Walking into the Nandos on H street in Washington DC feels like walking into the familiarity of home and with the juxtaposition of the warm African tunes, the nostalgia of family and good food begins to kick in. The exposed brick and industrial steel vents makes this the most unique Nandos I have visited in the states thus far. I've been to four Nando's locations in the states thus far: DC, Virginia and Chicago. You many be wondering, why do I keep coming back?
To start the food quality, friendliness of the staff and the overall atmosphere at each of these locations have been exceptional! While there are plenty of five star restaurants in DC, there’s nothing like some Nando's my friends. The feeling that you get when you encounter an old friend from home or the welcome that an aunt that hasn’t seen you in years gives you is what I can liken my Nando's experience.
I walk in and I’m one of those people that knows what they want from the jump! So yes, I strut right up to the cashier and say wow! I’m here again. I say this freely as though the man or woman behind the till is the aforementioned ‘aunt’. What would you like to eat today they ask and I automatically say … ummm (acting like I don’t know the half chicken and Peri Peri fries aren’t what I'm about to ask for) can I take a look at your menu? Don’t judge me! I peruse the menu with some weird hope that a new item of interest will catch my eye but then as I usually do, I say ½ Peri Peri chicken and fries. When they ask how hot I always get giddy with anticipation. Now for my American friends – hot sauce is not actually ‘HOT’. It’s also cute how many of my American friends fear spicy foods. Come on yall! You can’t actually taste the food with all that spice they say – ummm that’s the point! I love spicy food and I gladly get my hot or extra hot Peri Peri chicken and dig in and I sway to the African music in the background.
As I write this post with my belly filled with Nando's and bopping along to Papa Wemba and then some Malian music in the background! Very few things give me lasting joy like a great meal at Nando's. So if you see me coming your way Nando's, know that @Africancocktail (Instagram or Tweet me!) is probably one of your oldest and most loyal customers.
I love Nando's so much that I would be willing to partner with someone and open one up in the Northeast! Come on people! Hit me up and let’s bring some Nando's goodness up North! For now, I will end this post swaying to melody of besame mucho and hope that I took you on the same gastronomic ride that I take when I walk into a Nando's restaurant. If not, here are some pictures to enjoy from their H street location in Washington DC.
Three women going through life.