Nachos are great for just about any occasion. You can bring them to a sports stadium, or eat them at home while watching the game on TV. It’s makes for a nice break at the office, especially when you’re hard at work brainstorming or doing some computer code. It goes well with any sort of drink, whether it’s beer, soda, or even some iced tea.
But there are good nachos, and there are some great nachos. If you happen to be anywhere near any of the following nacho joints, then count yourself lucky and get yourself an order (or eight) of some nachos for you and the rest of your family and friends.
Bar Amá in Los Angeles
This place is famous for its Super Nacho Hour that’s offered from Tuesdays to Sundays. It’s a fantastic combination of nachos along with tacos and festive drinks like margaritas and beers. Even without the drinks, though, these nachos are just divine.
The tortilla chips here are loaded up with queso, along with avocado, crema, and salmorejo that’s a sauce combining tomato and garlic. You then have several meat options to choose from. You can go with soyrizo if you’re a vegetarian, or stick with chicken picadillo, ranchero chicken, or carne guisada (which is some kind of simmered beef).
The portion sizes here are just humungous, so even a single order is fine to start with. But you may end up ordering for more, especially if your appetite is bolstered by the spicy margaritas.
Point Break Poke House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
This place offers their ‘pipeline nachos, which, in their words, are “to die for”. These are not your daddy’s nachos, since they use wonton chips as base. And as there is “Poke House” in the name of the place, your protein choices are either salmon or spicy tuna.
Then it’s time to add the toppings, which can include aji amarilla (yellow chili), avocado mousse, sour cream, and pico de gallo. You may want to add some baby kale to make it seem “healthier” but it’s alright if you don’t. It’s a light and fresh nacho treat, and you can even get it with some charred pineapple sake infusion on the side.
Surcheros Fresh Mex in Georgia
This is a Tex-Mex franchise brand, but you won’t really find a location outside Georgia. But if you already live there, then you already know how great this place is.
The first thing you notice here is that everything is fresh. They like to boast that they don’t use freezers here. Then you’ll get to see the list of toppings, and it’s a seriously long list. Your options include:
- Banana Peppers
- Black Beans
- Black Olives
- Corn Salsa
- Fresh Chopped Jalapenos
- Fresh Squeezed Lime
- Green Bell Pepper
- Green, Yellow or Red Onions
- Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce
- Pico de Gallo
- Pinto Beans
- Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- Sliced Pickled Jalapenos
- Sour Cream
- Southwestern Rice
- Southwestern Vinaigrette
- Surcheros Sauce (Chipotle Ranch)
- Sweet & Sour Sauce
And yes, they really are all fresh. Surcheros has connections to local farmers, which is why the brand so far only operates in Georgia. These nachos at Surcheros are just great, and they’re not even expensive.
El Barrio in Birmingham
This is another place that focuses on sustainable farming and fresh seasonal products. But they sure like to offer their own unique twists on traditional Mexican food, and their take on nachos is a good example.
At El Barrio, they don’t hold with the strict rule that tortilla chips are absolute must-haves. Here, they use plantain ribbons, so you get some sweetness to go with the crunch. Then they put in some roasted pork, along with lime crema, cotija cheese, ancho chile, and pickled jalapeños.
With those ingredients, you’re in for a treat if you’re hankering for some heat with your nachos. You still have the tangy lime and the fresh cotija to maintain the brightness of the flavors. This is one appetizer that may very well end up as the main star of the meal.
Blarney Stone in North and South Dakota
Blarney Stone is an Irish pub with several locations in both the Dakotas. They offer their own Traditional Pub Nachos, along with the decidedly more unique Irish Nachos.
With the traditional version, you get the familiar tortilla chip base, which you get with either chicken or beef as your protein. You then add the jalapeños, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, and melted cheese, along with the salsa and sour cream. It’s a reliable favorite for most folks.
But if you’re looking for something new, then you really should try the Irish Nachos. It sure is different, since the base is made from crispy waffle fries. With your beef or chicken, you then have warm gooey melted Jack and cheddar cheese, along with green onion, jalapeños, and tomatoes. You also get salsa, along with their signature Dublin dip.
Get either version with your beer, and you’re set for a good time!
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