Tag Archives: processed cheese

Orleans: Idaho Nachos; or White Trash-os, Part Deux

9 Apr

We should have know what we were getting ourselves into when our waiter at Orleans (Davis Square) actually cautioned us that the Idaho Nachos came with an American cheese spread rather than traditional queso sauce. Usually we only expect puffer fish to come with a disclaimer, but apparently Orleans thinks these nachos are just as deadly. Probably because they have the nutritional information.

Awhile back, we invented the life-shortening sodium spree known as The White Trash-os. Using Fritos, hot dogs, pork & beans, and jarred queso sauce, we assassinated our arteries while bringing back those oh-so-pleasant memories of family trips to the Ozarks. Orleans’ “Idaho Nachos” might be the slightly higher class version of those (and we really mean only slightly): potato chips, soaked with “an American cheese spread,” and drizzled with bacon bits, tomatoes, and green onions.

  • Appearance: (8) Low-end never looked so haute cuisine!  Beautifully plated in a large bowl with colorful confetti of garnishes, these caught us off guard with their loveliness.
  • Quality of toppings: (3.5) We can’t legally give a score over 4 for any dish that has “an American cheese spread,” though since we were expecting it, the whole experience seemed marginally better. While we kind of like the understated quality of the sauce, it wasn’t strong enough to be the main feature of the dish and we really needed some other element to pump up the flavors and give us an experience other than salty. The bacon added a kick–a nice kick of carbon, as it was completely overcooked. All of that processed goodness left us fighting for the spare tomatoes and green onions on the plate. The real problem here, however, was the chips which were initially stale tasting and toward the end soggy and greasy. Not a good progression!
  • Distribution of toppings: (6) Cheese sauce has notoriously good distribution, starting out on the top layer and slowly soaking its way to the bottom to fully coat everything. But even that couldn’t help the sad lack of toppings or central focus.
  • Price: (9) Ah, Somerville…Leave the Boston/Cambridge area, and suddenly, a plate of nachos costs $8. What a cheesy, greasy steal!
  • Overall: 26.5/40

We appreciate a restaurant that will take a risk on a specialty nacho, but we probably won’t order these again. Idaho Nachos or Irish Nachos are a great idea, but this particular plate just wasn’t inspired. Give us one more strong ingredient that compliments the cheese sauce rather than puts it front-and-center, and we’ll talk again.

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Hurricane O’Reilly’s: Naturally, a Disaster

4 Dec

Save for The Fours and their delicious buffalo chicken nachos, the bars of the North Station area remain an unknown quantity to us. Perhaps it’s because we know exactly what to expect from them: crowds of Bruin and Celtic jersey-sporting bros in varying states of intoxication, out-of-towners who don’t know any better, average draft lists, and mediocre, overpriced food.  Before attending a recent Celtics game, we put our theory to the test and went right for the heart of Bro-Town: Hurricane O’Reilly’s.  The crown jewel in the strand of mass-produced Mardis Gras beads that is the Glynn Hospitality Group, Hurricane O’Reilly’s is the kind of place that’s sort of comforting in it’s timeless, generic blandness (and indeed, at least the website is in a time warp: it refers to TD Garden as the Fleet Center and has a completely obsolete menu).  Surprised to find the place rather empty for right before a game and 3(!) types of nachos on the menu, we forewent the plain (boring!) and buffalo chicken (too many bad memories) versions and ordered the Nachos Grande, which came with chili and BBQ pork.

  • Appearance: (4) For nachos “grande”, these certainly did not live up to the size of their name.  All of the colors seemed faded, and the salsa and sour cream were in plastic takeout containers.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5.5) The chili was watery, and some of the chips were a little stale.  The large chunks of BBQ pork were OK, but would never have been tasty enough to carry a pulled pork sandwich on their own.  The red onions were intended to be pickled (which would have been a lovely touch) but still had too much of a bite to eat on their own.  And the cheese, while it was not quite the dreaded American cheese, came very close (we dubbed it “Guam cheese”).
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) There was decent distribution, and even some cheese padding on the plate.  The watery chili made things soggy and sort of disappeared into the other ingredients; we wouldn’t have known it was there if it hadn’t been on the menu.
  • Price: (4) On the Sunset scale of size-to-price ratio, these barely registered.  But hey, it’s downtown…
  • Overall: 20.5/40.  We debated heading over to The Fours after the game to wash away these bad nacho memories with some good ones.  You would be wise to do the same, or just head there in the first place.

White Trash-os: A Nachopatrol Original

5 Sep

How low can Nacho Patrol go? If we’re talking limbo, then not all that low (unless we’ve stretched beforehand).  But when it comes to nachos, there are no depths we would not plumb.  Freshness be damned– today, we’re aiming for nachos laden with enough preservatives to let them outlast next millennium. Hence, our trashiest NP Original to date.

Ingredients: One bag of Fritos (large scoops make for the best nacho experience), a pack of hotdogs, a can of pork and beans, and queso cheese sauce.  We had originally planned on using pork rinds as chips to up the pork percentage but found them woefully unavailable in area grocery stores.  Maybe next time, if there is a next time….

Heating makes up the majority of the prep work– if necessary, you might be able to cram everything in the microwave at once.  We grilled and sliced the dogs, nuked the cheese sauce, and heated the beans on the stove, and combined them into two layers on top of the chips, producing this warm-toned beauty:

While eating these we pondered, “Is there anything a Frito cannot scoop?” Indeed, the dense, crunchy chips held up famously to ingredients that would have left sodden any other delivery vehicle.  The texture of the topping was a little too uniform– slicing the hot dogs and then toasting them would have added some welcome crunch. Overall, the flavors mixed well but the cheese sauce…well, we just don’t really like cheese sauce, and the Taco Bell brand that we picked up left much to be desired.  We wanted to keep eating these but our right brains stopped us before we started to consider picking up a rack of Budweiser and heading out to the monster truck rally.  White Trashos: a success, but not likely to be repeated….unless we track down some pork rinds.