Located within the loving arms of the Fenway Stadium neighborhood, Boston Beer Works faces some tough competition from the plethora of local behemoth bars and restaurants. You’ve got the Jillian’s newly-21-super-mega-complex on one side, the entire United States Navy at Cask & Flagon on the other, and the tranny hot mess of Kenmore Square just down the street. Nestled somewhere in there (just a few convenient blocks for the former Nacho Patrol World Headquarters) is Beer Works, a nice sports bar/restaurant whose main distinction comes in the form of the in-house brewery. With 15 unique (and very delicious) brews on tap at any given moment, Boston Beer Works is the Nacho Patrol’s pick for the lay brew-snob. Our favorites: try Curley’s Irish Stout, the Pumpkin Head (be prepared for some serious clove action), and the Bluebeery Ale. With all the great beers, something had to fall through the cracks, and as we discovered, that something was the nachos. With steak fajitas (pronounced FAH-j-EYE-tahs).
- Appearance: it takes a lot for a plate of food to look dodgy–namely, it must be at least a few days old, possibly be collecting dust, definitely shimmering, and containing some unknown green substance. You know how some restaurants have example plates that have been sitting out on the counter since the early AM? That’s sort of what Boston Beer Works’ nachos looked like. Dodgy. The chips were literally shiny with grease (and we don’t mean “shiny” as in “good”–i.e. Firefly…we mean just plain greasy looking). In the spectrum of cheese (which ranges on one end as unmelted and on the other carbon charring), these nachos sported an ungooey, unappetizing brown crust. Overall, these nachos presented as a cacophony of brownish hues–same tints as the beers we drank, though leaps and bounds less appetizing. (5).
- Quality of Ingredients: starting with the fundamentals, the chips were probably made in house, but were greasy and heavy. We barely managed to tackle half the plate before our clogged arteries bested us. In general, home made tortilla chips leave something to be desired, but these in particular just tasted stale and, like the rest of the dish, seemed old. The salsa tasted jarred (Pace Picante! Yum!) and the meat, while flavoful, was a bit on the dry side. (6)
- Distribution of Toppings: We here at Nacho Patrol have problems with cheese. If the distribution doesn’t fall perfectly into the bell curve of cheesy deliciousness, they we’re going to complain. Looking at the tiny plate on which BBW nachos are served, we immediately worried that we’d only have a thin helmet of crusty cheese to sate our unquenchable desire for ooey-gooey-ness. We breathed a sigh of relief when, after some serious excavation of the abundant top layer, we hit a holy grail of cheese in the middle…it was only after some brief jubilation that we discovered a serious problem: a pile unmelted shredded cheddar hiding insulated from the burnt exterior by none other than the heavy homemade chips. The horror! What is one to do in that situation? Unmelted cheese is just a sin. (6)
- Value: Overpriced, but what do you expect from a trendy Fenway area bar? Trust us, if you can see the stadium from your barstool, your food is probably going to cost a lot more than it’s worth. It’s $7 for a half order (which, mercifully, is probably enough for 4 people), but any additional toppings such as meat or guacamole is an extra $3–blasphemy! (6)
- Overall: 23/40
We generally avoid this area of town like the plague– but we might come around here a little bit more often for the delicious, tasty beer. We’ll be staying away from the nachos, though…
PS: To the drunk/possibly crazy girl who asked to eat the rest of our nachos and proceeded to dig in with an animalistic abandon, we hoped you enjoyed them more than we did.