Wabash - James RYN Review

James RYN's picture
How Helpful?: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
How Busy?: 
A few tables occupied
Time of Day: 
Weekday Dinner
Date of Last Visit: 
Monday, October 7, 2019
3.38 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
2 (Quite rude, ignored me as they walked past)
Speed of Service: 
4 (5 - 10 mins - Some conversation had begun)
Quality of Food: 
3.5 (Average but with lots of peri-spice)
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
4 (Very clean, newly furnished, impressive artwork and lighting)
Additional Comments - This will make you stand out in the competition! Unique aspects? Student discounts? Parking tips?: 

Finally back at a US Nando's after 9 years! Last time I was in Chicago they were yet to expand into Illinois, so it was nice to see the progress being made by Nando's USA (or Nando's Peri Peri as they call themselves here).

First thing that struck me was how they market themselves here. It is pitched as 'South African Street Food', with only a small mention of Portugal on the wall, and nothing about Mozambique, though they do reference chillis from 'East Africa'. Perhaps this is a result of the American's stereotypical lack of geographical awareness, with South Africa being perceived as a far-away exotic location, who must have food worth trying! Sauces for sale were also veyr expensive, at $4.99 per bottle - over double the price of the UK!

It seems the system here isn't to be shown to a table. The Nandoca on the door simply tells you roughly where your table is, then gives you a Nando's cock with the table number on and points you toward the till to order straight away. It reminded me of the old days in the UK when every table had an assigned numbered cock - something which I think got too annoying as people were prone to stealing the cocks!

Food itself came quickly though I sitll had time to take in the decoration. It felt pretty much brand new, and everything was spotless. The food though was a bit of a mixed bag so I am slightly torn on the rating to award. While the wrap was absolutely delicious and very well put together, the chips had almost no peri-spice on them at all. I asked a Nandoca for some more and she simply never came back with it! Very disappointing, and ultimately means I cannot award more than a 2/5 for staff.

Overall a pretty good experience, with some subtle differences to the UK. Hopefully I'll have time to try another brand while in the city!

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