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Portugese Chicken Restaurants

j
jloomer May 25, 2009 06:53 PM

Can anyone suggest a good place for quality grilled Portugese chicken? Has anyone tried the new place on Westminister Ave in Montreal West?

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  1. kpzoo May 25, 2009 06:59 PM

    Check out this thread:

    Ranking Portuguese restaurants
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/465174

    1. h
      hafizrealmadrid May 25, 2009 07:30 PM

      Romados Romados Romados.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hafizrealmadrid
        e
        est1986 May 26, 2009 08:15 AM

        is there really any other place worth going than Romados? best chicken in the city hands down!

        1. re: est1986
          s
          Shattered May 26, 2009 08:58 AM

          No there isn't.

      2. m
        maisonbistro May 25, 2009 07:34 PM

        Hello!!!! what new place on Westminster//????????????????????

        Is that what opened next door to the Tavern or Bistro or whatever it's called, across the street from the patisserie de la gare?

        1. m
          maisonbistro May 25, 2009 07:44 PM

          Hello????? What new play in Mtl. West??? Is that what opened next door to the bistro or tavern or whatever it's called? Diagonally across from the Patisserie de la Gare???

          1. amelie1980 May 26, 2009 08:58 AM

            There's a little Portugese chicken place on Gatineau, near the corner of Swail (one block away from the corner of Queen Mary and Côte-des-Neiges). I haven't tried it myself, but I've heard good things about it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: amelie1980
              carswell May 26, 2009 09:03 AM

              That's Mavi (5192 Gatineau, 514 340-9664). Turns out seriously good chicken that I'd rank alongside but not above Portugalia's or Romados's. OTOH, unlike Portugalia, they make very good fries and, unlike Romados, they have a real dining area (albeit one that could use some sprucing up).

              1. re: carswell
                s
                Shattered May 26, 2009 09:35 AM

                I've always thought Romados has great fries, too. Some of the best in the city. I'd even go so far as to say they could teach most fries & poutine places a thing or two.

              2. re: amelie1980
                m
                mzalce Aug 20, 2009 01:34 PM

                I went last year and was not impressed. The portion was small and kind of dry. I prefer Portugalia or Jano's.

              3. Alyson777 May 26, 2009 04:17 PM

                Romados,Janos on St laurent, chez doval on Marrianne St, mavi is good too. Those are all the more known portugese chicken places.

                But... I was brought to one a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING! I had their chicken and rib combo. It was a very cute restaurant but I can't remembe the name. It's on St laurent blvd past park jarry???
                This one comes the closest to Romados

                3 Replies
                1. re: Alyson777
                  carswell May 26, 2009 04:35 PM

                  Braseiro (8261 St-Laurent corner Guizot, 514 389-0606). It's good except for the fries. Adega (3124 Beaubien East, 514 725-6285) is another deserving off-the-beaten-path place.

                  1. re: carswell
                    Alyson777 May 27, 2009 07:14 AM

                    Oh yeah I forgot about Adega it's pretty good too. Not such a big place though, a reservation would be necessary...

                    Another off the beaten-path place is GALO in TMR off Graham offers delicious grilled portugese chicken. It also has a nice little atmosphere.

                    1. re: carswell
                      n
                      nonpareils May 27, 2009 02:54 PM

                      Braseiro's food is good, but the two or three times I went, the service was horrible and ruined the experience for me.

                  2. j
                    jloomer May 26, 2009 06:38 PM

                    Yes, the new Portugese chicken place is next door to Westminister Bistro but I don't know the name of it. Haven't been there yet but was wondering if it is good and if anyone knows anything about it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jloomer
                      m
                      maisonbistro May 26, 2009 07:31 PM

                      I shall sacrifice for the good of the people and try it out. What hardship, portuguese chicken and fries...... The things I do in the name of food!

                      1. re: maisonbistro
                        j
                        jptimbaud May 27, 2009 12:48 PM

                        Please do report back!

                    2. souschef May 26, 2009 08:24 PM

                      What's so special about Portuguese grilled chicken?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: souschef
                        m
                        maisonbistro May 27, 2009 06:27 AM

                        IF well done it's juicy, with cripsy carckly skin -as it should be grilled over charocoal, has great simple flavours and should be paired with fantabulous french fires. Not high class at all, but definitely good eats.

                        1. re: maisonbistro
                          carswell May 27, 2009 07:07 AM

                          It's also marinated (recipes vary but often with herbs and some acidic ingredient like white wine, vinegar or citrus) before grilling and often basted with piri-piri while grilling or immediately after being removed from the grill.

