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Aug 3, 2009 04:15 PM

New resto bar PORTUGALIA

The best chiken in montreal .... for those ho love BBQ food its the best.
6710 St-Jaques a crose from Harly Davinson.They have steak,ribs,porc filet and the plates are big no joke loll :-) .But the only thing is that you have to call one hour before to order the chiken....its always made fresh on wood charcoal....and the first location its on Rachel and been there for 25 years ....yahhhhhhhhhh good BBQ in NDG yupiiii!!!!
So call (514) 484-0025 coz they deliver to....i dont know how far but you can ask loll :-).

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    1. Tried their food this week and it was very good. Like the other Portugalia on rachel and clarck.

      Had a hard time finding the freakin place. One their sign on the street in impossible to read and the way the mini mini mall is set it almost impossible to see it from the street. Hint Hint, look for the SUBWAY sign in the same mall and it's next to a truck rental company. Another thing is that their windows are tainted that for a moment i thaught it was closed. Small details that make you go un-noticeble.

      I think they should do something to attract customers because you can't go wrong for a Pork Sandwich Portugese style for lunch. Good luck to them on this new location.

      9 Replies
      1. re: maj54us

        I totally agree that this place must do something drastic to attract clientele to their new location or it's going to close fast. We went in the wrong driveway looking for it the other day - and I already knew where it was! The sign is dark red Blackletter type on a black background - extremely low contrast and hard to make out - and much more suitable in style for a metal T-shirt than a restaurant logo.

        I also thought it was closed - even though the sign said open and there was a little sandwich board out front. The place looks completely unfriendly and uninviting - not to mention, that strip mall itself looks more appropriate for auto-body shops and industrial-parts outlets than for restaurants.

        So.... we go in. The place is completely empty. (This is at about 9 pm - I'd just finished a class and was quite hungry.) It is dark and there are purple neon strips along the wall (or some other type of purple lighting), from what I recall. Not a diner in sight, nor staff. I notice that the kitchen door is open and after looking around for a while, someone finally notices us. I ask whether they're indeed open, and the guy, friendly enough, says, "Sure, come on in, have a seat." So we take a seat by the window, overlooking the parking lot.

        The waitress comes over and hands us two little take-out menus that say takeout/delivery on the front. There are photos on the left and menu names & prices on the right. There is no way to associate what's pictured on the left with the appropriate description on the right. The waitress asks if it's our first time. We say yes. She gives us the rundown of menu items, pointing to the pictures and telling us what each item is. Then the kicker: she tells us - apologetically - that if we want chicken, we would have had to call an hour in advance. Wow. Since I don't eat red meat, and chicken was what we'd come for and there was no other non-red-meat option, we had to apologize, get up and leave.

        What a strange evening that was. Made for some very amusing conversation in the car on our way to Dad's Bagels to pick up chicken korma and chick-pea curry, that's for sure.

        Unless something changes, I give it until November at the latest.

        1. re: kpzoo

          It is not a branch of the resto on Rachel. It is a franchise. It is very good and I agree it needs a better sign, or even better, location.

          1. re: williej

            "It is a franchise."

            And it sounds like they've managed to bottle the complete, undiluted formula of the original.

            kpzoo's account sounds eerily like my one and only visit to the original, circa 1995. "No chicken for you!"

            I predict it will become an institution.

          2. re: kpzoo

            I mentioned a few of your points on the new restaurant thread, kpzoo. I chalk much up to new-opening problems, but alas, I think it might go a bit deeper.
            Location and storefront impression are problematic (you hit it on the head with 'industrial').
            The sign - BINGO, cannot read it.
            Until building up a clientele, why blurt out something like "you have to call an hour ahead"? - this sounds like an invitation to leave.
            As the original " poster" says the plates are big. And they are; HUGE Ikea plates with a lot of white square footage!
            Another problem (the impression I got) is their strict ties (as in franchise rules) to the original location.
            Friendly as hell, food is great, I wish them well, but.....

            Perhaps ease up on the strict following of the original resto - maybe offer quickly made apps (I don't know, sardines, shrimp, small grilled meats, etc) for customers waiting for the hour-long chicken? Perhaps put better signage in place.
            Just my thoughts...

            1. re: kpzoo

              Trying some audio-visual aids - picture of their logo & menu photos. Note the chicken-head on two of the chicken dishes - is that how they serve it?

              1. re: kpzoo

                I didn't notice the heads!
                I had 1/2 chicken with ribs (chicken and ribs are not on the menu, so I had to order 1 plate of chicken, 1 plate of ribs and specify only one salad and one serving of fries - received two salads, two fries)
                The chicken was sans head.

                1. re: kpzoo

                  So here's the good news:

                  - the chicken is served headless. That thing sticking out awkwardly is actually a distended wing in disguise - a faux-head, as it were! Took some examination but we figured it out - see photos.

                  - the chicken was delicious. Closest thing to homemade BBQ I've had in this city.

                  - a whole takeout chicken is only $11, no tax. Combined with a container of very tasty takeout potato salad and dill cucumber salad from the snazzy new salad bar at Loblaws up the street, it was under $20 for a filling meal for two, and I'm sure the sides were a lot tastier than those bland-looking fries and salad that seem to be the options available at Portugalia.

                  The bad news:

                  - apparently, even if you order a chicken at 5:00 pm for a 6:30 pickup to give them an extra half-hour to be really, really sure the thing's going to be ready when we go to get it - it was still only ready at 6:45! Now yesterday I honestly didn't mind soaking up their air conditioning for 15 minutes - but if I'd been on a deadline to be somewhere it would have been truly annoying.

