Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Red Iguana

Red Iguana
736 W North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
(801) 322-1489

Killer Nachos

From the Menu: Generous portion of house fried tortilla chips topped w/ refried beans, pork chile verde, house made pork chorizo, melted jack cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, black olives, green onions & jalapenos.

Price: $10.99

Oh boy, this review has been a long time coming. It's been on my "to-write" list for about four months. Do you know what happens to my brain in the course of four months? What about since last weekend? Major memory desedimentation. I'm lucky I can remember how to tie my shoes at this point. If the police ever had to question me regarding where I was, what was I doing, and if I had an alibi for events that took place prior to 24 hours ago I would most assuredly end up in jail. I would appear conspicuous as fuck and found guilty in record time.

Fortunately I had the foresight to immediately record my numerical thoughts below. Otherwise, this would have been a complete disaster. Okay, it still is, but at least there are pretty pictures!

Here are the bullet points of what I remember:
  • My wife and I were in Utah to celebrate her graduating from Utah State and receiving her Master's Degree. As a dietitian.
  • Yes, you read that correct.
  • In Utah I felt it imperative to eat nachos. Or simply, I feel it's imperative to eat nachos.
  • We discovered the Red Iguana was quite close to our hotel.
  • We discovered this "guy" also ate at the Red Iguana at one point:
  • We contemplated leaving after learning this, but decided to stick it out.
  • We waited outside for a table for at least 45 minutes to an hour with all the locals, hipsters, and out-of-towners. Why the hell was it so busy?
  • We realized it was Cinco-de-Mayo. 
  • We enjoyed some of the best Mexican food we ever ate in our lives.
So, what can I say? Oh, you are wondering about the nachos...I see. Well, the chips were homemade, distinctively crunchy, and delicious. All of the ingredients were incredibly fresh as expected. If you are not using fresh ingredients than Guy and I aren't interested. Words cannot describe how unique the pork chile verde and house made pork chorizo tasted. Not because it's been so long, but because I was drinking. And it's been so long.

  • Presentation: 9
  • Assembly: 9
  • Originality: 5
  • Value: 8
  • Taste: 9
  • Overall: 8.0

Saturday, March 5, 2016


400 West Route 38
Moorestown, NJ 08057
(856) 252-0300

Nachos Encarnacion Skirt Steak Nachos

From the Menu: Refried Beans, Queso Mixto, Chile De Arbol, Crema, Cilantro

Price: $15.00

When one walks into Distrito one is greeted by a literal wall of Lucha Libra masks. This would undoubtedly be sign from the nacho gods that you are about to embark on a wonderful journey. As the hostess walks you to your table you can feel the energy in the air that the decor has created. However, each Lucha Libra mask feels like their eyeless openings are watching you. Possibly judging you and your weak muscles and your lack of nacho blog updates. Even though you made a New Year's Resolution to write more reviews and not let your readers down, life get's in the way.

Or that could just be me.  

So, I made the waitress feel completely uncomfortable as I stared at the nachos seductively heading towards my table. Please note that the nachos were being seductive, I was not staring seductively. I need this to be documented. 

But, I could feel the sides of my mouth raise up and the saliva glands in my mouth get to work. These looked good. Really good. Like "someone-back-in-the-kitchen-actually-cares" good. 

Even though I was with a group of people (let's call them my family) and normally would slap any hands that reach in for just a taste of nachos, I actually welcomed everyone to try a bite. Why would I do such a thing? Simple. My heart was overwhelmed with the warmth of a loving atmosphere created by my family. I wanted everyone sitting around the table to experience the joy and passion I was feeling in my heart.

Of course I could feel the burning sensation of 200 sets of empty, darkened, soulless eyes from the Lucha Libre masks bearing down on me like a firing squad. Judging me once again.

Nachos are meant to be shared. I know this now.

The queso mixto was right on point - tasty and abundant. It completely smothered the entire visible surface of the platter like Hannibal Lecter wearing a face mask - but made of queso. The cheese did manage to permeate through the entire platter, but not to the degree I would've liked to experience. The steak was cooked appropriately and was tender enough to be completely devoured. I generally love steak but typically do not order it on nachos. I have been unexpectedly "burnt" before by eating a disgusting piece of gristle or chewy fat that will ruin the nacho experience for me. I've seen nachos go uneaten because of this unfortunate development. Don't let it happen to you too.

The chile de arbol, crema, cilantro, refried beans, and jalapenos all played a role to make this nacho platter a cohesive and delicious one. The comfort of the steak and mixto queso was juxtaposed against the chile de arbol and jalapenos, and then again against the crema and refried beans. All these wonderfully different flavors were working together to remind me once again that I enjoy nachos.

  • Presentation: 9
  • Assembly: 6
  • Originality: 7
  • Value: 8
  • Taste: 9
  • Overall: 7.8

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Super Nachos

Somwhere between Ocean City, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Super Nachos (Beef)

From the Menu: Crisp Tortilla Chips covered with Refried Beans and Ground Beef, then topped with Cheddar Cheese Sause, Salsa, Sour Cream, and JalapeƱos.

