Tag Archives: Minneapolis

Target Field (Minneapolis, Minnesota): Nachos Grande blogos grandes

15 Apr

To say the least, Nacho Patrol has been hesitant about reviewing pro sports related nacho plates. Exorbitant pricing (which, one must remember, must be added on top of the cost of a ticket to the event), gooey, bag-born cheese, and lackluster showmanship usually situate these feeble attempts at snackery in our “no thanks” column. But the opportunity to be among the first people ever to try a nacho plate at a new venue, let alone to be the first to review it, well that was just too much to pass up.

And to be honest, we’re sort of glad, because the Nachos Grande at opening day of the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field were, well, sorta good.

Maybe it was the smell of the fresh cut grass wafting into the stands that gave this salty, yellowish pleasure-pile that little something extra. Perhaps it was the sound of Jason Kubel’s bat as it gave a layed-up fastball the bitchslap of a lifetime that made the crunch of each Old Dutch chip just that much more satisfying. In my heart, I’d like to believe that at the very moment we dug into our first bite, Joe Mauer, hesitating for just a moment between pitch calls (as if sensing what was about to happen), looked across that field of dreams and misspent tax-payer dollars, and whispered softly—secretly—into the gentle spring breeze, “Enjoy.” But whatever it was, the fact remains: these were the best nachos we’ve ever eaten at a pro sports event. That’s not saying much (see the now infamous Fenway Incident), but it’s a pretty good start.

  • Appearance: (6) When we were first handed the Nachos Grande, we would have surely given the plate an 8 for appearance. The shear amount of toppings alone was enough to make us want to tear the thing apart on the spot, but the color and textures of the ingredients made it so beautiful that we stayed our hands for closer inspection (and so that we could go buy beer). While the pile was impressive, it was tough to see the chips through all the toppings, and the plastic bowl didn’t help either. The great color and great texture won the plate decent marks despite its aesthetic shortcomings.
  • Quality: (7) The food czars of Target Field have seen fit to go further than their Fenway counterparts in nearly every way. The cheese is freshly heated to a liquid state, then ladled, not poured from a bag, onto the layered chips. Atop the cheese is sprinkled spiced ground beef, which both soaks up the cheese and adds texture. And the salsa? Well, let’s just say that there ain’t no Pace Picante up in hur; this is pico-freaking-de gallo, onions and cilantro and all (though the cilantro was a bit chincy). The use of Old Dutch tortilla chips was also much-appreciated for their local character, their satisfying crunch, and their ability to withstand heavy loads of toppings. The high quality of toppings also ensured that each bite retains the same flavor profile, with each ingredient somehow finding its way into almost every bite.
  • Distribution: (7) The Old Dutch chip, a Midwest favorite, is top of the line in the nacho world’s Sporting category: it’s yellow color adds points for Presentation; it’s round shape makes it ideal for both dipping and gripping; it’s curve, much deeper than it’s bleached-out brethrens’, allows for greater cheese flow, boosting the dish’s Distribution score and reducing the number of “crumblies” at the bottom. In addition, because the cheese isn’t simply dumped on the chips from a single, straight down angle, the cheese is able to find its way to every layer. Though the meat, sour cream, salsa and jalapeños are all piled at the tippy top of the heap, its’ easy enough for them to find their way down as you grab for chips from the middle and bottom. Oh, and the sages behind Target Field’s Nachos Grande also saw fit to bestow upon us a tool of indelible nacholy power: the fork. The geniuses over at Fenway still haven’t figured this one out. Trying to eat nachos at a baseball game without a fork is like Nick Punto trying to hit a home run—which is to say, it’s nearly impossible.
  • Price: (4) The only universe in which $8.50 ballpark nachos could ever be considered a “good deal” would have to be one in which a) aforementioned ballpark was brand new and state of the art, b) had just opened, c) thus, freeing the would-be world class baseball team that played there from an inflatable, canvas-covered asylum, and d) where said nachos were enriched by their mere proximity to Joe Mauer and TC the bear. I think you know where I’m going with this.
  • Overall: 24/40

In the end, the stars aligned for Target Field’s Nachos Grande, boosting the plate’s score well above the usual pro sports fair and solidifying it’s place on the stadium concourse of our hearts–a concourse which is shared by porkchops on a stick, honest-to-God pine trees, and Summit beer.

***

Note: This review was written by Trevor M., Twins fan and Boston transplant. Though he doesn’t often slip on his reviewing shoes, he is the sole reason Nacho Patrol exists today. We consider him the Godfather. He knows a cool trick whereby a person can drink a bottle of wine in under a minute. He’s also a keen raver, though he’ll deny it and say he was just drunk. He is also a fellow Minnesotan, which makes him a far superior breed of human being.

