Chez Will Grillados (Plaine-Des-Palmistes, Reunion, France)

The next morning was, unfortunately, our very last morning on the island of Réunion. After a splendid breakfast at La Matilona, it was time for us to pack up for one last time and head back to St-Denis and the airport. But since our flight didn’t leave until 4pm, this did give us some time to check out Saint-Benoit (which had a wonderful farmers market), and do a bit of driving, this time going back to Belouve, where we had hiked over a week earlier. While it was somewhat bizarre to just simply drive to someplace that had been one heck of a grueling hike, we did get some awesome views. And then it was time to head back.

Passing through La Plaine-Des-Palmistes one last time, we noted that since it was Sunday, the various vendors of “poulet bitume” were still out in force, and one place in particular, Chez Will Grillados, jumped out at us, so we felt compelled to stop off and have one more meal on Réunion.

Located at a crossroads in Plaine-Des-Palmistes between the route to Plaine-Des-Cafres and the route to Belouve, they do a huge business in “poulet bitume”. By the time we had gotten there (around 1pm) they had grilled up several hundred half chickens, and already put them into foil bags in the warmer. Indeed, we got some of the last chicken of the day.

But indeed, this was some really great chicken. Like the previous day’s chicken, this was a good quality bird (we did notice that the chickens on the island were particularly flavorful and had somewhat darker meat than usual American fryer chickens), with a rather nice, spicy marinade, grilled up very nicely to the point of crispiness without overcooking (if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about French cooking, they rarely overcook anything…). Served up with some fries and a little cup of good French mustard, this was a very pleasant meal: the chicken was crisp, spicy, and very moist and the fries done perfectly.

Add in one of the other unique dishes of the island, achard (a fried mix of vegetables heavy on the turmeric), and this was a very pleasant meal. Nothing like getting a nice chicken meal, enjoyed at a pleasant outside table with a view of the mountains and the local trees turning a pleasant autumn red (it was autumn down there), and sipping a nice “le Coca” to round out a nice trip. We headed off to the airport, more than delighted with our trip to this little remote French island. I hope to return at some point.

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