Editor's note: Every week, we'll spotlight a culinary treat found around Dallas-Fort Worth — whether it's a new opening, a dish at a restaurant, or a grocery find.
Dish: Peri-peri chicken lunch special, $10
Location: Street's Fine Chicken, 3857 Cedar Springs Rd.
Street's Fine Chicken debuted in 2016 as a chicken-centric restaurant from the famed Street family that took over the former Black Eyed Pea space on Cedar Springs Road.
It still has fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, chicken & dumplings, chicken pot pie, and more chicken. But the menu seems to have devolved (in a good way) back towards the profile of Gene Street's earlier chains, with home-cooking classics such as meat loaf and an epic CFS, though with a better-quality and more modern flair.
One dish they offer is a cult favorite not found in too many places in Dallas: peri peri chicken.
According to Nando's, a restaurant chain that specializes in the dish, peri-peri comes from a chili that is grown in Africa and originated in Mozambique. The sauce, containing garlic, lemon, onion, and vinegar, reflects Mozambique's blend of cultures.
At Street's, one of the best ways you can get it is as a weekday lunch special, Monday-Friday 11 am-2 pm, for an economical $10. You get a deboned chicken thigh that's been flattened into a filet of sorts, then coated with sauce on both sides and char-grilled. It comes with choice of two sides and a biscuit.
The sauce had a sneaky but potent spice level, sweet up front with a slow-burn finish. Using chicken thigh was clever, as the meat is moist and tender, and getting to eat it without messing with the bone was a luxury.
The selection of sides was a combination of new-age options and some of the nostalgic classics you might recall from Black-Eyed Pea, Good Eats, or the late lamented Dixie House — but in their early good days before they went downhill into chain oblivion.
Whipped potatoes were fluffy but substantial, with a few pieces of potato skin for authenticity.
Collard greens were cooked until soft, with some stem pieces that added texture. The greens had an unexpected and enjoyably aggressive dose of chile spice that made my eyes run.
A sweet potato and kale "hash" had cubes of soft sweet potato with random bits of kale and a whole bunch of diced garlic. Derek, the highly capable server, said that the dish was cooked in butter and he wasn't kidding, you could really taste it.
Street's biscuits are nicely flaky but they top it with what they call a honey butter. It seemed to have some kind of off bacon-flavored undertone and the sticky top made it less fun to eat. May be best to ask for the biscuit naked.