                          1. re: carswell
                            m
                            maisonbistro May 27, 2009 07:54 AM

                            Yeah, that's why I said great simple flavours without being specific - each place has their own touch. YUMMMM

                            1. re: carswell
                              souschef May 27, 2009 12:39 PM

                              "and often basted with piri-piri while grilling or immediately after being removed from the grill."

                              Is this generally the norm? I detest spicy-hot food as my digestive system cannot handle it.

                              1. re: souschef
                                m
                                Mr F May 27, 2009 01:02 PM

                                The apparent consensus best, Romados, is not spicy when it comes off the grill; they offer you a brushed-on mild or spicy sauce. IMHO it's best with none at all. You have to be quick, because (if I remember correctly) if you say nothing you'll get mild.

                                1. re: Mr F
                                  s
                                  Shattered May 28, 2009 03:38 AM

                                  In my experience, she's always reaching for the spicy by default. I've never had it 'naked', but imagine it's awesome that way too.

                          2. re: souschef
                            m
                            Maximilien May 27, 2009 06:32 AM

                            it's cheap, it's tasty, and in my case, easy to get when coming back from work.

                          3. Andria May 27, 2009 06:45 AM

                            Any places on the West Island?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Andria
                              s
                              stephlovestoeat May 28, 2009 06:16 AM

                              there is a place on sources called ricos. i have never been. any reports on this place?

                            2. s
                              sophiaaa May 28, 2009 02:37 PM

                              Jano's on St-Laurent has really good portuguese chicken

                              1. v
                                vasquez Aug 15, 2009 05:09 PM

                                Tried the portugese on Westminster ave. today, it's called Grillades LT. We ordered take-out one whole chicken with fries and a soup. The chicken was already grilled and everything was ready in 5 min so it's not made to order. To our surprise, the bill came to $30 and turns out, they assumed we ordered a "family pack" for 4 people which is basically the same grilled chicken with a bigger salad and fries for $12 extra!!! Now, for the taste. The fries were dry, undercooked and practically cold. The salad consisted of a couple of lettuce, half a tomato and a quarter onion. The chicken was floating in oil and although the skin was well seasoned, the meat was tasteless. In terms of quantity, there's no way this is a "family pack" and in terms of quality, this is nowhere near the quality you can find on the Plateau. Best to avoid this one. We'll try the new one on St-Jacques Street next time.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: vasquez
                                  SnackHappy Aug 15, 2009 06:01 PM

                                  I'm writing down a prediction and sealing it in an envelope.

                                2. p
                                  pinkatronica Aug 18, 2009 04:15 PM

                                  Hey guys,
                                  I tried chicken from Poyo Loco at the Rawdon Intercultural Festival over the week end (they had a booth). I thought it was excellent. Has anyone had the chance to try their chicken at their Rosemont restaurant, located at 200 Beaubien East?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: pinkatronica
                                    l
                                    lagatta Aug 18, 2009 04:30 PM

                                    Yes, it is very good. Not strictly Portuguese - think the owner is from a Lusophone African country and they do a more Brazilian take on dishes one might also find in Portugal. Friendly little place too.

                                    200 Beaubien est is not Rosemont - you are thinking of the arrondissement name, Rosemont-Petite-Patrie. Resto is located in the western tip of Petite Patrie, just south of the usually accepted boundaries of "La Petite Italie", though at one point Beaubien was very much part of that area too. Now it is extremely multiculti and evidently a Madagascar resto is opening up.

                                  2. m
                                    miosmymy Aug 20, 2009 01:05 PM

                                    A'Quinta on Jarry or Ontario is a must for Portuguese grilled chicken!! They have takeout and delivery as well. $11 for a whole chicken to go! Enjoy! Very affordable and delish!
                                    Portuscalle on St-Laurent is out of this world but very different price range.

                                    1. m
                                      mzalce Aug 25, 2009 10:31 AM

                                      I went for lunch to Romados yesterday, and it may be the best bang for the buck of the city. I had the 1/4 chicken dinner, and it had a great portion of chicken, rice, great fries and salad. They also give you bread and a small dessert. With the soda I paid around $7.00 for a delightful dish. I didn't even eat dinner later.

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: mzalce
                                        m
                                        moh Aug 26, 2009 07:47 AM

                                        I would absolutely agree that for $6, that 1/4 chicken dinner is an incredible deal. I ate 3 meals off that one dinner just last week. Crazy amount of fries and salad, nice amount of rice, it is insane how much for you get for your $6. Amazing amazing deal.

