Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Volcano Nachos

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I ordered these for the first time yesterday, 20 June 2022, at the patio bar, right in front of the volcano feature that periodically fills a giant blender jar with water. I was told this is one of three bars at that Margaritaville.

It was a busy Sunday night inside and outside the Orlando CityWalk Margaritaville, with no seating for hours at a table. But we found four adjacent seats at the full-menu patio bar immediately upon walking in around 8PM.

The two male bartenders were very friendly, helpful, and attentive.

While I was asking about the Volcano Nachos, the bartender offered that they were enough for four people. Wow. Okay, that’s what’s for dinner. I ran it by my spouse and children and everybody was game.

I actually got into a bit of a tiff with my sixteen-year-old. I was slapping her hand (and her sister’s hand) away from the nachos so I could take a photo while the volcano was still pristine. They both wanted at those nachos. I had to actively (verbally and physically) keep my daughters from tearing chips off of the volcano while snapping my photos. I did what I could photographically, but these were hostile conditions. 

Spoiler: They were enough for all four of us, plus we filled two large to-go containers to the brim with what we didn’t eat.

The Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville menu describes them as:

VOLCANO Nachos

Tortilla chips layered with chili, cheese, pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos (3710 cal.) $17.95

Were they good? Yeah. Were they great? No. But the portion made up for that about two times over.

How was the cheese? There was some real cheese on the outside. It was melted and crispy. Nice looking. It was probably okay, but I can’t say I really tasted it.

Inside the tower of nachos, there was some kind of creamy cheese sauce. That wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the low-grade movie theater stuff either. Some work went into that interior cheese sauce, though that comprised all of the real cheese I experienced while eating these. The exterior cheese was superficial.

What was the meat? A finely-ground beef chili with black beans. It was very good. Didn’t detract from the nachos in any way. The menu didn’t list any meat substitution options, or I would have gone for the chicken. There was a little sweetness, which I think came from the chili and from the cheese sauce.

 Would I order these again? Yeah. I will probably never order anything else when I eat at a Margaritaville. Then again, if a place has nachos on the menu, I order the nachos.

We had a lot left over, probably more than half. How were they the day after? I personally devoured one of the two to-go containers myself the next day (today) around 3pm. Every bite. I ate these fridge-fresh. They were about as good as when I ate them fresh the night before. The chili was really good. The only cheese to be found in today’s leftovers was the inferior interior stuff, but it was okay. The chips were a little soggy. But those chips, like the night before, were not greasy. Nothing about these nachos was greasy or oily.

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How could these be even better? Well, at this price they’re almost free. So I’d say replacing the interior cheese with some real cheese, and adding twenty-five percent more chili would bring these to another level entirely. And I’d pay $25 for that, seven bucks more than they cost in their current form. I’m always willing to pay more to get real cheese.

The value for your nacho dollar here is substantial. That volcano was a mountain of chips.

These were eighteen bucks. I say eat them. Don’t overthink it. Have a beer, too. Share with five of your closest friends. Or with three of your hungriest friends.