Tag Archives: broken chips

Classics Revisited: Boston Beerworks: Carbon Hating

26 May

We’ve really delved back into the golden oldies of Nacho Patrol history with this review. Back in late 2008 when we started this blog, we were nacho virgins, just beginning to bud into a fruitful period of adolescence (nacholescence?). Yes, we were awkward and uncertain. The kinks hadn’t been worked out and perhaps the beer was flowing a bit too freely. We would hate, however, to be accused of inaccuracy, which is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to re-review some classics. Last week, during the ill-fated Twins/Sox game, we took on Boston Beerworks for the second and very much last time.

If you don’t remember, Beerworks was our seventh ever nacho review. We gave them a 23/40, which put them in the bottom ten. Spoiler alert: they’re probably going to stay there.

  • Appearance: (4) These nachos try so hard to be colorful, but fail to achieve any glory since they are burnt beyond recognition. What could be multi-colored corn chips, orange shredded cheddar, and fresh tomatoes resemble nothing of their namesakes and are instead wan and depressingly beige.
  • Quality: (5) High school home ec taught us that if you overcook something, it burns. Whoever the chef is at Beerworks must have failed out of that class because even after a YEAR of burning his nachos, he still makes them the same way. That is, poorly. We complained about this in November 2008, and nothing has changed. The cheese on this particular plate was burnt and flavorless. Lacking any gooieness whatsoever, the distribution suffered, and the entire mess was simply dry and dull. Though the foundation was fairly terrible, we did enjoy the kick from the jalepenos and found the chili quite tantalizing.
  • Distribution: (3.1) By simple virtue of wanting to put them above Fenway Park (Nacho Patrolling isn’t a science as much as an arbitrary race again the clogging of our arteries), we probably awarded the distribution 3.1 points higher than they deserved. Unsurprisingly, crispy cheese slivers don’t do a lot to whet one’s appetite. The sparse toppings clumped together onto three of four chips leaving the rest greasy and devoid of excitement. Sour cream and salsa were on the side, further compounding the problem of dryness. The nail in the coffin had to be the pile of chip crumblies at the bottom. Did they just dump out the bottom of the chip bag onto our plate? If we’re going to have naked chips, they might as well be FULL naked chips.
  • Price: (6) $9 for an ugly mass of chips and brownish carbon; $3 each to add chili, chicken, steak, or guacamole. Whatever. It’s Fenway.
  • Overall: 18.1/40

It seems fitting that Fenway Park and Beerworks should be nestled so closely together in the hierarchy of nacho disasters. They may be beloved relics in the Boston community, but perhaps it’s time for an upgrade.

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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:

trident1

  • 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.

trident2

  • 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.