By what measure, nachos? Seems the criteria should be:
- What kind of cheese? Just the petroleum-based movie-dispenser nacho cheese “sauce”? Exclusively real cheese? A combination?
- Is the cheese melted? It should be.
- Freshness of ingredients
- Abundance of various ingredients
- Chips: Are many of them stuck together? Are they soaked in oil (yuck)? Are they crispy? Do they cut the roof of your mouth?
- Ingredient distribution: Are the toppings sprinkled on top, or are they layered throughout the pile of chips?
- Greasiness of chips
- How you feel after the meal
- How are they the next day (refrigerator-cold)?
- How are they the next day (microwaved)?
It’s probably not a good long-term strategy to start at the top, but here I go anyway. The best nachos I can remember can be had (consistently!) at Carmelita’s in Dunedin, Florida. The cheese is real and abundant. The chips aren’t greasy. They taste and feel great.
The quantity of everything is unbelievable. The chicken is fresh. I would say that the chicken isn’t the best it could possibly be in terms of seasoning, but you soon forget that when you start putting chip to mouth at Carmelita’s.
Their mild salsa is also top-shelf. I’ve ordered nachos (and nothing else) and had chips and salsa (free for the table, I believe) as a side dish. So good.
I don’t have any photos of Carmelita’s nachos today, but I’ll come back and add a photo someday.
Recommendation: Buy. Eat. Rejoice!
Carmelita’s Mexican Cafe
1280 Main Street
Dunedin, Florida 34698
If you want to immediately look at some (photos of) nachos, click here.
At their most basic, nachos are corn chips and cheese. But what a food design playground nachos can be!
Here are some common ingredients in nachos:
- Corn chips (required)
- Cheese (required)
- Meat — chicken, ground beef, steak
- Jalapeño pepper slices
- Salt (usually just cooked into other ingredients)
Here are some common toppings for nachos, all of which can also be dips:
This is a place to savor my nacho ruminations.