If you like chicken, and haven't yet tried Piri Piri, I have to break it to you.....you're missing out big time! The dish is traditionally made from Piri Piri peppers which originated in South Africa, and were imported to Portugal from Angola and Mozambique. Restaurants across Portugal have their own individual recipes for the dish; but the Algarve town of Guia is said to have the most authentic Piri-Piri houses, and I am quite confident when I say I think I have found the best.
O Teodósio (otherwise known as King of Chicken) opens for lunch at 12 noon; and 6pm for evening meals. Trust me, it pays to get there just before it opens. Long queues of people soon build up, and every time I've eaten there it has been mobbed - quite impressive when you consider it seats nearly 700! Although they do serve other dishes, you never see a menu being handed out - you simply order "Frango piri piri, batatas fritas e salada" (chicken piri piri, chips, and salad). It's not overly spicy, but you can order it without piri piri if you so wish.
They start cooking the chicken just before the restaurant opens, so you don't have to wait long for your food to turn up. It is chopped up into pieces, which allows the flavours to run right through the chicken, and the spices are so good it would be a mistake if you didn't spoon a little of the oil over your deliciously crispy chips! The tomato and onion salad combats the spices, and cools the mouth down. It really is the perfect combination.
The recipe is an old family secret and they have been awarded for their quality several times. Not only is it delicious, but the prices are also very low. The great thing about arriving early is that you not only get speedy service, you also get to appreciate the noise levels rising as the place fills up. The locals love this place, and within half an hour of opening, it is buzzing, and the atmosphere is fantastic!
The food may be seen as simple by some, but if you have your own transport, a trip to the undisputed 'King of Chicken' is a must if you want to sample the food that gets the locals through the door in their droves. I've been going to this restaurant for about eighteen years, and even writing this post has made my mouth water! Trust me, eat here, and chicken will never be the same again!
If you want to go to the restaurant, the address is: Rua do Emigrante 50, 8200 Guia. It's about 25 minutes from Faro airport, and you can find a good map here courtesy of www.goodmorningalgarve.com. If your flight time would get you there for lunch or dinner, it's the perfect start to a Portuguese holiday!