Chicago Chicken

Nando’s Peri Peri (Lakeview)

By on January 22, 2016

If you’re like me, at nice restaurants you usually avoid the chicken. It’s not that I have anything against our clucking, feathered friends, it’s just that chicken is so damn easy to screw up. Overcook it and it loses all its moisture and becomes a rubbery, stringy mess. Undercook it and you get Salmonella.

But Nando’s Peri Peri has changed my view on what chicken can and should be. I’ve been to Nando’s three times and each and every time the chicken was cooked to moist, tender, African-spiced PERFECTION.

Nando’s is easy to dismiss if you’re just strolling down Diversey. Like, what the hell is a Peri Peri and what’s with those weird hanging basket chairs in the window? I’ll just go to Kuma’s Too next door. But just try it. This chicken siiiings. The meat itself is moist and juicy and the “Peri Peri” sauces will blow your freaking mind. African spices. Cumin. Garlic. Herbs for days. Spiciness that can dance on or sear tastebuds (if you’re a masochist and go for the “Extra Hot” sauce, that is).

The chicken at Nando’s is available in a wide range of variations: sandwiches, various parts of the bird, half or quarter chickens, and “wings” style. A chicken style for every chicken-lover.

The sides at Nando’s are stellar, diverse, and compliment delicious chicken meat well. Garlic mashed potatoes with your chicken sandwich? Yes, please, chicken lady, and may I have another? Maybe the cucumber and pickled onion salad, mashed peas, or stewed squash? Or hell, how about the excellent spiced french fries?

They serve a wide range of libations: craft beer, obscure sodas and wine. The decor is trendy – think abstract art, a giant wall mural, and wood everywhere. Warm and very comfortable.

And the smell. It absolutely stinks of sexy grilled chicken in Nando’s. It smacks you in the face when you walk in and doesn’t let up until you’re a block away from the restaurant. Nando’s is just really cluckin’ good.

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