Tag Archives: chili

Classics Revisited: Harry’s Bar and Grill

6 Aug

A year and a half ago, a little bar named Harry’s unexpectedly stole our nacho-loving hearts.  Coming from out of nowhere, this unassuming place gave us a plate that powered past nearly all of Boston’s nacho behemoths with its delicious flavors and artful distribution.  We have since returned many times, but never for the nachos.  Why?  Fear– fear that these were too good to be true, that we were wrong in awarding the silver medal of Boston nachos.  Also, we maybe had heard some negative reports.  Determined to nut up and do the right thing, we returned to Harry’s on the eve of our departure from the neighborhood, to either confirm their brilliance or set the record straight.

  • Appearance: (8) Much has changed from our original review!  Gone are the tri-colored chips, but to more than make up for it, guacamole, green onions and a tantalizingly non-sour cream dip on the side. Chili is now on the top, instead of in the middle under a helmet of cheese.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (9) As could be guessed from their fancied-up color scheme, practically every ingredient in these nachos had changed, generally for the better. The chili had a distinct, chocolaty mole flavor, something we rarely encountered.  The orange sauce on the side turned out to be a chipotle cream/mayo concoction, much more exciting that its sour cream predecessor.  Even the salsa was miles ahead of the canned stuff of yore– thin, fresh, and reminiscent of both gazpacho and our recent trip to Brighton Beer Garden (perhaps these two are in cahoots?). As before, the chili presented a kidney bean extravaganza, but gone were the black olives.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (8) Here Harry’s has completely changed their approach, trading in the “molten chili center” method for the more traditional “chili hat” distribution.  This created a few more problems with distribution, making it sometimes hard to get at sodden chips, and hiding the true melted cheese magnitude. Indeed, there was a lot of cheese but most of it near the bottom and some even stuck to the plate (it appears the Gospel of John Harvard’s is spreading!)
  • Price: (8.5) What is it with restaurants not having a website? Our blueberry beer-addled brains have failed us.  They are only listed without chili, at $7. We’re guestimating on this one.
  • Total: 33.5/40.  While they have moved down out of medal contention, we’ll still think of these as winners any day.  In an era where restaurants seem to be cheapening and dumbing down their nachos, Harry’s has upped their game with bold, original ingredients.  Hurray!

Game On!: In It To Win It

4 Aug

First and foremost, we owe Game On! a big apology. We’d spent two years CONVINCED we’d reviewed their nachos. To us, the Fenway bars are a bit of a blur, and with woeful humility we admit to confusing the bounty of Game On! nachos with the plebeian bore-fest at Cask & Flagon. Oh, Game On! we throw ourselves on your mercy and proudly announce your candidacy for the best nachos in Fenway (not that there’s much viable competition in that category).

  • Appearance: (8) As she delicately placed these upon the table, our waitress warned, “I have never seen them put so much chili on something.” We can agree!  Along with the ooey-gooey cheese and perked-up ears of guacamole, these appeared to be quite an exceptional nacho.
  • Distribution of toppings: (9) The tidal wave of chili roaring across the quiet countryside of these nachos burst through the levees of cheese and chips to soak through to the very foundations. We were just about ready to call for FEMA to step in and declare it a state of nacho emergency. While we’re not sure if such a deluge is common practice at Game On! (they may have received reports that we’d be dropping by), the proportions were about right and there was plenty of topping to go around.
  • Quality of toppings: (8.25) Once again we find a sweeter chili, with a distinct note of teriyaki.  Though it’s not our favorite, we enjoyed it and the kidney beans. For the most part, the ingredients were fairly standard–nothing stood out as especially delicious and the guac could have used a bit more seasoning. Here’s a lesson.
  • Price: (7.25) We were extremely skeptical of these nachos: an extra $3 for guacamole making these top out at $15?  Unheard of!  But when it came down to it, there were far more worth their high price than we could have ever imagined.  Four of us gave it the ol’ college try and still failed to finish them.
  • Overall: 32.5/40.  FINALLY, great nachos in Fenway!  Game On!, you were worth the wait.

Game On!, tonight you surprised us, and after 100+ reviews, that’s hard to do. What with our multiple traumatic experiences with Beer Works nachos, the blandness of Fenway Cantina and Cask & Flagon, and the predictable nightmare of Fenway Park, we thought the Fenway area was a wasteland. Nevertheless, you delivered the goods and while we’d love to see the price come down from its low-earth orbit, you finally gave us a place to recommend to our multitudinous following of drunk Red Sox fans.

Rudy’s Cafe: Where Everybody is Soon to Know Our Name

17 Jul

Nachoville is abuzz tonight with thrilling news and general celebration.  After much Craigslist trolling, an extended tour of Cambridge/Somerville, peeking into the bedrooms of strangers (why do so many people keep weapons in their bedrooms?) and dealing with the World’s Most Senile Realtor,  the new Nacho Patrol World Headquarters has officially been chosen.  In the mood for celebratory margaritas and intensive furniture discussions (too much wicker? not enough wicker?), we hit an old standby in our new neighborhood, Rudy’s Cafe.  Rudy’s is an adorable Somerville institution, full of fiesta-colored furniture, cozy dining nooks, and with not-insignificant margarita list.  It’s entirely possible that one of our members may have been conceived after a night of one too many Original Margaritas.  Putting that uncomfortable thought aside, we eagerly ordered their Super Nachos, with spicy chili.

  • Appearance: (6) Despite significant oozage, the lack of color variation left something to be desired.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (7) We loved the thick, crispy, perfectly-salted homemade chips, and could have easily just eaten a pile of them plain.  The chili was also good, but the salsa was a little overwhelming, and far too runny.  Melted cheese=excellent.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) It was hard to know where the salsa ended and the chili began, because the two were layered on top of each other (Rudy’s also offers these nachos with black beans instead of chili, which may cut down on this problem). Because there was so much runny salsa,  the bottom layer of chips quickly became sodden, though rarely inedibly so.  Upon seeing the hat of toppings on these nachos, we feared for many naked chips, but were pleasantly surprised to find a second layer of cheese in the middle.
  • Price: (7) $10 for a solid starter for three.  Still, we would have appreciated a little more varietal bang for our buck.
  • Overall: 27/40.  Nice nachos, but in the future we’re looking forward to trying other things on the menu!