If you hang around in hard-core foodie websites and message boards, eventually the question crops up – “what chain restaurants do people have as theuir guilty pleasure?”. Almost invariably the one place people are happy to admit to liking is Nando’s.  

I read an interview yesterday with Nando’s chief exec David Niven ( no, really) who was very bullish about their propspects, having adopted internally the slogan “Recession? We’re not taking part”. Last year they raised the number of outlets to 243, have another 20 planned this year and hope eventually to reach 450 in the UK. Interestingly Niven in part attributes their success to the uniqueness of their offer – peri-peri chicken, no one else does that.  

Maybe it’s no surprise people are wanting to piggyback. So hello to Gringo Grill, a big new family/student type place on Belgrave Gate, Leicester.  There’s some fairly fundamental  cultural confusion going here – Gringo Grill, as you might expect, claims to offer “Tex Mex Food at it’s best” ,  yet the menu is albout, yes, peri peri chicken.  Peri peri is the Swahili for chilli and peri peri sauce evolved through Portugese colonies – Nando’s as a business has roots in Mozambique. To link it to Tex Mex is bizarre. Maybe it’s  a homage to Leicester’s multicultural mix. Maybe it’s just rather dishonest.

 I can’t see Gringo Grill become a guilty secret. But do tell us here if you go.

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