                                        BUT - and I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, as Romados is one of those untouchable board favorites - I am not the hugest fan of the chicken. When it is good, it can be transcendent - smoky, juicy, crispy in the right places, wonderful chicken fat flavour dripping onto the fries. And in every order, there are at least a few bites of this transcendent chicken-y goodness. But more often than not, some or most of the chicken is a bit stringy and tough, and a bit dry. I find this the case even though I almost always get the dark meat, the part that is most resistant to drying out.

                                        I find the salad a little 'meh'. Yes the salad is traditional Portuguese, but it doesn't totally do it for me. The rice is very good. The fries are very good, but I prefer crispier fries for the most part. I really like the fries, but they aren't the fries I crave.

                                        My opinion on Romados is purely personal preference. I can see why people really love this place, there is a lot to love. I really like the place and the food, but as Hubbie put it, if we were coming back to visit for 3 days, Romados wold not be on the list of 'must eats'. We'd be fine if we got there, we just wouldn't make it a priority. I tend to prefer really good rotisserie chicken, we love Coco Rico chicken. I also make a pretty mean roast chicken, and Hubbie makes a fabulous Southern fried chicken. I am very fussy about chicken, it has to be really close to perfect for me to swoon about it. Romados gets an occasional swoon, but not consistently enough for me to rave about it.

                                        1. re: moh
                                          m
                                          Mr F Aug 26, 2009 08:05 AM

                                          Maybe I'm just unlucky, but almost every Coco Rico chicken I've ever had was pretty seriously overcooked and dried out. I love everything else they do, though. Roast potatoes, pork, ribs. For rotisserie, give me the Peruvian joint on St-Viateur any day. (For some reason the name escapes me at the moment...)

                                          1. re: Mr F
                                            m
                                            moh Aug 26, 2009 08:25 AM

                                            Wow, perhaps you are unlucky. I would say that 9 time out of 10, the chicken at Coco Rico has been juicy and delicious. Every now and then I get a dry one. Now, when I go, I do give the chickens a look over, and try to pick the one that looks the most succulent and plump. I also buy the whole chicken, not the pieces that have been sitting under the lamp. I'm not sure I can explain your experience. Maybe just a personal preference on how you like your chicken?

                                            I love their chicken with sides of pickled beets, Indian hot lime pickle and watermelon rind pickle. yum yum yum.

                                            1. re: moh
                                              m
                                              Mr F Aug 26, 2009 08:40 AM

                                              Well, when it comes to rotisserie I do like it very succulent and juicy, but not the watery mess you get in a typical supermarket rotisserie chicken that's been sitting around under a lamp, in one of those plastic boxes.

                                              In my experience, Coco Rico never came remotely close. Always whole chickens, always dessicated.

                                              I gave up on their birds a long time ago, but maybe I'll try again and be more careful about choosing a chicken rather than letting the counter person choose one for me. Maybe I just gave off a "not picky" vibe and kept getting the oldest chicken foisted on me.

                                              1. re: moh
                                                carswell Aug 26, 2009 07:05 PM

                                                Like espresso and Frite Alors! fries, so much depends on who's doing the cooking. If the cook's attention wanders, if s/he doesn't know how to gauge doneness by pressure and/or sixth sense, the meat can quickly overcook and turn tough, dry and/or stringy. At one of my favourite joints, my order depends on who's in front of the grill: if the good cook, it's chicken; if not, it's something else (which will probably be overdone but not as unpleasant as the stringy chicken breast). At Romados (and Portugalia, for that matter), this is further complicated by high volume.

                                                Strange to say, but my experiences with Coco Rico largely parallel Mr. F's.

                                                1. re: carswell
                                                  m
                                                  moh Aug 27, 2009 03:25 PM

                                                  Hmmm. Either I know how to pick a good rotisserie chicken, or I have a rotisserie chicken horseshoe up my butt.... probably the latter.

                                                  There has definitely been a love/hate relationship for Coco Rico on this board. Some of us love it, some of us hate it. I suspect some of it is personal preference, and some of it may be inconsistency in the quality of the product. Sitting under a heat lamp can be a cruel thing to happen to a rotisserie chicken. I am very happy when I see them pull them off the spit as I walk into the shop, and I always make certain I bag one of the biggest juiciest looking fresh chickens. But for those who have had poor experiences, I wouldn't want to put you through another disappointing meal.

