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Portuguese 'Peri Peri' Chicken Chain Preps For May Debut on Randolph Street

By Janet Rausa Fuller | March 6, 2015 6:21am
 Spicy Portuguese-style chicken is the signature offering at Nando's Peri Peri.
Spicy Portuguese-style chicken is the signature offering at Nando's Peri Peri.
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Nando's Peri Peri/Facebook

CHICAGO — Come spring, Chicagoans will be able to choose where to get their Portuguese-style chicken fix.

Nando's Peri-Peri, a popular international restaurant chain specializing in spicy peri-peri chicken, is opening its first three Chicago locations in the West Loop, Lakeview and Lincoln Park.

The first Nando's opens in late May at 945 W. Randolph St. The second will open in June at 670 W. Diversey Ave, and a September opening is slated for the third store at 1500 N. Clybourn Ave., according to a company press release.

"We are exploring options" for additional locations, Nando's spokesman Jim Popkin said. "We shall see, but plan to be in Chicago for a long time and keep growing."

Nando's signature peri peri chicken, or piri piri as it is sometimes called, is named for the African bird's eye chile that flavors the sauce. The chicken is marinated for a good 24 hours, then grilled and basted. Customers choose the heat level of the sauce.

Menu options range from a quarter-chicken with a side dish for $7.25 to $51.45 for a jumbo platter — two chickens and two extra-large sides, for four to six people.

Sandwiches, featuring not just chicken but also ribeye steak and roasted vegetables, come on Portuguese rolls, pita bread or whole wheat wraps. Salads accented with that peri peri chicken and desserts round out the menu.

Nando's started in South Africa in 1987. There are now outlets in 23 countries. The only other U.S. Nando's restaurants are in the Washington, D.C. area.

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