Ports- Madeira inspired kabobs hanging at your table!

I was told by my good friend Dias about a place near Ossington in Little Portugal that had skewered pieces of meat hanging from your table with butter dripping off them so I was on a mission to find this restaurant without knowing anything else except that the name of this place was Ports. We found ourselves walking down Dundas West past the Communist Daughter ( a favourite divey bar) to a sports cafe with a florescent sign that said Ports on the outside. I exclaim to Conor - my friend, who has agreed to go on this scavenger hunt with me - that this must be the place! We were a bit weary as we peaked in - there were older Portuguese men hanging around a bar watching soccer, a huge dance floor and a karaoke machine at the front however I was determined to check this place out so we persisted onwards.

As we slowly made our way through the bar part, we found the low key casual dining space where there were hooks at each table and I knew we had hit the jackpot and it was the place we were looking for! This was possibly one of the best finds for me in the city!!
For an affordable price of $10 - we could have a juicy perfectly prepared medium rare shish kabob hanging from our table for us to eat.
The influence of the spices of the meat were Madeira- a Portuguese archipelago and John Severiano's (our chef's) native town. The kabob came sizzling hot, dripping with juices and butter onto a plate that was set below it.

Before we got served our mains- the server brought us out a wedge of goat's milk cheese drizzled in olive oil and red pepper sauce as a complimentary appetizer which is always a great way to start your meal. We also ordered a plate of fried corn as a side dish - which was corn meal that was deep fried- it was soo delicious - they crunched in your mouth and then they were mushy on the insides- similar to polenta.
Later in the evening, the karaoke began and it was a mix of Portuguese songs to English ones. There was even a 6 year old diva belting out Celine Dion classics! We shared many laughs that night and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. This was one of my most entertaining night's to date!
Ports Cafe -1179 Dundas Street West, Dundas and Ossington
**** 1/2
stars (out of 5)

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  1. As a former resident of Dundas West, I find this hard to take in. There's actually something worthwhile about that street? Hmmm, I guess I have to trust you on this.

  2. We went to Ports on Thursday, thought I would share. We actually left very oil slicked and greased up (great for some occasions but not for after dinner). We ordered salad, fried corn, fries and each a hanging kabob. The meat was cooked unevenly, some pieces were medium, some almost rare. The chewiness of the meat was consistent though and even though the meat had some flavour, it wasn't as tender I would have thought it should be. The corn was good at first bite, but I knew that with every piece I ate, the more greased up I was going to feel. The salad was blah, and we had to ask for dressing. I have to say, I did enjoy the fries. But maybe that is because I normally don't eat a lot of fries, so it was more of a treat!

    We left the restaurant full, but sort of sickly feeling. We needed to cut the grease. So we headed to Lakeview Lunch for some dessert.

    Definitely not some place we will be returning to in the near... or distant future.