Today is National Nachos Day. Nachos are one of the most abused and misunderstood foods in our canon. Too often they are sloppily and carelessly prepared. Ballparks slather runny cheese over stale chips, dump them in a souvenir batting helmet bowl and overcharge horribly for the privilege. All over New York you will find Tex-Mex to-go outlets oddly operated by ethnic Chinese who create sorry excuses for nachos to deliver to your door. (As far as I know this is a unique NYC thing where enterprising Chinese immigrants have discovered a popular restaurant niche and have captured the market.) National chains try grandly but seldom get it right.
A truly good Nachos Grande or Supreme is a delicate balancing act, not so overfilled that everything becomes mush and not so skimpy you spend your meal (and it should be a meal all by itself) scraping the plate looking for some accompaniment to your poor chip. It should be properly proportioned so that you get an ever-changing medley of fresh flavors with every lip-smacking bite. I don’t have a recipe for you but I can give you a source in NYC.
Go to Duke’s – New York City’s Original Roadhouse (https://www.dukesnyc.com). I used to enjoy their Union Square location but real estate pressure apparently got to them and their locations are now in Murray Hill and the Upper East Side. Their Nachos are perfectly proportioned and utterly delicious. Try them for yourself.
TOMORROW: Election Day