Nachos might not be the first dish that comes to mind when considering Hawaii’s top eats, but where there’s beer, it seems, there’s an insatiable need for cheese-laden chips. And Kona’s eponymous brewpub, thankfully, has both in spades. Surf on over to the breezy downtown hideaway and hang ten on some Naalehu Nachos, an ultra-cheesy typhoon of mozzarella, cheddar, black bean and corn salsa, green onions, and beer-spiked queso crowned with a halo of fiery Portuguese sausage, herbed chicken, or butter-soft Kalua pork. Not sure you can handle it? As a wise man once said, “If you want the ultimate rush, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price.” Good thing that price is only $14.50 for a full-sized platter.
Outfitted with pale unfinished wood, drenched in sunlight, and littered with potted greenery, this Tex-Mex hipster hub is almost as visually appealing as its mouthwatering Truck Stop nachos -- almost. Each order arrives tucked into a shallow rimmed dish reminiscent of a Mexican cazuela bowl, a mess of thin, crispy chips topped with unctuous house-made queso, gooey black beans, dabs of cooling crema, slow-roasted beef brisket, and, to finish it off, a heavy-handed dash of the holy pickled trinity: red onions, jalapeños, and banana peppers. It’s the perfect way to pregame before hitting the stage at Golden Tears, the spot’s subterrainain honkey tonk speakeasy, for Thursday’s infamous karaoke and dollar beer night. Yippie Kay Yay, mother truckers.
Opened in 1956 by former Dekalb County CEO Manuel Maloof, AKA the “Godfather of Georgia Democratic politics,” this homey old-school neighborhood joint has long been a refuge for Eastsiders in search of rousing conversation, personable bartenders, a diverse clientele, and, funnily enough, the best damn nachos in all of Georgia. Platters come out blazing hot, nestled under an avalanche of homemade jalapeno cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, crunchy shredded romaine, green onions, jalapenos, sour cream, and your choice of BBQ pulled pork, chicken, chili, or black beans (hint: you want the pulled pork). Spring for a side of fresh guac, grab a cold craft beer, and prepare to stuff your ballot box.