Usually it takes aeons for the stars to turn right and unspeakable horrors to stir, but now all it takes is two years and a lack of Tums before eating an order of nachos. Yes folks it is the biannual (in the “it occurs every two years” instead of the “it occurs twice a year” meaning) eldritch voyage to Providence, Rhode Island for NachoProviCon and all the nacho consumption and arcane occultism that goes with it. You may think that after all these years there is nary an establishment left in the Renaissance City with an uneaten order of nachos, but you would be wrong.
HARRY’S BAR & BURGER
Harry’s is a nice little hole in the wall restaurant in Providence, and a micro-chain with 3 other locations across the state. They won my heart over when they said they don’t have tomatoes or lettuce independent of a burger, not because I don’t like those veggies, they’re some of my favorites, but a place that draws a firm line in the sand about not making some of the most popular burger veggies available takes chutzpah. Chutzpah enough to name your nachos “Nachos A Mess”? Yes.
So are these “Nachos A Mess” like their name would imply? Not really, or certainly no more so than any other nachos I’ve had are. Usually I’ll take chili as like the 3rd or 4th option for meat toppings when it comes to nachos as typically they take over the nachoness of the dish and you’re just using chips as a spoon to eat it. With that being the only option I had to get it, and was pleasantly surprised that these were pretty tasty. Maybe it was the addition of the extremely yellow cheese (was it mixed with mustard to go with the burger theme? Who can say?) or the lack of tomatoes and beans in the chili, but it definitely hewed closer to a more flavorful ground beef, my 4th or 5th meat topping option. Based on how tasty this was though I might have to give the standard ground beef nacho a new critical examination.
These nachos are pretty bare bones, no doubt. Not a lot of ingredients, basically just concession nachos, normally I would give these a pass. And yet, there was something special about them… Was it the beef/pork/spice mix of the chili? I’d have to try the chili by itself to know for sure, but as the only X factor I think it must be that. You know exactly what you’re getting, but what you’re getting in this case is pretty dang tasty.
OOGIE’S TRAILER PARK
You know what’s cool if you’re a punk rockabilly 20 something? A packed trailer park themed bar full of other punk rockabilly 20 somethings. You know what is less cool when you’re closer to 40 than 30? A packed trailer park themed bar full of punk rockabilly 20 somethings. I can’t say that we were the oldest people to venture into Oogie’s Trailer Park to check out their makeshift tiki bar, but we were definitely in the 1%, and not the good 1% where you have an island full of captured Bigfoots that you hunt for sport. If not for the totchos I would have totch-gos to some other establishment where maybe the average clientele were out of diapers during 9/11. GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DANG KIDS!
After first waiting in line for a tiki drink I then got to wait in line to order some totchos, which wouldn’t have been out of line except for the fact that the kitchen decided to close for a bit right in the middle of prime Friday night drinking and eating. Did the whole kitchen staff have a break at the same time? Considering us waiting in line could see them doing shots back there I would guess so, but bad timing. Also those shots must have been pretty strong because when they finally opened back up and I asked for totchos with everything I got neither sour cream (unless all that white stuff is sour cream in which case I didn’t get the bechamel) or bacon lardons. But whatever, you rate the nachos you get, not the nachos you could have gotten.
Nah, that’s not how that works, I totally think the nachos I could have gotten with all those things would have been better, but totchos are great, and these were great too. The goal with all totchos is to consume them before they get too soggy that the tot falls apart, and depending on the caliber of your tot that could be quick, or take awhile. Whatever brand they’re using here was definitely a higher quality as the tots were solid from second one to however many seconds it took to finish, which can’t have been that long considering how good they were.
If I had just started drinking I would have thought that it was awesome, but 15 years after that you just feel old and out of place. Not even tater tot nachos and tiki drinks is going to change that. These are good, and Oogie’s is one of the few places around that you can find them, but just be aware that maybe you’re not the demographic for there.
And just like that, the islands of nachos slip back beneath the waves of cheese, and the dreams of chippy goodness fade from the minds of man for another age. But nachos just sleep, they cannot die. Days, months, years will pass, and always they will return. NachoProviCon will be back in 2021, and humankind will not be ready. Doesn't mean you can't practice nacho eating on the reg in the meantime just in case though.