Las Palapas has two locations in Maine: Bangor and Brewer. "Palapa" is a Spanish word that means "an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves". Everything is made fresh daily including their salsas, chips, and house-made sauces. We went to the Bangor location in September 2022, and then to the Brewer location one year later in September 2023. It's almost becoming an annual tradition to go to the USA and have some awesome nachos at this Mexican restaurant. I have this entry divided in the two different locations with the most recent visit first.
We stopped at the Brewer Location as we were travelling through Maine to visit Quebec. On this trip, I had giant cans of pop, chocolate bars that we do not have in Canada, and of course we had to stop for some nachos. I like going to as many locations as possible to be able to compare them, and of course to have more content on the blog. We made sure to order the nachos with more toppings on them this time, as we had a very basic plate of nachos at the Bangor location one year prior.
|Las Palapas Fajita Steak Nachos - September 2023
Distribution of Toppings
Every chip had something magical. The distribution of toppings was simply excellent.
I think the rule of thumb is that if a restaurant is offering steak nachos, you take that opportunity because, in my experience, when a place offers beef, it is usually ground beef which is usually not as good as steak. In other words, if you're going to have to choose between chocolate ice cream cake and carrot cake, the chocolate ice cream cake is the clear option. The steak strips were tender and perfect and there was a lot of white queso on all those triangular corn chips. There were plenty of dip options included, such as refried beans, guac, salsa, and sour cream, and there was a ton of veggies on these nachos. The only thing that affected the quality rating was the toast factor which was not great. This is expected when there is basically a salad on top of the nachos.
We had tacos with these nachos and that was a huge amount of food to share for lunch.
The Nacho Fajitas have 4 options for meat: chicken ($11.99 USD), shrimp ($16.50 USD), steak or pastor ($13.50 USD). Today the price of the steak nachos would convert to $17.91 CAD which is an excellent value.
Our server was very friendly and efficient. The restaurant, which was originally a Pizza Hut, had the same look inside as Casa Jalisco but I really enjoyed the service - the waiter even spoke Spanish to me!
What a way to start a vacation! The only other nachos we had on the trip that came close to this quality were at Hooters Montreal. While the toast factor and the overall atmosphere were average, Las Palapas nailed the distribution of toppings, quality, quantity, value, and service. I hope to go back every September and continue to start our vacations this way. Right after I ate these, I posted on Facebook "I had the nachos of my liiiife, and I never felt this way before!" (Dirty Dancing). That's gotta mean something.
Nacho Blog Rating: A
Well the day has arrived! This entry marks entry 100 on the blog. It's kind of surreal when you think about it. I have had nachos in at least 100 different places - and the blog does not even include all the places I've been to in my life because in the past I didn't always take a picture of the nachos. It makes me ponder how many plates of nachos I've had since my first plate in 2002 at Keystone Kelly's. Las Palapas was recommended to us by friends who said we absolutely had to visit this restaurant on our way to our final destination of the trip which was Bar Harbor, Maine. It was exciting because I hadn't been to the United States in 12 years, and our first stop to eat was a Mexican restaurant in Bangor, Maine.
|Las Palapas Steak Nachos - September 2022
Distribution of Toppings
Las Palapas steak nachos had something for every chip but it was easy to do since they used queso for the cheese and that can easily spread everywhere. The steak was on about 3/4 of the chips.
The chips were very tasty and what you would get if you ordered nachos in Mexico. I love those nice thick and crispy chips! The steak was pretty good as was the cheese, but overall these were pretty plain nachos. We came to find out that these are the appetizer nachos and if you want to order nachos with veggies you need to flip to the other side of the menu and order the Nacho Supremos or the Fajita nachos.
The steak nachos are $12.50 USD. In the appetizer section you can order cheese nachos for $6.99, bean nachos for $8.25, chicken nachos for $8.50, beef nachos for $8.50, and grilled chicken for $11.50 (all in USD). Today, the price of our steak nachos would convert to $17 CAD which is still a pretty good price considering they are fairly loaded with steak.
Anyone we saw at Las Palapas ordering big meals left their tables with loads of food still left on their plates. I think this was more than enough to share for lunch.
This was the best service of 2022.
We ordered the very basic appetizer nachos at Las Palapas and they were pretty good. However, I would put some shredded blended cheeses on them because just having the queso was too basic for the price we paid. I cannot wait to return to have the more complex plates of nachos to see how they compare.
Nacho Blog Rating: A-