Monday, August 5, 2013

Itasca Grill (Minneapolis Airport, MN): Nachos with Chicken

Yep, you read that right: airport nachos!  I've done bowling alley nachos (twice, actually), so why not Airport nachos?  Can you think of anything better to do on a layover in Minesota than eat nachos?  I didn't think so.  The reason that I ended up in Minnesota at the beginning of August was because my dear maternal Grandfather passed away on July 22nd.  He was a wonderful man, and I'm sure he would've wanted us all to enjoy ourselves while travelling to his funeral.  Nachos is one of the ways that I enjoy life, so this was perfect, especially because everything else having to do with air travel totally blows.

The nachos were surprisingly decent, with scallions, olives and jalapeños generously sprinkled on top and plenty of crispy chips and good cheese.  The guacamole ($1.69 extra) was obviously of the "Wholly Guacamole" variety from Costco which tastes a little weird but was probably the only choice, given the dearth of avocados in Minnesota.  Overall, I enjoyed this plate and it beat the hell out of the Burger King Sausage Croissandwich I had for breakfast on the return trip after being stranded in Minneapolis overnight (a whole other story that sucks so bad that I refuse to soil my nacho blog with it).

Rating: 3½ out of 5
Rating Notes:  Microwaved, but chips stayed crispy.  Real cheddar cheese (I was expecting platic cheese sauce). Chicken was of the pre-cooked variety with fake grill marks that the chef most likely just microwaved and cut into cubes.  Bonus ½ point for brightening my bereavement trip a little ;-)

Map to Location:

Side Note:
Besides being a nacho freak, I'm also a souvenir shot glass freak.  The Minneapolis Airport gift shop in concourse 'C' has the best selection of single-location souvenir shot glasses that I've ever seen!  They must've had 20-30 different types, including one style made out of wood.  Check it!:

There was even 1 more shelf above the ones you see that didn't fit into the frame in the tight quarters of the gift shop.  Wow!

Taqueria Lorenas (San Jose, CA): Chicken Nachos

Isn't it funny when you're trying to clear space off of your smartphone and you come across a photo that makes you say, "oh yeah, I forgot about that!"  This was one of those times.  In this case it was, "Oh yeah, geez, how long ago was it that I went to that place?  Long enough ago that I don't remember..."

Accompanying short story:
Ah, what a cute little plate of nachos. Worth the 15 minute drive from my work?  Only for the sake of nostalgia.  Well, almost.  My nostalgia in this case was misdirected because it turns out that the place I thought I was going to, which was actually down the street from Lorenas (and where a buddy of mine and I used to get tasty Mexican food) had had a truck drive through the side of it some years back and is now repaired but has some other business in the building.

The Review:
Like I said - kinda small plate of nachos.  And look closely:  see anything that looks odd?  Yes, another "authentic" taqueria that doesn't put any goddamn cheese on their "nachos"!  I should start printing out my "Origin of Nachos" post and  taping it to the front door of every place I've gone that doesn't put cheese on their "nachos".  The only saving graces were good chicken and decent chips.  Altogether not worth the drive.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Rating Notes: No cheese = no chance of a high score, no matter how good the meat and chips are.
Map to Location: