I’ve been on a kick lately. Sometimes I get on kicks. Sometimes those kicks involve watching 4 episodes of Dating Naked followed by 4 episodes of Married at First Sight (Summer TV options got my like woe.)
Sometimes those kicks are actual kicks, courtesy of BodyCombat and Kickboxing.
Lately, it’s been…. a Nacho Kick.
I’ve inadvertently found myself on the hunt for Philly’s best nachos and, while that hunt hasn’t come to a close yet…. it’s had some pretty tasty (and a few meh) stops along the way.
Come along, folks. Join me on a crunchy, meaty, melty, cheesy journey.
Let’s just start with the meh and work our way up. Lucha Cartel.
The Lucha Nachos from this Old City staple are touted as “crispy corn tortilla chips, sliced jalapeños, monterey jack & chihuahua cheeses topped with pico de gallo, guacamole, and crema for $10. We tacked on refried beans for $2 and chicken for $4 for a total of $16.
Call me old fashioned, but a nacho order that doesn’t default with beans AIN’T A NACHO TO ME!!
Maybe it was a busy night, but the nachos came out room temperature, borderline cold. We complained and were given a second order, but my nacho steam was a little lost seeing lifeless lumps of frijoles and chunkless guac. Sure, we ate most of em…. but these aren’t the nachos of my dreams. I’ll leave it at that. Don’t worry, the next 3 were.
Enter Sancho Pistola’s. Because you can’t spell Nachos without Sancho. And their description is on-point:
really expensive cheese, crema, tomato, refried beans, cilantro, jalapeno, and onion.
Throw in a little chicken tinga (this is not a suggestion but an ORDER) and you’re in for the most delightful, wild, tinga-taste party. Even distribution of toppings, the onions were PICKLED Y’ALL!! This was my dream nacho. The little squirt bottle to the upper left contained, not ketchup, but a spicy creamy sauce. Oh baby. Do yourself a solid. Get here during happy hour for 1/2 priced nachos. But don’t worry, they’re full of flavor (that’s like a sentence my dad would write. I’m cool with it.)
Pardon the semi-lousy picture. Including the aggressive hand of my buddy Stephanie. This was taken during Philly Beer Week at one of my all-time favorite spots, Khyber Pass. Their nachos, clocking in at $14 for a large with added BBQ pulled pork come complete with tortilla chips, jack cheese, green tomato salsa, and sour cream.
I realize, now, they don’t have beans on them. But I’ve had them countless times and have never missed a bean. Must say something about the heavy attention paid to the rest of the toppings. The pork is really what shines, here. That, and the fact that they have enough incredible craft beers on hand to drown a horse.
(Sidenote: I don’t condone the drowning of horses. Save a horse, order nachos.)
But sometimes, I don’t wanna trek out to Old City or Northern Liberties. Sometimes, I just wanna stick close to home for some comfort food. Mostly on Sundays. And definitely from Sidecar Bar and Grille.
These nachos, though.
The deal of the century on Pork Me Sundays, for $7 ($10 normally) you get an epic portion of chips covered in braised pork (or chorizo…. but I go braised), queso caribe, chihuahua cheese (made with REAL chihuahua? Jury’s still out), black beans (PRAISE BE), jalapeños, and served with sour cream and pineapple-tomatillo salsa.
These were some of the first nachos I tried in the city, and I just can’t quit them. I will request these nachos in my final week of life, and continue to invite anyone I know here just so we can “split” nachos (don’t mind me greedily hoarding the beany-cheesy ones).
But really…. I’m still on the lookout for the nacho order to end all nachos.
So you tell me… what’s your dream nacho plate covered in? inquiring minds and all that….