Centre Street Cafe: Jamaica Pain

22 Aug

Oh,  Jamaica Plain, lush city oasis, playground for puppies, ancestral home of fabulous ice cream and overpriced organic raw granola.  Do your wide-ranging borders contain a haven for nachos as well?  We’ve had moderate luck at James’ Gate but it only left us wanting more.  Next up, the Centre Street Cafe, a funky little joint on (you guessed it) Centre Street in the heart of JP’s downtown.  They’re famous for their brunch, eclectic dishes and generally fresh/local/organic ingredients.  Bodes well for the nachos, right?  Let’s discuss:

  • Appearance: (6) While colorful, the ingredients were perhaps a little too partitioned off.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5) “Stone-ground” tortilla chips tasted like…tortilla chips.  Tomato salsa was no where near as fresh as we had expected.  Guacamole was average.  Beans were from a can.  Sensing a pattern here?
  • Distribution of Toppings:  (6) There was a ton of cheese on these nachos, and it got everywhere.  Great, right?  Well, only if the cheese is melted enough to actually make it into your mouth, instead of sticking together in a glob on the plate when you extract a chip.  Having the beans and guacamole in sections made it difficult to get more than one topping on each chip.
  • Price: (3) At $12 WITHOUT any extra toppings (chicken or tofu would be an extra $2), these were a bit of a giant ripoff.
  • Overall: 20/40. It’s such a shame, with all the other interesting, delicious, moderately-priced items on the menu (we greatly enjoyed the polenta fries with chipotle ranch), that these nachos are such a mediocre, unimaginative mess.  Centre Street Cafe needs to either give them some serious love and attention or just take them off the menu already.
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