Tag Archives: Theory of Nachos

Classics Revisited: Harry’s Bar and Grill

6 Aug

A year and a half ago, a little bar named Harry’s unexpectedly stole our nacho-loving hearts.  Coming from out of nowhere, this unassuming place gave us a plate that powered past nearly all of Boston’s nacho behemoths with its delicious flavors and artful distribution.  We have since returned many times, but never for the nachos.  Why?  Fear– fear that these were too good to be true, that we were wrong in awarding the silver medal of Boston nachos.  Also, we maybe had heard some negative reports.  Determined to nut up and do the right thing, we returned to Harry’s on the eve of our departure from the neighborhood, to either confirm their brilliance or set the record straight.

  • Appearance: (8) Much has changed from our original review!  Gone are the tri-colored chips, but to more than make up for it, guacamole, green onions and a tantalizingly non-sour cream dip on the side. Chili is now on the top, instead of in the middle under a helmet of cheese.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (9) As could be guessed from their fancied-up color scheme, practically every ingredient in these nachos had changed, generally for the better. The chili had a distinct, chocolaty mole flavor, something we rarely encountered.  The orange sauce on the side turned out to be a chipotle cream/mayo concoction, much more exciting that its sour cream predecessor.  Even the salsa was miles ahead of the canned stuff of yore– thin, fresh, and reminiscent of both gazpacho and our recent trip to Brighton Beer Garden (perhaps these two are in cahoots?). As before, the chili presented a kidney bean extravaganza, but gone were the black olives.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (8) Here Harry’s has completely changed their approach, trading in the “molten chili center” method for the more traditional “chili hat” distribution.  This created a few more problems with distribution, making it sometimes hard to get at sodden chips, and hiding the true melted cheese magnitude. Indeed, there was a lot of cheese but most of it near the bottom and some even stuck to the plate (it appears the Gospel of John Harvard’s is spreading!)
  • Price: (8.5) What is it with restaurants not having a website? Our blueberry beer-addled brains have failed us.  They are only listed without chili, at $7. We’re guestimating on this one.
  • Total: 33.5/40.  While they have moved down out of medal contention, we’ll still think of these as winners any day.  In an era where restaurants seem to be cheapening and dumbing down their nachos, Harry’s has upped their game with bold, original ingredients.  Hurray!

Nacho Patrol Originals (pt. 2): Kakachos!

21 Jun

We wanted to give a brief, woefully delayed shout-out to our friends from Glenvillia–Lisa and Will, and our namesake, Kakashi–who created for us a beautiful do-it-yourself nacho plate a few weeks ago out of chips, cheese, and some canned goods found in the back of the cabinet. Not only were they delicious and spicy, they proved to us that terrific nachos need not be elaborate concoctions forced together out of stereotyped, often dull ingredients. As we’ve been saying from the beginning, nachos are for everyone, and with a little free time and a lot of creativity, you can make something fantastic! Well played, guys!

Reuben Nachos: A Nacho Patrol Original

29 May

We have much love for the Reuben sandwich and have been curious about Reuben nachos for some time; yet an extensive (2-minute) Google search revealed that only one restaurant in the US makes them, the Loco Leprechaun of Cleveland, OH.  Not having any travel plans in the area in the near future, and at the behest of our loyal readers, we decided to take matters into our own hands and create our first Nacho Patrol Original Specialty Nachos.

Fortunately for us, most of the ingredients you would use to make a traditional Reuben sandwich translate directly to nacho toppings: Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, corned beef and Russian (or thousand Island) dressing. The one point of uncertainty was the chips: no standard tortilla chips would do, as rye bread adds a distinct and crucial flavor to the sandwich as a whole.  After scouring the supermarket cracker aisle, a suitable substitution was found: caraway rye crispbread.  Much thinner than Ry-Krisp and not as dry, these looked like the optimal choice.  We also invested in some plain pita chips, as backup.

The makings of greatness

Next step, assembly.  We drained (but did not rinse) the sauerkraut, sliced the corned beef and shredded the cheese.  Breaking the crispbread into chip-sized pieces formed the bottom layer, upon which we piled a layer of everything but dressing (cheese always on top, to hold down the other toppings).  Then, repeat.  Pop the whole plate in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes, or until bubbly.  Incidentally, this cooking time is just long enough to create, photograph and enjoy the World’s Smallest Reuben Sandwich:

Amuse Bouch

Ding!  They’re out!  The final step remains: a light, but even drizzle of Thousand Island dressing, which is much easier said than done when using a bottle.  After a few disappointing globs, we poured it onto a spoon and commenced slightly more aesthetically pleasing distribution. Et viola! The finished product:

Verdict?  While lacking in the cooler color spectrum, these were still quite appetizing to behold.  Overall, they were drier than we normally like our nachos, but that was to be expected due to the ingredient list.  The rye crackers did indeed add a nice flavor though got soggier than normal chips.  The big ingredient disappointment was the Swiss cheese.  In general, Swiss just doesn’t melt as well as your standard cheddar or jack, and therefore did not do a good job of sticking to the chips or the other toppings.  Hungry for a challenge (and more nachos), we tried to improve upon them with the second batch.  We mixed the rye crackers with pita chips for more texture and variety, doubled all of the toppings, and combined Swiss cheese with shredded cheddar for increased gooeiness. With an extra layer of dressing in the middle, these were just what the doctor ordered (us not to eat).

With a little learning curve, Reuben nachos were a delicious success!  Our first foray into making our own specialty nachos completed, we are eager to start on the next.  So many other foods to convert to nachos, so little time…