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Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken Empire Expands To Chicago This Week

By Jim Bochnowski in Food on May 17, 2015 6:00PM

If you've never had Nando's Peri-Peri, you are missing out. Luckily for Chicago, the company is making its glorious entrance into the Chicago market this week.

Nando's is a South African restaurant chain that specializes in grilled chicken breasts. That's it. You could order a sandwich or a salad, but if you do that you're really missing the whole point of the experience. The idea is to order a quarter, half or full chicken, pick a sauce to put on top of it and pick a side. That's it! And it is amazing. The sauce is made of "African Bird's Eye Chili," or "peri-peri," which gives the chicken an incredibly unique kick. Some of you might say, "It's a chain restaurant, how spicy could it be?" The answer is incredibly spicy. The hottest variety of their sauce will literally reduce you to tears.

Currently, the company only has a handful of restaurants in the U.S. open in the Washington, D.C. area. But on Wednesday, May 20, Nando's will lay stake in the West Loop at 953 W. Randolph Street, followed by additional locations in Lakeview in June and Lincoln Park in September.

As Eater reports, the Chicago locations will offer a few unique items on the menu, including a chicken and kale salad, butterflied chicken breast served on garlic bread, a nutty date chicken salad, a roasted veggie wrap and a cucumber and poppyseed side salad. All Nando's locations also regularly feature funky art from South African artists as an homage to the origin of the restaurant. The West Loop location will feature "a mosaic that includes 4,032 ceramic tiles made by Cape Town artist Liza Grobler."

According to Nando's Facebook page, the West Loop location will be having a "housewarming" this Monday, May 18 and Tuesday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., so head on down and try it for yourself before everyone else finds out about it.