Where to Get Your Nacho Fix Across the Country
A heaping platter of crunchy, gooey nachos might be simple, yet its power to satisfy and comfort is undeniable. Whether flaunting pork, brisket or pickled onions, this cheese-shellacked blanket of tortilla chips is especially cherished during football season. To satisfy your cravings during these football-free weeks before the big game, check out 10 of of the country's best takes on this humble staple of Tex-Mex joints in our full gallery.
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, the dames behind modern Mexican institution Border Grill, are known for their Skillet Nachos. At the downtown Los Angeles location — as well as in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay and the Forum Shops at Caesars — the dish arrives piled high with housemade tortilla chips, from-scratch cheese sauce, organic black beans and tender morsels of carne asada.
Before eyeing the smoked bacon hash-brown casserole at The Family Dog, consider the nachos. Brisket and short rib unite in Chef Ron Eyester's meaty interpretation at this Morningside favorite. They're layered with pico de gallo and pickled jalapeno peppers, and good ol’ white American queso adds a familiar spin.
Nachos are a standout at Little Goat, Stephanie Izard’s more casual River North sibling to Girl and the Goat. Hefty portions of barbecue pork, pickled peppers, beans, cheddar, sour cream and avocado sit atop housemade masa chips. But don't think that will stop you from ordering the Choco Taco, a sundae in which those chips get dipped in velvety chocolate.
Settle in with a proper Manhattan at the bar of honky-tonk-inspired Hill Country. Then, stay awhile longer over a mess of Texas Chili Nachos. This hearty rendition unites the restaurant's famous red chili with cheddar, red onions, sour cream, pickled jalapenos and, of course, Lone Star State-style queso.
The Texas-style 'cue Rodney Muirhead churns out at northeast Portland favorite Podnah's Pit — all 10-hour-smoked brisket plates should be prefaced by Frito pie — gets the Tex-Mex treatment at the adjacent La Taq. Inside this cheerful cantina, Chef Johnattan Curiel tucks strands of Podnah's signature juicy beef into a fiery mound of chips, pico de gallo, sour cream and jalapeno. Wash it all down with a salt-rimmed tequila-and-Squirt Paloma.