A Surprise At Anchor

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris May 20, 2024 09:56 in Dining Diary

We don’t watch too much food TV here, except for the excellent series on CNN with Stanley Tucci or the fascinating History Channel’s The Foods That Built America, but occasionally we’ve succumbed to the temptation to watch Guy Fieri while flipping through the channels.

One particular episode dropped our jaws, as he featured something from his own place in the Caribbean. The dish was called Garbage Can Nachos, and they were stacked almost a foot high. The Marys are not gourmets, as Tom has often noted, so this very lowdown food item thrilled us. We were riveted watching the assembly of it (sort of gravity-defying) and even more enthusiastic as it was disassembled and eaten. It was all so titillating we even made a mental note to return to the Caribbean at some point (a place we hate) just to have the nachos.

Many years have passed since then and life has changed dramatically, so that little lark is just a fun memory, but we certainly noticed a new dish on the menu at a much more accessible place nearby, The Anchor in Madisonville.

This new menu item was surely inspired by Guy’s Garbage Can Nachos, and the fun memory started to haunt us. We had to try this local version of that tortilla chip tower.

We finally made it there over the weekend, and disappointment was inevitable. It is a tall tower indeed, held together by a white cheddar sauce. The chips are really ordinary, as was the cheese sauce, and the minimal appearance of the pulled pork was not redeeming. Interspersed with all of this was some sliced jalapēno and some chopped tomato. After the first six inches from the top, there is little left but chips which are largely broken, and cheese sauce as adherent.

The Anchor does good barbecue. When it opened that was a significant part of the menu. They still do good barbecue, and the pulled pork was fine. But pulled pork has an unfortunate texture in nachos, so even this wasn’t a positive.

There is so much other great food at The Anchor, I was surprised to see how off the mark this was. It’s an arresting visual, to be sure, but that’s where the thrill ends. Besides a first exciting glance, this bears no resemblance to Guy’s nacho masterpiece. At least we didn’t have to travel to the Caribbean to have it.