Review: Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken

I love getting invited to come out and review new businesses, especially when they make it easy for me to give them a great review!  This week, we were invited to come out and try the new Stonebridge (Woodbridge) location of Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken. (15001 Potomac Town Place, Woodbridge VA)

The best comparison that I can draw for those of you that haven’t been there before is that Peri Peri Chicken (named after a particular type of chili pepper) is a lot like Peruvian or Pollo a la Brasa style chicken, but better.  The chicken is moist and tender, but the outside gets a bit of a char to it, which is delicious! The flavor from the various sauces and marinades is delicious, too….but we’ll come back to that. When you walk in, you can decide to dine in or carry out.  Dine ins are seated at a table. 

 After you consider your menu, which has appetizers, salads, sandwiches, chicken platters, and even a few non-chicken offerings in the form of steak sandwiches and vegetarian options, you go up to the counter and place your order.  This could be a very simple process, as there’s are options to order platters in a more “family style” manner, or you can get something different for everyone in the family.  I kind of like that.

 Waiting for your food, you get a pretty good view of the people preparing it.  The restaurant is a good volume for kids, by which I mean that the music is up loud enough that no one is going to notice if they’re asking about the unlimited frozen yogurt at the end of their kids’ meals for the 200th time.  It’s probably slightly louder than you’d like for an intimate conversation, but it’s fun and upbeat.

 While you’re waiting, you can also pick up your silverware, any additional sauces you want, and your drinks over by the front door.  There’s even a sink, just in case you need to wash up. This is also where your children will find the unlimited frozen yogurt dispenser.

 We started with an appetizer.  There was hummus, which is always hard for me to turn down, but we wanted to try something a little different, so we went with the Red Pepper Dip.  This is served cool with warm pita bread and has a little bit of a tangy warmth, but it’s not spicy.  Everyone at our table enjoyed it- my kids love red bell peppers, but they especially loved the warm pita bread, so they’re clearly easy to please!

Both boys went for the kids’ drum and thigh meal with french fries.  It was our “last day” treat meal, so I didn’t push for another option (they’ve also got cole slaw and corn).  The sauce on the kids’ chicken is a barbecue style one, and they both liked it and didn’t find it spicy at all. 

 My daughter, noting that we were at a chicken restaurant, ordered grilled cheese.  It’s actual cheddar cheese, I think, not American, so if your child isn’t a fan of real cheese, you’ll know up front.  We are big fans of real cheese, so this wasn’t an issue for us.  As I mentioned before, the kids meals come with a dish for frozen yogurt when the meal is over, so there’s an incentive to take bites if you’ve got the kind of kiddo that needs that.

 My mom and I split a platter for two-three, and we had leftovers to bring home!  We ordered our chicken hot, which I found quite pleasant, but you can order your chicken from plain (mild) to extra hot, as seen on the pepper at the top of the post.  We ordered the Portugeuse Rice, which was slightly smoky and okay, but nothing I’d write home about.  We also tried one of their “fino sides”, which are a slight upcharge, which was butternut squash with corn, dried cranberries, cilantro, chili, and some lime.  It was amazingly good, and something totally different from what I’ve had before.  Other side options sounded great, too, including their salads and potato options, and I have to say that we got a little plate envy watching other people’s garlic bread going out from the oven, too, and we’ll have to try that next time.  I think that both my mom and I devoured our butternut squash without even breathing, and then remembered we had chicken.  The chicken was, truly, delicious, and we both had to stop eating before we wanted to because we were full from our squash but the chicken was so good! Our platter meal could’ve easily fed another person, but we asked for a box and our chicken was great the next day for lunch.  I really enjoyed the extra flavor that this style of chicken has- the marinade and the saucing really make for a tasty meal!

Let’s talk about dessert.  Yes, we were full, and yes, we were still eyeing that leftover chicken, but what’s a review without talking about dessert?

An incomplete review.  I will not have that.  Plus, as I mentioned, there were boxes.  We tried the Rasbpberry Brulee Cheesecake and the Chocolate Spoon Cake.  I am not typically a cheesecake fan, but this was the creamiest, most lovely texture of cheesecake I’ve ever had, I would say it’s better than the restaurant down the street named for it, and the Chocolate Spoon Cake?

So, let’s be honest here, this cake was $6.25.  I would’ve paid $12.50.  It’s like eating a giant chocolate truffle.  I love chocolate cake and it’s almost universally disappointing when you order it out- it’s dry and unappealing, but this cake is spoon cake for a reason.  Moist and decadent, you could easily get six spoons and share this on a girls’ night, but you could also eat it yourself, and I will not tell anyone.
Although, if you want to share with me, I would be happy to tell everyone what a great person and generally upstanding human being you are.  So, there’s that to consider.
Also, if you are interested, there’s Sangria.  We didn’t try it, but I thought you guys would want to know.  I know how excited we all were about wine before the last big storm, so it seems worth mentioning 🙂 
Nando’s Peri Peri was delicious.  Great food, pretty simple preparations, but different and new flavors that we really loved.  Also, that chocolate cake.  We will definitely be back, in fact, maybe even this week- my husband is a little jealous that he missed out on something we’re all raving about!  I’d remind you about the volume level if you’re sensitive, and we weren’t sure whether or not to leave a tip on the table (there are boxes by the register) so we erred on the side of caution and did, but other than that we were happy with our food, our service, and the overall experience! 
If you’d like to find out more before you go- you can check out Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken:

Disclosure: was provided with our meal.  However, even when people pay us, we reserve the right to tell you what we think, and all opinions are our own.  We really would pay $12 for that cake.  No joke. And, the chicken was amazing.