Larb Nachos

These nachos are inspired by Christopher’s trip to Cambodia. There he ate nachos with gloriously spiced ground chicken. Here, we took a rather simple larb recipe… with ample lemongrass and hot chili… stolen from Foodnetwork and paired the meat with a very thin cheese sauce prepared with Habanero jack. Our initial desire was to use freshly fried wantons. However, a sample batch proved the wanton too weak to handle the heft of our topping. As such, we reverted to our preferred chip – freshly fried corn tortilla wedges.

The pictures after the jump tell the full story.

Continue reading

A Call To Arms

“No one ever wants to read about salad hunters. The people want Nacho Hunters, Motherfucker.” – Matt Barnette.

And with that, expect the Nacho Hunters to get cracking on new content soon.

Nick’s Crispy Tacos, San Francisco

A month ago I was in San Francisco without Gritz, which allowed me to sample some nachos with his forbidden meat – beef.

While San Francisco’s Mission district is full of amazing taquerias and home to the nations best burritos, I opted to take the hunt to Russian Hill. Why? Because I was lured by a name, Nick’s Crispy Tacos. Few Mexican ‘straunts bear my name, and I was staying in the neighborhood, making it a two for one kind of strike. Nachos and a namesake. Would the decision fail me?

At $6.75, a plate of Carne Asada nachos at Nick’s was ample for two. The build was average with chips piled up and covered in a homemade cheese sauce. Given my love of cheese sauces outside the yellow goop norm, this was an exciting discovery when the nachos emerged from the kitchen. Sadly, seasoning did not match anticipation. To call the sauce bland wouldn’t be a knock, just a truth.

Double thick freshly fried chips provided an ideal base for the hearty toppings. The carne asada gave much needed flavor to the cheese sauce. A very smooth guacamole and chunky pico granted a range of texture with each snatched chip. These were clearly quickly thrown together nachos, yet maintained an individuality through a well conceived interplay of components. Tender meat, smooth sauces, crisp tomato, crunchy chips. Textures at Nick’s became more important than taste.

And then, there were the surroundings. Nick’s is really just a corner stand within a velvet covered bar. A rather odd daytime feel for such street foods. Unlike the sublime nachos at Bar 89, which fit the environment to a T, nachos at Nick’s are a counterpoint. Quick and dirty food vs. glitz and glamor drinking.

The singular achievement of the dish at Nick’s came in the form of the carne asada. It took the plate from average to slightly above. Managing to cover, but not overwhelm, the chips, not a cube of meat was left on the plate after careful consumption of each chip. For this, Nick’s gets a 6.5 on 10.

Nacho Wallet?

nachohunters- nacho wallet?

This odd contraption is the “Nacho Wallet.” Designed by Anat Safran, an Israeli, the wallet follows our belief that people in Europe and the Mediterranean have no idea about nachos. This design is more aptly a taco. Yet, in our quest to find nachos the world over, we also search to define nachos the world over. Why are there so many misconceptions? Why is such a delicious foodstuff not understood? Why would anyone want this product?

What, you do? No fear, head here.

Polish-Mexican Nachos?

nachohunters - polish-mexican nachos?

On a quite stretch of Mayfair, literally steps south of London’s Shepard’s Market lies L’Autre, a Polish-Mexican restaurant. Over the past several years we’ve stumbled upon word of this bizarre gem on several occasions, and each time we thought, “Really must try that one day.” The day of reckoning came last Friday, during a slow and fruitful pub crawl in Mayfair.

The rumored story of the location—one of deceit and international intrigue—turned out partially true. Born at the end of the 1970s as the sister dining room to a now closed joint called This and That, it developed a following in the ranks of the nearby Mexican Embassy. Sensing an opportunity, the Vancover-bred owner hired a Mexican chef (from the Embassy) and started to appeal to this client base with off-the-menu items. As one might expect, other punters were intrigued (and here is that half of the rumors) by the Mexican dishes, which soon found a happy place on the full menu.

Continue reading

Chickie and Pete’s (Chicken) “Cheesesteak Nachos”

chickieandpete

Somewhat ironically, the Brothers Schonberger hold dual citizenship with the United Kingdom, a place where good nachos have failed to thrive alongside cultural treasures like Stephen Fry, chicken tikka, and football hooliganism. As noted in the preface to our great hunt, we actually ate the worst nachos of our entire search to date in Harrods, and as a general rule English establishments rarely deliver much more than a glorified plate of Doritos with salsa.

Whenever we’re gearing up for a trip to see the fam on the other side of the pond, I think a biological mechanism kicks in to temper our normally insatiable taste for nachos. “Prepare for a disgustingly greasy English Breakfast at grandma’s,” the stomach seems to grumble. “And perhaps a plate of sausages and mash if you’re lucky.”

Continue reading

Sixth Ward, NYC: A Night of Questions

map_taylormed

Last night I stopped by the Red Bull Snowscrapers big air event. Unfortunately it was somewhat miserable. I stood in man-made snow for an hour and felt like I was on the verge of getting frostbite, perhaps because my footwear would have been more appropriate for a game of indoor soccer than gallivanting in an ice field. On the plus side, the faux-mountain vibe and extreme cold got me in the mood to eat some nachos. So, every cloud…

Continue reading