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Eating With a Baby--Nando's Peri Peri

A New Odenton-Severn Patch food blog reviews Nando's Peri Peri in Waugh Chapel Town Centre.

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!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Frank G. December 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM
As a new dad myself, an "Eating With a Baby" column is a great idea! Maybe you can include information about the changing table situation in the bathroom? It's really helpful to know where the good setups are. And how did you handle the somewhat cumbersome ordering situation at Nando's with a kid in tow?
Tommy Warshaw III January 02, 2013 at 03:00 PM
A great start to the series, Joeseph. While my daughter is now almost 5, we'll be hopefully adding a new addition this year. This column will definitely help. In the meantime, you've definitely piqued my interest about this restaurant.
Jenny Campbell January 02, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Great idea, I'm always curious to know if a restaurant is "kid-friendly". I have a 2.5 year old who likes to run ALL the time and won't sit still, so having a large waiting area is key, along with fast service and a changing table. I'm looking forward to reading other places you review. How old is your baby? In my opinion, babies are fairly easy, but toddlers are a handful at restaurants, at least mine!
Joseph R Kosack January 03, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you guys! Frank, I seem to recall that there was a changing station in the bathroom, but I am not sure. I'll probalby be there in the next week, and will get back to you in a future post. I think I was too distracted by the Dyson Airblade in the bathroom. Also, the ordering situation was easy because my wife was there too. She watched our daughter while I went up and ordered our dinner. Jenny, you brought up some things that I haven't really considered yet, but soon will as our daughter is rolling around like crazy! She'll be 6 months old in a week. There's not really a waiting area for Nando's, but when we were there (around 6 on a Friday night,) there was no problem getting a table. Service was ultra fast that night. They had quoted us 15 minutes for our food to come out, but it must have been more like 7 minutes. The next post will come out this weekend at a place to be decided on Saturday. Thanks for all of the comments, and hopefully I can keep this up!
Rich C January 04, 2013 at 03:09 AM
My wife and I had dinner at the Annapolis Mall location last week and we were extremely pleased with the quality of the food and service. It's obvious the food is prepared fresh making Nando's Peri - Peri a new favorite.

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