As humankind strives to find cost-effective ways to transform itself into dragonkind, fire breathing has been delegated to expensive mini flamethrowers installed in mouths. Spit fire far more safely with today's Groupon. For $10, you get $20 worth of food and drink at Nando's Peri-Peri. This Groupon is valid for redemption at Nando's 7th Street and 18th Street locations.
Nando's Peri-Peri, founded in South Africa in 1987, brings Portugal's peri-peri flame-grilled chicken to the Beltway with only the bare minimum of laser lights and smoke-shrouded, two-way mirrors. Discovered by Portuguese explorers in Africa in the distant days of maritime exploration, peri-peri—also known as the African Bird's Eye—is a fiery chili pepper that adds a kick of capsaicin to any cuisine, clucker-related or not. At Nando's, the fury of the peri-peri pepper is harnessed in a marinade that fresh chicken breasts luxuriate in for 24 hours. The resulting dish offers diners with a slate of Scoville-scale-scorching spice levels—plain, the mild lemon and herb, medium, hot, and the daredevil-only extra hot. Step up to Nando's counter to order from the menu of sandwiches, pitas, wraps, salads, and, of course, peri-peri chicken. Enjoy a grilled-to-order peri-peri half-chicken with a regular side ($9.95), or bite around basted bones with five peri-peri double chicken wings with a regular side ($9.45). Nando's also sports peri-peri chicken breast sandwiches ($6.25), peri-peri chicken breast pitas ($6.25), steak sandwiches ($8.25), and veggie burgers ($6.25), as well as salads ($5.75–$8.25) for lovers of leaves of lettuce, with a chicken breast available for topping (an additional $2.95).
With vibrant lighting fixtures, evocative plants, and eye-arresting art, Nando's ambience adds as much of a jolt as the peri-peri sauce bathing its birds. Although food is ordered at the counter, patrons can enjoy their Afro-Portuguese fare from a booth or table in Nando's warm, wood-lined dining room. Coat your tongue in a heat-fighting milk poncho and visit Nando's Peri-Peri for powerfully potent poultry.
- "Putting the chic in chicken" reads a sign above the open grill. No kidding...The signature ingredient is grilled to order and served at whatever degree of zip you desire...The eating is sublime no matter your choice...Adding to the pleasure are generous side dishes (I'm partial to the sweet and creamy coleslaw and yellow rice speckled with minced bell peppers) and such novelties as the chicken liver and feta salad. Trust me, you'll love it. – Tom Sietsema, Washington Post
- The generous bowl of oil-slicked mixed olives and garlic cloves...makes a nice start, and a roasted, peri-peri-basted portobello mushroom served on a Portuguese roll...with salty halloumi cheese, chili jam, and an add-on ring of pineapple...is a genuine find. – Ann Limpert, Washingtonian
- This is the best thing that ever happend [sic] to chicken. – ABDULK4487, Zagat
- The food is quick, fantastic and worth it. I love that you get to sample many different sauces...You really cant go wrong with any of the fares. – Katie, Urbanspoon
- The staff were above and beyond great...It's hard to find a quick meal in DC that is affordable and freshly cooked. The chicken is always moist and flavored perfectly...Try the olives. Try the Sangria. Enjoy the chill atmosphere. – roundthaworld, TripAdvisor
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.