If you’re a regular Nacho Patrol reader or live anywhere in the world other than New Zealand’s North Island, you probably haven’t heard of scenic Dargaville, NZ. Located just south of the fun parts of the Northland, northwest of Auckland, and west of just about nothing, Dargaville is what you might expect from rural New Zealand town (Bree, Middle Earth–2000 years and many dimensions of reality later, if you will). Combining the swagger of Opheim, Montana with all the beauty of the local Fleet Farm, Dargaville is an unlikely place to find nachos. Indeed, we were warned (by New Zealand customs, in fact) to expect little in the way of quality Mexican food. The Blah, Blah, Blah Café, however, provided our second example of Kiwi nachos that you probably wouldn’t write home about, but would definitely sate your need for Tex-Mex on your trip to the beach:
- Appearance: (9) That’s right folks–a nacho review outside of the US gets above a 7 for appearance! This particular plate was practically gourmet, served on a large white dish and drizzled with a delicate arrangement of shredded carrots and lettuce. The colors, though muted, wet the palate. Our only complaint would be some burnt chips and a strange, slimy opacity, also known as New Zealand cheese. In any case, after a long bus ride, we were ready to dig in.
- Distribution of toppings: (6) Blah Blah Blah nachos have a serious “helmet of cheese” problem. Under that initial layer, there is nothing but nude tortilla. Those would be fine for dipping, but thanks to an overabundance of sour cream and the quickly congealed cheese, the whole mass sort of solidified within the first five minutes at our table. Not pleasant and not the best when you don’t have a fork to pull the monster apart.
- Quality of toppings: (7) Generally fine, though lacking somewhat in flavor. The chili could have used a little more “umph.” Tex-Mex Correspondent and man of few words Rene commented wistfully, “needs salt,” and Nacho Patrol heartily agreed. We also weren’t fans of the cheese, another whitish clear ooze punctuated by a mild, slightly Gouda-esque finish. That is, when we could find cheese that wasn’t drenched in sour cream.
- Price: (5) These nachos set us back about NZD $13.00 (USD $8.32). For a plate that looks like it comes from the fanciest restaurant on the planet, we should have probably expected that. Keep in mind they also have a larger version for (something like) NZD $18.00 (about USD $12), which is probably a more cost effective deal. Unfortunately, Nacho Patrol is watching its figure.
- Overall: 27/40
Blah, Blah, Blah Cafe might want to reconsider its name choice. While we generally enjoyed the nachos (we especially enjoyed looking at them and pretending we could afford 4-star restaurants…and fantasizing about 4-star restaurants serving nachos), the name pretty much summed up our feelings. So if you’re in Dargaville, and if you’re reading this from Boston we expect you to be there tomorrow, feel free to stop at the Blah, Blah for a flat white. You just might want to trust us when we say that even us experts are still looking for fabulous nachos near the Tasman Sea.