Have any of you had peri peri before? Before last night, I couldn’t say that I had. Peri peri is a type of Portuguese cuisine based on the African bird’s eye chili pepper. Typically, peri peri cuisine consists largely of chicken. However, when I recently visited Tribos‘ brand new Jersey City location, I learned it’s so much more!
My first thought when I came to Tribos was how streamlined and clean the place looked. Tribos’ new location was described to me as a fast-casual joint, with options to either dine in or take out. Unique to this location, however, is their Peri, Set, Go method of preparing their peri peri. Unlike most peri peri locations, takeout orders are made right in front of you, meaning you don’t have to wait to have your food served. If you have more time and want to dine in, they will bring it out to your table.
Now, to the best part: the food. Because I was trying an unfamiliar cuisine to me, I had no idea what to expect. With some cursory searches online, I thought that everything on the menu was going to be spicy, and while everything was well-spiced, the heat level was completely customizable, from mild to tongue-tingling spicy.
We started off with appetizers, which included their peri fries, Tribos rice, coleslaw, their Perimayo corn, a house salad, hummus, and some toasted pita. All of their food items (appetizers included) are spiced with their peri peri spice, and that helps unify the foods without taking away from their distinct natural flavors. Their peri fries were freakin’ bomb, with the unique spices really elevating it above typical french fries. At the table was also some garlic yogurt sauce and peri peri sauce for dipping, and I loved both, but definitely thought the garlic sauce was the star of the show. My other favorite appetizer was the perimayo corn, which reminded me of a twist on esquite, or Mexican street corn in a cup.
The real stars of the meal were the protein options! I tried the chicken tenders and the chicken leg quarters. Both were cooked perfectly. The skin was crispy on the outside, but moist and delicious on the inside, and their sauces were great. For people who cannot handle any kind of spice, their lemon herb chicken is for you, but fear not, spice lovers, because they have 4 more types of peri peri sauce, ranging in heat from mild to extra hot. I tried the mild peri peri chicken and it was perfect for people who can handle a little bit of spice, but not too much. In addition to chicken, they also offer peri peri falafel and paneer for vegetarians/vegans.
Overall, I had an excellent time at Tribos’ new location, right off the Grove St. PATH. It’s currently in its soft opening phase, but opens officially on October 4th. I definitely will be back here again to try all of their foods, including burgers, lamb, and pita!