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Peli-Peli

One South African's dream of a restaurant comes true.

Paul Friedman is originally from South Africa, where he opened and ran 47 steakhouses before moving here in 1978 to run a successful travel and safari business. Then he opened and sold three Paul's Pizza Shops and, three and a half years ago, retired. But Friedman couldn't stay away — he just opened his dream restaurant, a South African place.

"We called it Peli-Peli (110 Vintage Park, 281-257-9500) because the name Peri was already trademarked. However, the pepper known as peri-peri in South Africa is also known as peli-peli in Mozambique. It is a bird's-eye chile pepper that was discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century. We use it infused with guava, mango and papaya, to reduce the spice level a little bit."

Peli-Peli is a beautifully decorated restaurant, with a 30-foot representation of an acacia tree as its centerpiece. "I built my restaurant around an acacia tree," says Friedman. "Not a real one, but an abstract version of this very old tree that grows on the plains in Africa."

Location Info

Map

Peli Peli

110 Vintage Park Blvd.
Houston, TX 77070

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Jersey Village

Friedman is not compromising his menu — he's offering traditional South African dishes like the kebab-like sosaties with mango chutney; biltong, a sort of beef jerky, which he's curing himself with peri-peri seasoning; and a delicious peli-peli chicken, marinated with guava.

Got the latest info on ­restaurant ­openings, ­closings, special events and gossip?E-mail us at dish@houstonpress.com

 
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