Monday, April 30, 2012

Wahoo's (San Jose, CA): Shrimp Nachos

So, I know the question on everyone's mind is, did I say "WAHOO!" after tasting these promising Shrimp Nachos?  Sadly, no.  I didn't even say it backwards ("OOHAW!") which sounds only slightly less festive.  As you can see in the picture, everything came separately with this order, which to me means one of two things to me:
1. They weren't confident enough to assemble their plate of nachos so they separated all of the ingredients and left it up to me
2. They wanted to show off the Shrimp included with this order of nachos and decided that the best way to do that was to not put anything on top of them.  But why the heck would they do this if there were only 6 (count 'em) shrimp visible in the sloppy sea of melted cheese that dominates the plate?

Shrimp nachos should be good like the excellent ones I've eaten at Tu Mero Mole.  These were simply disappointing.  No more to say.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Rating Notes: Yes, there was as much cheese as it looks like, and no, the shrimp weren't as tasty as they look.
Map to Location:

300 (San Jose): Nachos with Chicken

Yes, these are as big as they look (see dollar bill next to them for comparison.  And no, I wasn't pleasantly surprised by an unexpectedly great-tasting "diamond in the rough" batch of nachos at a bowling alley of all places...  Actually, this was more of a "lump of coal in a Tiffany store" moment.  Considering the relatively trendy, pricey bowling experience you get at '300' and some of the other, better-executed menu selections at this admittedly cool bowling alley, I'd have expected a kickass plate of nachos.  Alas, all they really have going for them is sheer size.  We had a party of 8 people and didn't polish off this plate.

Side note: Got an extra $10k laying around?  Rent the "Back 9", a 9-lane, 50k sq ft private bowling suite for you and 699 of your closes friends or colleagues and have a high-brow bowl-o-rama (drinks not included in price, but there is a private bar).

Rating: 2½ out of 5
Rating Notes: Decent chips, tons of plastic cheese, and lots of pretty terrible grilled(?) chicken
Map to location (San Jose Franchise):

Rio Adobe (Cupertino, CA): Adobe Nachos with Adobado Pork

So, welcome to the best plate of nachos that I've had so far!

I've been taking my time (read: procrastinating), trying to think of how to best articulate this nacho-munching experience.  This was a prticularly fun nacho lunch because not only did we have a group of people whooping it up, eating delicious Mexican food, but also tried a tasty Mexican dessert that I'd never had before (more on that later).

On the menu, Rio Adobe offers their enormous, top-flight plate of "Adobe Nachos" with either grilled chicken or beef.  Being the picky bastard that I've evolved into when it comes to what meat is on my nachos, this wouldn't do.  Skimming the rest of the menu, I spied "Adobado" which is a marinated, shredded pork.  Perfect!  So I ordered Rio Adobe Adobado Adobe Nachos (try saing that 3 times in a row!).  Great choice!  Just let me say, they should call "Adobadass" because this was some of the best meat I've had on my nachos anywhere.  Tender, flavorful and spicy!

And look!  They obviously melted the cheese in a broiler - the authentic way to make nachos (see my post on the history of nachos).  Most places I've been to lately use a microwave to melt the cheese, which sometimes has the unfortunate side effect of sogging out the chips.  Lame. Lazy.

Bonus!:  I'd like to thank my friend, Mike Chance for introducing me to Sopaipillas.  These delectable fried, puffed tortillas are served with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and arranged in a pie-shape on a plate.  You bite off one corner and pour honey inside.  apparently these are a bit hard to find in the bay area.  Worth the trip to Rio Adobe to try!

Rating: 4¾ out of 5
Rating Notes: Why not a perfect 5?  Some of the chips were a bit burnt and they didn't use home-made, deep-fried tortilla chips.  Otherwise, excellent!
Map to Location: (across the street from Smoke Eaters, one of my favorite munch posts!)

Monday, April 23, 2012

More proof that the world LOVES NACHOS: A New Record for the Worlds' Biggest Batch!

Re-Posted from 6Lawrence (Kansas) News' Web Site"

Lawrence, KS - The Lawrence community came together this weekend to create the world largest plate of nachos. They did it. The plate was over 80 feet long, two feet wide, and ten inches deep, weighing in at a world record of 4,689 lbs. It’s now certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Kansas athletics partnered up with Salty Iguana and Centerplate to make it happen. Those who came to enjoy the tasty treat were asked to pay $1 or donate a canned good to the LINK Kitchen. LINK officials say donations have been down recently and this event will help them get back on their feet. “It will help us pay our bills,” says LINK Coordinator Greg Moore. “We are solely supported on donations, so it’ll help pay our rent and buy our cleaning supplies.”

1,700 lbs. of beef and cheese laid on top of the 600 lbs. of tortilla chips that made up the base of the entre. But organizers say it’s not the record breaking title that has them excited. They wanted the Lawrence community to be in the limelight. They say so many people in the community work hard to help those in need and in return deserve to be rewarded.

Click here to watch the accompanying video!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taqueria Salsa Brava (San Jose, CA): Chicken Super Nachos

Bored with my posts lately?  You're in for a treat.  Allow me to tell you about this plate of nachos through the majesty of haiku...

New taqueria
Yes, always an adventure
What will I find here?

Salsa bar on left
Many a variety
Looking good so far

Chips, cheese, meat, salsa
Guacamole, sour cream
Shredded chicken? Meh

Crunch, chew, swallow, mmmmmm…
Even bland nachos are good
Think I've a problem?

A three out of five
Maybe next time I will find
A five out of five…

Rating: Read the last haiku
Rating notes: Read all the haikus
Map to location:

Taqueria El Abuelo (San Jose, CA): Chicken Super Nachos

Grandpa (Abuelo) must have had some skills!  The moment I walked into this taqueria and looked at the steam table with its variety of well-marinated meats, I knew I was in for a tasty lunch.  I was right.  These were some excellent nachos.  I don't care how sloppy the plate looked or that it was paper.  The bad?  Not the best chips I've ever had and a bit heavy on the cheese.  Nonetheless, I'd eat these again in a heartbeat.

About those chips.  This is the first place I've ever gone where you grab a small paper sack and fill it full of chips, never being able to return unless you pay for another bag full.  Thank goodness their salsa bar had some great stuff.  That green one in the foreground is an excellent avocado blend!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rating notes: Great chicken, all necessary ingredients present and accounted for.
Map to location: