Tag Archives: Porter Square

Newtowne Grille: But the Chips are From Oldtowne

31 May

We’ve lived less than three blocks from Newtowne Grille for nine months now, and since we’re not townies or college students, we’ve so far elected not to go in. We’re past the days that we need a $12 pitcher of beer and a $4 pizza…okay, that’s a big fat lie. But when Christopher’s is marginally closer and 1000% better, we just can’t be accountable for never going. Given the sorry state of the nachos, we might be completely justified.

  • Appearance: (5)  The photo here does this particular plate too much justice, but trust us, the tomatoes were wan and the cheese pre-congealed. The chili looked delicious, but god damnit there was lettuce! Cue a very passionate out-loud groan.
  • Quality: (2) We don’t even know where to begin. First of all, we liked the chili. The chunks of meat were ample and not of the ground-beef variety. The extent of our compliments need to end there, because the only other part of these nachos that didn’t make us cry was the lettuce (and black olives! -ed). That should tell you a lot about the quality. The chips were absolutely the stalest we have ever encountered.  Our Guest Correspondent Tim described them as cardboard, which is probably as apt a metaphor as we can give you to describe the stale, soft, and salty foundation of our chos. Normally when you bite into a chip you expect a bright crunching sound. When you bit in to these chips, it sounds a little bit like shattering safety glass. We wondered aloud, what happened to these?  Had someone accidentally left a bag of chips open since last summer and then tried to make nachos with them?? Louder groan!
  • Distribution: (5) The cheese was cold even before it got to our table, making it very hard for it properly coat the chips. The chili was ladled with a heavy hand but unfortunately, only on the very top of the chips, leaving many naked below.  This worked to our advantage as it was easier to spoon off and avoid the abominable chips, but that really doesn’t deserve extra points!
  • Price: (5.5) At $10, why not just pay a dollar more and go for the $11 pitcher-of-PBR-and-pizza deal, and save yourself the jaw-numbing, soul-crushing apocalypse that is these nachos?? Really.  Save yourself.
  • Overall: 17.5/40.

Here’s a question: how long do these nachos have to go un-ordered before Newtowne takes them off the menu? Three months? Six? We, say, however long as it takes.  People of the world, unite! Boycott this disaster!  Down with stale chips!  Viva la PBR and pizza instead!

Christopher’s: the mysterious case of the bar nacho and its slightly “special” cousin

12 Mar

3Though Nacho Patrol always tries to do its best, they admittedly will only go the distance when they have a car, but on this particularly warm March night they were especially fortunate: a car AND a willfully designated driver (thanks Vianney!) to ferry them to Christopher’s in Porter Square, Cambridge. Located conveniently on the Red Line, Christopher’s dimly lit, wood-paneled interior makes you feel like you’re in a cozy cave. Definitely cozy enough to get your calories on and enjoy one of their delicious “burgahs” and an ever-changing draft (which are good if you like your beer red and hoppy). But perhaps you also want to indulge in one of their five varieties of nachos, all available in half- and full-orders so you can mix and match. Nacho Patrol did just that, mixing it up with their Veggie Chili Nachos and their Yuppie Nachos. Note: we will review each plate separately, beginning with….

Veggie Chili Nachos (Right):

  • Appearance: (7) Per Nacho Patrol doctrine, we thought we’d go for the closest thing to “bar nachos” that Christopher’s had to offer. These bad boys weren’t beautiful, nor did they rival their specialty neighbor in terms of flavor. A globulous heap of homemade chips, off-colored chili, and yet another disturbing amount of sour cream, didn’t do much for the eye, but after waiting what felt like an eternity to get our food, we were ready to dig in.
  • Quality of toppings: ( 8 ) high quality cheeses that melted perfectly and decent chili.  The chips were delicious and homemade.
  • Distribution: (7) if Christopher’s does one nacho-related thing right, it is the sheer volume of cheese to chip. In fact, there is so much cheese that at some point in the cooking process, the individual pieces of cheese gain sentience just long enough to realize that there is no place for them on the already cheese-saturated chips and that the only course of action is to move onto the plate, where it thus congeals into an ooey-gooey unit. Yum!  Unfortunately, the chili was not so evenly spread.
  • Price: (6) Pretty spendy for being so small.
  • Overall: 28/40. A tasty little morsel when considered on their own, but compared to some of the more substantial bar nachos we have encountered, we’d reccomend that you stick with the burgahs.

Yuppie Nachos (Left): Note, part 2: as we do not consider these the typical “bar nacho” we will categorize them under specialty. Plan your consumption accordingly.

  • Appearance: ( 8 ) The sour cream, guacamole, and sundried tomatoes created the perfect nacho color trifecta.  Quite enticing!
  • Quality of toppings: ( 9 ) Amazing toppings. Who knew jack and cheddar cheese could be so good together? Nacho Patrol didn’t, but when you pair it with a metric ton of goat cheese, decent guac, and delicious sun-dried tomatoes you have an interesting and exciting nacho platter.  We found ourselves with a new appreciation for sundried tomatoes after devouring these…it may be hard to go back to regular fresh tomatoes.
  • Distribution: ( 8 ) Let’s be honest…a half order is pretty small, so distribution wasn’t a huge issue. Maybe there were a few chips completely drenched in goat cheese (and while Nacho Patrol loves us some goat cheese, we don’t like the feeling of our arteries clogging as we eat), but otherwise, Christopher’s gave us enough cheese and not one naked chip.
  • Price: (6) Yes, they were delicious, and yes, they had some interesting toppings, but $9 for a tiny plate definitely lightened our wallets a bit more than we normally like.
  • Overall: 31/40.  A delightful, mouthwatering detour from our usual routine.