                                            2. re: moh
                                              m
                                              marblebag Aug 27, 2009 02:40 PM

                                              Mon patron has tried Romados, even waited an hour for it but prefers the chicken from Marche Adonis. Now I have to find a new job :(

                                              1. re: marblebag
                                                m
                                                moh Aug 27, 2009 03:26 PM

                                                Oh dear. A new job just because they didn't like the chicken? Sounds extreme...

                                                1. re: moh
                                                  m
                                                  marblebag Aug 28, 2009 07:38 PM

                                                  if me and the boss doesn't agree on romados, what hope is there for planet earth

                                              2. re: moh
                                                s
                                                Shattered Aug 28, 2009 07:10 AM

                                                Romados does more than chicken. Especially if you get there early enough for daily specials (soup, pork, different styles of chicken, etc.), which are also cheap ($9-10). Unfortunately, yesterday at 3 I was too late. However...

                                                Escalopes de porc (cutlets) are a regular item, though you'd be waiting if you order it during the rush. Also drenched in piri sauce, and with 5 small cutlets piled high and the usual fries, it was a delicious late lunch and awesome deal at $8.

                                                I've gotta remember to go non-chicken more often :)

                                                1. re: Shattered
                                                  m
                                                  moh Aug 28, 2009 08:06 AM

                                                  Excellent point Shattered. I too should really remember to get some of their other offerings. I have to say that although I have dissed the chicken, I really like the fact that they cook over charcoal, I love the flavour of a good grilled item, even if it is occasionally less moist than I like. Uuummmmmm, pork.... love pork.....

                                                  The reason I keep trying the chicken is that there is always a few bites of perfectly smoky, fatty, grilled chicken that are quite heavenly. Oh the flavour of charcoal grilled chicken fat - there is nothing in the world quite like it.

                                                  1. re: moh
                                                    s
                                                    Shattered Aug 28, 2009 10:53 AM

                                                    I love their chicken, best I've ever had, but I agree it can be a tad dry occasionally, especially at the rush and if someone skimps on the piri. But I'd rather they played it too safe during the rush than get it undercooked, which I've never heard of.

                                                    In comparison to Coco Rico on dryness, it helps a ton that they keep it in trays & foil under the grill not under lamps, and cut it right in front of you.

                                                2. re: moh
                                                  b
                                                  BLM Aug 28, 2009 08:57 PM

                                                  You are certainly not the only one on this board, to not being the biggest fan of Romadas charcoal grilled chcken(remember the emerilcantcook thread 'Is Romadas going downhill...' where several people were critical of their chicken). Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Personally I feel Romadas's chicken has gotten much better & more consistent since they switched over to the motorized spit.

                                              3. z
                                                Zoeg Aug 25, 2009 07:40 PM

                                                What? No mention of Coco Rico? I walked a mile after running 20 miles for marathon training to get me some Coco Rico. Why has no one mentioned this?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Zoeg
                                                  m
                                                  Mr F Aug 25, 2009 07:44 PM

                                                  It's Portuguese, it's chicken... but it's rotisserie, not charcoal-grilled Portuguese chicken like most if not all of the places mentioned here.

                                                2. keelo Aug 27, 2009 12:30 PM

                                                  Believe it or not, there's a small place Portuguese place in TMR called Gallo, 1970 Graham, right next to the library. Great food, decent prices!

                                                  1. s
                                                    sweettoothMTL Aug 31, 2009 08:48 AM

                                                    Just want to add info on Frango, the new place on Mont-Royal, I was at my friend who lives next door, so we went there for some take out. Here's my comments as posted on the tiny Frango thread:

                                                    I ate some take-out chicken from Frango on Saturday, their whole chicken menu to go (the menu includes a chicken, bread, 6 potatoes (not fries) and mesclun salad for 17.50). The chicken is ok, especially for my friend who live right next door and does not want to walk up to Rachel/St-Laurent. It's better than St-Hubert and Au Coq (what isn't?). However, the reigning champs (Romados, Portugalia, Mavi, Braseiro and others...) have nothing to fear from this newcomer, Frango's chicken is not on the same level. The meat is drier, the skin not very crispy, and the spicy chicken barely a tingle on the tongue.

                                                    The placs is nice but small, nicer than Romados or Portugalia, but then you are on Mont-Royal, and you pay a little more for it, a few dollars more than. It is mostly a ''to go'' place with maybe 4 tables in all. Other than Chicken, they offer many sandwiches and a few pastries. They have natas from Bella Vista, which were very good.

                                                    To answer your question, you do not need to reserve the chicken in advance, they keep some ready in the oven, which may partly account for their slight dryness. However, if you're not too picky, or your alternative is ordering from the chains, it is very nice to not have to wait or order ahead.

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