There are few places in Allston we’re not ashamed to go. As graduates (and near graduates) of BU, the dark roads west of Commonwealth Avenue and Pleasant Street scream of hazy, drunk memories: did I pee behind that trash can once? Was that a rat or a raccoon I saw in that alley? Was that where that drunk girl puked on that frat boy? Was it a cop or a cabbie that offered me a ride home? Is that house where I went to that party where I took shots out of water bottle? Here’s a hint: it probably was. In any case, save for the rare trip to Common Ground 90′s night, truffled gorgonzola fries at Deep Ellum and the frequent visits to Sunset for coconut and lime margaritas, we tend to wear paper bags over our heads when we head into Allston. Tonight, however, we saw fit to whip out our trivia paper bags and head to the ultimate Allston sports bar, Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree is one of many bars in the area that expends a great amount of energy trying to look like a classy night club. They have a valet service, but there’s always a line 15 slutty girls long. The bathrooms have mute colors and elegant fixtures, but the whole downstairs area has a distinctly rape-y aura and we have it on good authority that there is often vomit in the urinals. The upstairs decor is chic sports bar, but you still get your beer in a 16oz plastic cup. For these reasons and many, many more we’ve managed to avoid reviewing the nachos at Joshua Tree for two years. Today, however, we sucked it up (in the name of Stump Trivia) and ordered their Buffalo Chicken Nachos with buffalo chicken, cheddar cheeese, tomatos, and blue cheese dressing.
- Appearance: (5) There is absolutely nothing interesting to say about the appearance of these nachos. They had three colors–the red tomatoes, the green onions, and the yellowish everything else. As such, the entire plate seemed rather regurgitated and boring. With something like buffalo chicken, there’s an entire array of color a chef could add with a rich buffalo sauce and a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles. Instead, they looked just about as oily and dull as they tasted. Which brings us to our next point…
- Quality: (3.5) It’s still a mystery to us how some restaurants avoid soggy, greasy chips while others–like J-Tree–leave us with soiled fingers and aching arteries. Perhaps it’s the use of this particular cheddar cheese, but the chips of the buffalo chicken nachos were almost stale with oiliness. We were similarly displeased with the chicken, which was tough and sinewy. One expects something moist and falling off the bone from good chicken wings. These just tasted like Shaws $3 chicken tenders. As a final point, the tomatoes were overripe and there wasn’t enough buffalo sauce to truly judge the taste. What a mess. If there was one highlight, it had to have been the blue cheese sauce, which most certainly came from a bottle and, thankfully, wasn’t house made. We can only imagine the salmonella if it was.
- Distribution: (4) Something is wrong with cheddar cheese. For whatever reason, it always ends up thick and solid after a few moments on the table, leaving us with globs of cold cheese melded with hunks of boring chicken, as guest patroller Tim so artfully demonstrates. The blue cheese sauce was on the side, and could have perhaps been integrated into the plate to solve the damning problem of the uncovered chips at the bottom of the plate. Also, there was a sad lack of the buffalo flavor that it supposed to make up buffalo chicken nachos–not enough chicken and definitely not enough sauce.
- Price: (6) Charging $11 for something this crappy is a sin, even when you split it 6 ways.
- Overall: 18.5/40
Once again we’re reminded why we spent so long avoiding J-Tree.