Tortilla chips and salsa, chili con carne, and fajitas are now typical European bar food. Rare is the English pub that doesn’t serve “nachos.” The influence of Tex-Mex on world cuisine fascinates us here at Texas Eats. So when our correspondent, Julia Walsh, moved to Manchester, England in January 2017, we asked her to chronicle Tex-Mex influences on the local English fare. Here is her latest report:
Part two of my Mexican Monday adventures ended up being just as puzzling as the first.
One nice thing about England – there’s always time for a pint. There’s a perfectly placed Weatherspoon’s across the street from the local grocery store, and boyfriend and I have fallen into the routine of getting a pint and some lunch before our shop. Luckily for me, our normal shopping day is Monday, so I was able to once again try a Mexican Monday menu.
This time, we decided to split the basic “Large Nachos” off the Sharers part of the normal pub menu as well as our own lunch items. I figured I’d have better luck with an item that’s always on the menu versus a daily special.
The first thing I noticed was the piles of toppings along the chips. So far, I’m not sure that England has grasped the concept of nachos being completely covered all over in the good stuff, but I was willing to forgive it. The next thing I noticed was that, once again, my queso was no bueno! At first I thought that they’d forgotten the cheese completely, but on closer inspection I found it.
If you can even call this cheese? What should have been a soft, stretchy, melty goodness had been baked or broiled into a rock-solid cement, holding all of the chips together in one solid puck of crunch. I had half a mind to march down to the bar and ask them if they knew what nachos even were! At one point, my boyfriend tried to pick up a chip on the edge and ended up with the entire disc up in the air, dropping toppings onto the plate and table. We both laughed about it, but our smiles faded as we tried to break off pieces to scoop up the toppings with. We were either breaking off crumb sized corners or big blocks of four chips stuck together, and the whole thing was getting soggier from the minute from the large piles of wet toppings. It was just a mess.
As of this posting, Mexican Monday at Weatherspoon’s no longer exists. With the luck I had, I’m not surprised it’s been replaced by a hot dog and burger menu. I’m willing to admit it might just have been the location I was going to (I realized later that both disastrous orders had been from the same pub) but I have to say that Weatherspoon’s hasn’t impressed me with their Manx-Mex offerings.
Oh well! I’m sure I’ll find better as I keep looking.