Friday, January 27, 2012

Tacos Mexico (San Jose, CA): Nachos with Chicken

Is there anything good about the startling number of hideous strip malls in the greater Campbell/South San Jose area?  Yes - the endless supply of taquerias.  Tacos Mexico, on what I'd call the "wrong side of the tracks" (read: the same side as The Pink Poodle) on Bascom Avenue is a funky little cash-only taqueria that has a surprisingly large crowd at lunch time.  If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time I've actually been worried about finding a table at a taqueria (we sat outside and the wind wasn't exactly balmy).
They have one kind of nachos: Super Nachos.  Are they super?  Only if your idea of super includes "plastic" cheese.  However, the shredded chicken was definitely on par with most places I've been that use real cheese on their nachos.  Also, just look at the picture:  all ingredients are present and accounted for, including the sometimes elusive pico de gallo and jalapeños.  Instead of "super" let's call these "muy bien".

Rating: 3 out of 5
Rating Notes: For just over $6, these were fairly priced and I have to admit I cleared my "plate".  Had there been real melted cheese, at least one more point would have been added to the score.
Bonus:  I'm a total gearhead, so I dug their tables, almost all of which had pictures of nice old cars on them.
Factoid: Tacos Mexico is the "sister" taqueria to Ricos Tacos on Winchester in Campbell.  Here you'll find much the same menu and good, reasonably-priced food, but an even better presentation for their nachos.
Map to Location:

Freedom Burrito (Santa Clara, CA): Chicken Nachos

Freedom Burrito!  I love the name of this taqueria.  It makes me think of either having the freedom to order my food any crazy way I want it or of a super hero burrito wearing a cape who delivers Mexican food to hungry children around the world!  Of course, Freedom Burrito the super hero would have remembered that in order to make a well-rounded plate of nachos you need to throw some pico de gallo and some jalapeños on top, and if you're really going for perfection, use thick, crispy, home-made, deep-fried tortilla chips…

In any case, these were pretty darn good.  Nice, tender, flavorful chicken and plenty of it, and although the chips weren’t the thick, home-made kind, they were far from subpar.  Very generous on the guacamole, too!

Rating: 3½ out of 5 stars
Rating Notes: Generous portion, good price, just lacking a few things like pico de gallo and jalapeños.  The refried beans were a nice touch that some people wouldn't like, but I do!
Map to Location:

Nacho Apology

Yes, it's been over a month since my last nacho blog post.  The 2011 holidays were quite a distraction from my quest for the perfect nachos.  Sure, a positive distraction, but that's no excuse!  Therefore, I offer this picture from Nacho Libre as an effigy of what I deserve for making you all wait!  More "real" posts coming soon!

For those of you who have not seen Nacho Libre (gasp of disbelief!), this is a scene where Nacho (Jack Black) and his sidekick Esquelito (Héctor Jiménez) are doing some ridiculous training for their wrestling career and Esquelito launches a cantaloupe at Nacho with a slingshot, presumably to toughen him up.  Awesome!

Interesting fact: Nacho Libre was loosely based on the story of Fray Tormenta ("Friar Storm"), aka Rev. Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez, a real-life Mexican Catholic priest who had a 23-year career as a masked luchador (wrestler)!

I hope all of you had a great Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Pagan Ceremony/etc... and that your new year has been prosperous and happy so far!