Tag Archives: South End

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.

Anchovies: Vive Los Italia Nachos!

1 Mar

Anchovies, located precisely in between the good and bad parts of the South End, is like nothing you would expect from the neighborhood– cheap, dive-y, and with a mounted jackelope on the wall.  They serve Narragansett tallboys, won’t charge under $20 to your credit card, and don’t even have a website! In our book, all these things earn bonus points.  But even more to their favor, the menu full of Italian standards (chicken parm, fettucini alfredo) with the odd Greek salad and Cuban Sandwich boasts something we had never heard of before: Italian nachos.  Taking bastardized international food to a whole new level, these nachos consisted of corn chips with beef bolognese, ricotta, some sort of unnamed white cheese (American mozzarella?) and cherry peppers.

  • Appearance: (6) Through the dim lights of our booth, it was hard to fully grasp the beauty of these nachos. Bolognese sauce isn’t exactly the pique of culinary artistry, but we liked the varied reds and green provided by the banana peppers. Sadly, the chips were rather burnt…See that wing of darkness in the foreground of the picture? That’s pure carbon.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (7) The bolognese sauce was decent.  The ricotta was a nice touch, the Italian version of sour cream, but with a much more interesting texture and flavor.  The corn chips were not nearly strong enough to hold up the heavy bolognese sauce and ricotta, and became immediately soggy. We appreciate the pop added by the spicy cherry peppers
  • Distribution of Toppings: (6) When these first graced the table we wondered if they had forgotten the ricotta.  But then we looked deeper, into the eye of the island (ahem, nachos)  and found a heart of cheese (fun fact: “Heart of Cheese” is our favorite Neil Young B-side).  It was as if the whole plate was constructed around an initial glob of ricotta.  Not a traditional arrangement, and with good reason: we had to use forks to get any ricotta on the chips.  There was, however, a heartening (and by “heartening” we mean “heart-stopping”) amount of the other mystery cheese.  The bolognese is definitely a sturdy topping, perhaps too sturdy; it was too heavy for many of the chips.
  • Price: (7) At $11, these were a little overpriced for both the quality of ingredients and the rest of the menu.
  • Overall: 26/40 Perhaps we’re suckers for ingenuity, but it’s a rare day when a specialty nachos disappoint us. While the individual flavors were delightful, the plate as a whole lacked the structural integrity necessary to pull at our nacho heart strings. Nothing is more depressing than when you pile up a melee of ingredients onto your chip only to have it crumble, face down, back onto the table. In the future, we’d hope Anchovies moves up a weight grade and gets a sturdier chip (pita chips?). Cut down on the time spent in the oven by about five minutes, and maybe–just maybe–we’ll have a winning specialty nacho.

J.J. Foley’s: Coyote Ugly Nachos

7 May

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Edit: the good people of J.J. Foley’s have informed us that their cheese is actually melted on-site, and is not from a box. We apologize!

From Nacho Patrol World Headquarters, J.J. Foley’s–located in the South End–is a bit off the beaten path. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can get there on the Silver Line. Or you can do what we did and rent a Zip Car.

First of all, we have nothing against the South End. On the way we passed both The Bean Sprout Co. and Grey Bar (it’s not a bar…we checked). On both our entrance to and exit from J.J. Foley’s, we got hassled by drunks (keep in mind, this was a Sunday night), who pronounced “beer,” bee-ya and ended their flirtations with the ever popular, “Yeah, well, fuck you” (commas added). If you’re a girl in this part of town, we might recommend Doc Martens and a burka for your upcoming night out. But for Nacho Patrol, dodgy drunks and sketchy high schoolers be damned! We’re here for the nachos!

  • Appearance: ( 8 ) You know when you’re at a bar and you see some fly honey from behind and you’re like, “damn, that girl is a fly honey” and then she turns around and she has a mustache and no teeth, and you’re like, “damn, that girl’s got a mustache and no teeth.” Well, that’s kind of how the nachos at J.J. Foley’s made us feel. It’s like when you hook up with some totally hot guy and then the next morning you realize that he makes the elephant man look good. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But in any case, when these nachos came out, we were nearly beside ourselves with excitement. It only took us a moment to come to a horrifying realization: in lieu of cheese, they had concession stand queso dip. Dun Dun DUNNNNN! Minus the cheese, these nachos were quite beautiful. With three colorful mounds of sour cream, guac, and salsa and a smattering of beef chili, we were ready to dig in. The noxious queso, though, left us rather nonplussed.
  • Distribution of toppings: (7) let us take a moment to discourse on the use of round chips in nachos: though a chip is ultimately just a chip, we have noticed the tendency of round chips to nest in a way that almost guarantees the phenomenon known as the “naked chip.” The lack of corners encourages them to get a little too cozy for our comfort, inhibiting proper topping distribution. That brings us to the issue of queso cheese. Queso is a distribution god-send. Its viscosity allows for nearly full coverage, but toward the end, the whole mess might as well be soup. For awhile, this is fine, but as the plate empties, you can practically feel your arteries clogging. There was also a sad lack of chili–actually, calling it chili might be a little strong. It was a little more like a thin broth garnished with hunks of gorund beef, chunks of tomato, and a few kidney beans. I suppose if you’re into a slightly upscale concession stand nacho outside of the arena or stadium, these would be perfect for you.
  • Quality of toppings: (6) pre-melted cheese directly from a box, jarred salsa and largely flavorless chili. Quite lemony guac, but that’s not a bad thing!
  • Price: (7) $10, but $2 extra if you want to add chicken. It made a full meal for two people, but not the best deal in the world.
  • Overall: 28/40, the perfect snack after a night of hard Irish-style liquoring, J.J. Foley’s provides drunk-munchy-connoisseurs with a sloppy melee suitable primarily when wearing nacho beer goggles. Sure, you may regret it when you wake up in the morning, but at least they probably won’t make you chew off your arm.