Here are some facts about Niagara Falls: It is technically 3 separate waterfalls; Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. It is a cataract type waterfall. Its total height is 167 feet. Its average water flow is 64,750 cubic feet a second. On October 19 in 1901 a cat named Lagara was sent over the Falls in a barrel in order it test it for the first person to go over the Falls, Annie Taylor, who would do so on October 24th of that year. They both survived. There are giant statues of Nikola Tesla on both the American and Canadian side of the Falls. The Canadian side is also home to one of the world’s twenty or so Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurants.
Tacky as hell. That’s the best way to describe Margaritaville. Not a Rainforest Cafe level of tackiness, but more like a Disney World restaurant if Walt Disney was a drunken pirate who also played guitar and wrote songs for middle aged alcoholics. There is a pirate ship inside the place, as well as people on stilts. It’s madness that belongs in Las Vegas, not within walking distance of a natural wonder like the Falls, even if Niagara Falls Ontario is the Las Vegas of Canada. It’s fortunate that their nachos are as epic as the nearby landmark.
Over the years I’ve seen nachos of all shapes and sizes (If you know what I mean, and by what I mean is that nachos come in all shapes and sizes) and the “Volcano Nachos”, so named after the Buffett song about where you will be when the eruption of pyroclastic geological death occurs, definitely have to be the tallest. As you can see when compared to that cup next to it, it’s almost as tall. But this isn’t a size contest, how do they taste? Not bad, with a caveat.
Due to their giant size you need an excellent layering strategy to ensure that every chip has a little something something for toppings, but sadly that is not the case. It appeared that there was a small layer of chips, then the chili was added, then a large pile of chips, then everything else added on top. Basically the Volcano Nachos have a weak second act, in part one you eat the delicious top layer, part three you get to the chili nachos, but part two is a lot of dry chips in the center.
If you look at the picture you would also not say “My, look at that abundance of tomatoes and scallions!” because there wasn’t. Disappointing. The steak also wasn’t a steak that had been cut into pieces, but seemed to be made of the same stuff that a breakfast sausage patty was made out of. Double Disappointing. “You said these nachos weren’t bad, with a caveat, but that seems like an awful lot of caveats?” True, but the chips were good, the chili was good, guac was good, and frankly the combination of both shredded cheese and nacho cheese is one I’m becoming more and more of a fan of every day. I’m not saying every nacho should do this because a lot don’t need it, but it’s a complementary combination of flavors I appreciate.
Lastly, when you look at the menu and see $17 for the base nachos and another $5 if you want chicken/shrimp/steak, you may be tempted to flip out. Don’t. These are at least a two or three person order of nachos, so it’s pretty reasonable at that point. 50 or 60 cents an ounce for nachos seems to be the prime price point, and if you got less than three pounds with this meal I’d be surprised. Plus you really shouldn’t be eating three pounds of nachos on your own, but that’s a story for another day...
So if you and one or two of your buddies are on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and can’t find a place featuring nachos covered in poutine (believe me, I tried) and aren’t in the mood for Tim Hortons, you can give Margaritaville a try. Have a seat. Have a 45 ounce margarita. Have a drink served to you in a carved coconut that you can take home. Watch the lady on stilts make balloon animals for people on a pirate ship. But as the places namesake tune fills the air and a ten foot bottle of tequila descends from the cloudy heavens to fill a twenty foot blender with a million gallons of fake tequila (Oh I forgot to mention that little stage show earlier? Yeah, it happens.) you can see why the rest of the world hates us.