Tag Archives: Margaritas

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.

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!

Tremont 647: Terrifically Tantalizing $2 Taco Tuesday

15 Jul

Tremont 647 has always been one of our favorite restaurants in the South End, and we have frequently mourned their general lack of nachos.  It’s not surprising that the neighborhood is a little barren of our favorite food, but then again, the upscale joints in the area are not the type where one would expect to find nachos.  But we had always nursed a little hope because Tremont 647, with it’s hip-but-not-too-hip atmosphere, somewhat focus on Mexican flavors, and general lack of pretentiousness, seemed like just the type of place that might surprise us.  And it did!  On a recent $2 Taco Tuesday, we were thrilled to find these on the menu: “Ymar’s Famous Turkey Nachos” with three cheeses, beans, pickled jalapenos and guacamole.

  • Appearance: (9) To paraphrase the loud regulars at the bar, “FAAAAAAAAHHHHBULOUS!”
  • Quality of Ingredients: (9) Within a few bites we could tell that every single ingredient on these was homemade, which is a rare experience. The chips were thin, crisp and salty, and the guacamole delicious.  The turkey chili spoke assertively of its main ingredient, which gave it a distinctiveness in an arena where such is rare.  The cheese sauce was the only questionable ingredient: while it added a welcome lightness to these nachos, it was not extremely cheesy and had a bit of a gritty texture.  Because there was no mention of it in the description, we assumed that the white dollop on top was sour cream, so imagine our delight when it turned out to be a spicy yet refreshing chipotle-lime cream!  This was one of the highlights of these nachos, evidencing that this restaurant goes out of its way not to cut corners.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (8.5) We soon resorted to forks because the chips, especially in the center and bottom of the dish, were so drenched in toppings.  The cheese sauce, per its nature, aided in the distribution.  Despite this barrage of succulence, the chips stayed moderately crisp to the last.
  • Price: (8) Not bad at $10, which is even better when offset by the delicious $2 tacos we had for the main course.
  • Overall: 34.5.  Not only your best bet for nachos in the South End, one of the best nachos in Boston.

Take heed though, these are only available on the special Tuesday menu. So next week, fight through the crowd, elbow out some space at the bar, order yourself up a specialty margarita (we recommend the strawberry-rhubarb!) and get friendly with these nachos.  Ymaris Matias, the “Chief Executive Officer of Tacos” according to menu, has got a definite handle on the nacho division as well.