This is the start of a new Patch blog which I am calling "Eating With a Baby," as most of my meals now are with my baby girl. Unfortunately, that means I won't be able to go to all the fancy, fancy places that I used to before becoming a dad, but bringing my baby with me makes for a whole new experience.
I do consider myself a bit of a foodie (hopefully not a snob!) and will be comfortable anywhere from a 5 star restaurant to a dive bar. So, I am willing to try anything!
First up for review is Nando's Peri-Peri, which opened up on December 19th at the Waugh Chapel Town Centre. Nando's specializes in Portugese grilled chicken with a slight bit of a kick from the peri-peri spice rub that the chicken is marinated in. Diners can order the chicken plain with no sauce, or pick a sauce for the chicken to be basted in from mild flavors such as Mango and Lime to extra hot (or the unadvertised extra extra hot, not for the faint of heart!)
Best way to describe the place is Boston Market meets Buffalo Wild Wings. The experience is a mix between quick service and table service. Upon arriving, a host/hostess will see you to a table and hand out menus. You then decide what you want to order, go up to the counter, tell the cashier your table number, order and pay for your meal. After ordering, you go to a counter on your left to collect, silverware, napkins, sauces (if needed) and drinks. Nando's has a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, so you can get over 100 different soft drinks. My personal favorites of Peach Mello Yello, Orange Coke, and Cherry Dasani. Your meal is then delivered to your table, and the staff will check in with you periodically to make sure everything is alright, and will even refill your drinks or get you sauces and silverware from the counter.
Even though the skin is left on the chicken, the grilling removes a lot of the fat before the chicken arrives on your plate. A 1/4 chicken with breast and wing with sauce will only run around 300 calories (dark meat even less,) so some selections will not burst your waistline. Chicken was ultra moist and flavorful. Also, the chicken was not too huge, which helps with the quality of the end product. Quite possibly some of the best chicken I've ever had (and I mean ever.) I tried the hot and extra hot sauces, and loved both of them. I probably would order more of the hot than the extra hot for personal preference.
Sides were great as well. We tried the cole slaw, chips (fries) with peri-peri salt, and the Portugese medley. Slaw was flavorful without being too sweet. Chips were cooked well, and nice with the spicy peri-peri salt added on, and the Portugese medley was fresh with a good portion of feta cheese on top.
We have gone twice so far (the first time was during mock service, and that service is not part of the review,) so we have a good handle on how things work. The ordering process is a little confusing at first, but the staff is always there to help when needed, and made us feel welcome. Noise level was average for this type of service, and did not bother our daughter at all. She slept through most of the meal, and let us have some peace.
Overall, Nando's has become one of our favorite new places in the area. The sauces are not just about the heat level, and add a depth to the flavor. While Nando's is a lil more expensive than Boston Market, it is about on par with Buffalo Wild Wings. Party of two will spend around $25 bucks for two 1/4 chicken meals with one side each and soft drinks. They do have a limited alcohol menu for those who are interested. Looking forward to seeing what you think. And hopefully I'll be posting on this new blog once a week. Have a safe and happy New Year!