Trident Booksellers & Cafe: Shallow End of the Pool

13 Sep

Newbury Street often reminds us of a high school cafeteria: while inhabited by a number of widely disparate groups, they stick to their own clearly defined turf. Hipsters rule the west end, starting at the Otherside, mingling with the tourists at Urban Outfitters and extending up to around the area of Espresso Royale.  The opposite end belongs to the rich– they shop at Chanel, Burberry and Louis Boston, brunch at Stephanie’s, then get a $75 blowout at Enzo’s. Somewhere in the middle of all this, Trident Booksellers & Cafe stands as a just-hip-enough neutral zone, where these two groups (and everyone else in between) can mix and mingle over breakfast, beers, and hard-to-find ‘zines.   On a recent weekday afternoon, we enjoyed the late summer sun on the patio and played a round of our favorite Newbury Street people-watching game, “Gay or European?” while noshing on the Trident fries and a plate of nachos:


  • Appearance: ( 8 )Deliciously melty, mottled cheese with a sprinkling of spicy  chopped green…something.  A few tomatoes peek through.  Salsa and sour cream (not pictured) arrived on the side.  Sadly, a bit of char brought them down a few points.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5) Good cheese, decent chips, but not much else stood out.  There were some very spicy peppers hidden in the midst which caused a minor crisis, as the waiter had neglected to bring our beverages.  Overall, these just weren’t that good or memorable.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (5) The idea of layering clearly never crossed the chef’s mind. One solid layer of cheese on top of several layers of chips does not a good nacho make. Adding insult to injury, most of the chips on the bottom were broken into pieces too tiny to be at all helpful in scooping up stray toppings. After exhausting all of the tasty bits, we were left with a depressingly full, boring plate.


  • Price:(7)  $7, which wasn’t too bad. We didn’t finish them, only because we really didn’t want to. We don’t, however, appreciate that adding chicken would have brought them up to $12. That had better be some damn fine chicken….
  • Overall: 25.  The Trident is a great indie treasure on Newbury Street, and much of their menu looks delicious and inventive. It’s a shame that they went the boring, generic route with these nachos. They should do everyone a favor (and heed the Border Cafe, for once) and just take them off the menu.

One Response to “Trident Booksellers & Cafe: Shallow End of the Pool”

  1. jonnynacho September 16, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    The green chopped stuff is green onion. I use them in my own nachos. They don’t add much flavor but they add great color.

    Wow, it’s probably been ten years since I even thought of the Trident. I had breakfast there with a swiss banker’s daughter and another German girl who’s brother loved nachos (I made him some the day before he moved back to Germany).

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