Nachos are obviously in the "Texican" genre: a dish no self-respecting Mexican would ever eat in public. But I have something to confess. I love nachos. And to make matters worse, I am not a chip, cheese or jalapeño purist. I like them sloppy and loaded. Here is where you will find me eating my shame.
Nuevo Laredo Cantina: This Westside restaurant's "Panchos" nachos are simpler than others around town but the crunchy, deep-fried tortilla halves make them special. The artfully arranged chips are then dotted with browned chorizo, melted white cheese, long slices of pickled jalapeño, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and small dollops of sour cream and guacamole. 1495 Chattahoochee Ave. 404-352-9009. www.nuevolaredocantina.com.
Taxco Restaurante Mexicano: Located near Chastain Park, this lunchtime hangout for soccer moms serves the quintessential loaded nacho. The "Nachos compuestos" are swimming in melted white cheese, ground beef, chunks of boiled chicken, rice, Mexican sour cream and a host of other toppings. These can get messy so save some of the complimentary chips for scooping later on. 4500 Roswell Road. 404-255-9933.
Mi Barrio: This family-run Mexican restaurant near Oakland Cemetery is reassuringly full of Latino patrons, and they even make their own tortillas by hand. They also offer an impressive range of nachos, including a version topped with lengua (tongue). Simpler combinations, such as the cheese and beans, are your best bet. 571 Memorial Drive. 404-223-9279.