The Old Pro, Palo Alto, CA

The first thing that struck me about the nachos at the Old Pro was their price. $11 just for the veggie version (pulled pork, chicken or steak for an additional $4). I’m willing to pay a price for good nachos, as long as they measure up. The description on the menu had my nacho-loving mouth watering so I placed my order with high hopes.

Old Pro nachos

The Old Pro nachos

Upon delivery, they looked promising and I was ready to dive in. Immediately I saw the black olives (!) and single good-sized scoops of sour cream and guacamole (hello mexicali grill! take note). There were gobs of gooey, stringy, melty cheese. The jalapenos were raw rather than the usual pickled variety. Interesting choice on their part, albeit risky.

The only ingredient that had me worried at first glance was the salsa. What was this juicy, thin, liquid-like substance topping my Old Pro nacho tower? Sure enough, one bite validated my salsa concern. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. I don’t think it was made in-house. You know what it was like? That big tub of Chevy’s salsa they sell in a 2-pack at Costco, for those of you that find meaning in that reference.

As I kept eating, I was pleasantly surprised to find some beans buried in the layers of my nacho pile. Well, hello whole pinto beans! Where were you hiding? You sure are tasty and they shouldn’t hide you or be so stingy with your quantity.

The chips were ok. Meh. Not special. Not home made.

And here is how the raw jalapenos played out – every bite of these nachos was spicy. Every. Single. Bite. It may have been the salsa, but I’m looking at you Jalapenos. Now, I like a bit of spice so this didn’t dampen my experience. But for those of you who place yourself more in the mild category (the spice slow-lane, if you will), I’d suggest skipping these nachos or at least requesting no jalapenos.

Overall, these nachos had all the right ingredients, but somehow the taste just wasn’t there like I expected it to be and they fell a little short for me. It was like… the nacho sum wasn’t greater than the nacho parts?… There was no nacho gestalt? … Ok, forget it.

Let’s face it: I’m apathetic about these nachos. If I’m back at the Old Pro, I may order them again. But they definitely won’t be the thing that gets me back in the place. (For some, that honor may go to the mechanical bull. A story for another time…).

I give them 3 out of 5 smiling nachos.

Smiling nachoSmiling nachoSmiling nacho

The Old Pro, 541 Ramona Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301

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7 thoughts on “The Old Pro, Palo Alto, CA

  1. I was shopping at the Whole Foods on Blossom Hill Rd. in San Jose and noticed a sign in the Hot Prepared Food Dept. for “Build Your Own Nachos”. I believe they were sold by the ounce. Not sure if the ingredients were out in the steam tables with the rest of the self-serve food or if you ordered from the guy behind the counter where they make the sandwiches.

    Would you consider reviewing these nachos?

    • What’s this?? A nacho review request? I will happily oblige! I haven’t noticed this in my local Whole Foods but I’ll seek it out on my next visit. And if they don’t have it, a trip to the Whole Foods in San Jose will be in order. Thanks!

      • I visited the Whole Foods in Los Altos today. They didn’t have “build your own nachos” but they had nachos on the menu in the department where they make-to-order sandwiches and burritos. The menu description sounded pretty good! Could “build your own” have meant that they will customize them for you? Or was it that you personally get to build them?

  2. Went back to the Whole Foods I mentioned in my original reply. The sign says, “Build Your Own Nachos” but it’s clear they’re putting it together and customizing it for you behind the counter.

    The price was $6.99 for a full order, $3.99 for a half order. The sign says, “House corn chips, black or pinto beans. Choice of protein: grilled veggies, carnitas, chicken chili verdi, chicken tinga, or carne asada. Whatever fixin’s you want. Guacamole and chipotle sour cream (or regular sour cream) included in the price.”

    I took a photo of the nacho station behind the glass. I don’t see a way to post it here. But I see guac, the two sour creams, jalapenos, maybe a couple of different salsas, diced tomatoes, green onions, shredded cheese, red onions, and six other pans where I can’t see what’s inside. Two must be the black beans and pinto beans. Maybe one is the grilled veggies. All of the meats were in a separate station. So maybe 2-3 other ingredients that I can’t identify.

    Look forward to your review of supermarket nachos. They can’t be as bad as Mexicali Grill, right? 😉

    • Thanks so much for the additional information, nachoman! Sounds like WF has some tasty topping options. They are now officially on my list of places to review. Looking forward to it. Yum! Keep your eyes out for an upcoming review!

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