Please Say This is “Nacho” Best Effort…

This week’s challenge – the best nachos. Nachos can be as simple as tortilla chips and cheese, but we were looking for LOADED nachos. Pile. It. On. We received tons of suggestions and decided to mix it up a bit with some “non-traditional” nachos as well. And because it’s hard to compare apples to oranges, I’m not going to rank these places. I’m rating them individually using the 🌽 (corn) scale.

🌽(1) = Avoid at all cost…

🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽(5) = Stop whatever you’re doing! Go eat this right this very second!

First stop – Tacos el Ray 2000 Birch Road, Kenosha

This place can be a bit hard to find if you aren’t familiar with the area; just keep an eye out for their big sign. The interior is a bit retro, but I’ve never found myself being disappointed with their food – way more authentic than Taco Bell, not as “fancy” as La Fogata.

The “loaded” nachos here are called Nachos El Rey ($8.25).

The tortilla chips were served with your choice of ground beef or chicken (we chose ground beef), nacho cheese AND cheddar cheese, refried beans, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeño peppers. This was a good size for the price. But this definitely requires a fork – the chips surrounded the toppings in the middle of the plate almost as if it were a dip. The chips were a bit stale also. And I prefer a chunkier guacamole. This seemed puréed. We did like the use of both nacho and shredded cheeses.

Overall rating – 🌽🌽🌽(3)
Next up – Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub 510 57th Street, Kenosha

We stopped here on a Friday, and although it was before what I’d consider to be dinner time, it was packed.

We ordered Kaiser’s Nachos ($9.99) – tortilla chips topped with melted cheddar and mozzarella cheese, shredded beef, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Salsa and sour cream were served on the side. Kaiser’s did not have any guacamole (disappointing), but sliced up some avocado for me as a replacement (not perfect, but it’ll do).

The serving size was big enough to share. I was really looking forward to these, and I was HUNGRY when we arrived, so even though I didn’t really enjoy these a ton, I ate a lot of them. The shredded beef was lacking flavor as if zero seasoning was added during the cooking process. And there was a significant lack of cheese (disappointing, again).

Overall rating – 🌽🌽(2)
On to Smoke Shack 332 N. Milwaukee Street, Milwaukee

If you’re not looking for the sign, you may miss it. Smoke Shack is a cute little restaurant tucked amoungst giant brick buildings in the city. And the interior was just as adorable – I felt like I was inside a Pinterest post.

We ordered Pulled Pork Nachos ($9.50). Large enough to share, these chips were topped with fresh jalapeños, tomato, red onion, black beans, sour cream, melted white cheddar and pulled pork with barbecue sauce.

I love the concept of these nachos – cheesy tortilla chips covered with smokey pulled pork. So the fact that the pork was smothered with a barbecue sauce was a let down. I couldn’t taste the pork at all, only the sauce. And the chunks of tomato, red onion, etc were HUGE. One accidental bite of a large jalapeño sent a member of our party to the rest room for a coughing fit.

Overall rating – 🌽🌽(2)
Last up – Jalapeño Loco 5067 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee

We ordered the Super Nachos ($9.75). These tortilla chips were topped with refried beans, ground beef, pork or chicken, melted cheese (cheddar, probably), sour cream and guacamole.

The chicken was yummy and tender. And the way the chips were laid out guaranteed every single chip was covered with tons of toppings (awesome!), however, there was only a single layer of chips (bummer!).  When paying $9.75 for nachos, I expected more. Luckily the complementary chips and salsa were both delicious and refillable.

Overall rating – 🌽🌽🌽(3)
I’m certain we missed some awesome nacho hot spots. Tell us which place we HAVE to go to to get ROCKSTAR nachos.  We’ll be doing a follow-up post in the future.

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