Tag Archives: tourist traps

Chiquito in Leicester Square: The Best Nachos Ever! (Without Cheese)

27 Oct

One of the benefits of having a Nacho Patroller based in London is that when other Nacho Patrollers take vacations to London, they have a like mind to show them around (and occasionally loan them half a bed). Ideally, this would help us to avoid the tourist traps, but unfortunately, if you want anything resembling Mexican food in London, tourist traps are the only way to go. So, we embraced it and made a trip to Chiquito in Leicester Square in order to get a true, authentic London nacho experience.

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  • Appearance: (7) Pretty, if not particularly lust-worthy. The entire arrangement, however, was very aesthetically pleasing:

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  • Quality of Ingredients: (7) The chili was tasty, if a little sweet. Chips were homemade and deliciously crispy, if a little unsubstantial. Salsa, guacamole and bean mixture were also quite tasty.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) If you notice, there was no mention of the cheese above, because frankly, we could barely find any. All of the ingredients were piled on top, turning this into the kind of nacho where one dresses one’s own chip. In this case, it worked pretty well…
  • Price: (6)  9.75 (pounds, people, not dollars). With the exchange rate that’s about $16.
  • Overall: 27.  All things considered, a decent nacho for the British Isles.
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Long Acre: We’re Going Short on the Nachos

19 Jul

Among the tourist traps of Covent Garden and Leicester Square, Long Acre stands out for its affordable pints, good cocktails and the clientele’s (relative) lack of London maps, khakis and cameras. It fills up pretty quickly on the weekends, and plays decent music.

We managed to find a booth at 8pm on a Friday, and settled in with a few pints.  The menu description did not inspire confidence; Long Acre describes its nachos as “smothered with melted cheese, jalapeños, spicy tomato salsa, guacamole, sour cream and chive.” Is there any other kind of salsa besides the spicy kind made with tomatoes? And it’s “chiveS.”  Still, onward we go, bypassing the smoked salmon crostini with créme fraîche and roast mini-cumberland sausages.

  • Appearance: (7) At first glance, these nachos appeared promising: guacamole, salsa, sour cream, melted cheese, even chives sprinkled over the top. Closer inspection revealed something peculiar about the tortilla chips: they were actually Doritos. If this were a conscious experiment we might give Long Acre some points for creativity, but that seems doubtful. “Odd” is the best way to describe the Dorito-nachos.long acre
  • Distribution: (4) There was enough salsa, guacamole and sour cream, but the cheese only existed on the top layer. The plate became progressively less nachos and more “super-bowl-chips-and-dip” as we finished off the top layer of chips. The cheese quickly cooled and coagulated, forming blocks of Doritos.
  • Quality: (4) The Doritos were, um, Doritos. Fresh from the bag, I’m sure! The guacamole was definitely above Tesco-quality. The salsa and sour cream—generally the no-brainers for nachos—were quite icky. And again, there was no meat! Why? English cuisine is fixated on beef, sausage, kebabs, lamb doner, and burgers. They even make pies with meat here! Yet, no meat for nachos…
  • Price: (7) 4.50 GBP / $7.35: For the portion size, this is the best value we’ve seen in downtown London. There’s a long way to go in terms of quality, though; we’d recommend starting with better sour cream, cheese distribution and meat. Oh, and actual tortilla chips.

Overall: (22/40) We’re long on the bar, but definitely short on the nachos.