Eats Beat

‘Irish’ nachos: a Texas twist turned into good, peppery fried-potato fun

“Irish nachos,” made with potato skins, originated in 1980 at J. Gilligan’s, an Arlington favorite that's not far from AT&T Stadium
“Irish nachos,” made with potato skins, originated in 1980 at J. Gilligan’s, an Arlington favorite that's not far from AT&T Stadium bud@star-telegram.com

Hey, Bud! Are “Irish” nachos cultural appropriation? Just trying to get the rules down in my mind.

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I think nachos in general might qualify as an offensive cultural appropriation when they’re served in bland, plastic corporate chain restaurants. But speaking as a Kennedy, serving a potato nacho and calling it “irish” is not the worst stereotype out there. (By the way, even Spanish-language cookbooks now list recipes for “nachos irlandeses.“ Irish nachos were popularized by the very un-chain J. Gilligan’s in downtown Arlington, which celebrates all weekend.)

Hey, Bud! What was the little Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth that Dan Jenkins wrote about?

—Guy at the Paris Coffee Shop

The late novelist and journalist wrote about Fort Worth restaurants for most of his 90 years. He and his wife, June, owned Juanita’s in Sudnance Square and also on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. In “Slim and None,” he mentioned Joe T.’s, The Original, El Fenix and also Mi Cocinita, “the little cafe in the converted garage” on Bryan Avenue. (Sadly, owner Virgie Martinez retired last year.)

Hey, Bud! What do you hear about Seven Mile Cafe?

—Reader who lives near the Westen Center exit

The new Seven Mile at 6300 North Freeway is north Fort Worth’s version of a Snooze or Yolk, a “better breakfast” restaurant with elaborate pancakes. There’s already one in Keller and the original is in Denton. Also of note: a first-rate Texas chicken-fried steak platter.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 16 Texas Legislature sessions. First on the scene of a 1988 DFW Airport crash, he interviewed passengers running from the burning plane. He made his first appearance in the paper before he was born: He was sold for $600 in the adoption classifieds.

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