backseat of the car. And of course I purchased a jar of piri-piri sauce.

                                                                                              1. re: Pastryrocks
                                                                                                duckdown Jan 16, 2010 12:54 PM

                                                                                                Hey there, I just tried Brasas the other day too. Love the fact they roast the chicken over charcoals in that cast iron rotating device thing, however, I did not like the hot sauce, rice,or potatoes really at all. Too much garlic in both the sauce and the potatoes, IMO. The chicken was really good though, would definitely return for some a-la carte chickens and skip the potatoes. Salad was horribly underdressed but lettuce wasn't wilted which was pleasantly surprising.

                                                                                                Overall, probably the best in Mississauga I've had yet for sure.. thanks for the tip!

                                                                                                1. re: duckdown
                                                                                                  Pastryrocks Jan 17, 2010 08:28 PM

                                                                                                  I did not try anything but fries and chicken, so I'm sorry to hear that the other sides where not all that good. At first I did not like the piri-piri sauce, but it does grow on you. I thought it had a great deal of pepper and lacking salt. If anything piri-piri sauce is generally too salty.

                                                                                                2. re: Pastryrocks
                                                                                                  Pastryrocks Feb 5, 2010 03:49 PM

                                                                                                  Well went again for Chicken at Brasas. The chicken is rather good, and the sauce is ok, not your regular Piri Piri sauce. This time the sauce was not as peppery as last time, I’m guessing they used less garlic with this batch.

                                                                                                  Tried the roast potatoes this time, the texture and seasoning are lacking. The potatoes are rather soft and could use some more or some salt and pepper.

                                                                                                  Also, I was a little dismayed that they go to the trouble to make a Piri Piri sauce that has more ingredients that your regular Piri Piri sauce. That they use fresh cut fries, and they cook the chicken over charcoal. But they use a cheap ready made dressing for the salad. Yes I am fussy about my food; I like real food prepared properly and not only am I willing to pay for it, but I’II also wait for it. So as I sat there eating this lovely chicken, soft Parisian potato, and nice fresh crispy salad with god-offal prepared dressing, I thought to myself, that what sat before me was great example of an oxymoron. Of course I inquired as to how and why they used prepared dressing and was answered quite quickly that they have enough work to do in a day and that she also has children at home to care for. I asked for forgiveness, sarcastically. So tasteless prepared salad dressing is good enough, of course I dare not inquire about the mushy unseasoned potatoes.

                                                                                                  For me the chicken and fries are very good, the rest leaves much to desire, after all I did leave with 3 whole chickens. Will I return, yes I will but just for chicken and maybe some fries. It seems to me that the rest of the products at Brasas are not worth the effort. So we are not moving.

                                                                                                3. re: engkev2000
                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                  Darrin Jan 18, 2010 08:31 AM

                                                                                                  Huge thumbs up for Zita's - I've been spreading the word about her chicken for a couple years now. Like you say, it's always coming fresh off the grill, right in front of you. Her rotisserie chicken is a great second choice if they're backed up on the grill, and the potatoes... most people will actually remember the potatoes even more than the chicken.

                                                                                                  Bairrada was my fave before discovering Zita's - haven't been back since though.

                                                                                                4. a
                                                                                                  angryburrito Jan 16, 2010 12:34 PM

                                                                                                  Anybody been to a place called Antonios on Yonge between Lawrence and the 401?

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: angryburrito
                                                                                                    y
                                                                                                    Yongeman Jan 16, 2010 01:35 PM

                                                                                                    It's only been open for a month or so, but I haven't been. Love to hear any reviews.

                                                                                                    1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      something_yummy Jan 29, 2010 03:50 PM

                                                                                                      i tried searching under Antonio's - nothing came up....anyone have the contact info for this place?

