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Romados

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What’s going on with my fav place Romados?

The last three times I have been it was poor.

The oil is no longer spicey, often the chicken is burnt and tasteless, fries cold and it’s just lost its edge.

The renovations are nice but it does nothing to speed up the line.

Having one counter person during a busy Thursday lunch is crazy. The sweet lady behind the counter even told me " When theres a long line I get nervous and lose my head"

The wait was 20 mins to get served and my colleagues were willing to put up with the wait but no longer interested in returning because of the past unfavorable experiences.

Has Romados lost its shine or am I just really unlucky?

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Rotisserie Romados
115 Rue Rachel E, Montreal, QC H2W1C8, CA

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  1. Yeah, I was there last Sunday -busiest day of the week- and there was only 1 person at the counter for half my wait til someone else hopped up. I was about to say something to a cashier, because the damn line had barely moved in 20. It went pretty quickly after that. (It was particularly wtf? because I've seen 2 guys on the counter on a slower lunch like Monday or Tuesday since the renos.)

    20 mins isn't too bad for the late-week lunch rush, though, and it's always busier later in the week. Try going past 1 if you can.

    Speed of service and amount of piri sauce varies with who's behind the counter, for sure. The old lady is best -super quick, and tons of sauce.

    I haven't noticed the food quality going down. I think you just got unlucky on that count.

    1. Just to say Romados was amazing today. I mean, wow, they outdid themselves. Super crisp skin without any charring, succulent, moist chicken, just the right amount of sauce, tons of pieces (almost two drumstick/thighs for 1). Fries were great as always, but again, even better than usual - no overcooked bits in sight. Even the salad was noticeably fresher and not showing any suffering from the heat.

      Amazing. Man I love that place.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Shattered

        It can be hit or miss, but mostly hit nowadays. Renovations and expansion in the staff no longer guarantee what used to be .....that's the way of the world. I shed a tear each time it is s miss.....

        1. re: spankyhorowitz

          Last time I was there a few months ago it was on. They were generous with their portion of chicken, I ordered 1/4 and it was more like 1/2 that I was served since it was a smaller chicken. Rotisseries Portugalia was on the flip side disappointing as their 1/4 chicken barely had any meat on it.

      2. Bumping this thread to ask a question: how much is the whole chicken at Romados and does it come with anything? I'm thinking of picking up a few birds for a get together. Hopefully, the regulars will recall this info.
        TIA

        10 Replies
        1. re: hungryann

          why not call them?

          1. re: celfie

            I will, I just wanted to plan ahead, in case anyone remembered. No biggie.

          2. re: hungryann

            Hi
            It's been a while but I'm thinking it was something like $6 or $7 for a whole bird?? And I don't think it comes with anything but you can order fries or salad or whatever on the side. Last time I couldn't believe how many fries they crammed into a "medium" bag. When I dumped them out at home they covered a big dinner plate!

            1. re: stak

              There's no chance a full chicken is only $6-7.

              1. re: stak

                It used to be 10$ but I think it's up to 11$ since the renos.

                1. re: chickenbruiser

                  Stupid question, but...do they cut it into pieces for you, or do you have to ask?

                  1. re: sweettoothMTL

                    They always cut it into pieces... I think you ask if you don't want it cut.

                2. re: stak

                  I called and they told me it's 12.10$ tax in and it doesn't come with anything.

                  1. re: stak

                    Stak, you're thinking of the quarter chicken leg w/ fries, that's $7; breast is $8. Actually, it's $7.05 since taxes went up this year. Also a ridiculous deal, it's more like 1/3 of the bird with a ton of fries (as good as any fries in town most days, too, imo). So delicious. Sooooo delicious.

                    1. re: Shattered

                      Oops, I guess that's what I was thinking. Or else it's been a lot longer than I thought since i was there last! I really thought they had a whole chicken for under $10 because I remember thinking it was not much more than buying one and cooking it myself. Oh well, still a good deal in my books...unless it's gone downhill as much as it would appear from the comments.

