The Ultimate London Nacho: El Camion, Soho

Ultimate London Nacho: El Camion, Soho

Sometimes, when you’re not looking, a cho comes up and knocks you sideways in the mouth. Then climbs into your mouth and starts a mexican fire of glory while sliding down your gullet on a bed of the Big Four (Cheese, Salsa, Soured Cream, Guac) mixed with some truly innovative extras. Like multicoloured chos. And lime. And two types of salsa.

El Camion nachos

It’s an embarrassing amount of splendour for £7. I can’t even get a bus for £7. OK, I can. But I can’t even BUY a bus for £7.

Add ground beef picadillo, chicken tinga (me neither), shredded pork carnitas (nope) or yucatin beef if you like but the vegetarian option kicks everyone’s arse right out of the park. And it’s not for sharing – you need to experience this as a main course, yourself; after me and my Nachoist acquaintances inserted out faces into a plate as a shared starter, we immediately cancelled the main course and just got another two of them.

“Hey, talk to me about bald chos!” I hear you plead, silently. The bastard thing was completely de-balded to the extent where, for one moment, I thought a fork would have to be employed (and so, as anyone has been following this recently dormant but now back-in-action cho blog will know, negating the whole point of chos as finger food) but you could just keep eating. They weren’t wet, nor had they wilted under the pressure of such heavenly layers; the multi-faceted cho plains (YES, PLURAL) were perfectly formed as if they’d been born that way. Like Lady Gaga. Or an onion.

People go to El Camion for the cocktails, but they leave with the chos. Have your mojito AFTER the Cho Experience; you could spill it. Or, worse, the sugary taste could overpower the tender balance of salsa verde, salsa normalé (shut it), soured cream, cheese, jalapeno, black bean, guacamole, jalapeno and that delicate squeeze of fresh lime. Or, even worse, you could get drunk and forget it every happened. Oh christ, the thought of that has made me all hot, and not in a fun way. I’m crying. I can’t stop crying.

Ultimate London Nacho? It’s a 5. If I could make it a 6, I would. And if I could hold it through the night, I would. This is the third time I’ve wanted to make love to London Chos (see Brockley Mess and Santos on Portobello Rd), and I certainly hope it won’t be the last. 

Follow El Camion on Twitter here. And go to one of their effing restaurants NOW.

Weird Nacho Picture

While the below image was supposed to demonstrate how best to enjoy nachos (i.e. with friends, fellow nachoists and wine), it backfired and looks like I’ve started a cult.


Faceless people offer chos to a triumphant female who is potentially taking advantage of them spiritually and financially (cults can be expensive). Arms outstretch. A baby cries. The chos call. The girl eats the baby. Etc.

Lesson: sometimes when you take pictures of everyone holding up their nachos, it looks weird.

Nacho etiquette

There’s nothing that ruins chos like, you know, bad vibes. As we all know, energy radiates from all particles, the life-giving force throbbing through the cosmos in a pattern of HA I’M JOKING. Basically, there are ways to enjoy nachos to ensure a top quality cho experience.

Behold the 5 golden rules to wallowing correctly in the Holy Cho Fountain:

1. Don’t use a fork. 

What do you think you’re eating? A delicately chillied crab linguine? Put the utensils down and if your golden triangles are too sloppy; GET A NAPKIN, WIPE YOURSELF DOWN, AND CONTINUE EATING WITH YOUR HANDS. Chos are a finger food and the best road to the perfect CT (cho texture) is the option for a fork, followed by its swift rejection.

2. Don’t hog the chos. 

Sharing means half and half. Stick to your side of the plate/bowl/dish and use 50 per cent of each sauce. If you only like guac then buy one an avocado salads from M&S and stop blaspheming.

3. Don’t be delicate with the chos. 

There’s nothing worse than some girl (sorry, but it’s always girls) picking at a shared plate of chos like a dying pigeon. In this event, rule #2 is to be dismissed: it’s time to take advantage and eat them all. Quickly. Then, next time, she might not be so effing irritating.

4. Don’t get down on it if you’re in a bad mood. 

Fiery salsa, cooling soured cream and shedloads of cheese may seem like the perfect antidote to an angered soul but never equate the cho with feeling down. Then it’ll be, in a Pavlovian way, the food of sadness when it should always be a source of euphoria. Like overcoming the odds. Or the E drug.* ** ***

*The Nacho Times doesn’t condone drugs, this was written for comic effect.

** Heroin is pretty good though.


5. Try not to cho it alone. 

Sometimes, for the lone nacho enthusiast, sitting down and chowing down is alright. It’s okay. It’s better than eating quiche. But try not to make it a regular thing. Nachos, by their very nature, are a sociable foodstuff and to deny them an extra person, laughter and conversation, is to deny their glory.

