Tag Archives: Jalapenos

Jalapenos: Our House South of the Border

21 Mar

Do you remember a scant 29 months ago when we questioned the strange allure of Our House West (in case you don’t, you can get nostalgic here and here)? That “den of vice, iniquity, and many a lost Tuesday night” kept us coming back week after week despite its many, often very apparent, flaws. Sure, the nachos weren’t that good, but they had board games and curly fries. It was like college, but sexier.

Reader, in recent months you may have noticed a painful cry rushing away from the dingy streets of Allston. Have you paused to listen to that sad moan hanging in the wind? Have you heard it whisper, “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuddddde…..I looooooovvvvveeee yooooooooouuuuu” and then vomit? Well, that’s just the ghosts of the recently deceased Our House West fleeing that immortalized basement to make room for the bright and beautifully whitewashed Jalepenos. Ditching our mourning shrouds and bolstering our spirits with thoughts of Mexican food, we headed back down that well trod road to Our House–I mean Jalapenos.

  • Appearance: (6) Segregation was ruled unconstitutional years ago, but Jalapenos missed that.  One half entirely cheese and veggies, the other split between pico and a torrent of jalapeno peppers?  It didn’t make a lot of sense to us. Also, the cheese sauce had a very suspiciously too-orange color…
  • Quality of Ingredients: (7) The homemade chips here are good, and while the salsa is more like pico de gallo, it was fresh and bright tasting.  The veggies were large, well-seasoned chunks of roasted zucchini, summer squash and eggplant.  The cheese sauce was…cheese sauce.  We had been hoping for something along the lines of Border’s queso dip, but this unfortunately had more in common with Velveeta.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (6) Does anyone really need that many jalapenos? Really?  We scraped them off and they filled a whole appetizer plate.  The cheese sauce got so cold that it formed a skin and didn’t properly coat the chips.
  • Price: (7) We’re pretty sure these were in the $10 range–so average, it’s not worth discussing.
  • Overall: (26/40) Jalepenos may have upgraded the decor, but sadly not the nachos. Tying with the Our House West re-review, we’re unsure why the cheese sauce on the nachos was different from the queso dip on the menu and why they found it necessary to douse the whole plate in jalepenos. Was it an edible homage to their name???? Genius!

Saying goodbye to Our House West was hard, but it’s nice to see the space growing up with us. And no matter what, we still have our memories–or rather, hazy drunken recollections of questionable decisions gone by.

Muy Caliente: Watch! Lounge at Albuquerque Airport

15 Aug

Go to Santa Fe! There is simplistic beauty in their art, their culture, their history, and the mass local faux-pas of referring to things having “authentic Indian” influence. Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to the local cuisine, which is all proudly Mexican.

This includes the nearest international airport, Albuquerque, a modest 65 miles south. While sadly waiting alone in a sea of airport kiosks hocking “Indian” crafts, a traveler may drop into Watch! Lounge in terminal B. Not flying out of terminal B? Don’t worry, all four Albuquerque terminals meet at the same security checkpoint and are only about 10 gates long.

  • Appearance: (8.5) Bright red roasted tomatoes, banana-bright yellow cheese, and a hearty layer of deep green roasted jalapenos. The auxiliary condiments are in an anxious row of crucibles on a separate tray. Beautiful.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (9) When a chef goes to the trouble of making fresh salsa with a dash of cilantro, roasting the tomatoes and peppers, applying a separate spice to the juicy chicken, and leaving trace chunks of avocado in the guac for the diner’s pleasure, you know you’ve found someone serious about nachos. My only minor grumbling was that the guac could have used a little more saltiness.
  • Distribution of toppings: (6) Ooof! I hate to dole this out (especially since I couldn’t technically finish the first layer), but those brazen enough to get past layer one will encounter the true desert of New Mexico: dry tortilla chips. (*Horrified scream!*) However, if you count the salsas and guacamole served separate from the chips themselves, this was a full-coverage deal.
  • Price: (9) At $7.99 for airport nachos that could easily have satisfied the whole NP crew, these nachos are a delectable bargain.
  • Total: 32.5/40. It should be noted that I also ordered a mediocre (not terrible) margarita with these culinary triangles of delight, and the nachos actually distracted me from my beverage. It turned out to be complimentary, though, as my mouth was so scorched from the jalapenos that I had to drown my tastebuds in Mexican nectar before exiting the bar. Score one for the South West!

McGreevy’s: The Official Boylston Epic (Part 3); or, McGriefy’s

27 May

When the going gets tough, the tough get drinkin’.  And when Nacho Patrol goes drinking, they also tend to eat nachos. We probably will do neither of those things at McGreevy’s again anytime soon.

McGreevy'sFor the most part, each of the Hynes area bars having some distinguishing quality: Pour House has amazing nachos, Whiskey’s has good taps if you’re not a beer snob, Bukowski’s takes care of you if you are. McGreevy’s, sadly, doesn’t have a lot going on. Save for their $30 burger, their food is generally sub par, the music is too loud, everything is rather sticky, the bartenders won’t ever put the ballgame on you want to watch, the service is awful, and the taps are limited to the stereotypical Boston Irish pub selection (Bud, Bud Light, Stella, Guinness, Bass, Sam Summer, Harpoon I.P.A, and Smithwicks). Of course, that would never stop Nacho Patrol.

  • Appearance: (6) colorful, but very small. We will get to that later. The variety of peppers on top was a pretty touch, though in the end a little gastronomically unnecessary. Bright cheese was contrasted by blisteringly white chicken. On the whole, quite nice looking. The little to-go cups of salsa and sour cream were, like the peppers, a bit distracting and just about the strangest distribution choice ever. Sure, we’ve had salsa and sour cream on the side, but it’s hard to describe exactly how lazy serving something in plastic cups at a sit down restaurant actually is. We’ve never done this before, but they get -3 points for unclassiness.
  • Quality of Ingredients: ( 8 ) On the whole, everything was better than expected.  The chips were thicker than usual, and the cheese was a delicious mixture of cheddar and jack.  Grilled chicken can tend to be dry, but this was charred just enough and quite moist. Both pickled and fresh jalapenos (in a melee of colors) added a welcome touch of spice, and we were also impressed by the addition of black olives and green onions.
  • Distribution of Toppings: ( 8 ) Again, not too many complaints here. Very few naked chips, enough cheese to provide proper moisture, many a chunk of chicken. Perhaps a few too many peppers, though, as we were left at the end with plate full of colorful jalapenos.
  • Price: (6) When going out in this area, we don’t really expect to get good deals. These nachos were no exception. For $8 we expect something much larger. Furthermore, a couple of chunks of chicken should never cost $2. Seriously.
  • Overall: 28/40

Nacho Patrol sincerely wishes that the bars in this area would take a few cues from Pour House, which every day proves to be leaps and bounds above its neighbors. Not only are the Pour House nachos almost Homeric in quality and size, but you can get a massive glass tankard of P.B.R. for like $4. And unlike McGreevy’s, they somehow make it all classy. Sure, Pour House isn’t a place you’d want to take mom and dad, but at least they have a friggin’ understanding of atmosphere.

Well, at least none of us got hit on by dudes with pocket squares this particular trip to McGreevy’s. .7 extra points! 28.7/40Skyer@McGreevy's