Mary's West Coast nacho adventure is up and running. The competition for nacho supremacy will be fierce. Here it goes......
Never fear, the Nacho Report is here! You're faithful and favorite nacho enthusiasts are back and better than ever! We took the summer off and went just over 5 months without nacho goodness- even passing on the nachos at our local movie theatre, and let me tell you, they'd give TDBank Garden a run for the glory- just so we'd be ready and able to bring you the best season of Nachoismo ever! We have high hopes for this season, and we're looking forward to bring you Reports from 7 new arenas as well as a handful or more of perennial favorites and perennial repulsives. Whose cheese will reign supreme? Only one way to find out!
The contestant: New Jersey, Prudential Center
Eaten on: October 8 @ Devils vs. Stars
Season 4 of the Nacho Report gets it start where it so often does: The Rock! Last year we gave them a bye for the home opener in hopes that by waiting, they wouldn't serve us a tray of cold pathetic garbage. They did alright last year, so this year we dove right in.
After the first period (Ah, the first period. When things were still exciting and joyous in Devils land), Ashok joined the nacho line while I went to pee (why am I sharing that?). With fresh, clean hands I found Ashok as he was getting napkins. Before we could return to our seats, I took a chip and dipped. Shocked, I grabbed him by the arm and announced "I think we have a contender!" Holy freeholy catfish (if you get that reference, I love you); Jersey had finally gotten all the elements together!
Ashok left me to indulge while he went to get more free sushi. In his absence, I learned that all was not as well as we thought. Now that the cheese was both steaming hot and properly seasoned.... some of the chips were stale. Yes folks, that's right. The Rock failed the easiest part of the whole nacho experience: the chips. They have now 100% lived up to their San Jose Sharks Award from last season. They have shown us that they have all the elements, they have the tools and technology, but they just can't get them all together at the same time. Such a pity. What a letdown.
Naturally, we had to disagree when it came to the lettergrade. I think that failing at the easiest part of nacho preparation warrants a straight B. Ashok thinks that a B+ is more deserving because of the "magic cheese". He appreciated the paradox that the cheese provided: the colder it got, the hotter/spicier it got. Eventually he saw my side of things, and since it is always harder to grade the first nachos of the season, we went with a B.
There was no rest for the weary (and weary we were after a long-assed ride and too much freakin' traffic) as the Capitals home opener the next night beckoned!
The contestant: Washington DC, Verizon Center
Eaten on: October 9 @ Devils vs. Capitals
Not going to lie, we were not excited that the nacho eating season was getting an early taste of the Verizon Center. This is the place that was spared a big o' "F" two seasons ago simply because we ate them. They're stingy with the chips and stingy with the cheese that they dump on the top layer of chips. I guess you really can't complain about that though, because they taste nasty and are ice cold. Do you want a lot of something that tastes like dirty ass or a just a little? Right?
Anyhoo, we decided we would try to help DC crawl out of the nacho cellar. Mmmm.... nacho cellar. Wouldn't that be awesome? We ordered and asked that our cheese please be on the side, which they were happy to do. Still, having to ask for something so commonplace and logical deducts valuable points.
We dipped, and... well... I guess you can't say we were disappointed as we've come to not expect anything too far above "edible" to describe these. They were kinda-sorta warm, but there was no punch to the cheese. There was a certain special creaminess that I enjoyed, but certainly the heat was lacking. And like usual, they don't give you very much.
Once again, we debated the letter grade. I thought C or C+ because compared to the sewage we'd been served in the past, these were much more pleasant. But Ashok was able to convince me to see things his way: not enough chips, having to ask for the cheese on the side, not hot enough and lacking spice... I guess that is a lot of deductions. However, I refused to subtract more points because they cheese wasn't "magic." There will be no point deductions based on Ashok's weirdness!
And with that, The 2010-11 Nacho Report is underway!
A 2.5 week break was much needed as we are about to embark on a NR first: 3 nachos in 3 different places in 4 nights! The search for a winner of the Golden Nacho Trophy is taking us to the Golden State where 3 brand new contestants throw their chips into the ring! Or, should that be onto the ice? Stay tuned!
The quest for nacho glory took us on a 5-day journey to a far away, magical land known as California. 3 arenas lie in wait, and we were happy to take our taste buds on an adventure unheard of until this trip: 3 nachos in 4 days. What did we learn? Start at the top!
The contestant: San Jose, HP Pavilion
Eaten on: October 27 @ Devils vs. Sharks
Our first stop was the Shark Tank, a building we were both excited to see. But more importantly, a building whose nachos we were excited to eat. That probably had to do with the long day: waking up in Boston at 5 a.m., traveling 7 hours on a plane, eating a late lunch/early dinner (lunner?), not to mention the jet lag.... In any case, we were hungry!
It was after the first disastrous period and a lesson about "hockey etiquette" from an usher (you can feel me rolling my eyes, can't you?) when Ashok went out and found our snack. He handed me a plastic tray that was scalding hot and overflowing with chips. Seriously, it looked like a little craggy mountain nestled between two gorgeous hot springs made of cheese. It was so picturesque, we just had to take a picture (how appropriate).
You see how the gentlemen in the middle (if you could even take your eyes off that cheesy chip) looks like he has gray and black hair? He really didn't; the gray you're seeing is steam. Glorious, glorious steam!
To say the cheese was hot would be a gross understatement. It was ridonkulously hot. I had to put something between them and my jeans because I was certain the skin on my leg was starting to blister. It was amazing! Ashok mentioned that the cheese was kept in a big steel pot and was being ladled out; we weren't sure if we had seen anything like that before, but maybe that's the secret to perfection.
But still, we had yet to eat them. The chips were nice; thick and round with not too much salt. Dipped into one of those gorgeous cheese pools, somewhere, angels sang a chorus of "Hallelujah"; nice and spicy. Or at least, that first bite was. After that, the cheese seemed just slightly spicy. Maybe the hot hot heat burned our tongues and left us desensitized. But it didn't matter; we were in nacho bliss. I think it took us about 20 minutes to finish them, which is probably a Nacho Report record (although the Elias Sports Bureau has yet to start keep stats on us).
As much as we thoroughly enjoyed the Tank's nachos and are proud that Boston may not just run away with the Trophy this year, we still could only give an A-. As good as they were, we just couldn't help but think that something was missing. Granted they did everything right, but there wasn't anything extra, like the oddly-delicious seasoned chips in Ottawa or the spiciness of the cheese in New Jersey (Whoa. Did I just give The Rock's nachos a compliment??). But San Jose should be proud. We're being tough this season, and an A- definitely gives them bragging rights.
But for how long?
Anaheim was just 2 days away!