                3. They've slipped imo and haven't been the same ever since the reno. Like another poster, the last few times I've stopped in for take-out I've received an undercooked bland oily bird with little meat and surprisingly, pre-ready unlike previous visits where they'd cut and grill your order upon preference right in front of you. I haven't been back since the fall but it's been consistently less than great every single visit since they've reopened that I wouldn't even bother heading out to the plateau from the southwest for lunch anymore and I'd probably sooner stop at Portugalia, Coco Rico or Mavi if I were in the hood. I agree that they used to be the best around but I've been more than disappointed on each subsequent visit since they expanded.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: OliverB

                    I agree. I wonder if the whole chickens are going to be as bad though.

                    1. re: OliverB

                      Disagree. I go every 2-3 weeks, and it's still awesome, the best in town by far. The one time I went to Portugalia (before their renos) I got a dry bony leg. Combined with the ridiculous order-ahead policy, I couldn't be bothered again.

                      Coco Rico is comparing apples & oranges: it's rotisserie style, not grilled (& it's way too salty). Never heard of Mavi.

                      -----
                      Coco Rico
                      3907 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1X9, CA

                    2. Romados... awesome, no doubt. For the price, it's killer. (Especially when the nice old lady blows a kiss after you get your order.) The time it takes to get it? A bit less killer, but what you gonna do?

                      But it's true that the chicken can be a bit dry sometimes. I think it is because they cook the birds, then put them in those heated drawers. When someone orders one, they quickly heat it up (read: further drying the bird out after it has had time to drain its juices), then serve it up. Not a horrible practice, as I don't think the chickens have much time to dry out due to the high bird turnover. But, that might explain why you get one that's a bit thirsty every once and a while.

                      If you're just in it for the chicken, go to Portugalia (coin Clark/Rachel). Well, call first – you gotta order your chicken about 45 mins in advance because they cook the bird to order. For juicy chicken, it's totally worth it. Their fries really suck, though. This is where the meal deal at Romados takes the cake.

                      All in all, Romados is great value, as, in my experience, it's more hit than miss. Shit, $10 for a mountain of delicious food? Yes, please.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Gary Biscuits

                        >every once in a while

                        I have only ordered the quarter chicken meals and they were all quite dry.
                        Only started going to Romados last summer

                        1. re: Gary Biscuits

                          She's not that old maybe mid 50's. Her name is Maria and she a sweet heart.
                          Last knews I heard she wasn't working at ramados anymore. Someone mentioned she moved to the one on Mont-Royal and St-Denis calle piri-piri but when I went she wast there neither.
                          Anyone knows of her whareabouts. She treats you like family. Great human being.

                          1. re: maj54us

                            Oh absolutely. She was a total sweetheart. I meant nothing but admiration in my post. It was always lovely to chat with her while she hacked a chicken into bits. And, yeah you're right. I haven't seen her there in a while. I figured she WAS Romados.

                            1. re: Gary Biscuits

                              didn't see anything bad in your post.. Hope we spot her again.

                            2. re: maj54us

                              Yep, I saw her at Piri Piri but I've only been there once, back in Sept. She's awesome, but it's outta my way and bottom line, chicken is still better at Romados.

                              1. re: Shattered

                                appaprently not lately :( Makes me hesitate to go to Romados.

                                Before going to Romados used to go to portugalia, but those guys are so Happy to see you that they must be cousins of the soup nazi. Actually the soup nazi had personality.

                          2. Dinner last night was a hit with all my friends. they had never tried Romados before. I felt it was a bit different. The chicken was good maybe less sauce than other times but the fries were very average; all those yummy spices and seasonings were nowhere to be found and not as crispy as before. Have they altered the fries?

                            1. Just tried this place for the very first time after hearing so much about it on here/from friends. Got the whole chicken and an order of fries, shared between 2 people, WAY too much food. :)

                              It was not as good as I was expecting. I'm wondering if I'm the victim of my own impossible expectations or something? It wasn't *bad* by any means, and given the price I would eat there again, but the chicken seemed dry and the flavour, while good, wasn't as intense as I expected. Had Coco Rico 3x over the past 6 weeks ish and I definitely prefer their chicken, by far. Just more tender, juicier etc. It's the chicken itself I prefer, the flavour of both places is equally good, to me.

                              Should I try Portugalia? Mavi? Is there some difference in the way the chicken is prepared at Coco Rico vs Romados that would incline me to either one (Port. or Mavi)?

                              Anyone else had Romados lately? Thoughts?

                              EDIT: And the fries were oddly sweet - what's that about? I don't like sweet fries and I've had them from many places, not just Romados.

