Friday, May 22, 2015

Nando's Peri-Peri

-Grubbing in Chicago  
New to the 'Scene'

I'm sure I'm not breaking any news with today's post but Nando's Peri-Peri is officially open in Chicago on West Randolph with two more locations coming to Lincoln park and New City this summer. The short story on them is they are an international franchised chicken chain originally from South Africa and huge in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. They feature a Mozambique Portuguese style of grilled chicken. It's served with a sauce that comes in varying degrees of heat. I checked out the first Chicago location, which is a place they chose over a few other cities as their first US expansion location. Up until now the only US stores were in the Baltimore and Maryland area.

Nando's in the West Loop

This was a PR invite press party and they also had a soft opening going on where people left what they felt the meal was worth in a large tip jar like bucket. The cash would end up going to 'After School Matters' which is a non-profit born out of Maggie Daley's heart. I threw a few bucks into the jar but I sat amongst the press people and was given a little bit of a round-up by a very eccentric employee who I believe moved to Chicago from another country to help run their inaugural location.

a peek inside

They brought out a slurry of plates and all of them were satisfying. I thought the fries were the only thing that I didn't need to ever eat again but thats ok because they serve rice and have a really good squash and corn dish that I would never had ordered on my own but would for sure get as a side next time I'm there. Which I guess answers my other question, I'd go back. I doubt I make it back to this location as I don't go over there all that often but I'm in the area where the next two franchises are opening up shop. I'd always wanted to try Nando's as I'm a fan of  Steven Raichlen's adaptation recipe and I use the Nando's bottled sauce found at Treasure Island and Whole Food's amongst other spots.

Hot Peri-Peri Wings

Peri-Peri is a hot sauce made from the African Bird's Eye Chile. The exact recipes can vary by country. It's Portuguese in origin but commonly used in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa amongst other spots.I thought the wings were decent, could of used more char but they were busy and I don't fault them for that. I thought the grilled chicken with an order of rice would be a nice neighborhood meal. The hot peri-peri has the slightest bit of burn for maybe two seconds which is really all I need these days. I like it much more than the medium. I welcome them and their empire to Chicago. As far as fast food goes it's a worthy option to have. The Piri-Piri trend is off and rolling.

Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken (Hot)

Nando's Per-Peri
953 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 488-3062

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