You know what Boston needs more of? Establishments where ordering your beer in a comically large novelty glass is a viable option. So when the Yard House (henceforth to be read as “Yaaaaahhd House”) arrived in Fenway, we were jazzed. The world’s largest menu? Check. Full two pages of beers? Double check. And the ability to order beers by distance instead of volume? Sign us up! Adding to the excitement, the night that we attended was “Harpoon Rare Beer Night”, allowing us to sample all sorts of magical concoctions that we hope will soon make it to bars on a regular basis (Bacon Bock, anyone?). To pad our beer we ordered the Yard House chicken nachos, with spicy pinto beans, cheddar, jack, red & green sauce, tomato, cilantro, onions, guacamole and sour cream.
- Appearance: (8) First off, what is it with chain restaurants and flat nachos? See Pizzeria Uno. Very pretty, with lots of nice colors. We were a little perplexed by the ~3 blue corn chips that we saw on the plate– were those intentional or did they sneak in from somewhere else in the kitchen? And, #thingswenormallyaskduringlobsternight, what is that green stuff?
- Quality of Ingredients: (8) The green stuff turned out to be green chile sauce, which was quite tasty and something we haven’t seen on nachos in a while. We greatly enjoyed the pinto beans, and found the chunks of chicken to be rather well seasoned and not too dry. While it tasted OK, the guac was definitely not homemade.
- Distribution of Toppings: (7) Flat nachos have their benefits, including a generally equitable distribution of toppings. These were no exception, and the full coverage was also aided by the viscous chile sauces and saucy pinto beans. However, these nachos deteriorated quickly upon reaching the table. You know how on some lucky occasions the nachos arrive at your table with sizzling and boiling cheese? This was not one of those times. The cheese was on its way to congealing when we got them and continued on that path. The chips on the bottom, and those exposed to a lot of chile sauce, turned quite floppy. Perhaps Yard House should look into the Vito’s Tavern black bean scaffolding approach to distribution?
- Price: (7) $11 and easily demolished by two as a reasonable dinner.
- Overall: 30/40. Another solid addition to the Fenway nacho roster. We would highly recommend a visit, if not for the nachos, to gawk at the massive menu and epic beer list.
Just when we think we have the Fenway area covered, a new nacho destination pops up like in a delicious version of Whack-A-Mole. One day, Fenway– one day, we will conquer you! We had been saving Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill for our final review but the nacho description at our intended destination The Baseball Tavern looked so repulsive that we turned tail and fled. On to Jerry’s, where the TVs are big and the portions supposedly even bigger.
- Appearance: (9.2) Oh, Jerry! Lots of colors, guac on one side, sour cream on the other, and a big ol’ vat of deep red salsa. It was hard to wait long enough for a photo!
- Quality of Ingredients: (8) For coming from a bar named after a local sports personality, these nachos were surprisingly humble. From their description we expected standard bar nacho toppings but were greatly impressed with some surprisingly interesting ingredients. The chili was delicious, with sizable chunks of juicy pork (or maybe beef?), and the thickly pureed salsa had a wonderfully spicy chipotle flavor. As we gazed across the street at Fenway Cantina, fond memories of Guacaholics Anonymous arose, and while the guac on these nachos was no contest winner, it was certainly tasty.
- Distribution of Toppings: (9) Chili and tons of cheese were (almost) everywhere, leaving just enough naked chips to sample the delectable salsa.
- Price: (7) At $13 with chili, and finished by two, these are a little high for Boston but not too out of place for Fenway.
- Overall: 33.2. Just when we thought it couldn’t be done…Game On! has some competition for the best ‘chos in Fenway!
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.