I live in America, where we’ve decided as a country that bigger is better, no phallic humor intended (on my part at least, I can’t speak for the rest of the country). There are plenty of fast food joints or gas stations out there where you can buy a gallon bucket of soda, and also numerous restaurants featuring meals so large that if you can eat the whole thing you’ll get your picture on the wall and your name will go down in history. Is it any wonder based off of this that the United States is the most obese country in the world? Now, if the size of the food was related to the deliciousness of the food, that would be one thing, but this is not the case in many places, and just because it’s the biggest around doesn’t mean it’s the tastiest. Guess what the moral of this review is going to be?
Not long ago Thrillist posted a list of The 21 Best Nachos in America, an article with no explanation of how the “best” was determined and as far as I could tell not peer reviewed in the least. Having not had any of the nachos on the list and living in New England AND having two locations on it within easy driving distance I had to check them out. My first journey was to the Willimantic Brewing Company and I had prepared my palate for a delicious order of nachos the likes of which I had never had before and according to the Thrillist list would only be able to have at 20 other places in the country. I was just setting myself up for disappointment, and it unsurprisingly delivered.
The Willimantic Brewing Company is located in the old Willimantic post office, which is an awesome place to have a restaurant and an amazing piece of architecture, which is diminished a bit as you walk in and get hit square in the nose by the cleaning product smell from their in house beer vats. If you’ve been to a restaurant that does brew their own beer on the premises you’ll notice that most of them are partitioned off behind glass, and I realize now the reason why. No matter, I quickly adjusted to it and ordered the nachos.
They arrived and were gigantic. Not Mount Nacheesmo huge, no other nacho is, but still a truly pantagruelian order. Added bonus, they were absolutely covered in pulled pork, and what pork it was! If I were making a list of the 21 Best Pulled Porks in America they would definitely be on it, but I’m no real expert, so BBQ fans don’t freak out on me here. The only downside of the deliciousness of the topping was its contrast to the sadly averageness of the nachos. Now I’m not saying they were bad, they aren’t at all, but really they’re only fine. Nothing wrong with fine, there are plenty of fine nachos that I get all the time and enjoy, but the problem was my expectations were raised so high by Thrillist that “fine” just wasn’t going to cut it.
I can’t hold this against the Willimantic, they had nothing to do with anyone making the bold statement that they’re one of the best around. If I had just wandered in off the street and ordered these I would have certainly enjoyed them, but the preconceptions I had ruined that. I realize that I shouldn’t be biased on these things, and can say as such that these are good and you won’t send them back to the kitchen with disgust, but best, no. I have to say shame on you Thrillist for getting my hopes so high. Or maybe the shame is in fact on me for trusting them in the first place knowing the vagueness on which they rated them the best. Wow, I’ve got a lot to think about now...
Anyhow, if you find yourself in Willimantic and wanted to know what it’s like to eat in an old post office, there’s a place for that. And if you happen to want nachos while you’re eating in a post office and need to feed a few hungry people, they have your back as well. If however you are looking for the best thing around, perhaps you should make up your own mind on what you define as “best” and make sure your mind isn’t clouded with preconceptions that taint your judgement. In fact, maybe you shouldn’t believe any reviews of anything ever and make up your own mind on all decisions you make, except for nachos of course, we’ve got you covered there. Trust us, we can back up why something is or is not the best in the country at least.