Tag Archives: Central Square

Phoenix Landing: We Nix Returning

1 Mar

Leap Day, a once-every-four-years occasion, found us engaging in a once-in-a-lifetime-is-enough activity, nachos at the Phoenix Landing.  Given our previous limited experiences with this bar, all we knew going in was that 1) the drinks are strong and 2) around 1am the dance floor starts to feel like you’re in a sweaty washing machine.  So when we showed up for Geeks Who Drink trivia and saw these on the menu, we assumed…the nachos must be great, right?

  • Appearance: (6) Nothing too exciting going on here.  Fresh jalapenos were the only item to catch the eye.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5) The chef surely didn’t tax himself much, beyond using a can opener. The chili bore a striking resemblance to taco beef, or, according to one reviewer, Manwich. While the chips were decidedly from a bag, they were thicker and saltier than your average Tostito. The one non-packaged item on the nachos was the diced tomato in the salsa…or so we think.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (5) Early on it was apparent that there would be distribution issues. Many of the underlying chips were broken, and there was not nearly enough cheese, nor was it evenly dispersed. Even the landslide of chili/Manwich was hard to get in one’s mouth due to the broken chips, and a lack of flatware due to our flustered waiter.
  • Price: (6) At $10, standard.
  • Overall: 22/40. Best leave the Phoenix Landing to what it does best– Guinness pints and Euro Football, and Midweek Techno.
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The Asgard: Runaway Train Might Be Goin’ Back, a Roundtrip Ticket on the Two Beer Track

19 Jan

dsc03079Very little can stand in the way of the good citizens of Nacho Patrol when they find a restaurant/bar with as fabulous a draft list as the Asgard in Central Square, Cambridge. Not frigid temperatures and biting wind chills. Not numb toes, frozen noses, or snowy butts. Exhaustion from a long day of work and class. MIT shuttles that show up 40 minutes late or the circuitous route it takes when they do arrive. Not even Mario Kart–alas, what is the world coming to? But as flagship patrollers Andi and Skyler researched the world of Boston nachos on the interwebs they came across the menu for the Asgard. No second thoughts, the deal was done. And while the nachos were mostly average and the hour and a half long adventure to actually get to Central left us with icy extremities, the draft list certainly got on our good side. Alackaday, this review isn’t about the beer, but the nachos, so let’s get down to business.

  • Appearance: (8 ) A colorful and overall pleasing display of reds and yellows and blacks and greens and whites. The Rainbow Road of nachos.
  • Distribution: (7) Once again we must consider a distribution theory of nachos–is it better to glob it on top or should one be a bit more fastidious, using little bowls and neat ice-cream scoop mounds to carefully set up the nachos for condiment consummation? While the Asgard was largely successful in terms of a proper distribution of chili and cheese (the under-chips were sadly nude, we must point out), we cannot help but recall the mouthwatering mass of toppings that we enjoyed as Pour House. Though a personal choice, this group of nacho-fans tends to favor the Messy-Masterpiece method of nacho preparation–if you just dabble, you are bound to miss the details.
  • Quality of toppings: ( 8 ) good chili and cheese, sadly flavorless guac (a depressing trend these days, but perhaps it’s just not the right season), and well-made chips. Decent pico de gallo. Homemade chips that for once, were delicious from beginning to end.
  • Price: (7) $10 for an appropriately sized plate split between 3 people. We didn’t finish it, but what with the margs and the beer and the spinach and artichoke dip in which we also indulged, can you blame us? We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. For $10 we should have something so large that our stomach explodes out of the belly and runs away at the mere thought of consumption. But perhaps that’s asking a bit much.
  • Overall: 30/40. Pretty good, but you might be better off getting something else from the menu.

Here are some beer recommendations, though their draft list might change frequently:

  1. Harpoon Leviathan Series Baltic Porter (especially if you want to get schwasted)
  2. Pomegranate Wheat
  3. Wachusett Blueberry
  4. Harpoon Seasonal (especially if you can do a half-and-half with a cider)
  5. Organic Raspberry Wheat

And no shitty beers on tap!! Finally, if you want a Coors, you might as well suck it up and buy it in a bottle.