Tag Archives: Bromance

Ducali Pizza: Nachos for the Pizza Inclined, or Vice Versa

28 Mar

This week, we dip our toe once more into the deceptively turbulent waters of Italian Nachos.  We’ve had mediocre ones at Anchovies in the South End, a delicious-if-not-quite-strictly-Italian version at Vito’s Tavern, and a rather disastrous attempt at making our own (and we’d prefer to just never again discuss what happened when we actually ate nachos in Italy).  When we heard that Ducali Pizza in the North End had a their own version, the “Nachos Italiano”, we had to give it a try as well.

Despite its proximity to the bromageddon that is the North Station area, we found Ducali to be pleasantly empty the evening we popped in (be sure to check the Garden schedule in advance before making a trip). Along with beers from their small but varied list, we made a beeline for the aforementioned nachos, described as “Pizza dough chips baked with mozzarella cheese, hot pepper and salami, served with a spicy tomato sauce.”

  • Appearance: (8) Yet another in our occasional series, “These don’t look very much like nachos at all.”  But boy did they look tempting…
  • Quality of Ingredients: (8) The crisp flatbread “chips”, dusted with parmesan, were quite tasty. We equally enjoyed the house-pickled peppers and the salami slices.  There was disagreement over whether the tomato sauce was accurately billed as “spicy”, as half of us found it rather bland.  In the end, all of the ingredients were on par with what you would find on a well-made pizza…just in different forms.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) While the presentation was visually appealing, it led to the cheese running to the end of all the chips. There was also a layer of a few chips underneath it all that had no cheese whatsoever.  The chips were so tasty on their own though, that we didn’t mind all that much, and they were perfect for scooping up the marinara sauce. Overall, the moderate cheese coating and sauce on the side led to an overall drier nacho experience than we typically prefer.
  • Price: (9) At $8 these were very reasonably priced for their quality, and split between two people, a good half of a meal.
  • Overall: 32/40.  These nachos are the best “authentic” Italian nachos we have encountered in Boston (so, better than Anchovies).  We recommend making a trip, but if you are going to partake bring some friends and make sure you leave room for their excellent pizza!

 

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The Stadium: A Sporting Chance at Decent Nachos

4 Jun

South Boston may seem a little off the beaten path, and indeed had long been off our nacho radar.  However, only the briefest of internet searches reveals that Southie is a veritable treasure trove of virgin nacho destinations (except for the Boston Beer Garden, which considering it is related to both great and terrible nacho destinations Brighton Beer Garden, the assorted Taverns in the Squares, Joshua Tree and Shitty Side, is something we will only approach with great caution).  In the interested of breaking new ground (and evening out the north-heavy Nacho Map), we ventured to The Stadium for some nachos and beeyah.  As much of a sports bar as you will ever find (the waitresses wear modified soccer uniforms, which, upon consideration, doesn’t make a lot of sense for an American sports bar), The Stadium was pleasantly uncrowded despite an impending Bruins playoff game.  And thence came the nachos:

  • Appearance: (7) Very colorful, but in an unsettling way.  Only canned condiments and pre-made chips are ever that bright.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5) Jarred salsa, guacamole from a bucket, and the chips, while colorful, were a little stale.  The chili was good but had a strange hint of summer sausage flavor, which, while not unpleasant, was a little odd.  We were puzzled by the sour cream, which appeared to have some sort of chives mixed in, but with no discernible effect on the flavor.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (6)  While there was a fair amount of chili, the cheese was not entirely melted, which hampered distribution.
  • Price: (8.3)  In this age of nacho inflation, it’s nice to see a sizable plate of nachos, with chili for only $10.
  • Overall: 26.3.  These nachos were exactly what we expected from the place, nothing more, nothing less.  Edible, even enjoyable, but worth neither a long review or a return visit.

No one’s first time is all that great, right?  On to bigger and better Southie nachos!

Hurricane O’Reilly’s: Naturally, a Disaster

4 Dec

Save for The Fours and their delicious buffalo chicken nachos, the bars of the North Station area remain an unknown quantity to us. Perhaps it’s because we know exactly what to expect from them: crowds of Bruin and Celtic jersey-sporting bros in varying states of intoxication, out-of-towners who don’t know any better, average draft lists, and mediocre, overpriced food.  Before attending a recent Celtics game, we put our theory to the test and went right for the heart of Bro-Town: Hurricane O’Reilly’s.  The crown jewel in the strand of mass-produced Mardis Gras beads that is the Glynn Hospitality Group, Hurricane O’Reilly’s is the kind of place that’s sort of comforting in it’s timeless, generic blandness (and indeed, at least the website is in a time warp: it refers to TD Garden as the Fleet Center and has a completely obsolete menu).  Surprised to find the place rather empty for right before a game and 3(!) types of nachos on the menu, we forewent the plain (boring!) and buffalo chicken (too many bad memories) versions and ordered the Nachos Grande, which came with chili and BBQ pork.

  • Appearance: (4) For nachos “grande”, these certainly did not live up to the size of their name.  All of the colors seemed faded, and the salsa and sour cream were in plastic takeout containers.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5.5) The chili was watery, and some of the chips were a little stale.  The large chunks of BBQ pork were OK, but would never have been tasty enough to carry a pulled pork sandwich on their own.  The red onions were intended to be pickled (which would have been a lovely touch) but still had too much of a bite to eat on their own.  And the cheese, while it was not quite the dreaded American cheese, came very close (we dubbed it “Guam cheese”).
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) There was decent distribution, and even some cheese padding on the plate.  The watery chili made things soggy and sort of disappeared into the other ingredients; we wouldn’t have known it was there if it hadn’t been on the menu.
  • Price: (4) On the Sunset scale of size-to-price ratio, these barely registered.  But hey, it’s downtown…
  • Overall: 20.5/40.  We debated heading over to The Fours after the game to wash away these bad nacho memories with some good ones.  You would be wise to do the same, or just head there in the first place.