Nando’s, why the all the hype? (Downtown Toronto)

I work near Nando’s at Bay and College, and every Saturday night I would walk by this restaurant on my way home and it would always be packed. There is something about this restaurant that would call out to me. Maybe it was the smell or rotisserie chicken and all the people chatting seeming to be having a good time, or maybe it was the cool decor. Well, whatever it was; I caved.

I contacted the restaurant and requested the largest reservation they could accommodate. The manager stated that I could make a reservation for 24 people and he would sit us in the “private dining room.” The manager also asked that I let them know the order in advance, so that my guests will not have to wait for their food when we arrive for dinner. He stated that since they work on a first-come-first-served-basis, there may be a long wait (isn’t that how all restaurants work?). Anyway, I did what they asked, and provided them with the order the day before.

I decided to check-out this dining room several days prior to the date the dinner was scheduled for. When I checked out the private dining room, it did meet my specifications (I like rooms to be split into small tables rather than one long table). Specifically, the room when I saw it had 6 tables of 4.

The Good:

1. The restaurant had a cool vibe.

2. I love their hot sauces.

3. The wings were delicious.

4. Some of the staff was friendly.

The Bad:

1. The room was set-up really weird (imagine a V-shape)–it made communication very difficult and awkward.

2. Some of the chairs have a hanger attached to it. I am not joking! They have an actual hanger on the back of it. Dangerous and weird!

3. There is no table service. You order your food at the cash register like you would in a food court. Though someone does bring the food to you (you are given a little stand with a number on it and you put the stand on your table).

4. Even though we ordered ahead of time (the day before), the food was not ready when we arrived. Our reservation was for 7 pm, and the food did not start arriving to our table until 7:20 pm and it was staggered.

5. The garlic bread was all salt and no garlic. The bread was also soggy. Took one bite and left the rest.

6. The portions were small.

7. The taste of the food was average. Nothing memorable.

8. DON’T GET THE FROZEN YOGURT! All you get is plain white yogurt that tastes like ice and water, and there are no toppings to choose from. Nasty!

9. Really, just buy their sauces. That’s it. And maybe their wings. Nothing else.

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Nando's Flame Grilled Chicken on Urbanspoon

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