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May 5, 2014 07:06 PM

Best Portuguese Chicken / Churrasco

I'm a huge fan of the stuff, not just for taste, but one of the better bang for your buck cuisines.

I'd like to think I've had take out at most of the "popular" or "well known" places, but I think I stumbled on one that trumped them all:
St. Matthews at 527 Rogers Rd (by Old Weston). I only had a chicken and medium potatoes, but the chicken flavour just had this extra taste that was a tad different (in a good way), the sauce was extremely tasty and the potatoes excellent. I'll look forward to sampling more of their offerings!

By background my other favs are:
O Barraidino (Landsdowne)
Costa Verde (Oakwood)
Estrela (Keele)

I'm still looking to try Churrasqueira Martins on Rogers (they have a sit down restaurant beside it - anyone been?)

That said, I still often go to Sardinha O Rei dos Frangos just because it's a tad cheaper and the portions are the biggest I've found, but I do find the chicken a bit dry at times.

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  1. St. Matthew's is excellent yeah. Killer potatoes and rice. Been there forever.

    For chicken my fave is Estrela on Keele.

    1. my fav is Churrasco Villa (eg/mt pleasant).

      i'll try to make it out to try your favs.

      2 Replies
        1. re: filtered

          +1 for Churrasco Villa.

          Mmmmm....maybe Saturday night dinner

        2. Martins restaurant is possibly one of the best in Toronto. been there many times but unfortunately haven't tried the takeout. My guess it has the same high standards.

          1. FYI:
            The Dish's analysis of 3 churrasco chicken dinners in TO

            9 Replies
              1. re: prima

                Gee, Portuguese restaurants give you way too much food for very little money. Huh. Who knew.

                I always get 1 dinner/2 people when at Portugril. Hell, even their soup is enough to feed two.

                Surprised no one's mentioned the superb Piri Piri sauce available to take home from Churrasco of St Lawrence. Make at home as good as out. If you're hungry, grab that fantastic bifana sandwich (so long as you have someone to help you with it).

                1. re: Googs

                  Googs, the salt level of the 1/4 chicken meals, especially at Portugril (at 2946 mg), is was what made me post the analysis.

                  2984 mg of sodium in 746 grams of food, not including extra piri piri/hot sauce (also loaded with sodium), is a lot of salt. The calorie and fat levels are reasonable for 746 grams of food.

                  I'd think most of us can eat more than 1/4 Portuguese chicken,so who knows how much sodium we've been consuming when we've eaten more than 1/4 chicken, polished off the rice and potato, while adding extra sauce.

                  I wrote Megan Ogilvie at the Star to ask if she could provide the sodium level of the 1/4 chicken alone, without the rice and potato, since it's possible the rice and potatoes could be delivering a lot of the sodium in the analysis.

                  1. re: prima

                    Name 3 things I don't do.

                    Trust me, I'm aware of the salt content. I'm glad you're raising awareness here. For me it's a once-in-a-while thing even though Portugril, for instance, is within a 5 minute walk of my home. Okay, okay, if they served wine I'd be there once-a-month.

                    1. re: prima

                      It would be nice if The Dish reported fibre info for their columns.

                      1. re: magic

                        It would be nice to have fibre counts in the The Dish restaurant meal breakdowns, but in the case of the churrasco chicken meals, I'd wager there aren't more than a couple of grams of fibre, total, coming from the potatoes that have their skins, plus maybe a couple more in the piri piri sauce.

                        Inspired by this thread, I made homemade churrasco chicken with homemade piri piri sauce. My sodium contents were lower, but probably still ample. I skipped the rice and potatoes and made a multigrain pilaf instead. For a vegetable, I served kohlrabi, because I had it in my fridge. It was a far better balanced meal. My piri piri sauce was made from red peppers, chiles, onions, garlic, wine vinegar, lemon juice, all of which went into the Vitamix. We ate tons of the sauce and counted it as a legitimate extra vegetable.

                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                          Including fibre would make for more complete nutrition picture. I know you agree, I'm just saying....

                          1. re: 1sweetpea

                            You're an inspiration I say quite sincerely.

                            1. re: Googs

                              Thanks Googs. Believe you me, it was definitely not a weeknight dinner! I should add that the afterthought kohlrabi was unmemorable. A salad would have been better, not to mention more Portuguese. Virtually every meal I ate in Portugal came with salad.

                              I am quite sure that future (cottage) attempts will include the potatoes, since they are so yummy. Really, just swapping the rice for a mixed baby greens salad or cooked green leafy veg would vastly improve the numbers. For restaurants, though, the rice and potatoes cost so little to make, hold well before and after cooking, and increase their profit margins.

                              And yes, Magic, I completely agree with you. I want to see calorie counts, fat grams (not just percentages), grams of saturated fat, fibre grams, sodium (in milligrams), cholesterol, etc. I'm not obsessed with numbers, but if a newspaper, magazine or blog is going to profile a dish made by different establishments, please show us all the numbers, so we can make informed choices.

                  2. In addition to Estrela on Keele, Martins on Rogers, and Churrasco Villa, which of these Churrasco places are dine-in?

                    Besides Bairrada on College, can anyone recommend a Churrasco place with a patio?