Seventh in my “Roadhouses of Gauteng” series. Browse all of my roadhouse posts or view a map of the roadhouses I’ve visited.

Yesterday I made a quick solo lunch run to Senhor Galo’s, a brand-new roadhouse in Edenvale.

Senhor Galo's Roadhouse
Senhor Galo’s.

This visit was a departure from the other visits I’ve done so far for my Roadhouses of Gauteng series. Up until now, all the roadhouses I’ve blogged about have been at least 30 years old; Senhor Galo’s opened about two weeks ago. (Thanks to Albert V., one of my loyal readers, for tipping me off about this opening.)

Senhor Galo’s also has a slightly different menu than other South African roadhouses. The owner, Jose Ferreira, is originally from Portugal, and the Senhor Galo’s menu has a decidedly Portuguese flair. (Galo means “rooster” in Portuguese.)

Unlike the other roadhouses I blog about, Senhot Galo’s doesn’t have a long, epic history or an antique neon sign. But Senhor Galo’s is interesting in other ways. Jose immigrated to Joburg from Madeira in 1961 and has owned several food businesses during that time. He decided to open a roadhouse in 2021 because of covid. “It’s the virus,” Jose said. “People just want take-away, take-away, take-away.”

Servers at Senhor Galo's
Luckie (left) and Colin (right), the servers at Senhor Galo’s. South African roadhouses have consistently great service, in my experience.

Senhor Galo’s is a little bit tricky to find, hidden at the end of the anonymous-looking Edenglen Retail Center in an industrial section of Edenvale, not far from the airport. It’s a bare-bones operation: a kitchen fronted by a take-away window, a simple, indoor-outdoor seating area, and a grid of long, horizontal parking spots that are synonymous with South African roadhouses.

The food is incredibly cheap and — if my own meal was any indication — incredibly delicious. (Jenny and Tyrone, the other two customers who were there when I was there, also raved about their food.) While Senhor Galo’s offers all of the usual roadhouse meal offerings — burgers, toasted sandwiches, pizzas, grill platters — the menu also has a “Portuguese Specialties” section with items like bacalhau com natas (cod fish with potato, onion, and mozzarella cheese), francesinha (a spicy chicken or beef sandwich made with northern Portuguese bread), and caldo verde soup (soup made with collard greens, potato, and chorizo sausage).

Portuguese prego roll with egg and a milkshake from Senhor Galo's
My lunch: A Portuguese prego roll topped with a fried egg, ordered off the Portuguese specialty menu, and a Peppermint Crisp milkshake. I can’t overstate how tasty it all was. The prego cost R55 ($3.80) and the milkshake cost R36 ($2.50). I usually eat in my car when documenting roadhouses, to keep things authentic, but the parking lot was really hot so I took advantage of the shaded seating area.

I had a nice chat with Jose, who still speaks with a thick Portuguese accent despite having lived in South Africa for 60 years. Come to think of it, I should have asked Jose how old he is. He is very spry and I can’t believe he was even alive 60 years ago.

Restaurant owner Jose with two of his customers
Jose (center) with two Senhor Galo’s customers, Jenny and Tyrone. Jenny and Tyrone have already eaten at Senhor Galo’s twice since the restaurant opened.

I highly recommend Senhor Galo’s — I would go there all the time if I lived in Edenvale.

While we’re on the topic of roadhouses: Please tune in to Mix 93.8 FM tonight between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. South African time. I’ll be speaking to Mix FM host Graham Alexander and South African musician Tim Parr about my Gauteng roadhouse series. I think it’s going to be really fun.

Senor Galo’s is in the Edenglen Retail Center on Harris Road, Edenvale. Call 011-452-0732.

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