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Nando's Peri Peri Chicken

Good afternoon,
I got a seat at Nando Peri Peri Chicken's soft opening tonight. However, I cannot find any information about where it is except for the location described as "Gallery Place." Does anyone know the actual spot this is? Intersections, please.

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  1. It's on 7th St., N.W., in Chinatown, next door to Hooters and across the street from RFD.

    1. on 7th right above H. next door to Hooters and across the street from RFD and Fado.

      1. Please post your review!
        I noticed that there seems to be another one opening up south of Dupont on Connecticut. Any other locations planned?

        3 Replies
        1. re: hamster

          Where did you see that they're opening near Dupont? Their website sucks!

          1. re: aburkavage

            I've walked by the Nando's location on CT in Dupont a number of times. It's near the Fudruckers. There is a sign that says "Future Location" or something along those lines.

            I've never been to a Nando's and haven't really heard of peri-peri chicken. Can someone describe it for me?

            1. re: Elyssa

              Piri-piri is a W. African/Portuguese hot sauce; Nando's is a S. African chain that specializes in chicken w/ piri-piri.


        2. I was in South Africa about a year ago and my only regret was that I didn't have an opportunity to try Nando's... so I was very excited to see the "opening soon" sign on the Connecticut Avenue location (where Candy's Hardware used to be). My understanding is that they have different levels of hotness, with the Peri Peri being fiery and the others ramping down from there. All I know is that people rave about it!

          1. Chinatown location is open now, went there for lunch. To eat in, you walk by the long line waiting to order takeout, get seated, and menu-ed by a host. He raises a marker on the table to identify it occupied. You note the table number, go to the back counter to order and pay. Then you go get yourself real metallic (remember those?) utensils and napkins. This takes two minutes or so. Then you walk back to your table and, in my case, find someone else sitting there. The genius host seated someone at it (nice window table) just after my leaving. After 10 minutes or so, someone brings out your food. I ordered the 1/2 peri peri chicken with medium heat sauce and fries and it was all quite good and a reasonable deal for $9 considering you're eating off a real plate and not plastic. The chicken was grilled, very fresh tasting, and juicy--the fries piping hot. The peri peri sauce is a hot sauce and it is basted on the chicken while cooking. The spice was medium hot (no surprise there) and you can also dump more on if it is not enough, but careful, because it is medium hot. I'm guessing the hot is REALLY hot and the extra hot further still. Be warned. I noticed the sauce is carried by Amazon. All in all, a good alternative to the ubiquitous Peruvian chicken, I will be back.

            1. We enjoyed Nando's yesterday for an early lunch before the crowds heading to the Mall were too unbearable. We all opted for 1/2 chicken, hot sauce, fries. The meal is $8.95. Instead of fries, you can order slaw, mashed potatoes and a few other choices. The chicken was delicious - moist with a nice smoky grill flavor. The hot sauce wasn't sinus clearing - next time I'll order extra hot, but there's plenty of extra sauce at the condiment bar. Fries were bleh - frozen, pre-cut. Beer and wine are very reasonably priced. Even thought there are few choices, they are all from Portugal, offering a nice variety from what's available locally.

              Sagres beer, anyone? YUM!

              My only complaint is the ordering system. As described well by justaddwater, it presents some challenges. Unless the entire table troops up to rrder individually (certainly an option), you have to remember the entire order. If you want something after the original order, you have to pay again (new credit card swipe, etc.). Since we are lazy it discouraged us from getting that second beer.

              The help was extremely pleasant but somewhat scattered. It's clear they are trying very hard, and they are enthusiastic about the place. A gentleman who I assumed to be the manager came by twice to check on us. Requests for extra plates, etc. were fulfilled quickly and cheerfully. But the woman operating the register was kind of clueless...so check your order on the handy screen facing you before you pay up.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dcandohio

                Awesome! Back in 2001, I took a cheapo trip through the UK with a few friends who were studying abroad there. Nando's was a great money saver for us, but I had forgotten about it until this thread! I'm excited to try it again after 7 years to see if it's as good as I remember it.

