Beaverton Tavern – Beaverton, MI

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Who would have guessed that when traveling in Michigan, you can get some of the best-tasting Mexican food in a little tavern in a small town?

I’m using the term “Mexican food” loosely because frankly, in the Midwest, you don’t often find authentic Mexican food, even in many restaurants owned and operated by Mexicans. And I don’t think Tex-Mex is quite accurate as a label either. I’m reading a cookbook titled The Homesick Texan thanks to Kat. By what I’m learning, I don’t think we can truly call all Mexican-American food Tex-Mex. The flavors and cooking techniques in Tex-Mex cuisine are a specialty all their own.

In general, Midwesterners make their Mexican food a little more simply. And while I do like spicy food {hey, this blog isn’t called Season It Already! for nothing}, “Minnesota Spicy” is something quite different. It’s used to refer to mildly spicy food that Minnesotas tend to think are SPICY. Now, I didn’t grow up in this state, but over the years, I’ve come to learn that if spice is on a 5-point scale where 1 = mild, 3 = medium and 5 = hot; Minnesota spicy would probably be equal to a 1.5. 😉 Minnesotans, do I have that one right?

I digress.

This post isn’t about spice or Minnesota.

It’s about nachos… in Michigan.

Nachos have become an American staple in any bar-and-grill-type restaurant in the United States. Wouldn’t you agree? They have evolved into a type of food that has become almost as classically American as a hot dog. {Don’t you see nachos on the menu at every baseball game?}

In any case, every time we go to back to Michigan to visit friends and family, we have to go the The Beaverton Tavern.  We affectionately call it “The BT”. {I have no idea if locals call it this, but we do!}. And we nearly always order the same thing:

Shredded Beef Nachos

Oh how I wish that my pictures turned out better here… But it’s a little dark inside. {Have you ever been in a brightly lit tavern? I didn’t think so.} And apparently I didn’t have my flash on, nor was I paying attention. I was probably too anxious to eat the dang things. You’ll just have to take my word on this one:

These nachos are perfect.

I am not sure that I have ever had better!  No wonder they were voted Mid-Michigan’s Best Nachos & Burritos by WNEM TV 5 Viewers.

The topping-to-tortilla chip ratio is unmatched. I even think nacho guru Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats would approve.

They use real cheese. When it comes to nachos, Rob and I disagree on this one: real cheese vs. cheese sauce. I’m a Wisconsin girl, so I want the real, melty thing. Plus, it’s just better quality! And while Rob argues that the cheese sauce is better and makes true nachos, somehow he can overlook this at The BT. Otherwise, he’d order something else, right? And usually, he won’t share these nachoswith me. But I talked him into it this time around.

Here’s how:

On my very first visit to The BT back in 2004, not knowing about the nacho perfection, I ordered this:

Puerco Flautas: Shredded pork & cheese in flour tortillas, deep fried, covered with a sour cream sauce and served with picante rice & refried beans

Um yeah. There really is nothing healthy going on here, but oh-so-good. That’s why, on this visit, I convinced Rob to split it with me. {Or actually, I ended up having only a couple of bites and he stole the rest… At least he shared the nachos!} It was at the end of that meal that we agreed that all future annual visits will require the splitting of the puerco flautas and the shredded beef nachos at The BT. You know, big life-altering plans and such. I still wonder how they make and keep their shredded pork and beef so juicy! {Maybe I don’t want to know. Naiveté does have its virtues.}

Here’s just another note on Mexican food in Michigan restaurants. You can laugh at me all you want, but I had never heard of the term “Wet Burrito” until I came to Michigan. But they are a common menu item at restaurants I’ve visited throughout the state!

While I assumed that a wet burrito is one that is smothered with a sauce like an enchilada, it wasn’t until I started writing this post that I actually looked it up to be sure. 😉

And one last, completely unrelated sidebar about The BT: They have excellent croutons. My father-in-law likes to ask for an extra side dish of these highly seasoned, saturated pieces of crunchy goodness.

Where have you found the best nachos?

What’s your preference on nachos – real cheese or cheese sauce?

Cheers~
Carrie

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15 responses »

  1. Burrito Loco on campus has phenomenal nachos and they have interesting stuff like buffalo chicken, etc. that you can select as a topping. Otherwise, I think I’d be compelled to hit somewhere on the order of El Taco Riendo. OR if you want to totally flip the concept upside-down, go to Chino Latino and order the Popocatepe. THEY ARE THE BEST.

    • Oh… I am so happy you posted this. Chino Latino is a place we are going to be soon… Now I don’t have to be indecisive about what I order! Thank you!

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