Tag Archives: Nando’s PERi-PERi

New Nando’s – August 7 – help downtown Chicago park

If you haven’t tried it yet, now’s a great time to go enjoy some juicy, spicy, flame-grilled chicken at Nando’s PERi-PERi. It’s a totally unique, fast casual kind of place where the food is excellent and you can enjoy special sodas or a glass of wine with your meal.

They’ve only been in Chicago a year, but this South African-Portuguese restaurant known around the world is hatching its eighth Chicago-area restaurant at 227 E. Ontario in Streeterville. If you go on opening day, Sunday Aug. 7th, 100% of what you spend will get donated to help renovate the popular Seneca Park and the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Chicago Avenue and Mies van der Rohe Blvd.

“When a new Nando’s opens, we like to be good neighbors by partnering with local non-profits to help the community,” said Burton Heiss, CEO of Nando’s PERi-PERi USASince opening in Chicago in spring 2015, Nando’s has raised more than $100,000 for local non-profits.

“We are delighted to have a Nando’s in our neighborhood, and we so appreciate their commitment to improving this important public space,” said Marc Schulman, who chaired the 1990 campaign to create the playground and rebuild Seneca Park in honor of his father, the late Eli M. Schulman, a well-known restaurateur who was active in promoting Chicago and helping youth. 

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Every Nando’s is carefully designed and completely unique, with earthy textures and bright colors that reflect its sunny African-Portuguese heritage. In Streeterville, Nando’s has transformed a former U.S. Post Office into a colorful and inviting destination. An over-sized mural by South African painter John Murray adds vibrant pinks and reds to the main dining room wall. In the United States alone, there are more than 700 pieces of original African art in Nando’s restaurants.

Nando’s new menu items – scrumptious!

Nando’s PERi-PERi opened its first U.S. location in 2008, and it’s been taking Chicago by storm in the last couple of years where we now have 6 (4 in the city) of their 31 nationwide locations. It’s partly self-serve in that you go up to order your food, but then you relax at your table and they bring your orders to you. And this is good food.
Nicola is a chef who’s part of the Chicago team – she came here from the original Nando’s in South Africa – that’s kicking things up a notch in the menu department. She recently introduced us to samples of several new Nando’s menu items at the 953 W. Randolph Nando’s. This location, a beautiful combination of indoor and outdoor seating, is like all their locations in that it delights all the senses with not only very enjoyable food but also surroundings graced by  unique and colorful artwork and decorations. And on a perfect-weather day in such a setting, these dishes all but sang they were so good, especially enjoyed with a glass of the light red wine recommended by the server.
Mainly featuring chicken thighs – the juiciest part of the bird – along with unique sauces and flavors, each dish was absolutely delicious.  The chicken thigh sandwich is chunks of grilled chicken on a simply scrumptious Portuguese roll and topped with their aptly named Peri-naise. Even for non-fans of mayonnaise, that creamy sauce makes this sandwich special. In addition to the poulry, though, there’s also a tangy new quinoa salad that not only perks up your taste buds but makes you feel virtuous for its healthy composition – greens with goat cheese, black quinoa, avocado, roasted squash and roasted seeds with a light, tangy dressing.
When you order the grilled chicken thigh skewers – chicken layered with onion and pepper – you are asked to specify your desired level of spice for the Nando’s basting sauce, from mild to fiery hot. Medium is perfect if you like sriracha. The skewers are nicely grilled, marked with little flags as to spice level, and served with vegetables grilled to crisp-tender and served in a super tasty, light tomato broth/sauce alongside a helping of brightly colored, mildly seasoned rice.
The two new lemonade drinks are totally worth trying out – pineapple and blood-orange/mango. The sweetness (pineapple is sweeter) in each makes a comfortably cooling complement to the spice in the sauces. And they’re just plain tasty, too.
We were already fans of Nando’s; these new items have put us over the top. Extremely good food at reasonable prices in comfortable surroundings – also with good music going on at just the right decibel level to feel like a party but not intrude!