              2. Does anybody know when the downtown/Dupont branch (Connecticut & M) opens?

                2 Replies
                1. re: masonuc

                  looked like not a lot of construction progress last night, mostly empty space, so not soon.

                  1. re: chowsearch

                    They are in no rush, that's for sure.

                2. I went to Naodo last night. The chicken was ok. The sides were very average. Coleslaw was soaked in too much liquid, spiced rice was bland. I don't see what's so special about this place.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: yorkville

                    My first visit to Nando was not that great. The rice was dry and the corn was soggy. The chicken was good, but I thought I would get a breast (as informed by the hostess) and instead I got a leg. The sauces, which I poured on my rice and chicken, were the tastiest part of the meal. I'm not sure I would go back.

                    1. re: yorkville

                      I went a few days ago for dinner, and it was okay, nothing special. Got a chicken breast sandwich hot with the corn and squash side. The corn was meh but the squash and cranberries went well together. The chicken was okay, but nothing that great; just a plain, boring piece of grilled chicken (I should have gotten a 1/4 chicken, I suppose).

                      I've had the Nando's Peri-Peri sauce before, and I do like cooking with it; but doubt I'll be going back to this restaurant.

                    2. Went last week after hearing so much about this place and we were disappointed. The food was pretty mediocre and it took FOREVER to get our order- much of it standing in line as people had trouble ordering in front of us. The sauce was like a lot of other hot sacues- we tried them all, nothing remarkable. It was okay, but not worth going out of your way for.

                      1. I liked it.

                        Visit 1) The Sit Down

                        I went on a Saturday during the afternoon, clearly not prime time.
                        I ordered the Half Chicken in "hot" with the Chunky Portugese salad.

                        - Chicken? Great. It actually tasted like it had been on charcoal. The "hot" Peri-Peri sauce wasn't that hot, but I guess if you were the typical Washingtonian you'd demand some white wine.

                        - The Salad - a cup of olives, celery, and feta. They weren't joking when they said it was chunky. I liked it.

                        2) Visit 2 - Take Out

                        I called in an order for 10 wings. You get the whole wing = tip + drummette + the other part of the wing, so for my purposes it was actualy 20 wings. The wings weren't that uniform in size - a few were just scrawny.

                        Same flavor, good sauce and flame tickled chicken. I had a side of grilled Haloumi - which turned out like a dried piece of fried mozzarella.

                        In terms of nearby "competitors", I think the wings are considerably better than Hooters and Bar Louie. It may be on my short list of go-to lunch spots.

                        South African Fast Food = 1for 1 in my book.

                        1. Went last week. I agree I don't like the sit down get up and quasi server thing.

                          We went sat down then get up to order our chicken, got drinks sat down. We then wanted dipping cups which the server brought us.

                          I got a medium spice 1/2 chicken with fries and cole slaw. I actually liked the slaw, it wasn't overly sweet or mayonnaisey. The chicken was spicy and juicy, but I think I perhaps just like the spice used in the crack chicken at El Pollo Rico more than this. It was good, but I just don't know when I live a few minutes from Carribean Grill and El Pollo Rico if it is really worth it. It definitely has a different taste than those places, it isn't the same style, and I think I just don't like the style as much. I might try the lemon herb if we ever go again. If you like heat it is definitely hotter, I just wasn't addicted to the overall flavor of the peri-peri.

                          The fries were good normal fries.

                          We then wanted frozen yogurt and then we debated do we go up to the counter, do we ask our server? Our server said she would put it in the computer for us and brought us a tab, then when we put cash over the reciept she didn't take it so we ended up going up to the counter anyway.

                          The service aspect is really odd I think I would like it better if it was all self-serve. Overall it was ok. I probably won't hurry back anytime soon just because it wasn't my thing and we cang et cheaper chicken close by.

