I went to Old Chicago under the assumption that the nachos would suck.
I just felt in being truthful right up front. It had been four or five years, and the last time I had the OC nachos, they hadn’t been good. Not really even close to good. But as a nacho aficionado, I felt I would give them another try. At least 1200 days had passed, plenty of time for the cooks to improve their nachos since my last experience there. Surely someone would have figured out their nachos were subpar and resolve that problem.
We’ll start slow. Let’s talk about the salsa. I couldn’t figure out if I was accidently given pizza sauce, or it was just bad salsa, or some bastardized, unholy combination of the two. I fear the latter, but it didn’t take long to figure out the bowl of red in the middle of the plate was something to be avoided. Flanking the bowl of evil were two big globs of sour cream. Certainly enough to get me through my meal – much appreciated. Those globs completely covered a pair of chips, but as it turns out, two fewer chips on the plate was a blessing.
After much experimenting, I found that the best combination of ingredients were chips with cheese. That’s it. No beans, no meat, certainly no salsa. Because the cheese was the best part of the who meal. (Well, technically, the two pints of Two-Hearted were the best, but let’s stick with the food.) The cheese has a bit of seasoning that gave it a very mild, spicy flavor, and the chips were crispy. And I can’t fault them for volume – I ended up not finishing them, though only part of that was the amount of food.
Old Chicago charges $2 to put ground beef on their nachos. They should default to putting it on, and charge $2 to take it off. That was some of the blandest ground beef I have tasted. Add that to the equally bland black beans, and you have the making of a truly below average set of nachos. Really, it was disappointing all the way around. There were some vegetables, but they couldn’t make a mark is the badness that was the beef. Somehow, some green peppers snuck onto my plate, continuing the freefall of nacho quality.
So here is my advice: Order nothing with the word “Nacho” in it at Old Chicago. Take the $10 you would have spent on nachos and put it towards something they do well, like pizza. Or beer.