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Portugese Chicken and Frozen Yogurt

The latest suggestions on where to go (or not go) in Anne Arundel County.

Nando's Peri Peri - Waugh Chapel Towne Centre - We went to the mock service prior to their Grand Opening.  It was a bit confusing when we walked in because we were seated, given menus. Then we have to get up and go order at the register, then you go fill up your drink at the one computerized cola machine and get your other self service items.  It took longer to get our cokes  then it did to eat because of the line at the coke machine ... The process is just confusing. As far as the food itself, they pretty much only have chicken seasoned portuguese style and you can't go wrong, it is all grilled ...  I ordered the garlic lime chicken and a side salad, two others in our party ordered the spicy hot chicken and two sides and another ordered the wrap.  It was good, not fabulous and in my opinion the price tag was a bit steep ... Our bill was $75 for 4 people and that did not include any alcohol or desserts.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt - 8765 Piney Orchard Pkwy, Odenton - I stopped by the second day they opened.  Very friendly staff—almost overly friendly.  I felt someone was lurking over my shoulder every step I made which made me feel even more guilty for breaking my diet.  Their process was confusing too.. You serve yourself the yogurt and then you go to the toppings.  One employee put the toppings on for you while four other employees stared.  I felt like saying - hold on - aren't you weighing this?  Why can't I put on my own toppings? Then this is where it got confusing...should I say I want 3 chocolate chips and 1/2 a sprinkle of fruity pebbles?  Perhaps it was because I went right after they opened and they were confused themselves? I am not sure,  I just prefer to indulge in my sprinkles privately. LOL.  Overall, it was ok. Not fabulous but not lousy ...  I tried the chocolate and pistachio and the others in our party got the cookies and cream.  Price tag seemed fairly reasonable. Four small cups of yogurt with toppings $11. 

Stay tuned for great places to go on New Years Eve with a list of prices!     

