Tag Archives: Brighton Center

Brighton Beer Garden: Right On, Beer Garden!

2 Aug

The Brighton Beer Garden once spent an illustrious summer as one of our favorite Stump! Trivia haunts.  Yet somehow, each time Wednesday rolled around, we found ourselves avoiding the nachos.  Extrapolating from the average-quality bar food making up the rest of the menu and the $14 price tag, we expected them to be mediocre, forgettable and overpriced, and so always managed to conveniently find something else on the menu that we wanted to order more.  But lo and behold, a new menu has debuted, featuring items like bacon-wrapped scallops and lobster ravioli.  Could this gentrification spread to the nachos?  We were determined to find out.

  • Appearance: (8) Our kidney beans runneth over, along with everything else!  These presented a visual feast as they approached, with their wide variety of toppings.  Significant naked chips left us worried, however.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (8) It’s a testament to how pleasantly surprising these nachos were that it took a few minutes for us to realize that they had BACON on them.  Bacon!  Only a small smattering, but still, bacon! Our attention was primarily taken up by the Garnish of Delicious Mystery, which, after sending a bartender off to the kitchen to inquire about, we learned was thin threads of beef jerky.  The chili was full of kidney beans, and the guacamole tasty enough, though Guacaholics Anonymous was still fresh enough in our minds to limit our intake to a few nibbles.  Chips were nothing special.  The salsa in the big cup off to the side was finely minced and deliciously fresh, a rare find indeed!
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) It’s hard to report on the naked chip situation because we didn’t make it through enough of these to have that be a problem.  This was a sizeable plate of ‘chos and while we barely made a dent in it, the parts we did get to had a decent distribution.  Even if a naked chip did arise, the guac and sour cream (not too cloying, fortunately) were there for the dipping, along with the delicious fresh salsa on the side.  At first we wondered why the salsa was presented on its own, but in the end it made sense– it was so pureed, almost gazpacho-like in texture, that it would have turned everything soggy. We applaud the chef’s good sense in this situation.
  • Price: (7.5) Nearing Sunset-esque proportions, these were worth more of their $14 than we originally expected.  Still, could do a little better…
  • Overall: 30.5/40.  Better than anticipated, with some welcome surprises.  Certainly a better bet than their Brighton Center competition…

Breenbriar: The Great Sour Cream Flood of 2010; or, There and Back Again, A Brighton Nacho’s Tale

21 May

On a dark and stormy evening, three weary travelers made their way to the hamlet of Brighton Center, an as-of-yet undiscovered nacho destination.  Their travels had been long and dangerous, including U-turns on North Beacon St., attempting to navigate with an iPhone and accidentally parking in a police station.  Eager to rest and share the stories of their adventures (0ver margaritas), they settled into the local inn, Greenbriar.  There, much merriment was had, but it had little to do with the nachos.

  • Appearance: (6) At first glance we thought that it was swamped in melted cheese, but that excitement turned to dismay when we realized that it was a large glob of sour cream, our arch-nemesis. Plenty of green, though incidentally, none of it was guacamole.  In general, nachos with chicken instead of chili tend to lack some punch in the color department, and these were no exception.  Even tri-colored chips would have helped.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (6) Opinions were divided on the chicken, some finding it moist and juicy and others bone dry.  We came to the conclusion that it must have been from two different batches, because it did vary wildly in consistency.  Overall though, it was flavorful and spicy.  The salsa was more spiced than fresh, but we still enjoyed it. The cheese, when found, was quite tasty even when not entirely melted.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (5) Whatever good intentions the chef had with these nachos, they were ruined by the veritable blanket of sour cream on top.  We’ve gone on about our loathing for our least favorite nacho ingredient before (or rather our second least favorite, after the dreaded iceberg lettuce), but this was out of control.  We scraped, spooned, and even peeled off cheese in order to rid ourselves of this menace, but to little avail.  One bad apple may spoil the barrel, but not all distribution decisions have the power to ruin a plate of nachos; this one did.
  • Price: (7) Average, average, average at $10.
  • Overall: 24/40.  Every once in a while, we stop to wonder why we do what we do.  Why do we subject ourselves to nachos that we don’t even like, when we know we could do better?  Requesting sour cream on the side could have saved many a plate of nachos, but somehow we just can’t bring ourselves to do it.  We aim to review nachos for what they are, as the kitchen intended, in the hopes that no one makes that same mistake.  Nacho Patrol: We eat bad nachos so you don’t have to.

Having found little comfort in their nachos, they continued on their journey…