Tag Archives: chili

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.


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Telegraph Hill: Good Nachos. Stop. Too Expensive. Stop.

15 Jun

Just around the corner from our first Southie review, the little gem named Telegraph Hill is the perfect microcosm of the gentrification of South Boston. A year ago, it was a grubby townie dive where, according to the current owner, no matter which tap your beer was poured from, it originated from one of a row of kegs of Natty Light in the basement.  Now, it has done a complete 180 with a semi-creative draft list and upscale and updated comfort food. The first thing that struck this Nacho Patroller upon entering is how… clean the place looks, all bright lights, big windows and shiny wood. How often can you say that about a bar?

Our waitress was new and wasn’t sure which would be better on these nachos, chili or buffalo chicken, so she kindly suggested a half and half.

  • Appearance: (7) A hill of nachos indeed, but a lot of warm tones.  They might have been better had we ordered guacamole (see below: Price).
  • Quality of Ingredients: (7.6) We loved the homemade chips, which were thin, crispy and delicious.  We enjoyed the chili as well, and we were VERY pleasantly surprised that the buffalo chicken was spicy, well-cooked, and…actually good!
  • Distribution of Toppings:  (7) It’s hard to speak on distribution because of our unconventional order; however, even with only half of the chili there was plenty to go around (we do predict that the nachos with strictly chicken might be a little dry).  The homemade chips held up fairly well to the chili.  There was some weird melting action going on with the cheese– there were pockets of completely unmelted cheese right next to burned chips, which made little sense.
  • Price: (3) Here is where things fall apart.  The basic nachos are $10; if you want chili or chicken it’s an extra $4, guacamole is an extra $2.  We were floored at the idea of $16 nachos– what is this, Game On!? Actually, Game On! was $1 cheaper an five of us nearly killed ourselves trying to finish them.  These were easily demolished by three, with room left over for entrees.  Sure, the quality was good, but we’ve had better and for less.
  • Overall: 24.6/40.  Drop the price a little bit, and these are some high ranking nachos.  Perhaps as this place grows into itself there can be some menu tinkering.  In particular, we would love to see them attempt a real buffalo chicken nacho (with blue cheese, et al.) as we think they might actually be able to pull it off.

Newtowne Grille: But the Chips are From Oldtowne

31 May

We’ve lived less than three blocks from Newtowne Grille for nine months now, and since we’re not townies or college students, we’ve so far elected not to go in. We’re past the days that we need a $12 pitcher of beer and a $4 pizza…okay, that’s a big fat lie. But when Christopher’s is marginally closer and 1000% better, we just can’t be accountable for never going. Given the sorry state of the nachos, we might be completely justified.

  • Appearance: (5)  The photo here does this particular plate too much justice, but trust us, the tomatoes were wan and the cheese pre-congealed. The chili looked delicious, but god damnit there was lettuce! Cue a very passionate out-loud groan.
  • Quality: (2) We don’t even know where to begin. First of all, we liked the chili. The chunks of meat were ample and not of the ground-beef variety. The extent of our compliments need to end there, because the only other part of these nachos that didn’t make us cry was the lettuce (and black olives! -ed). That should tell you a lot about the quality. The chips were absolutely the stalest we have ever encountered.  Our Guest Correspondent Tim described them as cardboard, which is probably as apt a metaphor as we can give you to describe the stale, soft, and salty foundation of our chos. Normally when you bite into a chip you expect a bright crunching sound. When you bit in to these chips, it sounds a little bit like shattering safety glass. We wondered aloud, what happened to these?  Had someone accidentally left a bag of chips open since last summer and then tried to make nachos with them?? Louder groan!
  • Distribution: (5) The cheese was cold even before it got to our table, making it very hard for it properly coat the chips. The chili was ladled with a heavy hand but unfortunately, only on the very top of the chips, leaving many naked below.  This worked to our advantage as it was easier to spoon off and avoid the abominable chips, but that really doesn’t deserve extra points!
  • Price: (5.5) At $10, why not just pay a dollar more and go for the $11 pitcher-of-PBR-and-pizza deal, and save yourself the jaw-numbing, soul-crushing apocalypse that is these nachos?? Really.  Save yourself.
  • Overall: 17.5/40.

Here’s a question: how long do these nachos have to go un-ordered before Newtowne takes them off the menu? Three months? Six? We, say, however long as it takes.  People of the world, unite! Boycott this disaster!  Down with stale chips!  Viva la PBR and pizza instead!