When I think of a bootlegger, I think of a bunch of moonshiners driving the backroads of some southern state at high speeds, peddling their bathtub brews and staying one step ahead of the law. Maybe they get in a fight with some mobsters and Tom Hardy punches one of them so hard in the throat goiter that it explodes out of their mouth in what I would consider one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen in all of film. What a bootlegger isn’t is a nice Italian restaurant, which is why I wouldn’t call my nice Italian restaurant The Bootlegger. The Upstanding Gentleman, The Italian American Social Club, The Definitely Not a Front Restaurant, all fine names if you want to get across that your establishment may not be on the up and up but still has fine food, but Bootlegger, no. All that being said, The Bootlegger sounds exactly like the kind of place you would go to get some great nachos, but did this turn out to be the case in this case?
As I sat at their fine black leather covered tables and absorbed the classy decor thinking how the name did not match the classiness of the place, I hoped upon hope that the nachos wouldn’t be something thrown together from the remains of the other Italian food they had around like some other Italian restaurant nachos I had tasted. Fortunately when they arrived it turned out that this was only partially the case. Much like the Frito Pie, an order of Chili Nachos pretty much lives and dies on its chili, so how was The Bootlegger’s? Well it wasn’t bad, but it was distinctly Italian in its tomatoness, which is a problem as when you think “chili” you shouldn’t think “Italian food”. So while overall the nachos were decent, save for the fact that they didn’t mention there were a bunch of disgusting olives on top, there was a hint of Italianness in every bite of chili that distracted from the overall experience.
Because this was not my first rodeo in the nacho world I knew that the smart move when watching your waist is to only eat half your order of nachos at a time, and then the rest the next day. Trust me, your doctor will thank you at your next physical, or at least probably won’t yell at you as much. The waitress was kind enough to wrap my half a nacho up and return it to me in this Ark of the Covenant looking box. Forget styrofoam, these cases are the to-go boxes of the future.
Unfortunately when I opened the Ark the next day in search of lunch I was a shocked witness to this, the biggest nacho faux pas or war crime, your choice, in the nacho to-go boxing world.
What we have here appears to be that the waitress just upended the skillet over the to-go box and all allowed the loose food to fall in. What was NOT included was one of the most delicious part of the nachos, the Leavings, a.k.a. everything affixed to the dish that the nachos were served on, namely some of the tastiest part of the nachos. This lack of probably 10% of your overall nachos not being included in the box, combined with the fact that all the toppings have been flipped over and mashed on the bottom of the box shows a general lack of nacho respect that I certainly don’t appreciate, and neither should you. So if you go to The Bootlegger and end up getting nachos and not eating the whole order, don’t let them box it up for you, do it yourself. You’ll appreciate it later.