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.

Homemade Nachos

There is only one word to describe the nachos kindly photographed and sent in by Amanda Ciske from Wisconsin. That word is “wahey”

If these chos were a forest, they’d be a massive forest. If they were a mammal they’d be a massive blue whale covered in forest. Look, there’s fresh tomato in there! IT’S SO FRESH!

Fresh, and yet more proof that Americans do it better and England is the country where chos go to die. Amanda informed me tex mex is the main cuisine in Milwaukee, her hometown. I quote (because this is hard-hitting journalism and real journalists need quotes): “There are restaurants selling nachos on every corner, it’s a big deal.”

Every corner? I want to move to Milwaukee. In fact, let’s all go right now. You’ll probably say it’s unwise to move to another continent for gastronomical reasons, but I’m tempted. Who are you anyway? Gandhi?

Notchoes But Nice: Huevos Rancheros

Where: The Old Dairy, Crouch Hill N4 4AP

Guys, we’re going to make a Tex Mex sauce, add three huge triangular chos and put an egg on it.

image

There isn’t currently an official term for something that’s like nachos, but not. However, the resulting taste and bizarrely delightful texture has made me want to put eggs on everything. Like nachos. And lasagne. And the tenancy agreement my landlord refuses to acknowledge.

At an extortionate £10 for a single portion, these Huevos Rancheros’s (Huevos Rancheri?) are the terribly posh older brother of the nacho, covered in egg. If you’ve met a terribly posh older brother, you’ll know they’re only palatable when covered in egg.

Despite being posh, and not nachos, these are good. If you’re really rich, or fancy a bit of excitement, give them a good go. Same goes for the terribly posh older brother, if he’s fit.

The Ultimate London Nacho: Santo, Notting Hill

Where: Santo, Portobello Road W10 5TD

The size of the jalapenos sums up the boldness of these authentic, yet sort of excitingly filthy chos. Salsa? Get bent. Bean dip? Hop on. The experience was like being chafed by a sombrero to the upbeat strains of “La Cucaracha”.

image<

The chips are hand-cut, thick and spiced. The guacamole is a chunk-fest. The cheese is warm.  The waiter fixes our wonky table with some paper and makes an amusing joke. The whole thing gets a bit overwhelming to be honest and, what? Yes, "our table". You thought I went to restaurants and ate nachos by myself? Well, occasionally, but that's for my other blog entitled Why It's Okay To Always Eat Alone.

Back to the chos in hand, where the portion size was huge and the relish plentiful, just like Jesus (I've never read the Bible). There was layering. Yes, layering not only of the cheese but of the sauce. It got to the stage where my dining partner said: "they're really wet" and I replied: "I almost want to use a fork, but I won't". This is the crux- a fork was considered, but never used, as nachos should be sauce-laden, but never to the point where a fork is a necessity. There were even some cubes of tofu on there, unobtrusively tucked to one side in the event of the eater despising tofu. What a nice protein-rich gesture.

Erm, they were £10. That's an issue, but these are seriously filling chos and I was unable to complete the main course. For anyone interested, it was a burrito which cost £350.

Ultimate London Nacho? They have to get a 5. As I’ve yet to visit every eaterie in London selling nachos, this means Santo are the Ultimate London Cho SO FAR. 

WILL THEY EVER BE BEATEN? OH THE EXCITEMENT. I’VE JUST WET MYSELF. (For more anecdotes of this nature, visit my other blog Incontinent Fun Times)