Imagine you go to a quaint country fair and are wandering through it when a strange man approaches you in front of an unmarked tent. “Hey buddy,” he whispers, “want to see a man eating chicken? Only thirteen dollars.” You of course want to see whatever gigantic beast of a chicken this character has located in his tent, and maybe even see it eat a man as well if you’re forking over $13. You pay up, he opens the tent flaps to let you inside, and you wander down to a single chair in a room so dark you can barely see the gigantic metal cage in front of you. You sit, hearing the snuffling and chewing of presumably the monstrous beast inside, and begin to sweat with anticipation. “BEHOLD!” The carney yells, and flips on the light… to reveal some regular ol’ dude in the cage, sitting at a table, a cooked chicken in front of him, eating it. You turn to the carnival chap, shouting at how bamboozled you were, and his reply is, “Well, this is our interpretation of a man eating chicken.” Pretty much the exact same thing happened to me Rail Trail Flatbread Co. when I ordered Street Corn Nachos.Read More
While we nacho fans all spent the previous Monday celebrating National Nacho Day, there was sadly one who did not. Frank Liberto: inventor of the concession nacho, inventor of the shelf-stable cheese, founder of Ricos Products Company, Captain in the Army, 1994’s South Texas Entrepreneur of the Year, passed away on November 5th, one day shy of the day he was partially responsible for, surrounded by family at his San Antonio home. He was 84 years old.
It is beyond a doubt that Ignacio Anaya is the king and father of nachos, and Carmen Rocha the mother and queen, but Frank Liberto was more the bad boy prince or cool uncle that rides a motorcycle and wears sunglasses indoors. Ignacio didn’t do much to spread the word of nachos outside of Piedras Negras, and while Carmen brought them to Los Angeles they still never really hit critical mass. It wasn’t until Frank got his brand of concession nachos into Texas Stadium and up into the mouth of announcer Howard Cosell that they reached a tipping point.
Cosell, ever the loquacious gentlemen, thought the name was hilarious and started using “nacho” as noun, verb, adjective, and however else he felt like saying it, blurting out things like “That was nacho man!” and “What a nacho run that was!” While some men would have declared their love for the food by going on about how tasty this combination of chips and cheese and spicy jalapenos was, Cosell put his own unique take on things, and low and behold, that did the trick. Word of the dish traveled throughout the land, making what could have just been a niche southern Texas dish a worldwide phenomenon.
Frank Liberto has always been a controversial figure in the world of nachos, with many blaming the concession nachos for the bad rap nachos have gotten over the years as a second class food. Despite this, there is no doubt that without him most Americans would not be aware of the dish and they would not be nearly as well knows as they are today. You may not want to eat the nachos you see in a movie theater of sports stadium in favor of the artisanal ones down at your local gastropub, but if it wasn’t for Frank they probably wouldn’t even be on the menus of most places.
The real tragedy here is that not only is a man dead and a family left grieving, but the last living member of nacho history is gone. With the holy trinity of Ignacio, Carmen, and now Frank all having passed, there is nobody on the scene today who was down in the trenches and shoveling that nacho cheese in order to have the good name of the food take root in the world. This is what the passage of time does, and nobody from the lowliest nacho serf to the mightiest nacho king can avoid it. So goodnight you prince of nachos, you king of San Antonio, I will slowly pour out a container of Ricos Gourmet Nacho Cheese Sauce for the fallen. You will be missed.
This is it folks, the most holy day of the nacho year. Forget Last Day of Chanukah, New Year's Day, New Year's Day observed, Epiphany, Orthodox Christmas Day, Lee Jackson Day, Stephen Foster Memorial Day, Orthodox New Year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Robert E Lee's Birthday, State Holiday, Idaho Human Rights Day, Civil Rights Day, Robert E Lee's Birthday, State Holiday, Inauguration Day, Chinese New Year, Kansas Day, National Freedom Day, Groundhog Day, National Wear Red Day, Rosa Parks Day, Tu Bishvat/Tu B'Shevat, Lincoln's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday observed, Valentine's Day, Statehood Day in Arizona, Susan B Anthony's Birthday, Elizabeth Peratrovich Day, Presidents' Day, Daisy Gatson Bates Day, Maha Shivaratri, Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras, Linus Pauling Day, Ash Wednesday, St. David's Day, Texas Independence Day, Read Across America Day, Employee Appreciation Day, Casimir Pulaski Day, Town Meeting Day Vermont, Holi, Purim, Daylight Saving Time starts, St. Patrick's Day, Evacuation Day, March equinox, Maryland Day, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day observed, Seward's Day, César Chávez Day, Pascua Florida Day, Pascua Florida Day observed, National Tartan Day, Palm Sunday, Passover (first day), National Library Workers' Day, Maundy Thursday, Thomas Jefferson's Birthday, Orthodox Good Friday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Orthodox Holy Saturday, Father Damien