Tag Archives: Fantasy League

Places We Wish Had Nachos, Where We Actually Made Them Happen: Border Cafe

30 May

DSC03571If Nacho Patrol has a second home, it has to be around one of the giant tables of Border Cafe in Harvard Square. With the amount of money we have spent on their delicious margaritas we could pay off the national debt. The sheer quantity of chips and ranch sauce we’ve eaten could feed a large third world nation for five to eight years. Sure, the food won’t blow your mind, but the atmosphere and the friendly staff goes a long way in making this one of our go-to Boston area eateries.

That said, they don’t have nachos. A Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurant that doesn’t have nachos. What gives? We will answer that question at the end of this post, but in the mean time, we have fantasy nacho words:

Nacho Patrol had a bad weekend, to which there was only one panacea: drinking our way through Harvard Square and finally making our Border Cafe Fantasy Nachos (yes, occasionally we make our own). If you too are a creative nacho go-getter, you will need to order the following:

  • 1 order house made Guacamole
  • 1 Chili con Queso (with sour cream)
  • 1 Border Chili
  • 2 plates of Chips
  • 1 side Ranch Dressing
  • Extra Pico de Gallo
  • 1 large Plate
  • They may look at you strangely, but as long as you’ve had a least 2 margaritas (get them “gold”), you won’t care.

    The Making of Nacho Greatness

    The Making of Nacho Greatness

    The second step is combine at your discretion. If you follow Nacho Patrol’s varied adventures, you will know how stringent we are about proper distribution, and as such we recommend that you follow your heart when dressing your dish. We elected to use all of our toppings on one plate, and it was magical:

    • Appearance: ( 8 ) Creating an absolutely beautiful mess, Border’s impromptu nacho toppings present just about every color in the food rainbow. Red ripe tomatoes, subdued green guac, school bus yellow cheese sauce, and a spicy hued chili, accented by our much adored (and our nacho wild card addition) ranch sauce.
    • Quality of toppings: ( 8 ) As always, there is debate in the quality section. One Nacho Patroler (out of the 8 of us that undertook this effort) felt that the chips were somehow different than usual. Skyler, following her lifelong pursuit to rid the world of queso dip, argued that cheese sauce is just about never welcome on a nacho. Andi countered by pointing out that Border queso is just about the best you’re going to find. Our points of consensus: the guac was fabulous and the addition of ranch sauce added a unique kick.
    • Distribution of toppings: (9) We know how to distribute.
    • Price: (7) making your own nachos is always an expensive venture, and this attempt is no different. Coming out at just under $15 before tax, our Fantasy Nachos yield a meal size amount of food (and calories) for about half of us with some left over. Of course, with the amount of free chips we had on our table by the end, we probably all could have filled up.
    • Overall: 32/40

    It is our professional nachopinion that Border would do quite well to offer their loyal customers (namely, us) a more user friendly and a slightly less DIY nacho plate.  And, as most people are wont to do after a few gold margaritas, we decided to express this opinion to the management.  While our server Joshua had been very excited about our culinary creativity, the manager who came over was less than impressed.  As she explained it, Border only creates original Tex-Mex food, and they couldn’t think of a way to make original nachos.  In addition, with a number of restaurants like Sunset and Cambridge Common in the area making quality nachos, they didn’t want to fight for a spot in a glutted market.  We call shenanigans.  There is nothing original about any of the food at Border (because tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas are so original), and there is ALWAYS room for more nachos in the area.  We caught more than a hint of stonewalling in her response.  Get over yourself, Border.

    Apparently, Border’s large, prominent comment box is just for show; they clearly don’t really care what the people want.  Give us nachos, or give us death!!

    …on second thought, a Cuervo gold, rocks, no salt will suffice…

    Places we wish had nachos: Deep Ellum

    29 Apr

    Nacho Patrol likes places that serve nachos. However, Nacho Patrol also likes places that do not serve nachos, and wants to share them with the world. So today, we unveil a new feature: the fantasy nacho league. We take some of our favorite nacho-less haunts and try to imagine just how good their nachos could be, if they made them. The one rule: try to keep it within the general theme of the menu, incorporating some of the signature ingredients that make a place what it is. First up, Deep Ellum.

    A welcome respite from the bromaldehyde poisoning that can often befall one in Allston, Deep Ellum is dark, cozy, and reeks of beer-geekitude. With a collection of draft and bottles leaning heavily towards the extreme and/or belgian, it’s not our dream beer bar, but the cocktails are damn tasty as well. The menu manages to combine nouveau-American gastronomy and cheap, retro hipster irony into a small collection of dishes that provide something for just about everyone. Nacho Patrol fell in love with the first bite of the truffled gorgonzola fries and has been in the honeymoon phase ever since.

    The nachos: Given the dual nature of the rest of the menu, we would like to see two nacho options: basic classic, and a more gourmet twist. Deep Ellum already has chili on the menu, both on its own and over fries, so it’s a slam dunk to assume that it would grace the standard nachos as well. Since Deep Ellum is big into both interesting meats and cheeses as well as changing daily specials (The cheese and charcruterie plates rotate daily), we would like the second plate to rotate between a variety of more unconventional option. Chorizo and gouda? Raclette and prosciutto crudo? Sign us up!

    Pita chips in lieu of tortilla are usually a signal of at least an attempt at upper-crustness. So while we wouldn’t like to see them in the standard nacho, they could work very well in the rotating plate.

    We would expect the standard nachos to run $7-$8, and the specialty around $10. We wouldn’t mind paying extra for guacamole because we are pretty certain that Deep Ellum would make some downright delicious guac.

    The ranking: The standard nachos would likely place in the top seven, though we doubt that they would be able to crack into the top three. The rotating special, though, would likely consistently reach the top of our specialty nacho rankings.