Tag Archives: Avoid like SARS

Applebee’s: Chain, Chain, Chaaaaaiiiiiin……Chain of Foooooools……

11 Apr

Recent heavy rains and flooding in New England have wrecked havoc on the area and frankly, made us a little crazy. On the umpteenth evening of deluge, our primitive survival instincts took over and drove us to the nearest high ground, which happened to be the end of the C line.  There, remembering the good times we one had eating chain restaurant nachos, we holed up in Applebee’s and awaited the rainpocalypse with their Chili Cheese Nachos. This proved to be fateful error.  Were this a zombie movie, we would have died in the 35 minutes, crouched, trembling in a corner of the kitchen clutching a meat cleaver, only to be mauled from behind by the chef, now undead, exiting the walk-in freezer.  Fortunately for us, life does not imitate George Romero, and while we left poorer, fatter and grumpier, we made it out alive.

Hope is the thing with cheese sauce...

...That gets dashed upon the first bite.

  • Appearance: (5) Salad gone wrong.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (3) The chips were horribly stale, which ruined the whole nacho experience.  It doesn’t matter how good the toppings are, bad chips sink the ship, and these nachos had nothing helping to keep them afloat.  We didn’t realize that the term “chili cheese” was literal– the two ingredients were mixed into a wan, watery concoction that was much less than the sum of its parts. We almost appreciated the sour cream on top, so you KNOW it was bad.  Sad lettuce on top just added to the misery.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (6) Cheese sauce adds viscosity, but there were still naked chips.  We could have really used some guacamole or some heartier chili, or delivery from Roggies.
  • Price: (6) Sizeable, but regrettable for $8.69.
  • Overall: 20/40. No.  Just no.

If you needed any more reasons to avoid Applebee’s, they somehow felt that a green olive is the appropriate garnish for their “Perfect Margarita”.

Fish out of tequila

Applebee’s, we’re kicking you off the ark.

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The Coolidge Corner Clubhouse: The Thermonuclear Nacholocaust; or, Jenga!

3 Mar

dsc031941Nacho Patrol believes in good service and moderately attentive bartenders. Nacho Patrol believes in cleanliness and general friendliness. Nacho Patrol believes in un-skunked beer and clean taps. In our previous experiences, we found that the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse had none of these things. After a few semi-to-seriously disastrous experiences here, we had vowed never to return. But we believe in one thing above all, and that is nachos. We felt that it was our duty to give the CCC a final chance at redemption, via their oft-mentioned nachos. Although we entered the CCC with trepidation, we were determined to keep an open mind. And while certain things did impress us (the draft list and Heather, our ever-patient waitress, who put up with us spilling drinks, breaking glasses, and generally making a huge mess like a bunch of drunk toddlers), the nachos proved to be a disaster.

  • Appearance: (6) As these nachos approached the table, we shrunk back in horror, fearing for their structural integrity. Never before have we encountered such a precarious stack of chips. The plate was far too small for the amount piled on top of it. The chips were probably intended to be tri-colored, but ended up being 90% white, 7% red, and 3% this weird, light greyish-violet. Due to the structure of the stack and the color scheme of the chips, we soon discovered that eating these nachos bears a striking resemblance to a game of Jenga– could you manage to extract a chip without causing enough damage to start an avalanche? (We also discovered that after several hours of drinking, shouting “JENGA!!” every time you take a chip does not get old).
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5) The chips were house-made, and extremely greasy. The guacamole was clearly made with fresh avocados, but unfortunately, nothing else; there was no hint of lemon, spice, or anything to flavor them. The shredded cheese was for the most party properly melted, but it did tend to be greasy. The grease from the chips seemed to react to the cheese grease, separating the two and making it difficult to extricate a chip from the stack without leaving the cheese behind.  These nachos surpassed even Boston Beer Works in sheer greasiness, as evidenced by the following:
  • Distribution of Toppings: (3) before tonight, Nacho Patrol assumed that it was scientifically impossible to fit $14 worth of nachos on 6×8 inch plate. Now, this certain nacho patrolling party knows a few things about structural integrity–three engineers, a physicist, and two nacho experts. Yes, we came prepared for this particular bar. But nothing could prepare us for the shockingly precarious placement of these nachos. Stacked approximately half a foot high, they listed worse than the Titanic. The cheese was ample, but instead of even distribution, it was in two thick sheets that soon congealed into un-edibility. Case in point: dsc03198
  • Price: ( 7 ) big, but crappy. Just like our men.
  • Overall: 21/40. We gave these our all, but they quickly became inedible. Let down, we took out our frustration on them the only way that three engineers, two nacho experts and a physicist can: by tearing them to shreds and constructing a flag housing to fly over them in conquest.dsc03212

Once again, the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse disappoints. The coffin has been nailed shut, the ship has sailed, the fat lady has sung…CCC, you are officially on the “Dead to Us” list.

    El Paso: Trial By Nacho Patrol

    13 Jan

    It is rare that a nacho patroller ventures on his/her own into the world of nachos. It is a dangerous, 2000+ calorie trek into unfamiliar territory that could either be brutal or leave one in a food coma. But, when the nachos are bad, a nacho patroller must warn both her comrades and the public at large. I submit this review for your connoisseuring approval.

    El Paso is nestled in bustling Quincy Market of Government Center. In the sea of food to choose from, who wouldn’t be tempted to slip in some afternoon nachos before returning to those TPS reports? Hopefully you, after reading up on the perils hidden therein.

    • Appearance: Styrofoam. Un-classy, un-green, and unsanitary. Very colorful though, mostly lending to the beautiful fresh green guacamole dotted with ripe red tomatoes. (5)
    • Quality of toppings: The beans were hard. The cheese was the bland canned plastic-quality stuff you get glopped on chips at a ball game. The chips were super greasy, making themselves soggy before the toppings had a chance. The chicken looked and tasted like fried rodent gizzards. The salsa and guacamole were authentic and hand-made. But they were wasted on the corner cutting quality of the other ingredients. (2)
    • Distribution of toppings: There was plenty there and lots to spread around. Not that you’d want to. (7)
    • Price: $9. For the intestines of rats yielded by prying open traps from the floor of their kitchen and cheese they could have manufactured from mixing orange paint with melted Barbie dolls? Seriously? (1)
    • Overall: (15/40)

    It isn’t true that no Mexicans work in Government Center. However, it is true that the ones who do work there don’t know how to make nachos. Spring for the Indian food across the way.