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Tequileria at the MSP airport: Carpe Cuervo

15 Jul

TequileriaNacho Patrol are world travelers, and when we’re holed up in airports, we like to drink and eat nachos. While waiting for a very delayed flight to LAX, we sidled up to the Tequileria located in Terminal G–the trendiest bar in town if you consider the competition: Chili’s to-go and a McDonalds.

A staple of just about every major airport from Minneapolis to Miami, the Tequileria offers a wide selection of off-tasting Tex-Mex and drink deals ($3 tequila back for a $5 beer? Lurv it!). And if you like a margarita as much as our dear friend Smasharita, you’re likely to be in alcoholic aviation heaven. Unfortunately, the cheap drinks are just about all you’ll want to enjoy. As a note, the photo for this review will be posted later after the airline finds our luggage:

  • Appearance: (9) as pretty as a picture–enough to even make the waitress squee in delight. It sported a nice arrangement of orange cheese, bright fresh tomatoes and green onions, cups of salsa and guac, and a blinding dollop of sour cream. Nothing, of course, is perfect, and these nachos didn’t quite make our mouth water with anticipation as Pour House’s–our gold standard–did.
  • Distribution: (6) Tequileria has a major distribution problem. Under that place mat of cheese and beans and chicken (however accidental the chicken was), the chips were completely nude. Not even a bean or a drop of cheese or sour cream. Nacho Patrol isn’t much for math, but they would give a solid estimate of 30% coverage, with another 30% touched by the light of toppings and the rest completely naked! We also didn’t much approve of the plastic cups of salsa and guacamole.
  • Quality of toppings: (6) It’s unfortunate that restaurants still insist on putting chicken on nachos despite the less-than-delicious oral experience. For lack of a better word, it always just tastes weird, and this is coming from a Nacho Patrol that loves her some words. It’s dry and strangely spiced, and it certainly doesn’t help the
  • Price: (6) Though Nacho Patrol still isn’t sure if the accidental chicken was complementary, Tequileria’s prices were fairly average, a large plate setting the hungry traveler back $8.95 sans carne, $9.99 for chicken, beans, pork, or beef, and an extra $1.29 for 2 tablespoons of guacamole.
  • Overall: 27/40

Mobile Nacho Patroling is the clearly the way of the future. Expect another, possibly drunker, review 2,000 miles away from scenic LAX. Just don’t expect us to be indulging in this particular tequila chain again any time soon.

Edit: We looked. There are no nachos to be had in LAX Terminal 2, gates 22-28. Apparently, people from and traveling to New Zealand do not eat nachos.

Bryant Lake Bowl: Bowling for Nachos

8 Jul

A-Trixx, Nacho Patrol’s most recent displaced person, has long wondered about the nachos at a certain drinking, dining, and bowling institution in the Uptown region of Minneapolis. Back in the day, they had something called Sleeper Nachos, a perfect bowling compliment for the young adolescent looking to kick it with her homies. Now, some five years later, they’ve moved up a weight (and classiness) grade to the Big Four Nachos. Recruiting the help of her lifelong Mini-Apple amiga, G-Money, A-Trixx holla’d at some nachos, with unexpected results:

BLB

  • Appearance: (9) Though she can’t speak for the rest of Nacho Patrol, A-Trixx hasn’t seen nachos these beautiful since Pour House. G-Money called them “fascinating” and “delightful,” and for obvious reasons! Decked out with peppers in all the colors of the Christmas rainbow, bright cheddar, and medley of beans, the mere sight of these nachos will dampen your mouth and, if you’re like the people that find our blog by googling porno, your loins.
  • Distribution of toppings: (8) Even the most beautiful nacho will have some problems with distribution. As G-Money pointed out, “it’s all about layering,” and she just eats nachos casually! We had some naked chips, and with a naturally dry selection of toppings, little with which to cover them. Overall, there was enough cheese, bean, and pepper to give us much happy, though we would have liked a little more chicken.
  • Quality of toppings: (9) Delicious on the whole, and probably about as close to specialty nachos as you can get while still being “bar nachos.” We loved the pepper and bean medleys, though the chicken was a little over-seasoned.
  • Price: (4) Nacho Patrol takes personal offense when a not-so-big plate of nachos costs $13 without tip. Sure, they were delicious, but the size doesn’t quite stack up to the outrageous price tag. Surprisingly it pays to be a vegetarian–for $9 you can get your plate sans carne.
  • Overall: 30/40 nom nom nom! Bryant Lake Bowl, you did us proud–just try lowering the price a little so us hipsters can afford the food!