Price: $5.29

Road trips.

Rest stops.


Rites of passage, each and every one.

While traveling, fast food is an absolute must. Most people would consider eating something simple such as a burger, chicken nuggets, or a wrap. Not your intrepid nacho explorer. The more dangerous to eat while driving, the better.

These Super Beef Nachos from Hardee's were a surprise. Absurdly simple, yet tasty, with a solid brick of chips and cheese inside a styrofoam container. They were a sight for sore eyes. One can only live off of Nacho Cheese Combos and Fiji water for so long while on the road.

Inexplicably, roadside nachos are a special kind of nachos. Regardless of their appearance, their ingredients, or even their taste, they induce unexpected cheesy happiness. There is something oddly satisfying about breaking up the monotony of the lonely highway by eating fast food, especially nachos. Yet, as much time as we spend in our car on road trips, we are drawn to eat our food in the car.

In the parking lot.

With our belt (seat and pants) undone.


  • Presentation: 6
  • Assembly: 4
  • Originality: 1
  • Value: 8
  • Taste: 7
  • Overall: 5.2

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The 'Nachonomics' & 'I Enjoy Nachos' Crossover Spectacular!!!

The Meeting

Marvel and DC. Simpsons and Family Guy. Scooby Doo and The Harlem Globetrotters. Nachonomics and I Enjoy Nachos. 

Epic crossovers; each and every one.

So, the story goes that two fine gentleman were on two completely different road expeditions. Each traveling the country in search of different things. Each away from home for distinctive reasons, but both eventually diverging on one single location in these great United States. Would it even be possible to perfectly time our journey's end in unison? Could we, weary travelers, after hours upon hours of traveling the seemingly never-ending roadway that is summertime vacation, actually meet? Could two cool nacho dudes that were brought together by destiny, or some might say the internet, descend on a single point on planet Earth at the same time after days and days of gasoline-propulsion insanity?


The nacho deities allowed it.

Kind of...
I Enjoy Pools. Coming Soon!

Little did we know that our epic journey would not end in nacho glory. We would not high-five each other in a triumphant display of nacho solidarity in front of a restaurant full of patrons. No, our meeting would take an unfortunate comical turn due to a minor overlooked triviality called "reservations" which we apparently lacked on a Sunday night.

Not to be deterred by this unfortunate event we did what any two nacho zealots would do that traveled many-a-mile to eat nachos together for the first time.

We ordered them.

We ordered them To Go.

We ordered them To Go for mass consumption back at the 'I Enjoy Nachos' highfalutin HQ.

Perhaps this was, in some strange way, an important part of my nacho journey. Perhaps my journey is not always out there on the road, but right in my own home with good nacho company instead.

The Interview

I Enjoy Nachos: We both already know that nachos are the greatest food known to mankind. If the internet did not exist, how would you spread the nacho word?

Nachonomics: I think I would have to either wander the land, like a Johnny Appleseed or Randall Flagg, spreading the good word door to door, or get one of those Medicine Show carts and put on shows about the curative power of nachos. As I don't even know where you'd get one of those carts these days, so it would probably be the former, but I'd always long for the lifestyle of the latter.

IEN: You have a doctorate in Nachonomics. Where did you study?

N: Miskatonic University in Arkham Massachusetts. It's known mostly for their medical school and rather impressive library, but they also have a rather impressive culinary arts graduate program as well. Not on the level of say a Le Cordon Bleu or Auguste Escoffier, but still very respectable in the field. 22 months of non-stop nacho studies later and boom, doctorate in Nachonomics, fastest earned in the history of the school.

IEN: You are quite the fan of H.P. Lovecraft. If you were to create a nacho platter in his honor what ingredients would they consist of and how would you name them?

N: Well, Lovecraft being just about the whitest white guy around and something of a racist probably wouldn't have eaten nachos for being too foreign, but if he somehow managed to stomach them they'd have to be pretty basic. Corn chips, ground beef (free of exotic spices that would have run havoc on his stomach cancer), and a lot of cheese and sour cream as he was a dairy lover. A pretty sad dish to be sure that I wouldn't serve to anyone. No, in his honor I would make a dish known as Nacho-Sothoth, which would contain blue corn chips, fried calamari (the kind that look like a mass of cut off tentacles rather than the rings), Wisconsin sharp cheddar, pico do gallo, and habanero slices rather than jalapenos. That would be a thoroughly alien looking dish with enough different flavors mixed in and the added bonus or every now and then getting a piece of habanero that would be so spicy as to drive you mad!

IEN: I've been a proud backer of two successful nacho-related Kickstarters you've launched. Is there anything new coming down the nacho pike?

N: Why as a matter of fact there is! The final book in The Complete Collection of Nacho Knowledge, "Selected Recipes from The Nachonomicon", will probably launch Cinco de Mayo 2016. There may also be some sort of nacho board or card game in the works, but the exact details of that are still sworn to secrecy.