                  Now let's just see how long this place lasts - I still can't believe the awfulness of the location!

                  1. re: kpzoo

                    Ok, I know where supper's coming from on Friday -- and thanks for the heads up on delays.... salad bar at Loblaw's? missed that the last time I was there. (AKA about once a month or so)

                    1. re: TheSnowpea

                      > salad bar at Loblaw's?

                      It's on the left as you walk in - can't miss it! Tiny compared to the one I saw at a Loblaws in Toronto, though.

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                1. "boy you really have to work to get your food don't you?"

                  As far as I can tell, that's always been part of the appeal. And you don't mess with success.

                  (I feel like ranting about the myth that in a Portuguese resto, quality of service and quality of food are inversely proportional, but since I haven't experienced this place first hand I'll pass.)

                  1. re: Mr F

                    Perhaps you don't mess with success on Rachel Street in an area with lots of foot traffic and many establishments catering to Portuguese Montrealers (and addicts of their cuisine). However, to think that what is successful on Rachel Street can be packaged, franchised, and parachuted into an industrial stretch of St. Jacques is perhaps overly optimistic.

                    While I wish them all the best, I'm fearful for the long-term prospects of this place which might have had a much better chance on Sherbrooke West or even Upper Lachine Road.

                    1. re: eat2much

                      I agree 100%!!! It's just a really, really, bad location to try the "you play by our rules or you don't eat our chicken" schtick.

                      1. re: kpzoo

                        I was being facetious with the "don't mess with success" part.

                        I'm actually partly amused and partly appalled that the worst aspects of the original have been included in a franchise operation, as though they were essential ingredients in the recipe for success.

                        And then there's a third feeling mixed in: sadness that so many people actually embrace those negatives at the original location, which seems the likely source of the idea that the bad bits are worth reproducing in a franchise.

                      2. re: eat2much

                        Part of the appeal IMO of the original Rachel Street location, is the open charcoal grill in front of customers. The St-Jacques location doesn't do that. Not sure that many people, who go to the St-Jacques location, would know it's a second location of Rottiserie Portugalia.

                        1. re: BLM

                          Is the St. Jacques street restau still around? Has anyone been there lately.

                          1. re: kennenth

                            Yes, it's still there. Just ordered from them yesterday and the chicken is as excellent as ever. They've added a bunch of new stuff to the menu - codcakes, etc. - that I still haven't tried. They also now have free delivery in the local area. I've never eaten there, though - atmosphere is too weird.

                            1. re: kpzoo

                              what do you mean by the atmosphere is too weird? Are there dancing chickens at the door? Do you ever pick up from it crowded?

                              I have been trying the number for a couple of hours and there is no response. Are they only open in the evening?

                              1. re: kennenth

                                > Do you ever pick up from it crowded?

                                Yes, we often pick up, and it's the opposite of crowded - there's hardly ever anyone in there. It's in an industrial strip-mall with a view of a bleak parking lot. Dark room with neon purple lights. Not horrible, just not a place I'd want to eat a meal. ;-)

                                1. re: kennenth

                                  The hours on their menu say:

                                  Monday - closed
                                  Tueday - Saturday - 11h30 - 22h
                                  Sunday - 14h - 22h

                                  1. re: kpzoo

                                    I order delivery from there as well, although I've never actually been in the restaurant. I like it! I was actually told that they're open later Thur.-Sat. though I don't remember how late, exactly. I got the info spontaneously over the phone and I didn't have a piece of paper handy to write down what I was being told.

                                2. re: kpzoo

                                  kpzoo, does the local delivery area go up to "Monkland Village"? I have friends on Oxford who love Portuguese chicken, and miss it from when they used to live on the Plateau.

                                  1. re: lagatta

                                    > kpzoo, does the local delivery area go up to "Monkland Village"?

                                    Yes, definitely! Attaching map of free delivery zone - your friends are well within it.

                                    Menu says they also deliver outside the free zone for $4.

                                    1. re: kpzoo

                                      I guess you have a menu close by. Do you think you can post a picture of it.

                                      I also have an idea. how about a bunch of quiet but good looking people try the dinning room early Saturday evening... so the restaurant won't be empty when I try it..

                                      1. re: kennenth

                                        In this order, have a drink at PJs down the street, then a drink at the Montreal Blues Club on Cavendish just steps below Sherbrooke, then Goldies near the Sealtest plant on St. Jacques.
                                        Portugalia, empty or not, will seem like an oasis of charm, civilisation, and decorum.

                                        1. re: kennenth

                                          I can help with the menu, but not with the other request. ;-)

                                          It's not going to be super legible due to size, but here goes.

                                          1. re: kennenth

                                            Oh, and remember that if anyone in your group will want chicken, you'll need to call in advance otherwise it'll be at least an hour's wait while you stare out at the parking lot.

                                            1. re: kpzoo

                                              thanks for the help...I can see it great...I am going there for a dry run tonight.

                                              The prices seem really reasonable...perhaps I should be looking for something just a bit more upscale...

                                              casual atmosphere, hardy food, moderate priced(not cheap as at Portugalia), NDG, cote des nieges, cote st. luc area.

                                              1. re: kennenth

                                                Might want to start a new thread for this question so it doesn't get lost under the Portugalia heading...

                                                1. re: kpzoo

                                                  Just ate at the restaurant.

                                                  I was once taught that if you have nothing good to say don't say anything at all.

                                                  The food was very good. The owner was friendly.

                          2. How are their fries compared to Ramados?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Evilbanana11

                              Haven't been to Romados so I can't compare, but we stopped ordering their combos because the fries are really mediocre and cardboard-tasting, and the salad is bland iceberg lettuce.