                                                                                                      1. re: something_yummy
                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                        juno Jan 30, 2010 07:09 AM

                                                                                                        To something_yummy: I'm happy to oblige you on Antonio's. It's at 3397 Yonge St., on the east side, about halfway between Lawrence Ave. and York Mills Rd. Mainly a takeout joint, though with a few tables for eat-ins. Phone: 416-901-5222. Closed Monday. It didn't look like much when I walked by recently. Standard-issue no-personality takeout and delivery operation. It was late afternoon, too soon after lunch and too early for dinner, but I picked up a take-out menu. What I take to be the usual Churrasqueria prices for chicken and ribs: $12 for a whole chicken, $15 for a full rib rack, $9 for a half rack. Wings, paninis, assorted cold and hot sides in two sizes. Also a few combo dinners that don't, at first glance, seem to be such wonderful deals. The guy on duty gave me a sample of the hot sauce. I prefer more zing, but it might be hot enough for others. I await the reports from those more adventurous, dedicated to the delights of Portuguese Churrasqueria, delights which have eluded me at other such joints around town. It'd be nice to have a solid Churrasqueria up here in York Mills/Lawrence Park, but on looks alone I'm not hopeful.

                                                                                                        1. re: juno
                                                                                                          TorontoJo Jan 30, 2010 08:17 AM

                                                                                                          Hey juno, I haven't tried Antonio's yet, but I'm pretty sure that it's by the same owners as Chega and Hazel's Diner. So I'm guessing that there isn't some hard-working Portuguese family behind the scenes. I keep waiting to hear a report on it. But unless I hear it's fabulous, the $9.99 Beretta Farms rotisserie chickens at the Loblaw up the street seem like a better deal.

                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            something_yummy Feb 5, 2010 08:40 AM

                                                                                                            hmmmm...same owners as chega and hazel's diner....that isnt good news. I have not enjoyes me meals at either.

                                                                                                            i was really hoping for a good casual takeout joint in the area - i guess the wait for something continues.

                                                                                                          2. re: juno
                                                                                                            mikeb Feb 7, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                                                                            I've had the chicken and ribs along with the potatoes. The sauce on the chicken had a little bite, but wasn't hot. I don't know how they cook the meat, but the chicken and ribs didn't have much smoke/charcoal flavour. Unlike some churrascos, the chicken was actually pretty moist. The potatoes were soft, but otherwise tasted OK. The food was fine. I wouldn't come from out of the neighbourhood for what I had. That said, it is likely the best chicken you can get for delivery in the immediate area.

                                                                                                            1. re: mikeb
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              juno Feb 7, 2010 01:52 PM

                                                                                                              Thanks for your report. I always appreciate a brave soul who'll leap into the breach, unlike a scaredy-cat like myself, who likes to see - before venturing forth - documented evidence that a new joint is worth taking a shot on. And given your subdued analysis, this one probably isn't. That strip of Yonge St. is replete with acceptable but unmemorable spots (though there are two or three good ones), and Antonio's seems like yet another mundane choice. Besides, good churrasco should have some zing to it, some balls, some character, and your rundown suggests otherwise. It seems to be little more than an average chicken and ribs takeout without much churrasco to it. If I'm lusting for takeout chicken in the neighborhood, I'll go to the nearby Loblaw's (as the omniscient TorontoJo has suggested above) or, if I want to get fancy, to Pusateri's on Avenue Rd., which is still less pricey than Antonio's. And wait patiently for real churrasco to arrive in the neighborhood.

                                                                                                              1. re: juno
                                                                                                                mikeb Feb 8, 2010 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                I've only had it the one time and it hasn't been open too long, so I wouldn't write it off just yet. Maybe they just need to find their feet. They do deliver.

                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                      magic Mar 2, 2010 10:23 AM

                                                                                                      There is a new(ish) place on Keele, south of Lawrence called Churrasqueirra Estrela. Their chicken is fabulous. Word of warning though: they are EXTREMELY disorganized and you will almost certainly wait every single time…. not only for your order but you will wait to even be acknowledged. They are not rude, just hopelessly and quite astoundingly disorganized. I’ve seen them running around like panicking maniacs when they have one order to fill. It’s really quite something to watch actually, I’ve never seen anything like it.

                                                                                                      However if you have unending patience their food is wonderful.

