Dining With Denise Neil

Local couple on a quest to find, document Wichita’s best nachos

These Italian nachos from Albero Cafe earned the Wichita Nacho Review’s highest five-star rating.
These Italian nachos from Albero Cafe earned the Wichita Nacho Review’s highest five-star rating. Wichita Nacho Review

When you really, really love nachos, and your one desire is to find Wichita’s best nachos, you must find a way to channel your nacho zeal.

For one Wichita couple, that’s resulted in a very specific – and very informative – Facebook page.

It’s called Wichita Nacho Review.

Angie and Jesse Locks started the page back in 2012, shorty after they got married, and it’s still going. It’s filled with entry after entry featuring mouth-watering closeups of plates of cheesy, melty, meaty nachos accompanied by detailed descriptions of their crunchy awesomeness. (Or not)

It all started over a plate of truly revolting nachos several years ago. The Locks were at a now out-of-business pizza restaurant but decided that they felt like having their favorite dish – nachos – instead of pizza.

They weren’t impressed.

“It was the grossest thing,” Angie said. “Cold cheese from a can. Everything was cold. There was just no effort. We thought, ‘Surely this is not the norm.’”

They gave the nachos one more try the next time they were at the restaurant with the same results. Their quest to find Wichita’s best nachos was born, and they decided to document their findings on a dedicated Facebook page.

“It was something fun to do,” she said. “We just started doing it and kept doing it.”

Their page, filled with colorful photos by Jesse, is now populated with dozens of detailed reviews of nachos from Mexican restaurants like El Rodeo and Los Cocos, chain restaurants like Denny’s and Applebee’s, foodie favorites like Albero Cafe and Ziggy’s Pizza – even dive bar and gas station nachos.

On the page, the couple also conducts nacho polls (guacamole: yes or no?), shares nacho recipes, and celebrates National Nacho Day.

One year, they announced winners of their “Nacho Awards,” giving nods to “Life of the party” nachos, “Best dressed” nachos, “Most photogenic” nachos and “Most likely to save the princess before Mario” nachos.

Several plates of nachos have earned the couple’s highest distinction: A five-star rating. Among them: Lalo’s Express, Abuelo’s, Molino’s, When Pigs Fly and Playa Azul. They also gave their highest rating to two plates of Italian nachos – one from Old Chicago and one from Albero Cafe.

Angie remembers that one of their best nacho-eating experiences happened at Monterrey Mexican Grill at 5905 W. Kellogg.

The couple’s review of the carnitas nachos, posted in February 2014:

“Me - ‘That is a lot of meat.’

Him - ‘That's what she said!’

The carnitas on our nachos were sinfully good. Definitely the star of the show. The supporting roles of queso and refried beans did a great job at complimenting the flavor of the meat without being overpowering. The pico, guac, jalapenos, and sour cream were but stars in the sky of carnitas.”

So what goes into a perfect plate of nachos?

The cheese must be of good quality, Angie said, and so must the meat. Also, the toppings must be dispersed evenly.

So far, Wichita Nacho Review has 235 “likes,” and most of the page’s followers are people the couple does not know. One of the best perks of their page, she said, is interacting with other nacho fans.

“It’s always neat to see comments or get messages from people we haven’t met before, and certainly we like their suggestions,” Angie said. “We get really excited to get suggestions. It gives us motivation to get out there and get eating.”

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