Portuguese food isn’t very common in the Bay Area, so we were excited when we heard about The Port of Peri Peri in Palo Alto! Peri peri sauce is derived from the African Bird’s Eye Chili (also called peri peri), which has a light, almost citrusy flavor and goes perfectly with chicken. Because of this, we couldn’t wait to try their Signature Chicken, but they have tons of tasty dishes using their special peri peri sauce or peri peri seasoning, so let’s just get right to them!
First up, we tried their Signature Half Chicken and we really enjoyed the unique flavor. Their house made peri peri sauce adds a slightly sweet, citrusy, and almost ginger flavor, and when it’s slathered all over that freshly grilled chicken, not to mention the kick! speaking of that, Port of Peri Peri has multiple spiciness levels including plain, lemon & herbs, mild, medium, hot, and extra hot. We went with a mix of lemon & herbs and mild, and it was a little less spicy than we would have liked. However, we overheard one of the employees there recommending to a customer to go with medium even if they have a high spice tolerance because hot and extra hot are, well, really hot. So just something to consider!
The chicken itself was moist and cooked to perfection, and they marinate the chicken in the sauce for upwards of 24 hours so you know you’re going to get tons of flavor. They even cut slits in the chicken – we’re not sure if that’s done while it’s marinating or after – but either way, it allows the peri peri sauce to drip down inside the chicken for even more coverage and flavor. Definitely try this when you go!
The Peri Costeletas are basically lamb chops with their peri peri sauce on top. Just like the chicken, the sauce goes extremely well with the lamb, even though it’s much gamier. The only thing we wished was that the lamb chops were thicker. These were still grilled well with just the right amount of char, but we personally like larger chops cooked medium rare so you get a decent amount of pink in the middle, but again, that’s just personal preference. These are still totally worth a try!
This simple yet very tasty sandwich from Port of Peri Peri is crafted with peri chicken, lettuce, tomato, peri BBQ sauce, and perimayo all between slices of fresh ciabatta bread. Chicken sandwiches are just awesome to begin with, and when you add their special sauces it just gets better. The ciabatta also helps to fill you up, but we still would recommend grabbing a small side of peri fries or perimayo corn (more on those below).
Peri Peri Ribs (Weekends only)
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to try these ribs, but they looked and sounded delicious! They’re made with their house peri peri BBQ sauce, so you still get that unique flavor on ribs, which makes this one familiar and different at the same time. The ribs are ONLY available Fridays through Sundays and they have limited quantities, so be sure to head over on a weekend to try them out!
Lastly, we definitely can’t leave out the sides from Port of Peri Peri. The first one we had was their Perimayo corn, which is a bowl of corn kernels mixed with their perimayo sauce and topped with their peri peri chili powder. We’re not typically huge on corn, but this stuff was seriously two thumbs up. We probably would have preferred them to be a little more spicy, but the corn tasted super fresh and the tanginess from the peri peri combined with the sweetness of the corn was a really fun combination.
The second side we got was their Peri Cassava Fries, which are thick cut fries with their peri salt seasoning on top. While these were tasty, for sure, if you were choosing just one side, we’d recommend going with the corn mentioned above. Seasoned fries are always a good choice, but it’s a much more common thing to find (like cajun fries, etc.), and if you want the full experience of Port of Peri Peri, you should definitely go for the more unique options that make this place shine.
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