                          I will say the leftovers turned into a great chicken salad mixed with a little miracle whip, green peppers, carrots and some herbs and other stuff.

                          The frozen yogurt was good, not like the frozen yogurt places around more like TCBY, but I like it sweet, reminds you of what your college cafeteria had.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ktmoomau

                            Representatives from Nando's were at my gym on Weds. with free samples. I had never heard of the place before. A guy from South Africa by way of London who came to this country with Nando's to open two restaurants in DC was there. He told me they have over 800 locations internationally -- Coke market research told them they should open in the DC area as people here are more likely to try new things. They will be opening more locations soon in VA. I really liked the olive mix and the nuts they had at the gym. The chicken was moist and juicy but the sauce didn't thrill me (it was "medium") but I saw they had "hot" and "extra hot" on their menu and that their food seemed relatively healthy so I resolved to try it. I went to their 7th St. location today. I ordered 1/4 white meat chicken (with the extra hot sauce) and the chunky Portuguese salad (no cucumbers). Their ordering system is weird, but I can live with it. After about 10 minutes, they brought my order- which had dark meat chicken. I sent the chicken back and started eating the salad, which I quickly discovered had lots of cucumbers. I picked them out. My server then returned with white meat chicken -- which had the medium sauce, not the extra hot which I had ordered. I called the manager over and explained the situation. She sent out a new Portuguese salad, which only had one piece of cucumber, a great improvement -- and eventually I got my white meat chicken with extra hot sauce. I thought the sauce was wonderful -- it was very flavorful and really did have some heat to it. She comped me a Portuguese roll, which was quite nice. She offered to comp me a dessert, but I declined. I thought the prices were lowish -- but the portions are small -- I'll probably order 1/2 chicken next time. I left full, as I had two Portuguese salads and a comped Portuguese roll with my 1/4 chicken. So, though I had bad service, the management totally made it right in the end which worked for me. I plan to go back.

                            1. re: woodleyparkhound

                              The management tries but -- at least at the Dupont location -- the staff is completely and utterly incompetent. I've been a few times and every time they have screwed up my order. And the lines take forever because the cashiers are incredibly slow. I think the food is good but I don't plan on visiting again until I hear they have gained some competency -- every place I have read online and everyone else I have talked to complains about the service.

                          2. finally checked this place out today.

                            seating arrangement is weird but acceptable. butternut squash and corn dish was tasty but way too small.

                            chicken itself was very good. liked the sauce.

                            livers were... not so great. needed more seasoning or something.

                            will try again with fries and slaw.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: kneelconqueso

                              The fries are mediocre, I recommend slaw and mashed potatoes. Peri Peri is certainly not the best food around, but it's nice for take out, or when you want to go out without spending too much. I found it a nice spot for a large group as the large family style meals are a good deal. I was out with a group of five and with the two-chicken meal we had plenty of food $74 including two pitchers of Sangria. The Sangria was a mistake, as they top it off with SPRITE (I thought sparkling sangria meant made with sparkling wine, not sugary soda!), and there's certainly not enough alcohol in it to merit $15 a pitcher. That said, there are a few $15 bottles of wine listed, so we still could have had dinner for 5 including 2 bottles of wine for $74, not bad.

                              1. re: chaussonauxpommes

                                Yeah, Nando's is very inconsistent. Some of the sides are good and large, like the garlic bread or the french fries, but others are very small. I've also had problems with them screwing up my order several times, like when they gave me extra spicy though I only asked for spicy. Painful.
                                But I do like the place for hanging out for a nice chat with a group of friends, in a place where you don't have to spend a lot for the privilege of eating there. It's a good place to have in Dupont, where those options are kind of limited.

                            2. I have never eaten here, but wanted to share with everyone that peri peri chicken is very very easy to make. I just wrote out the recipe (my family recipe) here if you want to do it yourself.