                              -----
                              Coco Rico
                              3907 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1X9, CA

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: montrealeater

                                Wow, yeah that would be too much, a half chicken is easily enough for 2. I love Romados. As you said, Coco Rico is juicier and more fall-off-the-bone, but I find it not in a good way; it's beyond juicy into wet, and I don't like the meat to literally fall off when I pick up a leg.

                                It's all a matter of personal choice, though, because they are cooked in completely different styles: Romados is grilled over flames and CR is heat-conducted rotisserie. They also put extra season salt on the chicken at CR just before serving, which I find makes it way, way too salty.

                                Never noticed a sweetness to their fries, they just taste like potato. Maybe they would taste off if someone's used to overly salted taste-engineered fast food fries. I think the fries are amazing too, best in the city. I would honestly go for them alone even if the chicken was only so-so (although CR has those tasty, if overpriced, sides).

                                -----
                                Coco Rico
                                3907 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1X9, CA

                                1. re: Shattered

                                  Any other food at Romados great? They also have grilled steaks on weekends(is it any good?). It's never available there when I'm there on weekends.

                                  1. re: BLM

                                    Never had anyhting else a Romados but so far my favorites "BEFANA" (spelled right?) sandwich is at the Chicken NAZI or simply "The A-Holes Serving you chicken" place called portugalia.

                                    They have a very juicy and tender pork sandwich.

                                    I never saw such a poor customer service in my life. These guys hate their jobs it's not funny! I told one guy off once because he was just rude to my wife. He apologized but you don't feel welcome there. I don't go often but when in the area I go for a pork sandwich.

                                    -----
                                    Rotisserie Portugalia
                                    34 Rue Rachel W, Montreal, QC H2W1G1, CA

                                    1. re: BLM

                                      It's all great! The pork cutlets are amazing and you also get ridiculous amount for the price. I've had some of the daily specials and they were great too (I remember a very thick, large liver steak for $9), but they are usually gone by early afternoon, even on weekdays.

                                      1. re: Shattered

                                        Thanks Shattered. Will take a shot at Romados sandwiches then!

                                      2. re: BLM

                                        Sometimes they have pork roast and it's the best I have ever eaten plus it feeds me 3x. Call them every day and ask what's the lunch menu is. They guarantee a fish and vegetarian dish every day.

                                        1. re: marblebag

                                          Yep, I've had that too, it's amazing. Romados is a gem. So delicious and so cheap.

                                      3. re: Shattered

                                        Strange, I gave up on Coco Rico years ago because the chicken was always horribly dry and yet also ultra-greasy. Maybe the grease stood out because there was no other moisture, but in any case I don't remember it ever being wet à la Provigo special.

                                        So many people rave about the place that I wonder if I just had bad luck... now I wonder if something's changed, too.

                                        -----
                                        Coco Rico
                                        3907 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1X9, CA

                                      4. re: montrealeater

                                        @montrealeater: You are comparing Oranges (coco ricco) and apples (Ramados).
                                        Coco is a rotisserie style chocken while romados is on the charcoal.

                                        But here's the catch. They cook so many chicken that they store them in the drawers under the charcoal bin. It turns out that dries out the chicken. The times I went and had a dry piece, I just went and the always exchanged it for a juicy one.

                                        All taste are in nature and I respect that. My favorites chicken is a chicken with the aromas of the charcoal grill you don't get these flavors in a rotisserie chicken.

                                        One place also that does this on charcoal is ABU ELIAS on cote vertu. Lebanese style chicken sandwich. They also have rotisserie chicken that the call "FAROUJ" you might want to try that one also. I still prefer the charcoal version.

                                        Boucherie Abu Elias
                                        733 Boulevard de la Côte-Vertu
                                        Montreal, QC H4L 1Y3
                                        (514) 747-7754

                                        bon appetit!

                                        1. re: maj54us

                                          maj, just a warning that unfortunately Romados doesn't serve sandwiches on weekends (I guess slows them down). Just order the pork separately and buy one of their buns, voila you got yourself a bifana.

                                          montrealeater, as for the fries being sweet that's pretty much how they should taste, when I make fries at home especially with red skinned potatoes I get that sweetness. I think we're definitely used to overly salty fake fries.

