Let it be known that Peter’s Pour House (111 Mercer St., Downtown) is one of my favorite spots in downtown Baltimore. Back “in the day” it was the spot for happy hour after work, mingling with pro-fessionals streaming out of the then Legg Mason building and stumbling around Water Street with some outdoor table gaming (FOR CHARITY OK) and $5 giant beers – a special that has stood the test of time and made Peter’s a great place to drink. Given that, let me just say this about their nachos…
For the longest time, I’ve been an avid drinker at Pete’s but never once really thought about eating there. At least, not until contributor @banksmv asked about their nachos in an email recently, to which I responded “oh I should probably do that.” Great story.
The Nachos Grande, as described on the menu, feature chips, salsa, chili, cheese and jalapenos. For $13.95. Alright, so chili makes this an added bonus but for $13.95, as we’ve covered before in Nachoquest, is pretty expensive so you’d expect that these ‘chos could feed two people pretty easily. Which is true, in theory. But we’ll get to that. First, observe the nachos as they would appear in front of you:
Not bad, a large plate daftly decorated with chips and the advertised toppings, with an additional plate of just chips in case you like your nachos extra chippy.
But these are not the nachos you seek.
I’m pretty sure, without exception, that everything on this platter came out of a can, including the chips. The cheese is liquid water dispenser cheese, the jalapenos are from a jar (which is not a knock in and of itself if coupled with fresh other things), the “salsa” was liquid water salsa and the chili – which I think was the only thing made on premises – was bland if not a bit sweet. It was not baked, though everything came out fairly warm, slowly mixing into a slurry as the chips were used to dredge the oozing toppings from the plate into the air on a salty piece of drywall known as tortilla chips. So while there were very few naked chips, the cumulative cheese-diarrhea effect being produced by this plate of unfortunate was a near instant turnoff.
And for $13.95, holy shit. You could literally walk into 7-11 and produce the exact same quality nacho experience for $3.99 at most with their free fixin’s bar, even pile on some additional stuff not featured on the menu. Come to think of it, I should have done that just for photographic comparison. So it’s not surprising that for such a price, when compared to places are are vastly cheaper and of a higher quality, the nachos at Peter’s Pour House should be avoided at all cost for the time being.
One golden nacho out of five
Nachos Grande, $13.95
Peter’s Pour House
111 Mercer St., Downtown