It was a beautiful fall day in Auburn, Ala., 1978. Momma Goldberg’s Deli, a wood-shingled structure on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Donahue Avenue, has been serving hot, steamed sandwiches and sides for two years now.
Just as founder Don Dement thought, these college students and community residents were ready for more dining options. Good-bye to burgers and fries and country-cooking’s dominate reign! Hello to fresh, premium deli meats and cheeses sliced to order and piled high on a seeded hoagie. Hello to steam billowing and hissing, and a minute later, a hot delicious sub sandwich in hand. Yes, that is the sound of satisfaction, Don thought.
Things were going great, and the customers loved it. However, there was something amiss on the side items menu. Momma Goldberg’s was serving traditional nachos and while they were the same nachos you got everywhere – round tortilla chips and melted orange cheese to the side—they just were not making the cut.
Don wasn’t the only one who noticed the slow sales of the nachos. Bill Ferguson, a young college student who worked at the deli, also found them lacking. One day when things had slowed down after the lunch rush, Bill decided to try something new.
He took out the foil and spread the chips across it. He looked at the cheese available to him. I want something with a kick, he thought. How about hot pepper jack? He added several slices on top of the Doritos® tortilla chips and decided to steam them like the sandwiches.
He opened the steamer and as the steam cleared, he smiled. Just look at that perfectly melted cheese on top of those great-tasting Doritos® tortilla chips, he thought. All it took was one bite and he knew a Nacho Revolution had just begun.
He couldn’t contain his excitement. Bill had some of the other employees try his new creation, and they too, were instantly hooked. He started making them for his friends when they would come into the deli and then their friends started asking for them. Before long, Don realized Bill had created a side item that was as unique as Momma Goldberg’s itself.
Without hesitation, he said tossed the old mystery cheese and Doritos® tortilla chips and introduced the now legendary Momma’s Nachos. That is the story of how Momma’s Nachos came about.