"Irish nachos” are nachos with potatoes (something Ireland is famous for) used instead of tortilla chips. The same variety of toppings can be used, such as cheese, beans, onions, lettuce, chives, bacon, jalapeños, olives, guacamole, and sour cream.
J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill in Arlington, Texas, has been serving the “original” Irish Nachos since 1979 and is believed to have invented the dish. “Irish nachos” are mostly unknown in Ireland itself. Many restaurants serve Irish nachos as a specialty item only on St. Patrick’s Day.
J. Gilligan’s Bar and Grill (Arlington, TX)
THE “ORIGINAL” IRISH NACHOS
“What We’re Famous For”
Natural Cut Cottage Fries with Skins, Topped with Melted Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Chives, Onions, Tomatoes and Jalapenos
Half Order - $4.99.........Full Order - $5.99
Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang
by Jonathon Green
Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
Irish nachos n. [1990s+](US) fried potato wedges and (refried) beans
What are Irish nachos?
I overheard someone last night say, “yeah, and we also had some Irish nachos so I’m ok.” I’m making the bold assumption that they are a food item.
I’m from Ireland and NO-ONE here eats ‘Irish Nachos’, however several Irish bars around the world have branded their nacho servings as ‘Irish Nachos’ - perhaps to sell more Nachos…
The Ingredients are
Waffle-cut french fried potatoes
Shredded jack and cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Chopped canned black olives
And the Recipe is as follows..
Top fries with onions and olives, cover with cheese and bake until it melts. Serve with sour cream and a nice fresh salsa.
Variations: The ingredients above are a bare minimum. Classic additions include chopped tomato, sliced pepperoncini, and pickled jalapeños. Some folks like guacamole.
If you like meat, consider crumbled bacon, sliced pepperoni, or perhaps chili.
They’re fries smothered with chili and cheddar cheese and topped with jalapenos, chives, olives, diced tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream. Good stuff!!!
Irish means potatoes. Irish nachos are just like regular nachos with potato skins or fries replacing the tortilla chip. Our favorite recipe is to make tater tots. On top of the tots, layer cheddar and pepper jack cheeses and jalepeno slices. Put under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly. Now add chopped onions, finely chopped black olives, sour cream and guacamole. Now, you’ve made me hungry!
4 April 1986, Los Angeles (CA) Times:
Case in point: “Irish nachos,” an undeniably savory fast-food gross-out of french fries topped with melted cheese and bacon.
16 March 1988, Houston (TX) Chronicle, “Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at home or away” by Ann Criswell, Food section, pg. 9:
Mama Hattie’s will feature Irish nachos (round French fries topped with nacho fixings such as cheese and jalapenos) and live Irish music by Michael Davitt, this year’s parade chairman.
23 February 1989, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, “Gourmet dishes can be nutritious and time-saving too” by Charlyne Varkonyi, pg. E13:
3/4 pound waxy-type potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 scallions, minced
2 large, mild green chili pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2/3 cup grated mild white cheese
Arrange the potatoes in a 9-inch glass pie dish and sprinkle with a splash of water. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on full power until tender, 5 to 6 minutes, rotating the dish midway. Let stand 4 minutes. If necessary, drain the potatoes. Sprinkle the tomatoes on top of them. Next sprinkle on the scallions, chilies, jalapeno, chili powder, oregano and cheese and cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on medium power until the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Then run them under the broiler until just brown. Serve hot. 155 calories per serving. Makes 4 servings.
25 August 1989, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “J. Gilligan’s” review by Dee Lyons, Guide, pg. 21:
Food **1/2 Service **1/2 Atmosphere **1/2
J. Gilligan’s is a quaint Irish pub near the University of Texas at Arlington, where stressed-out students not only can avoid the last of the summer heat, but also can take a break from lecture marathons.
One of J. Gilligan’s most popular items is a plate of “Original’ Irish Nachos ($4.25 for a full order, $3.25 for a half order). Crunchy chips were replaced with natural cut cottage fries, but the spicy, south-of-the-border flavor remained. Cottage fries lined the bottom of a stoneware dish and were topped with Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, chives, onions, tomatoes and jalapenos. A scoop of sour cream arrived on the side. This dish combined the best of both worlds—potato skins and nachos.
407 E. South Street, Arlington. (817) 274-8561. Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Grill hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-mdnt. $.
13 March 1992, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Specialty of the House: Irish Nachos” by Mike Sweeney, pg. 4:
You could call it McMex. Or sizzling spuditas. Or you could call it a plate of Irish nachos, which is the mcmoniker given by J. Gilligan’s in Arlington to a cheesy potato treat ostensibly from south of the (Ulster) border. What you get for $4.45 (or $3.45 for a half-order) is a hot metal plate of skins-on cottage fries, topped with melted cheddar cheese, bacon bits, chives, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos and sour cream.
Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Date: 9 Feb 94 09:04:39 -0400
Local: Wed, Feb 9 1994 9:04 am
Subject: Re: what to put on french fries
> At Knowlwood’s in Southern California, they make Irish Nachos: fresh-cut fries with cheddar cheese, green onions and bacon bits with they serve with a garlicky ranch dressing. I haven’t had them in years but they are really great.
Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking, soc.culture.british
From: (Kristin Satterlee)
Date: 24 Feb 95 23:06:17 GMT
Local: Fri, Feb 24 1995 7:06 pm
Subject: Re: REQUEST: (international) British Sandwiches
On Thu, 23 Feb 1995, Alvin Givens wrote:
> Irish Nachos? Who knows, it could happen. Does sound like a
> bit of BS in marketing, though.
As far as I know, no one ever intended anyone to believe Irish nachos were actually _Irish_. They’re just nachos on potatoes instead of tortilla chips. You know, Irish, potatoes. . . ?
In any case, they’re fabulous. And addictive. And Coslow’s, which made the best, went out of business. . .sniffle.
14 July 2001, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Right down Gilligan’s aisle: Pub toasts 22 years of music, Irish Nachos” by Kathy A. Goolsby:
More than 2,500 people are expected to convene in downtown Arlington on Saturday night as J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill celebrates 22 years of music, fun and Irish Nachos.
The block party, featuring music on four stages, is an annual event for the Irish pub at 407 E. South St.
That was 20 years ago, and Irish Nachos are still a big seller for the restaurant.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, March 26, 2008 • Permalink