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Jeffery Qualey December 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Instead of indicating "the process is just confusing", I woud use the opportunity to teach those who have not been there: Nando's Peri Peri - Waugh Chapel Towne Centre: I have been to Nando's twice - once before they opened, giving me an opportunity for a free meal as they trained their staff, and once after opening. The style is different than most restaurants. You are seated with menus, but you order at the counter and give them your table number. You also get your own silverware. Fresh spiced grilled chicken is their standard fair, which is available in Plain, Lemon & Herb, Mango & Lime, Medium and Hot. Salads and sandwiches, an assortment of desserts, and beer and wine are available. The 3 of us had a whole chicken, plain, which still had a nice kick to it, a Caesar Salad, the "chips" (fries) with the Peri-Peri salt (think Old Bay, but better!), the rolls, sodas and some dessert for about $45. Depending on how you order it can be a bit pricey, but we were all full. The soda machine was the standard multi-selection Coke machine that is popping up everywhere, and they could use at least 1 more to reduce lines. Silverware and bottles of sauces of all spice levels are nearby. There are always many host/esses around who offer to refill drinks or allow you to purchase extra items without having to stand in line again. They share all their tips. As I write this, I am desiring a return visit soon!
penny December 30, 2012 at 01:08 PM
I also attended the mock service at Nando's. And while I agree, in most part, with the scenario described by this blogger, I believe the review falls woefully and pitifully short. The flavor of the chicken was beyond reproach. The chicken itself was cooked to perfection. The words "peri-peri" on the name should be your first clue that this is a boutique restaurant, not your neighborhood Applebee's. While I'm a spicey foods lover, I loved seeing the hot levels offered...all the way to burn your throat hot. But this being my first introduction to peri-peri, I played it safe and chose the lime sauce. Out of this world delicious. I wanted to buy a jar and tale it home! I also had the butternut squash and.corn side. As a person who only eats veggies because I know I should, I have to tell you that I could have made a meal off that squash. It was roasted to this tender flavorful stage, and even the big.chunks of onion in the dish had been stewed and marinated so long that they took on the flavor of the squash. Wow! Is all I could say about that dish. The finish of having a small cupcake...which was gourmet quality...and the flavorful bottomless frozen yogurt, was just the right touch to end the meal. I never thought frozen yogurt could ne review-worthy, but this yogurt was full of flavor. Our bill would have been about $50, but for dinner, wine, appetizer and dessert? A good value for our meal. Loved it!
Jeffery Qualey December 30, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Re: Nando's: Currently there are only 10 restauarants in the US. Expect a huge boom in their numbers over the next few years (I wish they were publically traded). Please check out their information and menu at http://www.nandosperiperi.com. The restaurant is in the "town center" portion of the new shopping center. parking is very limited within that area, but the walk from behind the restarant (Wegman's side) or from closer to the movie theatre is reasonably short.
penny December 30, 2012 at 01:15 PM
And I hate to say it, but hey, Patch...if you're going to publish a food critic, you might want to find one with a bit more sophistication and conscientiousness toward educating other diners, not just expressing a subjective opinion. This one seems often confused....
penny December 30, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Thanks for mentioning the parking, Jeffrey. It.took us a while to find the place, but were lucky enough to catch a spot right in front, which I at first thought was a fire lane. I wasn't even aware of the "town center" prior to this. Nandos is across from CoalFire, which has better signage.
Carol B December 30, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Oh, my. The lady who published the initial review is not a professional food critic--nor is her mission to educate the restaurant--though that might be a byproduct of her comments, if Nando's Peri-Peri is smart. Gourmands who profess a love for such stuff may know what peri-peri connotes, but there is one in Chinatown (DC) that I passed twice a day without knowing (or caring): a couple glances at its menu told me that it wasn't the sort of "boutique" that would appeal to me. Likewise, Ms. Estes was expressing her opinion of what she encountered, and her personal preferences, in case her observations would be useful to anyone else (if only to prepare them for what they were likely to experience, which might not be in accordance with their assumptions or expectations). That's certainly no reason to insult her personally, or call for her replacement. She isn't earning a paycheck for sharing her thoughts.
John December 30, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I also went to Nando's mock service and in a nutshell, it was fantastic. First, of all, the concept of looking at a menu then ordering at the counter isn't new for our area. Mamma Roma's and the Italian Market also operate in this fashion. When my family went to Nando's they explained the process in detail when we got seated, so there was no confusion. As I'm a fan of anything spicy, I found Nando's to be a rather rare gem in the world of "ho hum" food. We went with the medium sauce which was plenty hot for us. I will give Nando's one recommendation to get a second drink machine. When we were there it was pretty busy and I saw a few people frustrated while waiting in line to get a drink. Since it's one of those new machines that offers a lot of combinations it's not as quick as someone just pushing "coke." There's a learning curve for people who having used a machine like that (Firehouse Subs has the same one) and it can really back things up. While I haven't been to the new Tutti Frutti, I wouldn't care much for employees putting the toppings on if the price goes by weight. At Yolavie (which we love) we get to put our own topping on. I'll have to check out Tutti Frutti.
Debra Mims December 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I've been enjoying Nando's for a couple of years now in DC- Chinatown and more recently, when it opened in Annapolis. Its fantastic! I just wonder why Odenton proper can't get some of these more "upscale" chains, eg Starbucks, Zoe's Kirchen, Chop'd, etc? Surely the demographics supports the likelihood for success?
joe December 30, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Nando's Peri Peri isn't worth what they charge; it is grilled chicken with sauce. For two dollars, I can buy a pound of chicken at the store and grill it myself. Jeff and Penny; I didnt realize you had to be educated to eat at a restaurant, plus it seems to be uneducated to spend money on average food and also to attack someone giving there opinion? huh? From how you comment you must work there or have a relationship with someone who does, "They share all their tips" (Jeffery Qualey) average customers would not know that!
Jeffery Qualey December 31, 2012 at 01:07 AM
I admit, I asked questions. For example, how does this work, where do you order, where is the silverware, are each of the host/esses assigned tables or sections (and since they are not, what do you do with the tips, if any), what do you recommend, etc. For the free meal, I had to fill out an extensive survey, and to do so properly, I talked to them. I also took the time to make comments directly to the manager. That first day, it was initially way too hot (it was adjusted), and there was no music (they had a blown speaker or some other problem). That is the person who taught me about the company expansion plans, etc. So, one does not have to be educated, but some take the time to be.
joe December 31, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Why dont you make a local food blog since you think that you can do it better? I personally enjoy reading Mrs.Estes view on restaurants, and I will say that my wife and I agree with her on most restaurants, however if we do not agree, WHO cares it is her opinion! No need in making fun of anyone, we're all adults.. just something to think about.....
Tammy Estes December 31, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Jeffrey Qualey and your friend Penny. I really do not feel I deserved a personal attack because of my opinion. (The insults you made were removed, not at my request). Your attacks show the affiliation you have with Nandos. I would welcome a coffee to discuss our educational and professional status. Blogs are for people to give their opinion but when someone chooses to cyber bully another is where I draw the line. Which is why I chose to even respond to your nastiness. We are examples to the children in our area and NO one should ever be cyber bullied for their freedom of speech. So in closing.... OMG! Lets like meet for a coffee so we can compare resumes. Or we can meet at Nandos, it may be an easier commute for you.
Meryl Tseng December 31, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I went to Tutti Frutti a few days ago and the toppings were self-serve. Maybe they were confused when they first opened, like you said. They had fewer yogurt flavors than some of the other similar places I've been to, but still a good selection that's quite varied. Toppings were also not as many as other places, but still a wide selection. My only complaint was that I thought I picked marichino cherries, but they were actually fruitcake-type cherries.
Joe Robinson January 07, 2013 at 08:23 PM
Kepe up the good work Tammy. I myself did a coupld of reviews when Nicki was editor and I got bashed because I don't like Ledos. I myself appreciate candor and if nothing else, a negavie comment in a blog to me reinforces that it isn't the restaurant staff responding.

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