Tag Archives: concessions

Vienna, Austria: The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Mediocrity

22 Aug

Do nachos and Vienna, Austria — or for that matter, any city in Europe — really make sense?  While visiting Vienna we came upon a wonderful outdoor film and food festival. The square in front of city hall was filled with every kind of food stall including Indonesian, Indian, Slovakian, Mexican, German, French, Australian, Cuban, Spanish, Italian, Iranian, and lots of beer and wine stalls.  The place was packed and a giant screen was in front of city hall for the evening film. The atmosphere was festive, and fun; the aromas were intoxicating.

The Mexican booth smelled wonderful and the line was long, so we went for it. Nachos with queso and guacamole. In the five minutes we waited no one else ordered this dish, but the burritos wafting past looked delish.

  • Appearance: Our nachos were a study in Austrian culture-  order trumps creativity.  The portion was euro- sized, filling a plate about 5×10″ with maybe four layers of chips.  There were no toppings but rather “sidings”.
  • Quality of Ingredients: Cheese seemed to be a combo of some white and orange cheese and tasted like Monterey Jack & cheddar.  The salsa was a study in mediocrity and seemed to have been pureed into submission- are chunks of fresh tomatoes too disorderly? On the whole, adequately forgettable.
  • Distribution of Toppings: The cheese was not on every layer but mostly on top, and seemed to have been melted under a broiler.  Refried beans, salsa and guacamole were neatly layered on the side for us to dip into with our chips. Overall, this worked very well.
  • Price: 5.9 euros, around $8. For Austria, about standard.

Given the other food at this booth, they really should be trying harder to make their nachos stand out.  Missing ingredients that would have made them “ausgezeignet”  were olives, peppers and a freshly-made salsa with fresh tomatoes. Austrians are masters of sausage and little pieces of a chorizo-types sausage would have really upped the ante!

Chomp-Cheering Like a Champ: A Patroller’s Guide to Multi-Tasking

25 May

Oh, Boston. We may not have the tallest buildings. We may not have the nicest weather. We may not have the lowest crime ratings or highest income per capita or, hell, even the best nachos. But it cannot be contested that Boston has the best sports scene in the country. Besides our teams across the board being phenomenal (except maybe the Revolution, but who watches soccer?), Boston fans cheer the loudest (Irish alcoholism pays off) all year ’round.

Particularly when it comes to playoffs, it’s crucial that a Patroller be prepared to chant and cheer without dropping her cheesy plunder. So, for your edification and amusement, here are some tips for hanging on to your nachos at TD Bank Garden:

1) Replace stomps with chomps. Example: “DE-FENCE!” *Stomp*Stomp* becomes “DE-FENCE!” *Chomp*Chomp*. Note that your cheering may get a little muddled–whoever thought up this chant did not provide a flexible time to swallow between cheers.

2) Combine your cheese and salsa into one of the two compartments. Not only is this much more convenient for dipping, but you also free up a spot for your beer!

3) Unless you’re looking for comical banana-peel moments, don’t drop the extra jalapenos on the ground in front of you. Trust us.

As for the nachos themselves, they’re about what you can expect from stadium fast-food. If you’re looking for culinary uniqueness with complex spices and mastermind cooking techniques, may we recommend the sausage cart?

  • Appearance: (3) It must have taken a lot of food coloring to get the “salsa” that red.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (3) The cheese sauce was surprisingly spicy! Besides that delightful goody, though, the chips were straight out of a bag, the salsa was flavorless, and the jalapenos were soggy.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (1) Distro-whaaa?
  • Price: (5) Not that they’re worth it, but at $6.50 they’re probably the cheapest nachos you’ll find downtown 😉
  • Overall: 10/40. Yes, the numbers add up to 12, but think of the sheer potential TD Bank Garden has to come up with creative ‘chos. The salsa is practically Gatorade anyway, can’t they at least make it green? Offer them in a box shaped like a basketball field with salsa and cheese dip where the hoops are? Give us some round chips with a basketball pattern etched on with pepper?!? ANYTHING? For lack of imagination, we’re penalizing TD Bank Garden 2 points.

This review in no way reflects upon the Celtics, who, after finishing off the Magic in Orlando in front of their demoralized fans, will undoubtedly sweep Phoenix (or possibly LA) to bring the Conference Championships title home to Boston for the 18th time. GO CELTICS!

J.J. Foley’s: Coyote Ugly Nachos

7 May


Edit: the good people of J.J. Foley’s have informed us that their cheese is actually melted on-site, and is not from a box. We apologize!

From Nacho Patrol World Headquarters, J.J. Foley’s–located in the South End–is a bit off the beaten path. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can get there on the Silver Line. Or you can do what we did and rent a Zip Car.

First of all, we have nothing against the South End. On the way we passed both The Bean Sprout Co. and Grey Bar (it’s not a bar…we checked). On both our entrance to and exit from J.J. Foley’s, we got hassled by drunks (keep in mind, this was a Sunday night), who pronounced “beer,” bee-ya and ended their flirtations with the ever popular, “Yeah, well, fuck you” (commas added). If you’re a girl in this part of town, we might recommend Doc Martens and a burka for your upcoming night out. But for Nacho Patrol, dodgy drunks and sketchy high schoolers be damned! We’re here for the nachos!

  • Appearance: ( 8 ) You know when you’re at a bar and you see some fly honey from behind and you’re like, “damn, that girl is a fly honey” and then she turns around and she has a mustache and no teeth, and you’re like, “damn, that girl’s got a mustache and no teeth.” Well, that’s kind of how the nachos at J.J. Foley’s made us feel. It’s like when you hook up with some totally hot guy and then the next morning you realize that he makes the elephant man look good. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But in any case, when these nachos came out, we were nearly beside ourselves with excitement. It only took us a moment to come to a horrifying realization: in lieu of cheese, they had concession stand queso dip. Dun Dun DUNNNNN! Minus the cheese, these nachos were quite beautiful. With three colorful mounds of sour cream, guac, and salsa and a smattering of beef chili, we were ready to dig in. The noxious queso, though, left us rather nonplussed.
  • Distribution of toppings: (7) let us take a moment to discourse on the use of round chips in nachos: though a chip is ultimately just a chip, we have noticed the tendency of round chips to nest in a way that almost guarantees the phenomenon known as the “naked chip.” The lack of corners encourages them to get a little too cozy for our comfort, inhibiting proper topping distribution. That brings us to the issue of queso cheese. Queso is a distribution god-send. Its viscosity allows for nearly full coverage, but toward the end, the whole mess might as well be soup. For awhile, this is fine, but as the plate empties, you can practically feel your arteries clogging. There was also a sad lack of chili–actually, calling it chili might be a little strong. It was a little more like a thin broth garnished with hunks of gorund beef, chunks of tomato, and a few kidney beans. I suppose if you’re into a slightly upscale concession stand nacho outside of the arena or stadium, these would be perfect for you.
  • Quality of toppings: (6) pre-melted cheese directly from a box, jarred salsa and largely flavorless chili. Quite lemony guac, but that’s not a bad thing!
  • Price: (7) $10, but $2 extra if you want to add chicken. It made a full meal for two people, but not the best deal in the world.
  • Overall: 28/40, the perfect snack after a night of hard Irish-style liquoring, J.J. Foley’s provides drunk-munchy-connoisseurs with a sloppy melee suitable primarily when wearing nacho beer goggles. Sure, you may regret it when you wake up in the morning, but at least they probably won’t make you chew off your arm.