Tag Archives: Somerville

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.

RF O’Sullivan’s: The Little Pub That Could…And Couldn’t

26 Sep

One of the drawbacks of running a blog that reviews nachos across Boston and around the globe is that, well, you have to eat nachos.  All the time.  No matter how famously outstanding the house specialty may be, if we see nachos on the menu, we feel compelled, nay, mandated to order them.  And as we learned very early on in our journey, it is unwise and often impossible to eat a main course after nachos.  So we are a bit remorseful about our first trip to RF O’Sullivans & Sons, because from our kitchen-side perch at the bar we could see all sorts of delicious burgers being fried up on the grill…while another cook microwaved a bowl of chili and poured it over tortilla chips from a bag to prepare nachos for someone else.  As we pored over the extensive, inventive burger menu, the words of Albus Dumbledore rang through our heads: “Soon, we will all have to make a choice between what is right, and what is easy.” And this time, we did what was right– we ordered the nachos and gave up any burger dreams, at least for that night.

  • Appearance: (5) Not exactly grim, but we knew that we weren’t in for the most varied nacho plate.  The only color variation came from the salsa and jalapenos in plastic cups on the side.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (6) The round chips were very salty.  The chili and cheese were decent; the salsa, from a jar. And…that’s about all.
  • Distribution of Toppings:  (5) We quickly condensed our thoughts about the distribution into this: too much of not enough going on.  That is, these were smothered in chili and cheese, but to a cloying point: chips were buried and sodden, and we would have loved to see a more open, lofty distribution, with more variety. The round chips were partly to blame for the packed nature of these nachos.
  • Price: (7) At approximately $9, these were…standard.  Though we didn’t get to try them, we will venture that your money is much better spent on a burger.
  • Overall: 23/40.  It feels, as of late, that we have moved from hunting down the best nachos in Boston to curating a list of restaurants to avoid/at least avoid the nachos.  At times, this can be wearying.  But then we come across a place like this; while the nachos may not be great, they are what brought us in the door, and introduced us to a lovely, friendly gem of a place and a lovely, friendly gem of a bartender whose in-depth knowledge of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s filmography helped us to clinch 3rd place in Stump Trivia and a free order of cheese fries. We don’t regret the nachos, or begrudge them their mediocrity– all’s well that ends well!

Tavern in the Square Porter: Family Feud

3 Sep

As the mercury rose into the mid-90’s, Tavern in the Square seemed like an excellent place to gratuitously mooch AC…and to engage in our first patrol in our new ‘hood.  But quickly after settling in, our safe haven revealed a more sinister side.  The menu seemed….suspiciously familiar.  Flipping to the back, we realized that the Tavern in the Squares are related to both Joshua Tree and CitySide, which, to put it nicely, are not exactly two of our favorite places.  Despite assurances that the Taverns are a little more upscale, the description of Tavern’s buffalo chicken nachos was IDENTICAL to those found at CitySide– a 7/40 monstrosity that is to date, the worst-rated plate of nachos we have ever tasted.  To say the least, we were skeptical…

  • Appearance: (6) We immediately questioned the structural integrity.  Why piled so high? Why not a bigger plate?  Why so much sour cream? And why the lettuce?? So many question marks, and not enough exclamation points.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (7)Nothing particularly stood out, other than the chips, which were dense, crispy and salty.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (6) We’ve finally found a use for the dreaded shredded lettuce: it makes a barrier against the even more dreaded sour cream hat, and allow for easier removal of the offending condiment!  In other news, there was a lot of cheese but the the tall, packed mass of chips made it near impossible for it to get everywhere.  The chili was on top, making it hard to grab chips without taking them from the bottom and risking collapse, reminding us once again of Jenga!
  • Price: (7)Expectedly overpriced at $12, but still too big for us to finish.
  • Overall: 26/40.  Yet another average nacho.  You may be better off trying some of their more interesting apps.

Dear Tavern in the Square/Joshua Tree/CitySide’s parents: We are seriously disappointed with your offspring.  They are no longer invited over to play.