I was recently driving through Philadelphia, where the sun is always sunny and the Mutter museums always are filled with medical oddities, when I felt a tingling in my nacho gland. A nerd might call it a disturbance in the Force, but really it was more like what Highlanders or Golden Girls in close proximity feel. Knowing that there can be only one nacho expert and with the promise of a Nacho Quickening at hand, I consulted the seventh sense nachos grow in the brain of anyone who consumes them and headed in the direction of the nachoness.
My brain nachos directed me to a home in the suburbs of Philly, and I could tell immediately from the essence of consumed nachos in the aether around it that this was Holy Nacho Ground and no nacho combat would be taking place here. With a Nacho Quickening off the table I vowed nonetheless to meet whatever champion of nachos had taken up residence at this abode and strode to the door. A few knocks later brought a man named Will to the door, and I recognized him instantly as the proprietor of respected Philadelphia nacho review site I Enjoy Nachos, while he in turn sensed in his nacho cheese infused marrow that I was a fellow nacho seeker. We knew that in different circumstances our meeting would have been a fight to the death so that the other would gain all of the fallen’s nacho knowledge, but instead a fast friendship formed and he invited me in, making plans to go get some nachos.
We could have played it safe and gone with some restaurant Will knew had The Goods, but we were nacho men who liked to live on the edge and decided to go with a place he had not yet visited. The Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille was its name, and Adobo Goat Cheese Nachos were its game, and while I was hesitant due to the whole “Vegetarian” part of the name (Not that I have anything against Vegetarians or Vegetarianism, I just think that you better have a damn good reason for cutting out most of the most delicious kinds of food from your diet) I wasn’t about to show weakness in the eyes of my new friend and rolled the dice. We departed his home, all thoughts of chopping off his head to gain more nacho knowledge now gone, and arrived at BSVG, only to be told that there was not only no seating available then, but there wasn’t even a waiting list and that we were a couple of shit out of luck assholes for even thinking we could get it. Minor exaggerations added by myself.
Sure, I’ve been to plenty of restaurants where I’ve had to wait for some period of time, but never one where I just haven’t been able to get in period. This is a restaurant in the suburbs of Philadelphia on a Sunday, not Dorsia on Valentine’s Day. Even the plea of having driven hundreds of miles to get there got us nowhere with the hostess and we had to resign to getting our nachos to go. NACHOS TO GO, LIKE SOME KIND OF STREET URCHIN AND NOT TWO OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY’S GREATEST LEADING NACHONOMISTS, NAY, NATIONAL HEROES. But we were not to be deterred, and instead looked forward to what, judging from the level of of business, must be some delicious and sought after food. We lounged outside, playing the urchin role we were forced into, until we were presented with two giant bags full of nacho goodness upon which we time headed back onto the streets with the promise of a possibly life changing meal next to us.
That’s what it looked like totally assembled, although we had to do the whole assembly part ourselves.
I suppose the separation for a to go order works in that your nachos don’t turn into a soggy mess before you can get them home, but I do have to wonder if in preparing them this way any thought was given to proper proportions or if I got as much “creamy onion goat manchego queso” as I did because that’s how big the container was. As you can see from the picture, I got a lot of that.
So too much cheese, is that really a complaint you say? Well no, this was a much better cheese than the slime you get spurted over your nachos at a ball game, but the problem with it, and the meal as a whole, is that there wasn’t much flavor. If you’re going to go vegetarian and remove the savory meats, you need something in the mix to make up for it, such as any sort of spice, but alas there was nothing like that included here. Overall the whole dish was pretty bland, and while not flavorless enough that I would call it bad, if it was a color that color would definitely be grey. Take this scary looking pepper.
I fully expected to die eating it straight up, over covered in an excess of queso or not, when I popped it in my mouth it did not have a lot going on for it. All I wanted after eating these nachos was more, but not more of the nachos themselves, more to the nachos. If this is what vegetarians are accustomed to, eesh. I’m not saying you should eat meat, you can eat whatever does or does not strike your fancy, but experiment with some flavors. If colors were flavors there’s a whole crayon box of things out there you can add to your meal other than shades of grey, of which I hear there are at least fifty.
It was after the meal that Will and I sat down to have a deeply philosophical conversation on the nature of cheese and chips like a couple of real sophisticates. You can read the rest of the interview and Rashomon style occurrence of events over at I Enjoy Nachos for companion piece to this, since we’re doing a real Avengers style mash-up here.
And that was that. As I had another 4-7 hour drive ahead of me depending on New York City traffic it became time to say goodbye, which culminated in a handshake that put Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers in Predator to shame.
Then I was gone. Maybe the next time I saw him he would cut off my head to gain all my nacho knowledge. Maybe the next time I saw him I would cut off his head to gain all his nacho knowledge. Maybe the next time I saw him we'd get jumped by a nacho loving member of the Kurgan tribe and have both our heads cut off, who can say. What was said between the two of us was three words:
What do they mean? I know what they mean. Perhaps if you read Will's interview with me you know what they mean. If you haven't done any of these things rest assured that you will know real soon...