Piri Piri chicken has taken the world by storm. The origin of the delectable spicy chicken has roots in both Africa and Portugal. It was created in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers arrived with chili peppers (known as Piri Piri in Swahili). You will notice at your grocery stores more and more bottled Piri Piri sauces.
Traditionally, the chicken needs to marinate for at least four hours before being grilled. These deliciously charcoal-grilled birds are vedettes in culinary circles as of late in Quebec. So much so that St-Hubert BBQ has added the Piri Piri chicken to its menu. In the past few years, many Piri Piri chicken restaurants sprouted throughout the island like mushrooms. Many are vying to be the top rooster in the Piri Piri hen house.
Jay Ingber owner of Les 3 Maria and his two partners (Bobby Leftakis and Andrew Surowaniec) played softball and became enamored with Les 3 Maria, a Piri Piri Portuguese restaurant in Dollard des Ormeaux. They frequented the restaurant so often after their matches that just like the Gillette spokesperson, they liked the restaurant so much that “they bought the company.” Les 3 Maria began about six years ago. If you are wondering if three actual Marias were working there in the beginning, your assumption would be correct.
The three partners have owned the restaurant for about a year and a half. According to Jay, sales have taken off. By chance, COVID-19 has changed the restaurant for the better and not for the worse. Store pick-up and delivery apps such as UberEats, Doordash, and Skip the Dishes increased the good fortunes of Les 3 Maria. They adapted by getting rid of the dining area all together at the premises. Jays jokes that the only thing Portuguese about the place is the chicken and the Natas. The three partners are from three different ethnicities. They have done a remarkable job. Jay studies his competition to bring to the West Island the best charcoal grilled Piri Piri chicken at his restaurant.
Now I had the extra burden of being Portuguese to do the review. However, that honor falls on my wife. She is the resident Piri Piri chicken expert in our household. My daughter was game to try takeout. I am finding the benefits of eating at home with takeout is good for the communal spirit of togetherness of our family. A family that eats together, stays together.
Our daughter was not as hungry as my wife and I. We gave her our two appetizer meals. First, she had grilled calamari with bean salad. Generously portioned, the appetizer was like a mini-meal. Second, she had three cod patties. They were soft and smooth and melted in your mouth.
My wife had the Piri Piri quarter breast meal. Included with the meal were generous portions of home-made fries, fresh salad, and an extra Piri Piri sauce for dipping. My wife (who’s favorite is chicken) loved the meal! She said that even though we don’t travel much in these COVID-times”, she took the trip to “flavor-ville.”
I had the pulled Piri Piri chicken sandwich. It was made on “papo secos” (a light airy Portuguese roll). The bun absorbed the Piri Piri juice making the sandwich soft and tantalizing. I devoured the sandwich along with my fries and salad.
We both agreed the spicy Piri Piri chicken was one of the better Piri Piri experiences we had in a long time. Honestly, we concur that Les 3 Maria is the best Piri Piri chicken in the West Island by far.
If you are going to eat Portuguese food, Natas must be part of the equation. What is Natas? In Portugal, it is better known as pasteis de nata. It is a tart well balanced with buttery, flaky pastry, and creamy custard.
I strongly recommend Les 3 Maria to people living in the West Island. You might like it so much that you will make an offer to buy the business from Jay, Bobby, and Andrew. In COVID-19 times, please support your local restaurants, we are in this all together.
Les 3 Maria
4886 Sources Blvd
Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Quebec
Tuesday-Sunday: 4:00 PM till 9:00 PM
Monday: Closed for now