Las Vegas eatery Nacho Daddy opened its first in the Southeast at Parson’s Alley on Main Street in Duluth. The restaurant serves traditional Mexican American cuisine, including a variety of creative nachos and specialty cocktails for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
Duluth is outside my normal “drive circle,” but the extensive vegan menu and the burgeoning reputation of Parson’s Alley as a quaint, hip staycation destination served as a draw. Truth is, for Sunday supper, it was only a 22-minute drive from Sandy Springs to Parson’s Alley, a found brick, easy-parking streetscape à la a mini Underground Atlanta.
In addition to 18 gourmet nachos, there are 14 margarita flavors and the World Famous Scorpion Shot, complete with an actual scorpion (yikes!). The expansive menu features fresh ingredients (including traditional meats, which were not sampled) and made-from-scratch sauces, as well as vegetarian options, a full vegan menu and signature flaming dishes.
General Manager Christopher Thompson stated that since the restaurant’s opening four months ago, “We have been well-received quickly because of the popularity of this neighborhood with not much competition, … especially in the healthy vegetarian and vegan cuisine, … plus we really did our market research.”
The server explained that many of the dishes are Tex Mex flavored with cumin and garlic. Industry buzz is that Mexican is the most profitable cuisine because there are so few basic ingredients just done in different ways. The restaurant is known for its rooftop experience, but we stayed indoors in a comfy booth. Not exactly wild about all the widescreen TVs, we sat by the open, glassed-in kitchen, which was quite worth the show. The staff was happy to accommodate and waved as they prepped and lined the rows of heaping platters before the servers lifted them away.
The top dish was the grilled fish taco with signature flour tortillas, shredded cabbage, serrano aioli, mango salsa, avocado lime salsita and cilantro. The mangos were a particularly flavorful accent. The spinach chips are so startlingly bright green that they provide a gourmet look, but we didn’t see much difference in taste compared with a regular corn chip.
Other winners were vegan Fajita Salad with onion thyme vinaigrette, Vegan Chick’n Chimichanga and Vegan Chick’n Nachos. Some carry a $16.95 price point which is not especially modest for Mexican fare.
The rice was tasty with a bit of kick, and the staff gladly subs the vegetarian black beans for the standard refried dish. The vegan dishes that had protein included “chick’n,” a soy based white “meat” that was basically substituted for the chicken dishes. The unusual part came with the vegan cheese and sour cream. Interestingly, Thompson said, “I worked at a state-of-the-art kosher kitchen at the Four Seasons in Vegas with a mashgiach and was instructed how to unwrap and identify kosher products. Here some of our vegan components, like the cheese (queso), come with a strictly kosher stamp. I appreciate this uniqueness.” Note of course, Nacho Daddy is not Atlanta Kosher Commission certified.
A Mexican meal is not complete without a margarita. How ‘bout these exotic twists:
Cadillac Margarita: Nacho Daddy’s Patron Anejo tequila, triple sec, house-made sweet and sour topped with Grand Marnier
Pineapple Mint Margarita: Casamigos Reposado, pineapple juice, mint, house-made sweet and sour
Mexican Candy: Casamigos Blanco, mango, schnapps and puree, fresh jalapenos, house-made sweet and sour, Tapatio with a Mexican seasoning salt rim.
Cinnamon Fire-Rita … hmmm.
Room for dessert? Try sharing Churro Sundae, a cinnamon sugar churro with chocolate, raspberry and caramel sauce served with ice cream that’s topped with whipped cream and cherries, or Deep Fried Ice Cream, vanilla bean ice cream coated with cinnamon sugar corn flakes, deep fried and topped with whipped cream. Served with chocolate and raspberry sauce with flour chips.
Take an extra dose of Crestor on the ride home.