Like pizza and yogurt, nachos are a formerly alien food that has been totally absorbed by U.S. popular culture. The moment of creation is supposed to have happened in 1943 at a restaurant in Piedras Negras when a group of U.S. Army wives came to eat and a maitre d’ nicknamed Nacho realized that the kitchen’s supplies had dwindled to little more than tortillas and cheese. Senor Nacho cooked the tortillas crisp, broke them into pieces and melted cheese on top. He subsequently went on to open his own restaurant, named Nachos, and pretty soon the dish in its simplest form began to appear on Tex-Mex menus all along the border and up into the Southwest. The introduction of Cheese Whiz in the early 1950s and then Doritos in 1964 made nachos easy to make as well as fun to eat; and in the mid-1970s they began appearing in sports stadiums and then movie-theater concession stands. Ordinary toppings include jalapeno chips, chopped olives, and salsa. Guacamole, seasoned ground beef, and refried beans are not uncommon. There is no limit to nachos’ anything-goes personality. “Nachos Jorge,” a specialty of Pico’s restaurant in Houston, are topped with peppered pork baked in banana leaves and shredded atop the chips along with marinated onions, black beans, guacamole, hot jalapenos, and melted Chihuahua cheese. We have encountered nachos topped with pulled pork, fried oysters, crab meat, Italian sausage, bratwurst, and sauerbraten.

Restaurants With This Dish

Fully-dressed cheeseburger ... square meals & cold beer
Bruce’s Bar and Grill | Square Meals & Cold Beer


Joe T. Garcia’s




Bruxie Green Eggs and Ham


Restaurante Las Palmas


Tamarack nachos
Tamarack Brewing Company



What do you think of Nachos?

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