Tag Archives: Overpriced Boston Foodstuffs

Centre Street Cafe: Jamaica Pain

22 Aug

Oh,  Jamaica Plain, lush city oasis, playground for puppies, ancestral home of fabulous ice cream and overpriced organic raw granola.  Do your wide-ranging borders contain a haven for nachos as well?  We’ve had moderate luck at James’ Gate but it only left us wanting more.  Next up, the Centre Street Cafe, a funky little joint on (you guessed it) Centre Street in the heart of JP’s downtown.  They’re famous for their brunch, eclectic dishes and generally fresh/local/organic ingredients.  Bodes well for the nachos, right?  Let’s discuss:

  • Appearance: (6) While colorful, the ingredients were perhaps a little too partitioned off.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5) “Stone-ground” tortilla chips tasted like…tortilla chips.  Tomato salsa was no where near as fresh as we had expected.  Guacamole was average.  Beans were from a can.  Sensing a pattern here?
  • Distribution of Toppings:  (6) There was a ton of cheese on these nachos, and it got everywhere.  Great, right?  Well, only if the cheese is melted enough to actually make it into your mouth, instead of sticking together in a glob on the plate when you extract a chip.  Having the beans and guacamole in sections made it difficult to get more than one topping on each chip.
  • Price: (3) At $12 WITHOUT any extra toppings (chicken or tofu would be an extra $2), these were a bit of a giant ripoff.
  • Overall: 20/40. It’s such a shame, with all the other interesting, delicious, moderately-priced items on the menu (we greatly enjoyed the polenta fries with chipotle ranch), that these nachos are such a mediocre, unimaginative mess.  Centre Street Cafe needs to either give them some serious love and attention or just take them off the menu already.

Cactus Club: The Official Boylston Epic (Part 4)

13 Jun

Looking for overpriced Mexican food? Weak margaritas? Bro-ish atmosphere? A stuffed buffalo that occasionally breathes smoke??? Are you in the Hynes Convention Center area or willing to commute to get there? If so, than Nacho Patrol has the place for you!

Cactus Club

Located (as is the pattern these days) on scenic Boylston St. just off Mass. Ave., The Cactus Club isn’t the only restaurant in the area that provides diners with the sensual taste experience of greasy Tex-Mex. Maybe we were just there on an off-day. After all, they are said to have the best margaritas in Boston. But when your “traditional margarita” with Cuervo sets you back $10.50 and your enchilada $10, you are more inclined to notice the poor quality of the food. On that upbeat note, let’s wax nacho:

  • Appearance: (9) For all the crap they do wrong, Cactus Club certainly has presentation down to a science. Despite a little char, these nachos were absolutely beautiful, as fresh and bright as a sunny day.
  • Quality of Ingredients: ( 7 ) how refreshing to get some black beans! It went a long way it battening down the chili powder hatches, which seemed to have blown open in some sort of Incident. It was literally a chili powder keg, reminiscent of some childhood mess your mother made in the crock pot. However, we did enjoy the pico (a little chili-ey itself) and the lemony guac.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) We suspect Cactus Club may have, at some point, hijacked Cabot Farms to fund the massive volume of cheese used on these nachos. The farmers weep and the cows’ udders are utterly tapped. At that same point, somewhere on the coast, three Nacho Patrollers simultaneously witness the glory of oh-so-much gooey cheese while attempting to chisel the clots out of their hearts. Luckily the excitement brought us back to life–it only took as a little digging to discover that the cheese was simply a ruse to disguise the plate of naked chips below. Sure, there was a lot, but in not layering it, the “cheese helmet” cooled and congealed quickly, making for an unpleasant and difficult nacho experience. Also, this could be nit-picky, but the wax paper underneath the nachos often proved to be problematic.
  • Price: (5) $12 for this particular plate, which we officially award the “Biggest Rip-Off Award” in Nachos. They do offer an $8 option, sans meat and guac. $8 for chips and cheese. A travesty!
  • Overall: (29/40)

Boylston, Boylston, Boylston…What shall these Nacho-Lovers do with you? After our overrated margaritas and wallet-cleaning nachos, we considered being sad. But then we remembered that Pour House is right next door…and there was much rejoicing.