Bastion Nachos

Nachos and Guac on red tablecloth
Photo by Scott Suchman

The bar at Nashville‚Äôs Bastion¬†restaurant¬†offers plenty of cocktails and beer, but there‚Äôs¬†just¬†one item on the food menu: nachos. Served with or without meat, they‚Äôre a local legend, piled high with bold-flavored toppings like¬†housemade¬†tomatillo salsa and warm queso. Why nachos?¬†The chef,¬†Josh¬†Habinger,¬†has a¬†theory that no one puts enough love into this dish. ‚ÄúWe wanted to do one thing, and do it right,‚ÄĚ he says.¬†


Bastion Nachos  

Courtesy Josh Habiger, chef, Bastion, Nashville  

  • 12‚Äď16 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1 3‚Äď4 pound rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup grated American cheese
  • 1 cup Bastion Queso (recipe follows), warm
  • ¬Ĺ cup pickled jalape√Īo slices
  • ¬Ĺ cup pickled red onions
  • ¬Ĺ cup sliced black olives
  • 2 radishes, sliced thin
  • ¬Ĺ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¬Ĺ cup sour cream
  • ¬Ĺ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 cup Raw Tomatillo Salsa (recipe follows), for serving

Heat oven to 400ňöF.¬†¬†

Arrange half of chips on rimmed baking sheet. Scatter half of chicken¬†atop¬†chips, then sprinkle¬†half of¬†American cheese¬†over chicken. Top with second layer of chips, chicken and cheese. Bake until cheese has melted, about 5‚Äď7 minutes.¬†

Remove nachos from oven. Pour queso over chips. Arrange remaining ingredients¬†over chips,¬†except salsa.¬†Serve tomatillo salsa on side and/or drizzled over¬†chips.¬†Serves 6‚Äď8.¬†¬†¬†

Bastion Queso

In large saucepan, combine ¬Ĺ cup¬†milk, ¬Ĺ cup¬†beer¬†and 1 tablespoon¬†pickled jalape√Īo brine. Warm over medium-high heat¬†until simmering.¬†Whisk in ¬Ĺ pound shredded¬†Velveeta¬†until sauce is melted and glossy. Keep warm until ready to use.¬†Makes 1 cup.¬†

Raw Tomatillo Salsa

Use blender to pur√©e 1 pound¬†tomatillos,¬†husks removed, washed and quartered, ¬ľ cup diced¬†white onion, 1 chopped¬†jalape√Īo¬†and 1 chopped¬†garlic clove. Transfer to bowl.¬†Stir in¬†salt¬†and¬†sugar, to taste. Refrigerated, salsa will keep up to 3 days.¬†Makes 2 cups.¬†

Pair It


Tecate, a Mexican lager, is the classic go-to pairing, says Bastion‚Äôs wine director, Alex Burch. ‚ÄúAt Bastion, we serve it three ways: naked, with a lime or ‚Äėdressed up,‚Äô¬†‚ÄĚ he says.¬†The latter of which is all about the details:¬†a chili salt rim and lime wedge,¬†with¬†Cholula hot sauce poured on top of the can.¬†¬†


Burch suggests¬†a¬†Riesling like¬†Peter Lauer‚Äôs 2019 Barrel X. ‚ÄúIt has bristling acidity and citrus notes that can hang with a squeeze of lime and the tang of the pickled onions and jalape√Īos,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúIt also has just a smidge of sugar to mellow the spice of the nachos.‚ÄĚ

Published on March 20, 2021