You truly are something to savor.
When I think of you I simply grin.    
From your texture to your delicious flavor,
You a make me forget gluttony’s a sin.

You start with a crunchy base,
And then comes the best part.
CHEESE. Uppercase. 
So ooey, so gooey, so dear to my heart.

Next up is meat and beans, 
And why not add a little guac?
I think it’s time to unbutton my jeans,
And maybe take a little walk.

You’re finished off with cilantro and sour cream.
Pretty enough to be in a magazine.

This is my ode to nachos. The world’s perfect food.  

Nachos have everything I’m after in a dish: crunch, spice, salt, and fat, balanced with a dash of fresh. I could eat nachos daily, but, luckily for my waistline, I do not. 

To celebrate this heavenly food, my mom, sister and I embarked on a quest to eat three very different nacho dishes. From traditionally tasty to strangely satisfying. 

We started at Expatriate and ordered the elusive (served only from 5-6pm, after 10pm and for weekend brunch) Expatriate Nacho ($14). 

Base | Fried Wonton Chips
Cheese | Thai Chili Cheese
Protein | Spicy Lemongrass Beef
Veg | Herbs
Sauce | Crema, Kaffir Lime + Tomato Salsa

These are Daddy Warbucks rich. Deep-fried wontons topped with beef and chili cheese. Woof. But in the best way. A total Tex-Mex Asian fusion flavor explosion.

Score: 8/10

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Our next stop was just down the road to La Taq. This is one of my favorite places to eat and drink in Portland so Imma be a bit biased. We opted for Nachos without brisket ($5, $7 with brisket). 

Base | House-Made Tortilla Chips
Cheese | So much melted cheddar
Protein | Refried Pinto Beans (option to add brisket from next door’s Podnah’s Pit)
Veg | Pico de Gallo, Sliced Jalapenos
Sauce | Sour Cream 

The day I find nachos better than La Taq nachos will be a very, very good day. They’re a single layer of chips, each chip topped with copious amounts of cheese and beans. Most nachos leave you with a big cluster of topping-less chips in the center. Not La Taq nachos.

Score: 10/10

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For our last stop of the night, we waddled our way to the car and drove to Boxer Ramen on Alberta St. for their Okonomiyaki Tots ($7).

Base | Tater Tots
Cheese | N/A
Protein | Bonito Flakes
Veg | Dried Seaweed, Togarashi (Chili Pepper)
Sauce | Creamy Spicy Sauce, Tonkatsu Sauce (Japanese-Style BBQ Sauce)

At this point in the night we were pretty full and overloaded with sodium so it’s hard to tell how I’d feel about these on a non-nacho-crawl night. They were tasty and I especially liked the bonito fish flakes on top; almost like light, thin fish jerky. Although, what the dish really seemed to be missing was a freshness aspect. It was very heavy, salty, and fatty (sounds like the perfect hangover food, huh?). I’m curious to try them again sometime on an emptier stomach.

Score: 5/10

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AuthorMolly Streuli