Tag Archives: chicken

Miller’s Ale House (Boston): Mediocrity®

27 Feb

This week’s nacho review comes to you from Bugaboo Creek Miller’s Ale House, conveniently located next to the Arsenal Mall in scenic Watertown.  In an area that truly lacks tacky sports bars, Miller’s is a welcome change from the moose restaurant . The menu may be reminiscent of Friday’s, but the waitstaff is friendly, the drinks are fell-off-the-back-of-the-truck cheap, and the dining room is still shiny and new. We look forward to returning soon for our 1st Annual Classy –> Divey Western Ave Pub Crawl, starting at Miller’s Ale House, moving to the Boyne, and ending at the Bus Stop.

To punish ourselves for not eating nachos recently, we decided to indulge in two nachos: The Fiesta Nachos and the Zinger® Potato Chip Nachos (because nachos with a registered trademark are not weird at all). Just so you know, they also have something called the Chicken Enormous Nachos, but adding that to our tab would likely have killed us.

Fiesta Nachos: Crispy Tortilla chips Layered with Fresh Ground Beef Simmered in Ancho Chili Seasoning, Pico de Gallo and Jalapeños. Smothered in Jack & Cheddar Cheeses, then Melted until Bubbling. Topped with Sour Cream and a dash of taco seasoning.

  • Appearance: (4) The overall theme of this review is “meh,” starting with appearance, which was–unsurprisingly–meh. We got chili on the side in deference to our vegetarian friend, but we suspect leaving it on would have done little to make these nachos exciting. Average corn chips, scant cheese melted and congealed until nearly solid, and typical pico and jalapenos. The only mark of distinction was the taco season sprinkled on the ball of sour cream. Nice choice–almost made sour cream bearable.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (6) The only thing worth mentioning on this plate was the beef, which despite being ugly, was delicious. It nicely complimented the taco seasoning on the sour cream. Is it sad that’s the highlight? Cheese, chips, pico, and jalepenos were otherwise unremarkable.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (5) We suspect someone in the kitchen was saving all the cheese for the Potato Chip and Chicken Enormous nachos, favoring the big brothers over the scrawny runt, the Fiesta. The sprinkling of cheese we did receive chilled too quickly, leaving us with a pile of naked chips and cheese we had to tear apart with our fingers. Chili-on might have helped, but there is no way to get around the fact that there wasn’t enough cheese.
  • Price: (7) $8.99–an average plate for an average price.
  • Overall: 22/40
Zinger® Potato Chip Nachos: Zingers® Tossed in Medium Garlic Sauce, Cut into Bite Size Pieces and Served over Homemade Potato Chips. Topped with Jack & Cheddar Cheeses, Diced Tomatoes, Green Onions and Sour Cream. We’re gonna call these specialty nachos.
We should start this by saying we still have no idea what a Zinger® is. We thought they were boneless chicken wings, but either they forgot our sauce or it somehow soaked into the breading during the walk from the kitchen to the table. As best we can tell a Zinger® is a chicken finger with some stuff on it–in the menu photos, said “stuff” glistens. In real life it doesn’t exist.

  • Appearance: (7) Quite mouthwatering when compared with the Fiesta ‘chos, but rather monotonous on its own. We appreciated the lava-flow of cheese cascading into the chips, and the splash of color provided by the tomatoes and onions helped to ameliorate our concerns over the glistening grease of the chips.
  • Quality: (4) A lot of problems and only a few compliments. We appreciated the attempt at thick-cut homemade chips. The ones un-soggied by cheese grease were delicious, but once they were even slightly moistened they ended up grainy and unpleasant. The Zingers® were equally unimpressive–maybe we should have chosen a more flavorful sauce (we elected to mix “medium” and “garlic”), but they just tasted like breaded chicken fingers. Overall, the plate was greasy and probably life-shortening.
  • Distribution: (6) When it comes to potato chips, there’s a fine line between too little cheese and too much. In Miller’s case, they went a little overboard and we ended up with a greasy mess of off-textured chips and an iceberg of solidified cheese.  Again, the cheese  congealed too quickly and was sliding off the chips. We could have used more Zinger® as well.
  • Price: (6) At ~$10, these weren’t outlandish.
  • Overall: 23/40.  We’ve had much better potato chip nachos closer to home at John Harvard’s and Orleans (and even as far away as Denver), without having to figure out how to incorporate a pesky ® symbol into a blog post.

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…