London, UK: Perhaps some empathy is in order, in honor of America’s (yet to be confirmed) Supreme Court Justice. England has endured unique historical circumstances that make it incapable of meeting ordinary nacho patrol standards. It is a long way from Mexico and sterling is on the rise again.
Las Iguanas claims to be the “definitive Latin American restaurant experience.” (YES WE CAN lump an entire continent into one restaurant!!) Notions of grandeur aside, the mojitos, margaritas and sangria are quite good. The menu has a lot of interesting combinations, such as carmelization onion and duck enchiladas and mango-brie quesadillas. Next time I’ll have one of those.
The menu description raised my hopes significantly: “home cooked corn tortilla chips smothered with melted mozzarella, cheddar & red leicester topped with jalapeños, salsa, soured cream & guacamole.” I had no idea what red leicester was… Perhaps a new twist on nachos? No, turns out just a type of cheese made in Leicestershire. I added pork chorizo to my order, and contented myself with a margarita.
- Appearance: (7) Presented as a classic circular flower arrangement, as first popularized in Santa Fe in the late 19th century. These nachos would have looked more appealing if the centerpiece, (consisting of sour cream, guacamole and salsa) actually contained enough toppings for the plate of nachos.
- Quality of ingredients: (8) The homemade chips were the definite highlight of the Las Iguanas nachos. They were warm, crispy and just greasy enough. The pork chorizo was a bit spicy and went well with the jalapenos. The different cheeses were all melted together–something often neglected in other London nachos.
- Distribution: (5) There wasn’t much to distribute, but the cheese, jalapenos and chorizo were spread out well. Most of the chips had some toppings. I would hardly descibe them as “smothered” in cheese, though. (Note to self: email European Food Commisioner to complain about improper labeling.) The guacamole, sour cream and salsa ran out quickly, and weren’t anything special.
- Price: (5) 6.60 GBP / $10.50 USD. Rather reproachable by Nacho Patrol standards, but maybe this is where affirmative action enters the picture. For London, not too bad.
- Overall: 25/40. Las Iguanas’s nachos eek out a pass on account of the excellent homemade chips, chorizo, and lower standards.