August 1, 2009


add to kirtsy

There's about four McMenamin's establishments within walking distance from my house. Probably more. Throughout the Portland area, McMenamin's is a staple for burgers, cheap movies and beer. Their food has always been blah. Burgers are thin, overcooked patties and the salads are drenched in dressing unless you request it on the side. Service is average at best and it's usually not best.

But you know what the food is going to taste like. It's reliably mediocre. And sometimes Cajun Tater Tots are really what you want. Recently I noticed that at the Ram's Head Pub near my house, the happy hour menu changed. Curry fries and totchoes - new items that piqued my curiosity.

Last night, in need of some planning for our trip to Greece, my friends and I met at Ram's Head to plan some details on the wifi and to try the totchoes. Because who wouldn't want nachos with tots instead of chips? I was imagining piles of crispy tots, ground beef, lots of cheese sauce, sour cream, olives, beans. Everything that you get at Taco Bell on the Nachos Supreme. That seemed like a delicious idea. I was all set to be impressed. Then our food came:

This was quite possibly the lamest plate of nachos I have ever seen. The sauce was barely dribbled on top and a side of pickled jalepenos? Please.

This is not totchoes by any stretch of the imagination. This is tots, with a tiny bit of cheese sauce on part of them.

The pork sliders with coleslaw were decent. Spicy and crunchy. And I should be happy about that and shut up because that's more than I can say about a lot of meals I've had there.

But still. I am bitter about this lame attempt at MexiTots. McMenamins, your totchoes are a failure.

*Note: Regular tots are $2 on the Happy Hour menu. These "totchoes" are $4. JOKE.

Ram's Head on Urbanspoon


rares said...

Sadly, I've waged my own Twitter war on McM food and service lately.

Believe me, over the years I've spent enough $ at McMs to put both kids through college, but even I have to admit that things are sliding, and sliding fast.

I've always rooted for the Brothers, but things need to change.

Daniel said...

Just yesterday, I was having a conversation sharing your opinions of McMenamins establishments. I think the only plus side of McMenamins is that they save/revitalize establishments that would be otherwise demolished. With the exception of the Terminator Stout, their ales leave everything to be desired. The only reason to go to any McMenamins is if you have a large group. It seems like there is a McMenamins in every neighborhood and they usually manage large groups well. The only other reason to go is if you've been lucky enough to find a McMenamins with a staff that you know is good.

Take-a-Wipf said...

Love that there is the urban spoon link right at the bottom of your entry. It seems like locals are the last to get that a place has gone bad. Kind of like staying in a relationship longer than you should because it's comfortable. I say all this because I have disliked McM's food from the day I moved here in 2001. Trust me it didn't just start slipping. I love what they have done with so many buildings, and that you can watch a movie while having a meal. I want to support that kind of thing but really the food is crap!

Amy I. said...

I've always thought their tots were overrated. Only worth ordering after several beers.

LadyConcierge said...

I hate to recommend the place, but Blitz Bar on NW 10th & Couch (across from ten01) has totchoes just how you were describing them. Or they did...I haven't been there for a couple years.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

Might not be super good but you know this place will always hold a special place in your heart.

Anonymous said...

Funny, just today my friend and I were discussing how overrated McMenamins food is and how their service even worse. Best totchoes in town are at Blitz! They are amazing and layered with cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, onion, olives, salsa and more.

Lizzy said...

Guess I'll have to hit Blitz up for Totchoes next time I'm in the mood. Thanks LadyConcierge and Anonymous for the recommendations!