Are you familiar with the Peruvian style of music known as Chicha? In a nutshell, the native Peruvians had a form of music known as Huayno, which can be traced back to the Incan Empire, and for all these years they were all jamming out to that, up until the December 31st, 1959 that is. When “The Swinging Sixties” spread across the globe the surf and psychedelic rock of the United States made it’s way south to Peru, and blew their Andes loving minds. Now the indigenous people were used to Zamfiresque pan pipes and and other musical instruments that went back thousands of years and didn’t have easy access to electric guitars and basses, but that didn’t stop them from making the best with what they could get, and thus Chicha was born. The nachos at Val’s Restaurant are kind of like that.
Val’s is an Italian restaurant, and a good one, but when someone decided that they should carry nachos I think there was some miscommunication somewhere along the lines. This is how I imagine the conversation went:
“Hey, let’s carry nachos.”
“Ok, what do we need for that?”
“Well, tortilla chips.”
“Not a problem. What else?”
“Boom, we got all this cheese from our pizzas.”
“Some kind of meat?”
“Well we do have all this Italian spiced chicken for the carbonara.”
“Perfect. What else?”
“Our salads have lettuce and tomatoes we could throw on. And some big ol’ whole black olives. We’ve probably got some jalapenos around too, they’re mexican right?”
“As far as I know. I think a little salsa and sour cream and we’re done!”
And high fives were dispersed all around.
Now, this isn’t to say that they were bad, because they were actually quite tasty, but at the same time very different than nachos usually taste. It was like eating a mystery that tasted like a cheesy Italian salad with chicken. And there were chips in it. I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten an enigma, but I imagine that when it tastes like, but with more cheese. Much too much cheese. So much in fact that I actually had to throw this part of the leftovers out because there was just TOO MUCH CHEESE.
You know that story of those blind men who are all touching different parts of the elephant and conjuring up images of what it looked like based on that? That’s these nachos. Sometimes the blind man’s hand falls on the leg (The tastiest and most umbrella holding part of the elephant) and you get a delicious dish like this. Just as easily however the blind man’s hand could have landed on the trunk (The driest and chewiest part of the elephant) and the nachos could have been terrible. I think Val’s is a fluke, and a delicious one, but you should take heed. When a Chinese place offers “Chinese Nachos”, now that could be some tasty fusion to check out. When a Chinese place offers just plain “Nachos”, caveat emptor. There are a lot of trunks out there, and you don’t want to bite into one. You have been warned.