Tuesday, October 6, 2009

nando's peri peri

nando's peri peri
1210 18th street NW (between M street & connecticut avenue), washington, DC 20036
neighborhood: dupont circle
note: there is also a location in gallery place/chinatown on 7th street nw (between H and I, i think), but i've only been to the one on 18th street ...
tel: 202) 621-8603
what was consumed: whole chicken, sides (cole slaw, garlic bread, rice), chicken wings ...
a friend of mine once mentioned that there was some south african chicken place that was supposed to be good. turns out it was nando's peri peri. and when one opened up by work, i was excited to try 'em out! so excited that i got a group of work people together to check out the fine fares of south african (grilled) chicken and all of the fixin's that come along with it.
we walked in and immediately got in line. in the long, long line. maybe it's the hype? maybe it's the food? we would soon find out! anyway, you order food sort of like in a fast food restaurant - take a look at the menu, tell the person at the counter, pay your money. they then give you a number and you go and sit down (at least we did - we had planned on eating at nando's). they have "food runners" who come by with your plates of food. well, it was plates of food for us. we ordered grilled chickens, wings, sides, and even a wrap (that was marguerite). i often find value in ordering a variety of things - this experience was no different. yay for a number of people going so we could get lots of different things!
now, nando's is famous not only for their grilled chicken (which we ordered), but also for their peri peri sauce. i'm not a huge sauce fan, but nando's does have a wide selection and i wanted to try some of them. there are spicy sauces, garlicky sauces, regular peri peri sauces (i'm not really sure hot to describe the peri peri sauce. maybe a south african version (of sorts) of bbq sauce? but not as smoky/tangy?). nando's has a number of "bars" throughout the restaurant (usually located next to the beverage stations) with large bottles of the sauce. we grabbed a few to accompany our meal. grilled chicken, chicken wings (that included both the wing and the drumette - yeah!), and a bunch of sides.
my thoughts on the food? the grilled chicken was pretty good. in fact, i'll probably find myself at nando's again, enjoying their chicken. i like that the wings are both wings and drumettes, i like that you can adjust the sauce to your liking, i like that the chicken is grilled (don't get me wrong - i love me some fried chicken! does anyone have any recommendations?). the sides, however, were ... lacking. i love side dishes (come on, now, i'm korean!), so having good side dishes to accompany my meal are total bonuses. that isn't to say that the sides were inedible. they were all right; i was just expecting more. but maybe that's the thing - high expectations. sigh ... all in all, individuals in my group left nando's full and happy - always a good sign!
i don't know if nando's is still as popular as it was when i made my little visit. i imagine it is. i'll have to check 'em out out. this time, i will order the chicken livers! haha ...

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