Spicy chicken lovers get ready. Nando’s is coming to Old Town Alexandria. The South-African based chain is moving into the 704 King Street spot previously occupied by Popeye’s.
Now, we realize replacing a chicken chain with another chicken chain doesn’t seem impressive, but Nando’s is one of the hottest brands worldwide with 900 stores in 24 countries. In 2008, this casual-dining restaurant landed in the U.S. with a couple of locales in D.C. They now have seven total, with others in Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Bethesda and National Harbor.
Alexandria will be there first entry in Northern Virginia.
Having never been to one of their restaurants, I hopped over to National Harbor yesterday to get my first taste. Their flamed-grilled “Peri-Peri” has five options - plain (mildly spicy), lemon and herb, medium, hot and extra hot. The Portuguese sauce is said to be very healthy.
Enjoyed mine as medium spice, and my side, some really good garlic bread.
Talked with the manager, who said they plan to expand more in the region and nationwide.
As I was walking King Street, I started thinking about what is the best single block restaurant-wise in the historic district, or in the city for that matter. The 700 block of King will have 10 spots total, including Eamonn’s Dubliner Chipper, Pita House, Le Pain Quotidian, the new House of Kabob which recently replaced Sand Veg, and in a few months, Nando’s.
Note: From what I understand, they're going to gut the place, so adjust the ETA accordingly.