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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Disappointing Nachos at Soho Bistro

Before my flight to Spain last week, I was looking for something in terminal 8 at JFK to hold me over until my wonderful airplane dinner.  My friend Doug and I believe the best thing that can happen to any airport terminal is a Chili’s, with unlimited chips and salsa.  Unfortunately, the best option near our gate was Soho Bistro.

Soho Bistro is a full-service restaurant, which is perfect if you have time to kill before your flight.  You can also get food to go.  My two friends and I ordered a plate of regular nachos with guacamole on the side and three diet cokes.  I was hoping to get some delicious nachos, but instead, I got something that looked like the chips and nacho cheese sauce you get at the movie theater.  Picture a handful of tortilla chips covered in the cheese sauce that comes out of the can, sprinkled with 6 olive halves, a cut up jalapeno, and maybe two grape tomatoes cut in thirds.  There was a small cup of guacamole on the side, as well as sour cream.  

Usually, I can polish off a plate of nachos with another person, but it is a struggle – while the desire is there, more often than not the nachos cannot fit into my stomach.  With the nachos at Soho Bistro, it was more of a struggle just to put one in my mouth.  The cheese sauce was cold and so disgusting, I spent more time wiping it off the chip and trying to cover it with enough guac to mask the taste.  We spent more time offering nachos to each other – “you sure you don’t want anymore?  you can have this chip, seriously” – where as at most restaurants, we all fight to finish the last couple good bites.

Service was also horrendous.  We finished the nachos and our waitress asked if we wanted dessert.  We informed her that we needed a minute because one of us was wrapping up a phone conversation.  We then didn’t see the waitress or any other server come to our section again for another half hour.  By then, I had left the restaurant three times to check the status of my flight and that still didn’t give the waitress any hint.  When she finally delivered the bill, we actually walked up and handed it directly to her because we knew if we waited for her, it might be another 15 minutes.

All in all, the damage was $23 – a lot for horrible food and three diet cokes – as well as a stomachache.  I would have been better off with airplane nachos.

The Basics
Name: Soho Bistro
Location: JFK Airport, Terminal 800
Who to take: No one because you should never go
Price: Overpriced appetizers.  $$$.
Overall: Choosing between Soho Bistro or eating a Snickers from Hudson News?  Grab a Snickers.  One star. 

5 comments to Disappointing Nachos at Soho Bistro

  • Doug

    Laura, I hope your trip wasn’t ruined by this awful nacho experience.

    After my bad nacho experience in Newark, I’ve learned that if it isn’t a Chili’s, just stay away. Nothing can compare to that deal, so you’ll just end up disappointed, and possibly stuck in an airport bathroom, which is even worse. When Chili’s isn’t available, I usually go with a fast food option like McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts, or simply starve myself, rather than go through something like you did.

    I’m not surprised on price, airports love to jack up prices because you are basically stuck, its like the ultimate monopoly. However, I’m shocked at the quality of service, as I often find that airport waitresses are some of the best. They have to maneuver around multiple bags, deal with giant crowds (especially during delays), and also deal with people who just want to watch tv and not eat anything. So most are great and getting you in and out in about 40 minutes.

    So, I think you nacho experience should persuade you to stick to an old reliable next time, but don’t be afraid to enjoy a sit down restaurant and the typical great service.

  • Katie

    That picture makes my stomach hurt and makes me wish i was lactose intolerant.

  • [...] these nachos weren’t the worst I’ve ever had (I am happy this place actually used real cheese), I won’t be ordering [...]

  • OH!! I wish I had read this before ordering the same mess. The menu Lied, Lied, lied! It says melted cheese, but what they slop on these is an orange cheese-flavored gravy of some sort. Disgusting. Not the girl’s fault, so with tax and tip, fourteen dollars down the drain. There was no other place to eat while sitting at a table in my section of the terminal. The only other fool was saran wrapped sandwiches, etc, that you had to eat in the gate area. JFK needs to rethink their lease.

  • callie

    My mother and I two years ago went to Brussels, Belgium and we were flying from JFK. Since we were coming from CT we left super early because of traffic. We got to the airport 3 hours ahead of time (which actually turned into a 5 hour delay!!!) We went to Soho Bistro and had a great meal and great wine!!! I can’t say enough about the foot we had there.

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