21st Amendment: Nearly as frustrating as Prohibition

26 Sep

On a rainy night, tucked in a dark corner behind the Boston State House we find ourselves at the 21st Amendment, a cozy, charming, and colonial-esque restaurant nestled on the outskirts of the Beacon Hill neighborhood. We received good word of their nachos from Yelp, but had to try them out for ourselves. The restaurant as a whole seems decent enough–although unless you want to get involved in trivia, avoid Sunday nights. The drinks are slightly overpriced ($9-$10 cocktails), but this is to be expected in this neighborhood. We begin tonight with the ratings for a plate of nachos, half chicken-half chili, with guacamole and sour cream on the side.

  • Presentation: decently presented. The plate was too small and the nachos piled to high, a classic case of nacho overstacking/undersaturation. (6)
  • Quality of toppings: good on the whole. The chicken was on the dry side, although we appreciated that it was char-broiled. The guacamole was industrial–that is, your standard, ready-made guac. Skyler, who is flamboyantly anti-chili, actually had high praise for the chili on these nachos–tasted homemade. Homemade pico de giallo. (8)
  • Distribution of toppings: This is where the nachos really fell short. For $10 we expect enough cheese to power the Wisconsin State Fair for several hours, but this was missing in action. There were ample, nay, excessive jalapenos, but black olives were woefully unavailable, even by request. It was a frustrating situation….and we feel strongly that one should not be frustrated when eating nachos. (4)
  • Price: $9 for a plate, plus $1.50 for guacamole. The serving wasn’t huge–these nachos were expensive for their size. (6)
  • Conclusion: (24/40) It all comes down to cheese. At it’s most primal, a plate of nachos consists of tortilla chips and cheese. Cheese is the mortar, the achor, the prana, the lifeblood of nachos. One cannot hope to present a plate of nachos worthy of serious consideration without an at least passable distribution of cheese. Here, 21st Amendment fell short. While the quality of many ingredients gave this plate serious potential, in the end it was squandered by a lack of understanding of one of the central tenets of nacho construction. A dead giveaway of sub par nachos? When on the way home, Ann Marie exited the T a stop early in order to purchase chips and cheese at Shaw’s and build her own.

After a quorum, division into subcomittees, and several hours of filibustering, we unanimously vetoed a return trip.

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2 Responses to “21st Amendment: Nearly as frustrating as Prohibition”

  1. nacho addict December 28, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    First of all… Thank you. You have come up with a method to rate nachos that I not only find intriguing but also envy for not thinking of it myself. Thank you in advance for the delicious nachos I have yet to discover!

    Secondly, is there any way I can persuade you to retry the 21st amendment?? Not so much for my own gratification but more so because I truly enjoy them and want to share them with those who will truly appreciate an exceptional nacho.

    Thanks again, and may 2011 bring cheesy nachos for all.

    • Nachopatrol January 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      Thanks, glad you like it! We occasionally do re-reviews, and this is an especially good candidate since 1) you recommended it and 2) it was our first ever review and we have since greatly refined our nacho-rating skills. Be on the lookout for an update!

      Happy 2011!

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