                                                                                                      Not sure if they are listed but here is their info: 2275 Keele. 416-248-1918.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: magic
                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                        edfs72 Nov 2, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                                                                        I went to try them based on this review a couple of months ago and I must say, you are correct in that the chicken was awesome. It was very juicy and moist with that wonderful grill flavour. Not a huge fan of the piri piri as I much prefer the one from churrasco villa on mt. pleasant/eglinton but that's just personal preference. I enjoyed it so much, I actually ordered a bunch of chickens for a birthday party I was throwing! Everyone was raving about it and the filet of sole was a big hit as well.

                                                                                                        They seemed pretty organized when I went but I can see how there could be a language issue. It was very hard to understand what he was saying and there's no way I could have placed an order over the phone. Everything went very smoothly when I went to pick up my catering order tho

                                                                                                        1. re: edfs72
                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                          magic Nov 2, 2011 10:56 AM

                                                                                                          Right on, so glad you enjoyed!!

                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                        ManAbout Mar 2, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                                                                        I have tried churrasco chicken a few times including from the place on St. Clair and it just tastes like salty rotisserie chicken.

                                                                                                        I had frango piri piri in the Algarve a few years ago which was awesome, and thought that when I went to get portugese chicken in toronto, it would be similar. But, it is not even close. Am I missing something?

                                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                                          barneyvernon Mar 28, 2010 03:23 PM

                                                                                                          I went to Churrasqueirra Estrela at Keele and Lawrence today. Happy to report that contrary to another review, they were organized and quite efficient! I was in an out with my take out order in less than 5 min.. the place was about half full, with 3 people working. they were polite but not overly so. There is no posted menu, you just pick from the hot table. The chicken was excellent - juicy, moist, meaty, etc. Side dishes of rice and parisienne potatoes were bland, needed salt and pepper, nothing exciting.
                                                                                                          Half-chicken dinner and a quarter-chicken dinner, both with rice and potato, cost us $16.50. I'd go again, but overall, unless I lived in the area, I wouldn't bother

                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: barneyvernon
                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                            magic Mar 28, 2010 06:23 PM

                                                                                                            Absolutely you go primarily for the chicken. The potatoes are certainly nothing to write home about. Agreed. They also make some amazing hot table dishes (which change daily), in addition to the fabulous chicken.

                                                                                                            Your experience with regards to the staff’s efficiency surprises me. To say the very least. Each time I've gone there I've had to wait about 25 minutes with maybe just one or two people in front of me. I think you got very VERY lucky. Trust me, your experience is not the norm. Their food however, in my opinion, is worth it. And I absolutely think their chicken is worth a special drive.

                                                                                                            1. re: magic
                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                              dmartins123 Mar 29, 2010 09:23 AM

                                                                                                              I live in the area and have gone a few times. I will always call ahead to reserve the food and when I arrive, it is waiting for me. Never a problem. Proper chicken takes time to make, so you cannot just walk in and expect it to be waiting for you. Most people call ahead to avoid wait times or disappointment.

                                                                                                              The chicken is absolutely delicious and maybe the best in the city IMHO. They cook over wood so the skin gets real smoky and burnt; most other places use gas.

                                                                                                              I find it closely resembles the taste/style of BBQ chicken in Portugal. I am Portuguese and feel a lot of chicken places serve substandard chicken to the masses.

                                                                                                              1. re: dmartins123
                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                magic Mar 29, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                Oh I have no problems with waiting for a good product. That's not my issue. My issue with Estrela is that they are a disorganized calamity of a mess.

                                                                                                                If their chicken wasn’t so good and the staff nice I'd say forget them, I'm going somewhere else, like St. Matthew’s. But alas, their food is great and they are pretty nice people generally. But let me be clear, it is NOT the chicken that I mind waiting for, it is their utter lack of organization and much longer than needed waits as a result that I find frustrating. They just do not know how to run a line and provide even close to something that resembles efficient service. And I’m not sure how anyone who has been there and experienced this could not see this. It’s pretty obvious.

