Nacho Patrol may reside in Boston, and even call it home, but deep down, our hearts lie elsewhere. On occasion, we must return to our ancestral homelands in search of family, friends, and stuff that our parents have been storing for us. On one such trip, a Nacho Patroller spread the good word about the best food in Salem, Oregon, at The Ram Restaurant and Brewery, a local institution/sports bar chock full of memories. Indeed, one of this Patroller’s earlier memories is watching the OJ Simpson car chase on one of Ram’s massive TV’s. From the lovely deck overlooking Mill Creek, you can watch the salmon spawning in the spring while you enjoy a delicious house-brewed beer. And on the inside, you can enjoy the Nachos Deluxe, with chicken and beef.
- Appearance: Plus one point for a triangular plate! Other than that, not the most colorful nachos (and shredded iceberg lettuce always seems so ridiculously superfluous). Guacamole and sour cream on the top, salsa on the side. Not the most instantly appealing (7).
- Quality of Toppings: Homemade chips were alright. The cheese was too melted, to the point of crispness. The salsa was surprisingly good, but it was in such a small container that it was difficult to dip in chips. Guacamole from a tub, ridiculously spicy jalapenos. It was difficult to pass judgment on either type of meat (see below). Overall, unimpressive (6)
- Distribution of Toppings: The chicken and beef were almost nonexistent– we wouldn’t have noticed them if we didn’t know they were supposed to be there. Guest Judge Mom complained, “These are hard to share!”, meaning that many of the chips underneath were too soggy to eat with fingers. There is good soggy, and there is bad soggy, and this was bad soggy. (7)
- Price: Ten dollars for a mediocre, medium-sized plate of nachos is rather disappointing. Considering the comparative value of real estate here, these were way overpriced! (5)
- Overall: While I love my parents and friends dearly, and there will always be a special place in my heart for Salem, these nachos have only reinforced how grateful I am to be able to live in Boston, land of a thousand nachos. 25/40