UK Nacho Review - Shakespeare's, Edinburgh

This nacho review was generously sponsored by Mr. Douglas "Sherlock" Holmes. 

This past week I had the opportunity to sample the nachos at Shakespeare's pub on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. The nachos in question, as you can see from the photo, were topped with pulled pork. 

Now, long time readers of this blog will know that I'm a vegetarian and only review meatless nachos. However, on this occasion, I was drinking - and really hungry - so I carefully picked my way through some non meat tainted chips to deliver this review. 

Overall, they were some pretty average nachos. I can't comment on the pulled pork, but the cheese distribution on the chips was decent. The accompanying salsa, sour cream and guacamole were fairly non-committal. 

What stood out in its badness - and this is not just a dig at Shakespeare's but at many other UK nacho attempts in general - is that YOU CANNOT USE FLAVORED TORTILLA CHIPS IN NACHOS. This is a HUGE no no. Flavored tortilla chips both ruin the essential nacho taste combination as well as make me think you're hiding something. 


UK Nacho Review - Bailie Bar, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

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The other night I had the pleasure of dining at The Bailie Bar in Stockbridge, Edinburgh! It was after a tough football/soccer match, so I was pretty ravished. I'm happy to report that the vegetarian nachos at the Bailie Bar fit the bill nicely. 

The nachos were dispersed on the plate in an even fashion,with most of the chips being in whole pieces, although there were a few crumbles here and there. Normally I dismiss most beans served with UK nachos, but the vegetarian chili on the nachos at Baile's was actually quite tasty. 

The cheese was equally distributed amongst the chips and the sour cream and guacamole weren't overpowering.  In addition, the cheese was a tasty white type, rather than the bland orange mush usually served with UK Nachos. A few jalepenos and a slight sprig of cilantro (coriander) completed the scene.

The only thumbs down was the lack of additional salsa for covering the few naked chips.  

Stockbridge nachos at Bailie's gets a thumbs up from this ex-pat Texan. 

Nacho Review - Las Vegas Nachos!

I recently traveled back to the United States for work and had the opportunity to visit Las Vegas for the first time in....oh about 20 years. Man, is that place crazy.

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I think what made it even crazier for me was that I was coming to Las Vegas with a bunch of people from Scotland, some of whom had never been to the States before. Imagine never going to the USA and then the first place that you set down - literally a non-stop flight from Heathrow to Las Vegas - is the Strip.

Bizarre to say the least, I'd think. Hell, I'm from this country and I thought it was weird as hell.

Had to do a bunch of work related stuff for the first few days I was there, so nothing felt especially Vegas-y. However, the last night I was able to get away and sample some of the local specialties.

First stop? Naturally, NACHOS!!!

Our choice of dining was the Michael Mina Pub 1842 in the MGM Grand Entertainment Complex. The atmosphere was stylish and trendy "old world" pub which suited the nachos. However, what DIDN'T suit the nachos was the price tag.

Do you want to know how much they cost? First take a look at that picture at the top of the article. Then say to yourself, "Hmm, I wonder how much a plate of nachos at the MGM Grand Resort would cost...?"

Done thinking? Because I'll give you the answer...

EIGHTEEN F**KING DOLLARS 

And now to address the elephant in the room - were these nachos, in fact, worth $18?

No.

However, they were actually pretty damn good.

First off - unlike the UK - notice the strategic placement of the sour cream via a squirty dispenser? This makes sure that there aren't any uncomfortably large pools of sour cream on top of your nachos waiting to congeal. The red bell peppers were a nice touch, as was the corn relish on top. Also, pub 1842 was just stingy enough with the cheese so that it had the opportunity to melt thoroughly and crisp over. And, thankfully, there was only one layer of cheese, unlike the Savannah nachos incident of earlier this year. 

But, as with most of my nacho adventures, the nachos weren't the height of the evening.

Oh no....

kiss-golf
kiss-golf

Based upon the recommendation of a friend, I made my way out, past the neon glow of the strip out to the seedy underbelly of Vegas, located approximately 1 mile to the east. My destination? The Double Down Saloon, home, as the website will inform you of the fabled cocktail, "The Ass Juice."

I'll leave my adventures at the Double Down for another column but I must touch on  an entertainment venue that I passed on the way there.

Everyone feels that going to a show is one of the best ways of getting close to your favorite band. But what if there was a way you could get closer? No, I'm not talking about becoming a groupie. I'm talking about MINI GOLF!!

Which is what I passed on my way to the Double Down lounge - KISS MONSTER GOLF.

Yep. A whole mini golf course with a KISS theme.

Whether you like the boys or hate 'em, you gotta give 'em props for their marketing skills. They had all sorts of packages there setup so you could meet the band. If you spent $5,000 on a bass, for example, Gene Simmons would sign it himself!

I didn't tarry long enough to play mini (or - as the KISS people call it "Monster") golf, but I think I came away from my encounter knowing a little more about what made the boys behind the masks tick.

Maybe the lure of $18 nachos was enough for some to lose themselves in the heady world of Las Vegas and  KISS Monster Golf but, for me, I craved something more.

I left KISS Monster Golf and made my way to the Double Down Saloon, hoping that a taste of Ass Juice would help wash away the memories of expensive nachos and the sight of The Starchild angling up for a putt.