With all of the various kinds of chicken you can find in Dallas, one key category has been notably absent: peri peri chicken, the flavorful spiced grilled chicken with roots in Portugal and Africa.
But a new restaurant in Plano comes to the rescue. Called Porto's Peri Peri, it's part of an Illinois-based chain, founded in Skokie in 2013. There are now six locations in the Chicago area, plus this location in Plano.
According to a representative from the restaurant, the Plano location opened on October 19, at US 75 and Park Boulevard, in what was previously a restaurant from Ali Aslan called Kebab Fever, but was previously Old Town Creamery at 2301 N. Central Expwy.
On its website, Porto's declares its origins to be in Porto, Portugal's second-largest city after Lisbon. "It was our aim to offer everyone the chance to eat great chicken, based in our secret peri peri sauces and cooked to perfection on a flame grill," says Porto's mission statement.
Peri peri chicken has a crave-able flavor, with a combination of heat and tartness from its spice mixture that includes the piri-piri chile, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic.
Porto's chicken is marinated, then grilled, and comes in quarter, half, and whole chicken options, along with wings, tenders, and a chicken-and-rice bowl. You can also get the chicken in a wrap, in pita bread, or burger style on a ciabatta bun with lettuce and tomato.
But they also have a wide-ranging menu that includes a peri veggie patty, falafel, or paneer wrap with grilled peri soft cheese strips.
Sides include fries, cassava fries, peri peri rice, corn on the cob, potato salad, and perimayo corn, like Mexican esquites. They even offer two desserts: salted caramel brownie with pretzel crust, and a lemon cream layer cake.
Peri peri is at such a premium in Dallas that Porto's has drawn customers almost immediately, with some hiccups in the food and service.
But the only other peri peri in town is from the Street family: Street's Fine Chicken has a chicken breast with peri peri sauce; and Liberty Burger, the chain from Mariel Street, has a peri-peri burger with arugula tossed in a peri-peri sauce.