                                          1. re: ios94

                                            I thought we weren't *supposed* to make fries with red potatoes?

                                            1. re: hala

                                              "I thought we weren't *supposed* to make fries with red potatoes?"

                                              Not if you want crispy blond fries with fluffy insides, but that's not everyone's idea of a good fry.

                                              1. re: hala

                                                I've gone "rouge".
                                                Works in both official languages. lol

                                            2. re: maj54us

                                              actually adding and mapping worked but chowhound shows it later after a few refresh

                                              -----
                                              Boucherie Abu Elias
                                              733 Boulevard de la Côte-Vertu, Saint-Laurent, QC H4L, CA

                                          2. OK, so maybe I just prefer rotisserie chicken to baked over coals chicken, and the criticism of Romados may have been unfair. They didn't have any of their custard tarts when I was there, and I want to try those, too. Also a pork sandwich.

                                            I found the Romados chicken a lot 'wetter' than the Coco Rico - it felt like if I squeezed it I may be able to wring some moisture out of it. Coco Rico chicken didn't give me that impression.

                                            As for fries, I still don't like em sweet, and I've had unsweet, non-fast food fries many times (I totally admit to loving McD's fries, as well). Could be the kind of potato used? I really don't like those sweet potato fries that are everywhere now, either, and everyone else I know loves 'em.

                                            -----
                                            Coco Rico
                                            3907 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W1X9, CA

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: montrealeater

                                              @ME: Nothing wrong with that. You like what you like and I like what I like. The real danger is when one of us likes something UNacceptable ;)

                                              keep hunting for new food and tel us about it.

                                              __________________________
                                              ok didn't work adding and mapping Abu Elias in other post so here's another try.....I hope it works

                                              -----
                                              Boucherie Abu Elias
                                              733 Boulevard de la Côte-Vertu, Saint-Laurent, QC H4L, CA

                                              1. re: montrealeater

                                                You can find better natas (custard tarts) a bit east at Patisserie Notre-Dame Du Rosaire, 227 Rue Rachel Est, or at the place on St-Lo below Rachel with the fancy cakes in the window: Patisserie De Notre Maison, 4101 Boul Saint-Laurent (this place is amazing for all deserts)

                                                Incidentally, I've noticed the place on the Main also serves lunch, and a friend had a huge (said it was meal-size) and delicious soup for only $3. So that's on the list...

                                              2. from my 2 experiences in the past year,

                                                1. the old lady that use to work their was more generous with the sauce

                                                2. also, the fries were better... i think the lady would salt and spice them more

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: J1836

                                                  I don't understand more generous with the sauce? Just ask them to put more Piri Piri sauce on the chicken!

                                                  I think we need to have a petition to bring back Maria aka "The Old Lady" that always had a smile on her face. But she's not that OLD!!!! lol

                                                  1. re: maj54us

                                                    Picked up a meal at Romados last night. While I miss Maria ...all you have to do when you get to the counter is ask them for more. I always ask for more sauce and more fries lol!

                                                    I also noticed that the "spicy sauce" was a little thicker this time, more of a sauce than an oil and a little spicier than before (or maybe they had been giving me the non-spicy sauce all this time?!) . Still my favorite chicken place in the city !

                                                    1. re: maj54us

                                                      I ask them to put sauce on my fries and it's not a problem as long as I ask when they're asking if I want spicy or not - was only a prob when I asked at the last second as he was closing the lid.

                                                      1. re: maj54us

                                                        i was used to her service over the years, and assumed she had passed-on her talents.

                                                        i know better now and next time, will ask the gentleman for more sauce ...........

                                                      2. re: J1836

                                                        I saw the old lady at the Piri Piri restaurant on Mont-Royal & St-Denis last weekend. She appreciates the accolades "the board" has given her.

                                                        1. re: marblebag

                                                          I heard she was there but never ran into her when in the area. What a great women with a great heart! thank you for the info!

                                                          I think we should map this one also
                                                          Had a chicken piece there and it was very good but also once I ordered a whole chicken and it was dryer than the desert. Since they didn't have any volume back then they reheated cooked food. Hope they have some business now. Would hate to have another dry piece!

                                                          -----
                                                          Restaurant Piri Piri Inc. (Portuguese Chicken)
                                                          415 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montreal, QC H2J 1W1, CA