                                                                                                                Also, I've seen many people who've called in orders still wait for at least 15 minutes once they arrive so I'm not convinced that calling ahead is a failsafe solution. And for non-Portuguese speaking customers like me calling ahead is big problem as I find most (but not all) of the staff’s English is a bit hard to decode. Over the phone orders in English I think would just be too exhausting.

                                                                                                                But more importantly I’d rather wait than have chicken sitting around getting dry as it waits for pickup.

                                                                                                                1. re: magic
                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                  dmartins123 Mar 29, 2010 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                  Fair enough. The language issue is definately a barrier for phone orders.

                                                                                                                  However, you can order the food and go kill 15 minutes in next door at the new-ish Portuguese bakery/pastry shop. Kind of off-topic, but they have the BEST custards. The custard is the same as most places, but the crust is incredibly good. Very flakey and fresh tasting everytime I have bought from there.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dmartins123
                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                    magic Mar 29, 2010 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                    Oooh I love Seara Bakery! They make the BEST rissois (but that is for another thread). So good. Great custards too yes. Whenever I go to Estrela I always go next door to Seara as well.

                                                                                                                    And honestly, I don't even sweat the Estrela thing. When I go I know I'm gonna wait. And it's a comfortable enough place to wait. Tables and chairs and all. It's a nice, clean place so it's no worries.

                                                                                                                    1. re: magic
                                                                                                                      Davwud May 30, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                      Tried Estrala on the weekend for the first time. Yes it was slow but the chicken was unbelievable. Smokey, juicy and the piri piri was great.

                                                                                                                      I disagree about the natas next door though. Not even close to Doce Minho.

                                                                                                                      DT

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      Doce Minho
                                                                                                                      2189 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6E, CA

                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                        magic May 30, 2011 08:54 PM

                                                                                                                        So glad you enjoyed the chicken!!

                                                                                                                        Too bad you didn't care for the natas as I have. I've never tried Doce Minho. Will have to check them out soon, thanks.

                                                                                                                        To clarify, my favourite thing at Seara is not the natas. It is the rissois. You MUST try the chicken rissois if it is not sold out. You simply must. The beef rissois is pretty great too, but the chicken is truly special when warmed through in a toaster oven at home.

                                                                                                                        1. re: magic
                                                                                                                          Davwud May 31, 2011 03:06 AM

                                                                                                                          I will do that Magic

                                                                                                                          One other thing to try at Estrala. The olives. Don't eat them right away though, let them sit a day or two.

                                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                            magic May 31, 2011 06:12 AM

                                                                                                                            Shall do.

                                                                                                                            Also, their red skin herbed potatoes are delicious.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                          kwass Nov 29, 2012 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                          What are natas?

                                                                                                                          1. re: kwass
                                                                                                                            prima Nov 29, 2012 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                            Natas (short for pasteis de nata) are Portuguese custard tarts. Recommend you try the pasteis de nata at Doce Minho on Dufferin, when you get a chance.
                                                                                                                            http://leitesculinaria.com/10264/writ...

                                                                                                                            1. re: prima
                                                                                                                              kwass Nov 29, 2012 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                              Thanks Prima

                                                                                                              2. re: barneyvernon
                                                                                                                y
                                                                                                                Yongeman Mar 29, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                Where is this place near Keele and Lawrence? On Keele south of Lawrence? Thanks

                                                                                                                1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                  dmartins123 Mar 29, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                  Its right on Keele, a couple blocks south of Lawrence...on the east side.

                                                                                                              3. c
                                                                                                                C mac Jun 13, 2010 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                Bairrada's pretty good, but I would recommend the Jumbo Tiger Shrimp there. I love it!!!

                                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                                  madhatt Jun 15, 2010 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                  Bairrada Churrasqueira: house steak au jus, w/ chips and fried egg is $14 (served in a bowl), litre of house wine is $20!!! seafood is also good. Only ever tried the college location.

