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Judging Restaurants – Nando’s Peri Peri

by Prince Of Petworth September 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm 22 Comments

Nando’s Peri Peri is located in Dupont at 1210 18th Street, NW and in Chinatown at 819 7th Street, NW. Their Web site says:

“Way back in the 15th Century, in the rich soils and intense heat of Southern Africa, our Portuguese forefathers made a monumentally important discovery – the African Birds Eye Chilli.

Known as Peri-Peri, this fiery little customer is added to special herbs and spices to give our Nando’s original Peri-Peri sauce its unique flavour. The exact recipe remains a closely guarded family secret handed down from generation to generation.

Peri-Peri gives your taste buds an extreme work-out and contains no preservatives, no colourants or artificial flavours so it’s totally natural and healthy. Peri-Peri helps reduce cholesterol and is rich in vitamins A and C. What’s more, it’s reputed to be an aphrodisiac. Hot stuff in more ways than one!”

You can see their menus here. I seem to recall there were some fans when first learned they were opening at the Dupont location. Do they offer the best chicken in DC? Think they’ll open any other spots in other neighborhoods?

  • gup

    This place rocks! The flavor is more complex then just “fire.” it is sweet, savory, rich and most importantly heat. but to call it just “hot” food is too simple.

  • Mouna

    Not the best in DC, not bad either. Think pricing is off, the sides are too expensive.

  • Anonymous

    There’s one in Chinatown, nextdoor to Hooters. Great sauces.

  • Neal – Som Records

    I love this place! I think its one of the best fast food/chain restaurants around. I’ve only eaten at the one in Dupont so I can’t speak for any other locations but count me a big fan.

  • UStreetGal

    Great food, great prices. One of my go to spots for a quick meal. Or take out on game day!

  • alpha

    Getting ready to open in Silver Spring also.

  • tad

    just delicious.

    and they were open during snowpocalypse. big props for that.

  • Shawn

    I think it’s a little too pricey for what you get.

    I’d just rather have a Chik fil A

  • _joecrawford

    The chicken is dry, just go to El Pollo Sabroso instead.

    • JB


      • [email protected]


  • cookietime420

    For fast food, it’s the best in my book. My favorite is the cous cous salad with chicken. It’s my go-to place when I’m in Chinatown for events and such and need a quick meal.

  • victoria

    A great example of a Groupon success. I liked it a lot – chicken was tender, side of peas was incredible, staff were super nice, interior is comfortable and full of art – but would probably never have sought it out without the groupon.

  • Tres

    I like this place. Much nicer atmosphere than its sans-waiter competitors. It feels like a “real” restaurant.

    I guess I’d call this high-end quick service. It has more in common with Taylor’s than Chipotle or Fuddruckers.

  • grumpy

    delicious – this place makes me happy that I’m no longer a vegetarian – I like the squash & couscous salad (with chicken, of course)

  • JenDC

    Yummy! Loved it in South Africa, so happy they are here.

    • Adam

      So funny. I was in SA for the World Cup and saw these but didn’t even realize it was the same chain as we have here.

  • Not the best chicken in DC, but certainly one of the most distinctive thanks to the hot, peppery sauce Nando’s uses. The food is reliable, reasonably priced, and comes to the table quickly; the ambience of the two DC stores is considerably nicer than comparable quick-serve places (such as Zorba’s, the subject of yesterday’s PoP post). My spouse enjoys the veggie options available. We often frequent the Chinatown location for quick meals before movies at Gallery Place or Landmark E Street.

  • johnkin

    I love this place. No one has mentioned they have steak sandiwches now which I guess are new. I just which you could buy their sauces.

  • jt$

    I’ve been surprised lately by my difference of opinion with a lot of people on restaurants. Nando’s is an upgrade over 5 guys or chipotle if you’re in the neighborhood but the chicken is dry. I’ve been prob 5 times cause others want to try it, but objectively I think it’s very skippable.

    • Allyson

      I completely agree! I thought was the only person who just doesn’t like Nando’s too much. They’re okay if it’s nearby and you need a quick meal, but I’d take Sombroso in Silver Spring or Chix over them any day.

  • Badger

    The food is pretty good though they’ve changed how they sauce their sandwiches. The problem here (BIG PROBLEM) is how utterly incompetent their staff is. It’s a common problem, let’s not kid ourselves, but it’s particularly bad at this location.


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