A Layered Look At Guy's Trash Can Nachos

Maybe you've seen Guy Fieri's "trash can nachos" on the Food Network or any number of extreme-food websites. The celebrity chef — he of the frosted tips, backward sunglasses and something unfortunately named Donkey Sauce — layers chips, cheese and toppings into a tin can for a gooey, towering presentation.

Fieri's "Flavortown" met Foxwoods last fall when he opened Guy Fieri's Kitchen + Bar at the Mashantucket casino, serving some of his greatest-hits fare like a bacon macaroni and cheese burger; Vegas fries with Buffalo dust and "blue-sabi" sauce and a half-cheesecake topped with potato chips, pretzels and hot fudge. But the trash can nachos ($19) have been by far the most popular menu item, says Joseph Intrieri, executive sous chef for Big Night Entertainment, which partnered with Fieri to open the restaurant in November.

The nachos are first arranged flat on a sheet tray, topped with crumbled chorizo, shredded white and yellow cheddar, black bean puree and SMC (or "super melty cheese" sauce, in Fieri parlance). They are baked for two minutes, Intrieri says, and then "we give it a little toss to make sure the chips are coated with a little bit of everything."

The warm nachos are then stacked in a tin can and finished off with jalapeños, pico de gallo, pickled red onions, cilantro and sour cream. Servers carry the cans to tables and reveal the cheese-blanketed tortilla pillar to waiting guests.

"Obviously given the presentation, so many of them are going out of the kitchen ... the food runners are walking by so many people. Who's not going to be curious and who's not going to want to try it?" Intrieri said.

Self-made CTNOW nacho expert Suzie Hunter grades Fieri's technique according to her four-tiered Nacho Rubric. In the meantime, you can watch these nachos being created at ctnow.com/trashcannachos.

Toppings, 3.5 out of 4 (defined by quality and quantity): I don't eat pork, but the chorizo crumbles on here were fantastic. If we're going to be totally honest with ourselves, we could've had more meat. The pickled onions were a fun touch. The bean puree was a great substitute for plain beans; it added an extra (and welcomed) element of sloppiness — plus sometimes plain beans get a little dry, ya know? It was a great idea.

Distribution, 4/4 (chips-to-topping ratio, how well the toppings are layered throughout the dish): This is where these nachos truly shine. Our nacho chef made a conscious effort to make sure every chip was touched by cheese, toppings, maybe even God himself. Some of the best layering I've seen in my day.

Overall flavor, 4/4 (do they taste good?): They may have been born in a trash can, but these were anything but garbage. The chips were sturdy enough to handle the burden of toppings without getting soggy. I literally COULD NOT stop eating them.

Overall value, 3/4 (am I getting what I paid for?): These nachos cost $19. We got a huge portion, big enough to feed three to four (or one Suz), but that's still a big chunk of money. Are we paying for the Guy Fieri brand?

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