We visited Chiquitos shortly after a friend's run during the Fringe. His show, appropriately enough, was entitled "Ironic or Not Ironic." He's from California. I'm from Texas. We know our Mexican food. In the spirit of his wrapped show at the Fringe, we knew that we would be having ironic nachos and that they weren't going to be very good.
We were right.
Before we even get to the nachos, however, here's the ONE thing that every Mexican food place in the UK can do to put a smile on all their diners faces and increase tips (and possibly drink sales). It's a secret that Mexican food places in the US of A have been pursuing for a long time and it's not a hard one to master.
FREE CHIPS AND SALSA
Sure, this might sound crazy to people from the UK. And, I'm sure you'll get the odd table full of Neds/Chavs/Spides in there scarfing buckets of chips and then leaving, but think of it as like the NHS or bumping up a pregnant teenager into a free council home. Yes, some people will take advantage of the system - but isn't it really to everyone's benefit to offer free chips to all? We're not saying free nachos. Heavens, no. Just free chips and salsa.
Thank you for listening.
Now, on to our regularly scheduled nacho review.
Actually, before we get into the nacho review, let me paint a brief picture of how crazy this city is during the Fringe Festival: at one point, I went downstairs to use the bathroom (the "loo" as they say over there).
While I was making my way down the stairs, I heard the sound of laughter. I poked my head around the corner and, yes, they were having a comedy show in the basement of Chiquitos on Sunday night at 9:00PM. The saddest part, however, was that this show was much better attended than many of the other shows that we'd seen at some of the "unofficial Fringe" venues.
As to those nachos....
I think the picture above pretty much sums everything up. The surprising thing to me, I guess, is that they could have been much worse. One of the hallmark of a bad plate of nachos is the use of really thick nacho chips. I don't know where they find these things (and it's not just a UK thing, I've had 'em in the US, too). I've never had a good, thick nacho chip.
Our ironic Chiquito nachos also exhibited the usual suspects of bad nacho condiments, including:
- Guacamole paste that looks like it came out of a caulk gun
- The dreaded clumpy "soured" cream
- Ketchupy goop that was supposed to be salsa
I can't really blame Chiquitos, I suppose. After all, most people in Edinburgh and Scotland, in general, don't know any better.
But, after spending some time up north of the border, I feel like I know the Scottish people. They hunger for freedom. They hunger for good nachos. I can see that they're being oppressed by inferior nachos being forced upon them.
How do I know this?
Let's just take a look at where the head office for Chiquitos is located:
Chiquito Head Office5-7 Marshalsea RoadBoroughLondonSE1 1EP
My Scottish friends, you deserve better nachos!
Throw off the English oppressors and start by visiting this MUCH better place for Nachos in Edinburgh.
The spirit of William Wallace thanks you.