But also it’s very important to keep in mind that at the centre of the world is a giant lizard made of positive energy, breathing life into all things.

The Ultimate London Nacho: The Brockley Mess

Where? The Brockley Mess, 325 Brockley Rd SE4 2QZ

This has been, in the words of Alfred Tennyson, an effing good fortnight for nachos. After the gritty authenticity of the deliciously filthy Santo, next up comes one of those experiences that hit you seemingly from nowhere. Like, for example, if you were in a creche and an anvil fell on a priest.

The Brockley Mess is an unassuming, un-Mexican, yet pretty posh cafe-cum-art-gallery on Brockley Road in Brockley. Near Brockley station. That’s Brockley, in case you’re blind/not able to read things without adequate repetition. Chic, airy and serving things like skinny mocha latte cakes, not only did the chef prepare these nachos with homemade guacamole and salsa, but he layered a lovely chipotle bean mixture throughout the dish.

It’s even sprinkled with paprika, illustrating how much care and thought went into these chos. He didn’t absent mindedly throw some cheese on top, stick them in the microwave and serve with potted, cold sauces. The chos were just as artistically striking as the gallery (although I didn’t see the gallery due to serious cho consumption) and probably tasted better.

After refusing to  provide the recipe for his guacamole (aside from admitting it contains avocados) chef, top sound designer and good friend of Nacho Times Adam Aguiar then posed for a picture.

… in which he looks like a mad Mexican chef lunatic. But one who deserves a place in the Nacho Times hall of fame. We’ll pass over the fact that there’s no hall and, currently, contains only one picture. But maybe I’ll start one.

The great thing about the nachos, though, is the relish that just kept on going. Slightly sodden with the sheer quantity of top class salsa and near-perfect guac, there was neither cheese adhesive nor a bald cho in sight. I nearly wanted to use a fork, but didn’t which, as everyone hopefully now realises, is the ideal in terms of cho texture (CT).

There were no jalapenos but when the remainder is this good, fresh and akin to dropping an anvil on a priest, who needs them?

Ultimate London Nacho? It’s got to be a 5. More Tex Mex than Santo’s black bean ode to Mexicana, these were just as fantastic- proof that The Brockley Mess is certainly anything but. <insert applause for pithy end sentence>

Things That Look Like Chos


#4 The Google Chrome Logo

You’ve got your guac. You’ve got your salsa. You’ve got your cheese. You’ve got a circle of soured cream. The blue sphere obviously symbolises the ecstasy felt when such elements come together and, yes, the cho resides beneath, fully relished.

No, it’s not a stretch. For god’s sake open your minds.

You’re (Not) My Wondercho: Manchester Nachos

Jabez Clegg, Manchester M13 9GB

If popular 90s band Oasis had called at one of their songs Wondercho,  perhaps things would be better. Perhaps people would have taken action against sub-par nachos instead of getting inspired about walls.

Maybe this fine city, that gave us Wayne Rooney and, y’know, The Arndale Centre (it’s got a good food court) could have started producing Tex Mex that is proud to be Manc, instead of (to use the northern dialect) “dead mank”. And lank. Hey, do you remember when Jason Statham starred in Crank?

Sure, they look inoffensive, but nachoist Rory McDonald’s descriptions are so horrid I didn’t even rotate the image (this is more because I’m in an internet cafe in Brockley surrounded by screaming children from St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Primary School).

“There was cheese which at one point in archaic times had been melted but, when I came to eat it, the whole thing was like trying to eat a big ball of ronseal with stegosaurus plates sticking out of it.”

Oh god. This is like when Liam and Noel fell out and Liam punched a man in a bar for calling him Noel, or whatever. Actually, no it’s worse. We’re talking full on HNE here, with defcon 5 cheese adhesive.

“…And then there was bits and pieces of clearly pre-grated crap that you get in big bags from shops. The mass had a tepid centre but everything else was stone cold.”

Presuming Rory is using the term “crap” metaphorically, the worst aspect of this is that, after charging £4.50, they were stone cold. If I want something cold for nearly a fiver, I’ll go and buy Ben & Jerrys ice cream from the shop down the road in the nude. If I want nachos for nearly a fiver, I want them piping hot and good quality or you can shove them up your champagne supernova.

Also, just found out there are two other Crank films after the first one. How did that even happen? God this is the most depressing post ever. I should never have mentioned Jason Statham. Always leads to pain.

Anyway, if anyone has had a PNE (positive nacho experience) higher than the Watford Gap, please get in touch. The author of the Nacho Times is originally northern and feels embarrassed by her heritage. So embarrassed as to begin referring to herself in the third person.