Day, Orthodox Easter, Easter Sunday, Emancipation Day, Orthodox Easter Monday, Easter Monday, Emancipation Day observed, Patriot's Day, Last Day of Passover, Tax Day, San Jacinto Day, Oklahoma Day, Yom HaShoah, Isra and Mi'raj, Confederate Memorial Day, Administrative Professionals Day, Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, Arbor Day, Law Day, Loyalty Day, Lei Day, Yom Ha'atzmaut, Kent State Shootings Remembrance, National Day of Prayer, Rhode Island Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo, National Nurses Day, National Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Day, Truman Day, Confederate Memorial Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Lag BaOmer, Mother's Day, Peace Officers Memorial Day, National Defense Transportation Day, Armed Forces Day, National Maritime Day, Harvey Milk Day, Emergency Medical Services for Children Day, Ascension Day, National Missing Children's Day, Ramadan starts, Memorial Day, Jefferson Davis Birthday, Shavuot, Statehood Day, Pentecost, Whit Monday, Jefferson Davis Birthday, D-Day, Trinity Sunday, Kamehameha Day, Kamehameha Day observed, Army Birthday, Flag Day, Corpus Christi, Bunker Hill Day observed, Bunker Hill Day, Father's Day, Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, West Virginia Day, American Eagle Day, Lailat al-Qadr, June Solstice, Eid al-Fitr, Independence Day, Parents' Day, Pioneer Day, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Tisha B'Av, Colorado Day, Coast Guard Birthday, Raksha Bandhan, Purple Heart Day, Janmashtami, Victory Day, Assumption of Mary, Bennington Battle Day, Statehood Day in Hawaii, National Aviation Day, Senior Citizens Day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Women's Equality Day, Lyndon Baines Johnson Day, Eid al-Adha, Labor Day, Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day, California Admission Day, National Grandparents Day, Patriot Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, National CleanUp Day, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Air Force Birthday, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day observed, Navaratri, Rosh Hashana, Muharram, September equinox, Emancipation Day, Native Americans' Day, Gold Star Mother's Day, Yom Kippur, Dussehra, Child Health Day, Feast of St Francis of Assisi, First Day of Sukkot, Leif Erikson Day, Columbus Day, Native Americans' Day, Indigenous People's Day, Last Day of Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, Navy Birthday, White Cane Safety Day, Boss's Day, Alaska Day, Diwali/Deepavali, Sweetest Day, Nevada Day, Halloween, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, Daylight Saving Time ends, Election Day, Marine Corps Birthday, Veterans Day observed, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Presidents' Day, Lincoln's Birthday/Lincoln's Day, Black Friday, American Indian Heritage Day, Cyber Monday, The Prophet's Birthday, First Sunday of Advent, St Nicholas' Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day), National Guard Birthday, Pan American Aviation Day, Wright Brothers Day, Last Day of Chanukah, December Solstice, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve observed, Kwanzaa (until Jan 1), Day After Christmas Day, Washington's Birthday, and New Year's Eve, no, National Nacho Day is the one you need to mind. Enjoy yourself some nachos!
As a tourist in Portland, Oregon, there are many ways that you can spend your afternoon. You can go the Portlandia way and hit up every funky little place on there. You can go the sightseeing way and go to Powell’s Bookstore, Voodoo Donuts, the Japanese Gardens or Shanghai Tunnels. Or you can just get down with the locals at some little outdoor brewery and eatery. I don’t know how UNIQUELY Portland that last one is, but in my dream of Portland it fits right in. If you want to fit in some little outdoor brewery and eatery where you can sit outdoors AND have some of the best nachos in Portland though, you go to Breakside Brewery. At least at their Northeast location that is. I can’t speak to whether their two other places let you eat outside or if they brew their beer on site at those ones, but the Dekum Street definitely has you covered on those.Read More
This is it folks, today, 10/15 from 12-5 at the historic Ralph's Diner in Worcester, is the last NACHONOMICS LIVE EVENT of the year! Not only will there be the last few remaining Nacho shirts in existence, but also live punk rock from Mongorellis, The Pathetics, and The Crimson Ghosts. Do nachos and punk go together? I honestly have no clue, but only time will tell! What I CAN tell you is that based on the last NACHONOMICS LIVE EVENT there will be:
- A complete lack of nacho related jokes where the punchline features some version of "nacho" being substituted for "not your".
- People inquiring whether Nachonomics is a religion. It's not, but loving nachos and living your life the nacho way is just a good way to live in general.
- Free post cards with the purchase of every book, because we are secretly trying to keep the postal service going based entirely on post card stamp sales.
- Lively debates of which of the three books is which of the Three Musketeers. But really, we ALL know which one is Porthos, AMIRITE?
- Me saying over and over again how we don't actually sell nachos.
Can you resist all that, AND MORE? Logically, yes, you could, but should you? No. HOPE TO SEE YOU THIS AFTERNOON!