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Restaurants & Bars

Nachos -- probably beating a dead horse, but what the heck?

waderoberts | Jul 21, 201305:00 PM     3

O.K., call me a purist, a crank, a Neanderthal, whatever, but I like nachos in (or close to) their original form (as invented by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, in 1943, in Piedras Negras, MX, just across the border from Eagle Pass, TX). Individual tortilla chips and jalapenos, covered by melted cheddar cheese. (The cheese is melted under a broiler or salamander.) The only other incarnation I like is refried beans on the chips under the jalapenos and melted cheese.

I do NOT want taco meat, chicken/beef fajitas, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, guacamole, and, especially, sour cream. If I have a hankering for any of those, I'll order them separately.

These nachos were once the norm here. Years ago, my favorite place for these traditional nachos (and beer) in Houston was Las Cazuelas, a 24-hour joint on (I seem to recollect) Quitman off North Main on the second floor. I also have fond memories of the nachos at Last Concert Cafe, when mama was still alive. Las Cazuelas is long gone, and the nachos at Last Concert Cafe are not the same. A few years living in San Antonio got me hooked on the Shypoke eggs (nachos) at Hip's and Little Hip's, now gone, too.

While I do love chile con queso, what I really hate is ordering nachos, only to find queso slathered over a pile of chips, which instantly disintegrate into a soggy pool that requires a spoon to eat. This seems to be the norm these days: queso, stuff I don't want, haphazardly prepared, and overpriced. Might as well wait for one of the new 7-Elevens to open.

I want the gooyeness of melted cheese and the crispy crunch of the tortilla chips.

Yeah, I know, I can and do make them at home (mess of nachos for dinner). But, sometimes, I'd like to grab some for lunch or dinner out.

About time to see if Spanish Village still does them the right way. Any other suggestions, particularly around the NASA area would be greatly appreciated. Will drive anywhere in the Houston area for the real thing.

And wondering when, how, and why Houston nachos started to suck.

P.S. Oops. Just looked at the on-line menu for Spanish Village. No way, no thanks.

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