On the way home from church last Sunday we were discussing where we wanted to go to lunch….The Wife had me check what Groupons we had printed out and after looking through them we decided on trying Peli-Peli….a restaurant in the Vintage Park Shopping Center off Louetta….

Not sure how many of you use the Groupons but I’m here to tell you that you can get some wonderful deals….this particular one was $40 worth of food and we paid $20…..gotta love the half priced deals….and if you pick out spots you wouldn’t normally try…..what ‘cha got to lose???

Now here’s where the trick comes into play…..I asked what any normal person would ask…..”What kinda food is this?”…..and The Wife without losing a beat says, “South American…..I think….”

I thought for a second and concluded that for $20 I’d give some South American food a shot….

Not so fast…………..

We walk in and it’s very nice…..not coat and tie nice but more upscale than say Waller County Line BBQ…..I mean there were no dead animal heads or pictures of Willie Nelson on the walls or…anything like that…..just a very nice semi-elligant dining room….


We were shown our seats and given our menus….and this is where….well The Wife learned FatJoe didn’t just fall off the manure truck…..or is that turnip truck…..either way…..I was on to her little game….

This wasn’t South American food…….I looked at her and she just shrugged…..”South American….South African……I got confused….”


R I I I I I I G H T………

She’d played me like an old upright piano…..

I grinned.,…what could I do??…..smacking her doesn’t do any good anymore….she just smacks me back…..(sure sure….)

Resigning myself to making the best of it……I studied the menu…..and there were some tasting sounding dishes….. a Sunday brunch menu was featured as well as the regular fare…..

There was an omelette that looked very good but being the creature that I am…..I landed on the sandwich part of the menu and in particular the South African Burger….homemade sausage served as a burger…..

We were deciding on appetizers when the waiter arrived and began to explain about Peli-Peli….and it’s an interesting story/concept….

Here’s what he told us (this is actually from their website but it’s more or less what he said)….

Peli-Peli (also known as Piri Piri or Peri Peri), which means Bird’s-Eye Chili, is a spice found by the Portuguese in the 15th Century on the plains of Southern Africa. The spice rapidly became popular when used to prepare sauces and marinades for Portuguese and African foods. The Bird’s-Eye Chili is the cornerstone spice for our cuisine and concept….”

The man behind the concept is Master Chef Paul Freidman (again from their website….)…“Chef Paul has had over 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry, having owned and operated successful restaurant concepts in South Africa and Germany, as well as being the creator of Paul’s Pizza Shop, a nationally-recognized pizza concept in North Houston. Executive Chef Paul Friedman has utilized the Peli Peli spice in an innovative, new way to create his own infusion of spice with exotic fruits from Southern Africa and Europe such as Guava, Granadilla (passion fruit), papaya and mango. The result is a myriad of dipping sauces and marinades that bring out the best flavors in chicken, steak, and seafood to create a tingling sensation for your taste buds.”

The waiter suggested a couple of appetizers and one of them was one I had spotted and so we ordered the Bacon Wrapped Chicken….

We got our drinks and looked the place over….it is very nice….and, not sure if they do this all the time, but…..there was a guitarist playing and more than once The Wife commented on how much she liked the music…..

Our Bacon Wrapped Chicken arrived and (sorry no camera) but this is pretty food…..there were two skewers of chicken served with some sauce….each skewer had four pieces of chicken wrapped in delicious bacon……there was also a red pepper on the plate and the waiter told us what it was….and I can’t remember the name….but a very sweet/spicy little pepper…..

The bacon wasn’t done quite enough for The Wife but I loved every bite…..and I thought the chicken and bacon were just as good dipped or nekid…..the dip was a sweet/spicy sauce that had a nice kick to it….

It was time to order and I ordered my South African Burger and the waiter kinda stopped and looked at me and asked, “You like peppers?”

I knew where he was headed as the burger right above the one I ordered was my burger topped with peppers and mushrooms done in a wine sauce….I smiled and said that I had seen the other burger but was really wanting to experience the sausage…..”You have to have the peppers….”, he insisted…..

He had been so right about everything so far that I changed my order and went with the Peli-Peli Boerwors Sandwich….traditional homemade South African sausage as a patty topped with sautéed onions and peppers in a rich red wine mushroom sauce….it came with an order of sweet potato fries….

Again I put my faith into my waiter and hoped he knew what he was talking about….

Soon he was back with our food and sat it down….. this is just pretty to look at…..the presentation (a term I’ve picked up from the show Chopped….however I’m of the opinion, while how it looks is nice, I’m more concerned with how it tastes….so….an ungly dish that knocks your socks off with taste is soooo much better to me than something that is very pretty and then stinks…..but what do I know?…..I’m by no means and “expert”….and those judges on Chopped would be so much more astute in their knowledge of what’s good and not so good than just a guy who likes to eat…..) was done very nicely…..


The waiter smiled, knowing he had impressed us on helping us with our choices (btw The Wife got the exact same sandwich….after changing her mind about 42 times….ok….ok….. only 38 times….I do tend to exaggerate….)….he asks if we need anything and The Wife asked for some mayo…..he kinda snickered and said he’d get us some but that we would not need it….


Well, I put my sandwich together and from the very first pickup….it was dripping…..(I like dripping…..the dripping-er the better)….

I’m not sure if sausage will ever replace what I think makes the perfect burger but this stuff was terrific….spicy but not overly done….and again the waiter had been spot-on….no mayo needed…..this burger was juicy enough on its own…the peppers and mushrooms were succulent and helped make for a very messy-wonderful samich……and it hadn’t hit me until The Wife said something….but there was no cheese involved here….can’t remember the last time I had just a burger (w/out cheese)…..but I think cheese would not have added anything to this…..in fact it may have diminished the flavors offered up….

I ate every last bite…..and had I been at the WCL BBQ I would have licked my plate…..but I can be very mannered when the situation calls for it…..just glad it’s not called for very often in places I eat….

So, what have we learned today…..

1) Groupons……good

2) The Wife….tricky

3) South American/South African…still not sure what those differences would be as I have not yet had South American

4) Its sometimes good to trust your waiter/waitress

5) Sometimes you don’t need mayo or cheese

6) An eating establishment without dead animal heads or Uncle Willie can still be a great place to eat

……and you didn’t think you would learn anything today……



  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: