There comes a time in every man’s journey to a foreign country with the purpose of eating nachos when he realizes that he is going to eat his last nacho. It’s a very important time in a human’s life, and makes one wonder what started the grand journey of worldwide nacho consumption; where it would end, and where it all began. For me, it was with a single tweet.
Talk about a throw down. Little did El Camion (“The Truck” in Spanish) know that I was already planning on going to London for the express purpose of nacho consumption, and now they were on my radar. I did them the honor of saving their visit for last though, so as to compare them to all of the other nachos in the country. That is how, on my final evening in London, I went to sample their wares.
Walking in and immediately being greeted by a solid wall of hundreds of hot sauces, I knew this was the place. At the very least it was the most Mexicanaesque in decor I had encountered in the British Isles, and really that goes a long way towards the general ambiance of a meal. Whenever I get around to opening “The Museum of Nacho History Restaurant” one of its myriad of walls will be solely devoted to hot sauces, probably the one next to the shrine containing the reliquary holding a piece of chip from the first order of nachos Ignacio Anaya ever created. El Camion didn’t have one of these, unsurprisingly, but it did have 5 different kinds of nachos; Chicken Tinga, Grilled Chicken, Black Beans and Jalapeno, Pork Carnitas, and Picadillo Beef. Now if it was Peccadillo Beef I would be all for it, because plays on words are hilarious, but it wasn’t, so I got the Pork Carnitas instead.
Or I would have, if their gas was working in the kitchen, which it wasn’t. Then it turned out that it was all a big miscommunication with the waitress (Hi Laura, hope you make it to the United States soon!) and while the gas was definitely not working they did have Pork Carnitas and could make nachos. A victory snatched from the jaws of defeat and lack of nachoness, which was good because if that was the end of my nacho story this would have been a pretty terrible post.
I’ll say one thing about the British, they know how to make a nacho look good. Fortunately El Camion also knew how to make nacho taste good as well, resulting in the best dish I had had north of the 51st parallel. I’m not going to say it was the best I’ve ever had, but it was definitely an excellent try at an order of fancy Mexican nachos. That sounds like a dig, but it’s not. It’s like how The Lost Skeleton of Dr. Cadavra is a parody of 50’s B-Movies and quite good, but not quite as good in a cheesy way as the actual 50’s B-Movies that is it trying to parody. Not bad, just a little different, like the difference between American and English Coca-Cola. English Coca-Cola is way better than ours folks, smuggle that back the next time you’re there, but in this case it’s the difference between American and English nachos, and ours are still better. USA! USA! USA!
So definitely give El Camion and their nachos a checkout, although walking through SoHo after dark might get you approached be strange gentlemen willing to offer you women and drugs for money, or gypsies trying to sell you flowers and steal your ice cream. That’s apparently just how SoHo rolls, so get used to it. Alternately you could hide in El Camion’s basement bar and hear some kind of hipster acoustic guitar and harmonica covers of 50’s and 80’s music until three in the morning, but the pimps will be waiting. The pimps are always waiting...
And that is the state of nachos in London. Overall, not too shabby, although a little harder to come by than I thought. The Mexican or Mexican themed restaurant is still somewhat rare there, and even those that do exist don’t always have nachos, I’m looking at you Wahaca, and for the record you spell “Oaxaca”. There is hope for you London, and your nachos. While you may not be in the world’s 10 largest cities anymore, undoubtedly your Mexican population will continue to increase and with it your love of the tastiest of foods. Next time London, the “chips” in your “fish & chips” better be actual chips and the base of fish nachos. You make that change and I’ll come back ASAP. Only then will you truly Rule Chiptania.