Do you remember a scant 29 months ago when we questioned the strange allure of Our House West (in case you don’t, you can get nostalgic here and here)? That “den of vice, iniquity, and many a lost Tuesday night” kept us coming back week after week despite its many, often very apparent, flaws. Sure, the nachos weren’t that good, but they had board games and curly fries. It was like college, but sexier.
Reader, in recent months you may have noticed a painful cry rushing away from the dingy streets of Allston. Have you paused to listen to that sad moan hanging in the wind? Have you heard it whisper, “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuddddde…..I looooooovvvvveeee yooooooooouuuuu” and then vomit? Well, that’s just the ghosts of the recently deceased Our House West fleeing that immortalized basement to make room for the bright and beautifully whitewashed Jalepenos. Ditching our mourning shrouds and bolstering our spirits with thoughts of Mexican food, we headed back down that well trod road to Our House–I mean Jalapenos.
- Appearance: (6) Segregation was ruled unconstitutional years ago, but Jalapenos missed that. One half entirely cheese and veggies, the other split between pico and a torrent of jalapeno peppers? It didn’t make a lot of sense to us. Also, the cheese sauce had a very suspiciously too-orange color…
- Quality of Ingredients: (7) The homemade chips here are good, and while the salsa is more like pico de gallo, it was fresh and bright tasting. The veggies were large, well-seasoned chunks of roasted zucchini, summer squash and eggplant. The cheese sauce was…cheese sauce. We had been hoping for something along the lines of Border’s queso dip, but this unfortunately had more in common with Velveeta.
- Distribution of Toppings: (6) Does anyone really need that many jalapenos? Really? We scraped them off and they filled a whole appetizer plate. The cheese sauce got so cold that it formed a skin and didn’t properly coat the chips.
- Price: (7) We’re pretty sure these were in the $10 range–so average, it’s not worth discussing.
- Overall: (26/40) Jalepenos may have upgraded the decor, but sadly not the nachos. Tying with the Our House West re-review, we’re unsure why the cheese sauce on the nachos was different from the queso dip on the menu and why they found it necessary to douse the whole plate in jalepenos. Was it an edible homage to their name???? Genius!
Saying goodbye to Our House West was hard, but it’s nice to see the space growing up with us. And no matter what, we still have our memories–or rather, hazy drunken recollections of questionable decisions gone by.
Sometimes a blizzard can be a blessing in disguise. When all of Boston hunkered down for the great storm of 2010, this Nacho Patroller’s canceled flight led to a lovely side trip to Seattle, Washington. Originally on the hunt for seafood nachos in this great waterfront city, the lack of such options led to a visit to Peso’s Kitchen and Lounge, in the Queen Anne neighborhood. An authentic upscale Mexican restaurant in the vein of Zocalo, Cantina La Mexicana and Sol Azteca, we were drawn in by reports of their red chile skirt steak nachos, but found instead the green chile mole nachos, with ancho chile sauce, crema, asadero cheese and skirt steak.
- Appearance: (9) Oh, wow. Barely any chips were visible under the weight of all the toppings, and the green chile mole peeked coyly out from under the blanket of black beans. A few chips on the edges seemed a little burned.
- Quality of Ingredients: (9) The little bits of skirt steak were deliciously rare and perfectly seasoned. The asadero cheese was a delicious departure from the norm. The crema was so much more than we expected, a cooling, cilantro-tinged counterpoint to the slightly spicy mole sauce and black beans. Our only complaints were the guacamole, which while fresh, could have been a little more flavorful, and the homemade chips which were not strong enough to support all of the toppings.
- Distribution of Toppings: (10) There was so much going on here, we can’t recall finding a single naked chip (and indeed, the complimentary basket of chips on the side came in useful for scooping up extra toppings). The smooth green chile mole sauce contrasted perfectly with the chewiness of the steak and crunchy bits of salsa, and the copious black beans provided a solid base upon which the other toppings could play.
- Price: (9) $12 with steak is a bargain, considering how delicious these were.
- Overall: 37/40. Our highest rated nachos EVER! These were a wonderful flavor experience, undisputed champion of the foreign reviews and surpassing even the Pour House in score. Perhaps we are doing all our reviewing in the wrong city?
Guacaholics Anonymous: the carnage...
We never thought it would be possible, but eatBoston’s Guacaholics Anonymous event last night just might have cured us of our guacamole addiction. On our way to the Fenway area, we ruminated whether or not it was possible to die from guacamole overdose. After sampling the guac from seven restaurants and ten or so amateurs, and enjoying a “diesel powered” margarita, we can say definitively that guacamole kills.
While Skyler dished up her “East Africa Conquering” guac, Andi had the chance to sample the fare: it’s no surprise that Anna’s Taqueria was our favorite. Located a dangerous three blocks from Nacho Patrol World Headquarters, we’ve had their gauc before and loved the perfectly seasoned, smooth-but-not-gluey consistency they presented last night. La Verdad gave us a pleasantly flavored traditional guac, while Ole beat out Rattlesnake for the title of best fruit guac in the room.
Though the pros gave us a bevy of great “house” guacs, the real innovation last night came from the amateur section. We loved the smokiness of Justin’s Elote inspired guac and our table-mate Molly demonstrated quite the flair for presentation with her “Cowboy Caviar” served on Frito chips. And how could we close without mentioning We Are Not Martha’s bacon guac! What an intriguing (and delicious) idea!
In short, we had a great evening. EatBoston truly knows how to throw a party and we can’t wait to see what green, creamy goodness they whip up for us next year.