IEN: There are rumblings all over the internet about a Nacho News Network. Is there anything you can tell us at this point?

N: I could tell you about The Nacho News Network, or better yet, I could SHOW you about it. Witness the majesty of a one go to stop directing you to the finest of nacho websites the internet has to offer. Witness a mecca of the nachoiest nacho nachoness.

Witness THE NACHO NEWS NETWORK!!! (coming sooner than Star Wars)

The Review

Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille
772 2nd Street Pike
Southampton, PA 18966
(215) 942-8888

Adobo Goat Cheese Nachos

From the Menu: Blue corn tortillas with adobo black beans, roasted corn, grilled red peppers, oven dried grape tomatoes, cilantro and creamy onion goat manchego cheese.

Price: $11.95

I was so excited to eat these nachos. Truly. I had a fellow nacho connoisseur by my side and a sense of wonder from being turned away from a restaurant on a Sunday night for lack of reservations. This surely was a mixture for success that I actually believed (at the time) would lead to a remarkable nacho experience.

Symmetry in nacho.

They certainly took pride in providing an excellent 'To Go' nacho experience. I'll be reusing those containers for decades or until I die from BPA poisoning.

If you look REALLY close you can see a shitty CG Jabba the Hutt.

First thing you may notice is a lot of brown with only two real bright beacons of color. These were definitely the Tatooine of nachos. Not a lot of life on the surface, but had potential for something great to rise from it.

You should know that I love Star Wars. A lot. And Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were awesome. 

Poor Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. 

What a horrible fate they endured. Especially for a PG movie!

It's important to always stay hydrated.

From the picture above it does appear that I loved these nachos. And I certainly wouldn't say I hated them. They were just, well... boring. Really boring. I expected more pops of flavor from vegetarian nachos. Without the typical meat topping to add that punch of taste (aka grease), I hoped for a few spicy substitutes. But there was no smack to the lips to be found. Just a subtle and delicate goat cheese taste that forced me to eat more and more in hopes to find that missing zing my tongue was expecting. Every single ingredient was more bland than the next and that makes me incredibly sad.

It's as if millions of taste buds cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  • Presentation: 4
  • Assembly: 8
  • Originality: 7
  • Value: 4
  • Taste: 4
  • Overall: 5.4

So, through our mutual disappointment of the nachos we endured, our friendship has ultimately endured. We discovered that there is only one thing better than bonding over something you love.

It's something you can bitch about.

I highly recommend you join us on our nacho journeys. 

Where will they take us next?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hurricane Grill & Wings

Hurricane Grill & Wings
10440 SW Village Center Drive
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34987
(772) 345-9464

Hurricane Nachos

From the Menu: Crisp tortilla chips loaded with our House Chili, queso cheese and jalapenos. Drizzled with our Ancho Chile Lime sauce and topped with diced tomatoes and red onions.

Price: $8.99
+ guacamole for 99c

Florida is too fucking hot.

My wife and I traveled to Florida recently to visit family and live it up like old retired folk. We had a great time avoiding the sun by running from the house to the car and then making a mad dash from the car to whatever indoor event we happened to do that day. Experiencing Florida in July made me realize two things. One: how much I love Pennsylvania. Two: If the earth was two feet closer to the sun we would all die.

The beautiful Florida sunset.

One of the establishments I ran into to avoid direct sunlight was Hurricane Grill & Wings. According to Yelp these nachos were ranked pretty high. I was in a foreign land and unfamiliar with the landscape and Yelp was my guiding light (except that Yelp originally guided me to a location that closed down). My guess is that it spontaneously combusted. But, as a man obsessed with nachos and afraid to roll my window down to ask for directions I nacho-ed on! Mind you I was only afraid to roll my window down because I made a solemn vow to not let any of the soupy Florida air into my rental car in fear of the air conditioner disintegrating.

I am happy to report that I completely demolished these nachos. They tasted pretty damn good, but something else may have actually been at play. Was it the beer? Was it the nacho desperation? Was it that the act of simply blinking would make me sweat bullets and I needed to replenish those calories? It's hard to say. The ancho chile lime sauce was certainly unique (I tasted a hint of garlic) and was the signature selling point of these nachos. It is a flavor that completely complimented the house chili, but didn't overpower it. The queso cheese absolutely married these trifecta of flavors together in a tasty fashion. Unfortunately, I have to say a good portion of this deliciousness was only sitting atop the tortilla chips like the sun above Florida at high noon. I would have preferred a few more layers.

Ultimately, I was extremely surprised by the wonderful mixture of flavors from Hurricane Grill & Wings which apparently enjoys celebrating violent and deadly Caribbean storms in their name for some odd reason.

  • Presentation: 7
  • Assembly: 6
  • Originality: 6
  • Value: 7
  • Taste: 8
  • Overall: 6.8