Consider this: has there ever been an opportunity as wasted as Jacob Wirth Restaurant’s nachos?
Jacob Wirth resides in the heart of the Theatre District, which isn’t known for having good nachos or for being a generally pleasant place at all. They serve German-ish food, and if it’s a more American dish, they may throw in a spare spaetzle (please see “Quality of Ingredients” for a further discussion of this phenomenon) to liven things up, or confuse you terribly.
Our primary complaint with Jacob Wirth–besides the fact that most of our food was bad, our service not very good, and the beer wildly overpriced–is that they have all the ingredients to make creative and delicious nachos, yet they chose to offend our culinary senses by serving up an abominable (yes, abominable) substitute. Were this plate to fall out of a vending machine at The Tam, we would not lift an eyebrow. They’ve failed at being a German restaurant by offering American-style nachos, and accordingly, those nachos have failed to be edible. There is a vast world of opportunities lying in wait in the Jacob Wirth kitchen (beer cheese sauce? sausage? cabbage? spaetzle chips? bah!), and it is frustrating that they give us something so unpalatably average.
The vitriol is leaking from the spent fuel storage of our hearts. Let’s just do the numbers and get it over with:
- Appearance: (4) Wan and sad looking, we knew we were in trouble when we saw the burnt, multi-colored chips (tinted with industrial grade food dye, rather than real blue corn) and the sparse coating of unmelted cheese. While we appreciated the annexing of the sour cream to the plastic cup, the guac was grayish and unappealing. The black beans stood out and felt totally unnecessary, especially since they added nothing to the overall taste. Even the black olives were off. We liked the brightness of the red peppers–a happy change from the typical jalapeno.
- Quality of Ingredients: (3) Giving these a three was difficult, but since they at least weren’t made of broken glass and rusty nails, we felt obligated to throw in at least a few gratuity points. Let’s start with the chips, which, like the guac/salsa/chili/cheese/beans, provided more texture than flavor. Proper seasoning would have improved everything: the guac was overly lemony and needed a salty kick and the salsa was basically marinara sauce. The chili was a steaming pot of crazy. Though we didn’t mind the flavor (subtle, not a normal spicy, chili-ey, chili), we found no fewer than three things that didn’t belong:
- A carrot: what is this, ShittySide?
- White beans: yum, but wtf?
- A spaetzle or two: was it an accident, a lone spaetzle careening into the nacho abyss, or was it a deliberate act by a chef desperate to infuse a little Deutschland into his dud? Whatever the reason, it weirded us out. Just when you think you’re biting into a hunk of melted cheese…
- Distribution of Toppings: (4.6) Not enough toppings–a mess of bad chips without a pillow of cheese to smother them. We’re thankful the guac and salsa was separated, as both were so terrible.
- Price: (7) $10.25 for the whole sha-bang. We wondered if our Groupon usage on this particular evening could have affected our meal. Could it be that they took half off not only our bill, but also the quality of our food? We’ve read that businesses who use Groupons very rarely see the deals result in repeat customers. Our experience at Jacob Wirth leads us to believe that it isn’t the lack of a coupon that prevents people from returning–it’s in fact because the food is just not that good.
- Overall: (18.6/40)
As a side note, the pretzels were fine. Here’s a picture of a grease stain: