Review: Nando’s PERi- PERi not focused on take-out presentation

The+Nando%27s+PERi-PERi+on+the+corner+of+Jefferson+and+Washington+in+downtown+Naperville+is+offering+curbside+pickup+and+delivery+during+the+COVID-19+pandemic.

Cameron Rozek

The Nando’s PERi-PERi on the corner of Jefferson and Washington in downtown Naperville is offering curbside pickup and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rachel Cole, Opinions Editor

Since restaurants have recently been forced to stop allowing people to sit in to eat, the quality of the food coming out through drive throughs and deliveries has been questioned. There are still many restaurants that, although closed, are still attracting many customers to buy and order out. The question is: are restaurants able to still provide the restaurant level quality through delivery? To test this theory I decided to order Nando’s PERi-PERi through Doordash. 

Nando’s PERi-PERi is a Afro-Portuguese inspired chain, famous for their grilled chicken marinated in spicy sauce. Since it was a place that I remember fondly going into during a recent  trip to Washington D.C, I decided to take advantage of the delivery service and order it using  Doordash.

 I got a classic quarter chicken breast that came with two regular sides of my choosing.I chose mashed potatoes for both since it’s one of my favorite side dishes.  While waiting for the delivery, which was predicted to be around 19-29 minutes, I felt a little skeptical. What made Nando’s so great was being able to come in and be able to sample and pick the level of spice that you wanted your sauce to be, so I worried about how much good the chicken would be after  delivery, when it would not be piping hot and served on a plate right in front of me.

My order actually came a lot earlier than expected and it smelled heavenly. The food was divided into little paper takeout boxes normally used to put Chinese food or rice in. 

The food, unfortunately, was kind of disappointing. For starters, the chicken was in a takeout box floating in a little pool of liquid and honestly looked like it was carelessly thrown into the box and not handled with care. When tasting the chicken a lot of the sauce that the chicken was marinated in seemed to have rubbed off in the box during delivery so it wasn’t as flavorful. The chicken seemed well cooked, but honestly, it was a true let down and definitely below dine-in  quality. 

Next, I tried my two side orders of mashed potatoes, which were  also put in a very similar box as the chicken. Unlike the chicken, the mashed potatoes seemed to be more neatly placed into the box. When taking that first bite I was automatically delighted by the amazing flavor and the warm soft texture of the mashed potatoes. They were super flavorful and definitely had me scooping in there for more after every bite. I’m pretty sure I finished off both boxes of mashed potatoes in under five  minutes.

So overall, I was not entirely impressed by the quality level of the delivered meal and saw that it was lacking in presentation, in good packaging, and honestly, love, because the warmth of the chicken and the flavorful sauce that really makes the chicken what it is was lacking in this home delivery version. The mashed potatoes were on point and were honestly the only thing that I would generally order delivery for from Nando’s PERi-PERi. So if you are stuck at home and want to order out and do not care that much about the presentation, then Nando’s is a  place that you can order from for something a little different.