Friday, December 16, 2011

Taqueria El Dorado (San Jose, CA): Chicken Nachos

Ordinarily, if a food is fluorescent orange, I get a little nervous (ok - Cheetos are an exception, even though I probably should get nervous when I eat Cheetos).  The chicken on these nachos glowed just like it does in the pictures.  Maybe it was because after the nice lady behind the counter who was also the cashier built up this tasty concoction, she microwaved it to melt the cheese (a practice I'm learning is common to most taquerias - what ever happened to the "Salamander"?  If you don't know what I mean by that, see my post about the origin of nachos)  I may never know why the chicken looked like that, but it doesn't matter.  This was a good, solid plate of my favorite Mexican food.  Great salsa at the table, too!
Rating: 3½ out of 5
Rating Notes: The chips weren't the best, and the ones in the freebie, "ROI" basket they give you while you wait for your order were clearly stale.  Microwaving helped.
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Chapala Mexica Bistro (Campbell, CA): Pork Nachos

There were 2 good things about these nachos:
1. Great, homemade tortilla chips
2. The sunlight coming through the blinds next to our table that allowed me to snap this "artsy" nacho still life photo
Other than that, all I can say is that these were pork nachos.  I'm not even going to call it Carnitas.   It was just that, shredded pork, and it tasted just like it sounds.  No extra seasonings that I could discern, no kick, just pork, with all the barnyard connotations that it implies.  Was that fat or was that melted monterey jack cheese?  The world may never know.  Harsh?  Maybe, but I was so disappointed that in this recently remodeled taqueria (now a sit-down-get-served "bistro") with its nice looking menus and pleasant atmosphere (modern ceiling fans, even!), I got such poorly executed pork, one of the mainstays of most taquerias.  I'll leave it at that, rate these, and move on to my next review...

Rating: 2½ out of 5
Rating Notes: Oink
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Viva Taqueria (San Jose, CA): Nachos with Chicken

Word.  Live on, Viva Taqueria!
I wish I could say that the reason it's been over a month since I posted my last nacho review was because I was occupying Wall Street or finding a cure for cancer, but it's actually because I've been spending my lunch hours at work Making sure everyone on Facebook knows that I "Like" their posts and knows what I'm listening to on Spotify.  For shame...
In any case, I'm getting back into letting the world know how much I like chips, cheese, and meat with some of the best nachos I've ever had!
Viva Taqueria is where you should go if you break into a cold sweat when thinking about shopping at Westfield Mall (Valley Fair?) and also having to brave the crowded, overpriced food court during the Christmas shopping season.  It's just a hop, skip, and a jump down Winchester and serves great food.  Get some fresh air and walk to it between buying hipster clothing at Hot Topic and laughing at the prices of the products at the Apple Store.  Nothing is really special about these, mind you, but I scarfed down these shredded chicken nachos and left nary (yes, "nary" - good word - use it, you'll like it) a scrap on the plate.  Excellent, tender shredded chicken in every bite down to the last chip(!), jack cheese, and just the right amounts of guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo.  Simple formula, simply awesome.

Rating: 4½ out of 5
Rating Notes: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Map to Location: