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When a restaurant does something right, patrons take notice. The same can be said when a restaurant does something wrong.
One has to ask what happens when an eatery that usually does something right takes a wrong turn and churns out not just a bad dish, but a horrible dish. Perhaps it was a bad day. Perhaps it was a different cook. No matter the reason, it’s difficult to not be disappointed when you feel as though you just threw money away on an awful meal. Such was the case on a recent afternoon.
The Coffee House Café Home of the Coffee Booth usually makes some pretty tasty nachos. A bed of crisp blue and yellow corn tortilla chips lays beneath a mound of either ground beef or chicken and is then topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and fresh jalapeños (none of the pickled stuff here). Small cups of guacamole, sour cream and salsa accompany the nachos for dipping or spreading. Orders served in the restaurant are huge and can easily be shared. Take-out orders are also plentiful and fill a large clamshell take-out box. The take-out orders are layered just like the in-house orders, they’re just smaller.
However, on a recent trip, it seems the process for serving take-out nachos changed. The change was immediately evident as the bag was opened. There were no small containers with guacamole or sour cream, only a container of salsa. The box in which the nachos were held was overflowing with iceberg lettuce and guacamole and sour cream oozed from the sides.
Once the container was open, it was quite the search to find any nachos beneath all the lettuce and tomatoes. Removal of the vegetables was attempted in an effort to get to the chips, but it was virtually impossible to get rid of the lettuce without getting rid of the ground beef, as well. It appeared that the lettuce and beef had been mixed together and put on top of the chips.
Alas, a few chips were hidden under the greasy, cold mass of lettuce. But one was hard-pressed to find a chip with an adequate amount of cheese or beef. The cheese that was sparingly provided was hard and held the chips together like glue. It appeared that they had been heated a little too much and were stuck together; creating a concoction that might also be used to repair potholes.
Black beans rounded out the heaping hodgepodge. Of course, they were placed in between the chips and lettuce/beef mixture and appeared to not have been drained properly, so they were mushy. After digging to the bottom of the container, hoping to find something salvageable, it was discovered that there was nothing but cold grease beneath the chips, ruining any appetite that was left after digging through the mound.
The experience came as a surprise because that’s one dish that the restaurant usually consistently does right — and is one of two places in town that offers a repast for nacho lovers.
At a price of $10.19 after tax, it was disconcerting not being able to enjoy it. A return visit might be in order, in hopes that the folks at the Coffee House can revert to the old way of serving nachos — where all the ingredients are separated until you’re ready to put them together, but it will be a while before that happens.
On a more positive note, the restaurant does serve outstanding breakfast burritos and apricot scones and has the best chai in town. They also roast and grind their own coffee beans and offer a variety of coffee drinks and tea.