Best Peri Peri Chicken in the Algarve at Churrasquieira Valdemar, Silves

The salads
I actually felt quite guilty standing in the queue outside the restaurant, staring unashamedly at the diners (in the hope they would eat up and go so that I could grab their table), while the waiter at the restaurant directly next to this one, stared at us from his completely empty restaurant. Should I just eat there out of sheer polite embarrassedness (not a real word but I love it)? No way, Jose!

This restaurant, Churrasquieira Valdemar in Silves, Portugal, is worth the wait and embarrassedness as it has the BEST CHICKEN PERI PERI in the Algarves, if not the world. Okay, so I may need to try a few more around the world before I can really say that, but I will give it my best shot. Just for you of course.

The restaurant is more like a street café and there is a huge grill right there next to the tables with about 50 chickens on it at any time. I took loads of photos, but the card was full and the camera failed to mention this to me. So I happily photographed without avail. Next time I’ll take more, and believe me there will definitely be a lot of next times.

There is only one choice of menu, although I have been told that you can have fish (sardines I think) instead of chicken. Will try it on one of the next times. They appear to work on the principle that we do this one thing really well, so we’ll just keep on doing that one thing really well. Excellent idea.
All the trimmings
First off we got olives, bread and butter, sardine pate and a local cheese which was exceptionally good. We had been told by friends to ask for a liter of wine as it’s all included and this was duly brought (thanks Barbara and Lesley) along with a plate of red cabbage salad and carrots with cumin. The carrots were superb in spite of my initial skepticism.

Then we were served a big green salad and tomato salad, all lovely and fresh and tasty. But then came the “piece de resistance”, the peri peri chicken and chips. I asked for more peri peri sauce, which is essentially not necessary, but I loved it. The extra sauce is just fresh chillies in olive oil and is hot but also tasty. The chicken was super juicy and tasty and it is perfectly acceptable to eat with your fingers and have chicken juice on your chin.

The table next to us was worried that one chicken for 2 people would be too much – silly persons, I could have eaten one myself! That being said, they are not huge chickens, but there was more than enough for us hungry folks.

After the chicken we had dessert which was fresh fruit and nuts and does sometimes also include cake. Next time I hope. Then there was coffee and all this for €9 per person. Really good value, great food and great atmosphere. We had different people sitting with us at our table on the 2 occasions we ate there and we now have new friends in Portugal and Denmark – hello Fernando and also Kerstin and Per!

I can highly recommend this restaurant, just get there early or take some time with you if you go at lunchtime. Apparently it is really empty in the evenings so we’ll try it then next time… See you there!

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