You say Portuguese chicken, I say Romados. In fact, just about any Montrealer would agree. This hole-in-the-wall is a local favorite, and it's also believed to be the “Best Portuguese Chicken in Montreal”. I don’t know about “best” but those ghastly lineups on the corner of de Bullion and Rachel East speak the truth. That chicken. Those fries. That heavenly spicy sauce. It’s no wonder everyone’s hooked.
Photo Credits: Dave L.
If you’re in a rush, call ahead and line up in the express/pick-up lane on the left. Drop-ins, stay on the right and prepare to wait. My usual order is the half chicken combo ($9.75). Prices have gone up, but it’s still a whole lot of chicken and fries, a pitiful salad and a bun for a notably cheap price. It can easily feed two people, or one really, really hungry human.
Chicken can get real boring, real fast, but not when it’s done like this. Wood-charcoal fires, imported grill racks and a special spice blend come together to create their signature dish. The breasts are dry, but the wings and thighs are plenty flavorful, succulent and moist. The skin, OMG the skin - beautifully browned, salty and fatty. Oh and, it gets better. They’ve got this incredible spicy sauce that does miracles to the already delicious chicken. Red, wet and so damn good, it won’t set your mouth on fire, but it’ll get your taste buds throbbing and singing. Don’t bother asking for some on the side, it won’t happen. Just ask for more and more on your chicken. By the way, if you decide to go with the mild sauce, i'll die a little inside - so don't.
When you get a combo, the chicken is buried deep under a huge pile of fries, but don’t think of it as the only treasure. The potatoes are gold, gold I tell you. Downright addictive too. Some limp and soft, others crisp and dry, they’re generously dusted with a hot and salty symphony of herbs and spices that’s so good, I have a hard time not biting my seasoned fingers off. Don’t deprive these fries from that spicy miracle sauce I mentioned earlier. The chicken doesn’t leave enough behind, so kindly ask them to brush some over your fries too! Makes me weak in the knees to just think about it. The best pieces are the ones at the bottom, heavy and swollen from fat drippings and sauce. Wawaweewa.
For $1.10 apiece, don’t leave without a few Pastéis de Natas. These small Portuguese Egg Tarts pair wiggly custard and flaky, shattering layers of phyllo dough. Confined in thin, buttery shells, the eggy middles aren’t too sweet and their tops are kissed with irregular brown patches. Simple but good. Perfect to end the meal.
I’m not a fan of take-out. Time in stuffy, diposable containers kills fresh food, and Romados is no exception. The chicken is at its prime right when it comes off the heat. You gotta pounce on it STAT. It doesn’t taste nearly as good the longer you wait to eat. Dine-in conditions are basic, in favor of take-out even, but if there’s a free seat, don’t hesitate. Summer is less of an issue; just eat it on the go. I’ve made a messy, delicious habit of it.
With finger-licking good food and huge portions at great prices, Romados is A f*cking +
115 rue Rachel Est | map