Even though Portuguese explorers couldn't pronounce the Swahili name for the African bird's eye chili—pili-pili—the sailors fully embraced its flavor shortly after landing in the region known today as Mozambique. Intrigued by the small, fiery pepper, they combined it with aromatic doses of herbs, garlic, and lemon to create the first peri-peri sauce. That sauce eventually became a wildly popular marinade for poultry, and the tasty concoction made its way to South Africa over the next several centuries. There, in 1987, two friends decided to honor this culinary legacy by founding the first Nando's Peri-Peri restaurant. The eatery continued to remain true to its South African roots, even while expanding to encompass locations in 24 countries across four continents.
Beginning with fresh chickens that never see the inside of a kitchen freezer, the chefs furtively marinate the birds in a secret peri-peri sauce for 24 hours before grilling them over an open flame. Diners dictate the heat level of their order, requesting that the grilled chicken arrive relatively mild or that wings be slathered with even more incendiary spices. The succulent chicken can be plated with hearty side dishes—such as Portuguese-style rice with herbs and peppers or peas with mint—or served in the form of a sandwich, wrap, or pita. To complement the menus' African flavors, Nando's worldwide locations collectively feature more than 4,000 pieces of African artwork.
Flame-kiss the fresh-ingredientful menu and your fellow diners with a hot, saucy starter of the vegetable spring rolls (with Thai chili sauce, $9), and then dive into the meat of the menu with a full order of steamed pei mussels ($18). A trip to a grill is lacking without a skewer of meaty meat pieces, so have a combo skewer platter with impaled and roasted steak, shrimp, chicken, and vegetables ($28). Celebrate the waterfront views with an order of jumbo lump-crab cakes ($32) and a side of lobster macaroni ($10). All entrees come with a choice of two sauces, which range in intensity from sleepy baby to Al Pacino plays the Devil, including apricot tarragon, sweet Thai chili, blackberry demi, red-pepper aioli, green tomatillo, chipotle-mango chutney, and abominable snowman.
Located in Alexandria (Old Town Alexandria), Morrison House, a Kimpton Hotel is minutes from Lyceum and Alexandria's Christ Church. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Gadsby's Tavern Museum and Alexandria City Hall.
Make yourself at home in one of the 45 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and LCD televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, designer toiletries, and hair dryers. Conveniences include multi-line phones, as well as laptop-compatible safes and desks.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Make use of convenient amenities such as wireless Internet access (surcharge), concierge services, and wedding services.
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's 24-hour room service. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge), a 24-hour business center, and limo/town car service. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and banquet facilities. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary (available on request).
Growing up, Chakra Café’s owner Monisha lived two different lives. At school, she was known by her given name and spent lunch hours twirling spaghetti on a fork. But at home, Monisha’s Bengali parents only referred to her by her nickname, Hashi–or laughter–and mealtimes meant scooping up lamb curry with a piece of luchi. The duality of Monisha’s two worlds–and the food she was exposed to–left a lasting impression and is the driving force behind the Café’s menu.
Inside Chakra Café’s kitchen, chefs marry Indian flavors with culinary traditions from around the world, using recipes adapted from Monisha’s mother, according to a Patch.com article. Traditional Bengali dishes such as begun bhartha–roasted eggplant flavored with green mango–are served solo or stuffed inside quesadillas with smoked fontina cheese, roasted pine nuts, and raitha yogurt sauce. Other Indian staples are also Americanized, from the tandoori chicken that tops flatbread pizzas to spaghetti paired with lamb meatballs and a whisper of ghee. Each item on the menu is clearly marked as halal, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, making it easy to decipher the dishes without meat and the ones that require each bite to be chewed 32 times.
BGR The Burger Joint’s burgers start with high-quality ingredients—most importantly, all-natural beef from grain-fed cattle, free to run in the fields and given zero hormones, fillers, or antibiotics. The prime beef is dry-aged, blended, and ground fresh to form patties that are grilled over an open flame, and then placed atop buttery, locally made brioche buns delivered fresh each day. The menu focuses on the Legendary Burger, which includes gourmet toppings such as avocado, applewood bacon, and grilled jalapenos. For nonbeef eaters, the menu's selection of burgers also includes turkey and veggie varieties, as well as The Greek, a seasoned lamb patty topped with tzatziki and feta. Burgers are also available in a lettuce wrap or on a salad in a healthy salad bowl.
Diners can request all of BGR The Burger Joint's freshly made fries—from thick-cut yukon gold potatoes to asparagus fries—be topped with parmesan, rosemary, roasted garlic, or a tiny tiara. The staff hand-spins shakes with Gifford's or Breyers ice cream to create extra-thick treats for finishing off meals, and some shops curate their own selection of bottled vintage sodas and offer beer and wine.
The Grille at Morrison House sets tongues atwitter with a menu, helmed by Chef Dennis Marron, of modern American cuisine boasting a French influence. Sample the gastronomic goods with the chef's tasting menu, featuring five courses running the gamut from starter to dessert and prepped with local ingredients. Appetizing openers are yellowfin tuna sashimi with pickled red onion and seaweed salad, or soup, available in fennel-bisque, baby-carrot-puree, and fingerling-potato-cream variations. Next up is the choice of foie gras torchon or braised pork cheeks—both scrumptious segues into the third course. While a shrimp cocktail is offered as tray tres, diners may wish to opt for The Grille's signature dish, the progression of scallops. The Poseidon-preferred plates of mouthwatering mollusks begin with a diver scallops crudo —the Italian version of sushi—before delving into a cold smoked scallop and a seared day-boat sea scallop, and then ending with a coquilles St. Jacques. A lamb loin and a pork loin are the carnivore-friendly options for the fourth course, with a cheese plate or a dessert rounding out the tasting menu.