                                                                                                                  Churrasqueira Oliveira: only ever ordered the dark meat w/ rice, hot sauce and parisienne potatos.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Bairrada Churrasqueira
                                                                                                                  1000 College St, Toronto, ON M6H, CA

                                                                                                                  1. l
                                                                                                                    Little T Nov 30, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                    Does anyone know of a place that delivers? Thinking of ordering for our work xmas potluck downtown, unfortunately no one drives to work though...

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Little T
                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                      KARREN67 Nov 30, 2010 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                      TRY THE PLACE AT QUEENSWAY AND KIPLING ROSA S

                                                                                                                      1. re: KARREN67
                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                        Little T Jan 29, 2012 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                        What is the exact name or address of this place? Can't seem to find it.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Little T
                                                                                                                          justsayn Jan 29, 2012 05:56 PM

                                                                                                                          Keep in mind that post was over a year ago...

                                                                                                                          Bom Apetite Churrasqueira

                                                                                                                          1176 The Queensway just east of Kipling

                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/461071

                                                                                                                          And there is this place - The Best Portuguese Chicken

                                                                                                                          942 The Queensway just east of Islington

                                                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                                                      RRH Nov 2, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                      My new favorite Churrasco north of the city was BBQ King in Orangeville. Their hot sauce is my new fave after Churrasco of St. Clair. I was going once a week to satisfy my craving! Then to my dismay I saw yesterday they Have shut down! Emailed them & was informed by Joe Dacosta (I presume the owner) that he & his food are moving to Martin's BBQ in Brampton as of Nov. 8th. I was not a fan of them before but will be for sure heading there now! Check it out & ask for extra hot sauce! It's thick, yummy & not like any other piri piri I've tried!

                                                                                                                      1. RUEdeLUX Nov 2, 2011 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                        INIGO IS THE BEST! Chef from Torito left to open this joint up. It's at Queen West across from Trinity Bellwoods gates. Amazing chicken with amazing sides. A must ladies and gents.

                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                        Torito
                                                                                                                        276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                                                                                                                        Bellwood Restaurant
                                                                                                                        756 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E9, CA

                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: RUEdeLUX
                                                                                                                          justsayn Nov 2, 2011 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                          People should know that Inigo is not typical churrasco so IMO it is hard to call it the best in the city. While it is quality chicken there is very little flavour. I have tried it several times and it barely even has salt. It has no smoke flaour or any flavour from its cooking process whatsoever. It is convenient to me so I try it time to time because I really wish it were better.

                                                                                                                          1. re: justsayn
                                                                                                                            chocabot Nov 2, 2011 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                            Inigo is more roast chicken than churrasco. For my taste, I find it adequately salty. The chicken has always been really juicy and the sides are light and more "gourmet" than a typical churrasco.

                                                                                                                          2. re: RUEdeLUX
                                                                                                                            justsayn Nov 30, 2011 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                            Do you know if they are officially closed?

                                                                                                                            1. re: justsayn
                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                              RRH Dec 5, 2011 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                              If you are referring to BBQ in Orangeville yes. Joe (the owner) is now partnering with Martin's BBQ in Brampton. Went a few weeks ago. Same yummy sauce, smaller portions in family deal though.

                                                                                                                              1. re: RRH
                                                                                                                                justsayn Dec 5, 2011 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                                Thank you! Actually I was referring to Inigo on Queen W and they are still closed as of this week. Nothing lost but an opportunity on their part IMO.

                                                                                                                          3. Moimoi Nov 29, 2012 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                            I certainly don't know the best, but I want to know. I wish there was an easier way to scan a thread and get a summary/overview... Sometimes I don't feel like reading all of the details. What happened to those summaries that captured the restaurant names and appeared to the right of the thread? Can anyone sum up this thread to the top five? p.s. As for me, I want to love churrasco, but I've yet to find anything of excellent quality. I can tell you that one that I went to couple of times (can't remember the name) on Lansdowne, just south of Dupont, before Bloor on west side was awful. I got the chicken only once and I think it was pigeon.... very scrawny and lacking taste. Pork was funky, fish fritters were fried in old oil... Salad was the only thing I had there that was good. In fairness, I never tried any of their specials.

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