Portuguese Barbecue at Piri Piri (Hoboken, NJ)

I love barbecue and was very excited to go to Piri Piri! Imagine that: they have a real wood charcoal barbecue! I have to say that the only portuguese dish I know is the Bacalhau, specialty made with salted cod as the central ingredient. Apparently the tradition of portuguese barbecue dates many centuries and back then, people were using old cork trees, creating a fragrant charcoal, giving to the food a very specific taste.
As for the name, it refers to the African bird's eye chili that portuguese explorers discovers in Mozambique.  It seems that the restaurant, to this day, is shipping the chili from there to prepare their piri piri sauce!

The decor is very nice: they have a big communal table and the top of the tables is made of blue tiles, giving a rustic feel to the restaurant. One of the wall is made of bricks (very warm) and the other has plenty of photos of Portugal.

In term of food, they have a wide variety of dishes, few being vegetarian only. What I liked is that they propose half plates for their barbecue, allowing their guest to pick several dishes...That is what I did!

I first tried their signature dish: Frango de Churrasco: it is a free range chicken, butterflied and cooked in the charcoal fire pit. The restaurant says that these chicken are hormone and antibiotic free, bought in small farms where they roam free. So, the chicken was good: lean and tasty. The skin was crispy and not too fatty. The other dish was Costela de vacca or beef short ribs: The meat was good but a little bit dry. Both dishes were served with a small salad, rice (overcooked or made cooked a different way? Not for me) and fresh potato chips (very good).
For dessert, we tried the Serradura, a fresh cream and tea biscuit pudding: this was delicious. Lighter than what I though and not too sweet. Nice way to finish a meal!

Concerning the service, it was a bit slow and later, the restaurant got packed: it got worse! Fortunately, they give you some delicious bread (I could not stop eating it), olives and pickles while you wait for your dishes.

I would probably go back to Piri Piri to try some of their traditional dishes, as well as the paella (the table next to us ordered it and it looked amazing!).

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
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