Tag Archives: Tex Mex

Lone Star Taco Bar: When You Wish Upon A Nacho, pt. II: Dreams Really Do Come True Edition

11 Mar

Once upon a time, in a haze of beer and a few too many truffled gorgonzola fries, we waxed slightly poetic about our love for Deep Ellum, and our torrid fantasies about just how good their nachos might be.  And now, it seems our dreams have (somewhat) come true, as Deep Ellum has recently expanded and opened up the Lone Star Taco Barright next door, complete with nachos on the menu. Have our dreams come true??
Lone Star is indeed the South-of-the-Border sister of Deep Ellum, complete with the exceedingly dim lighting, delicious cocktails, and a bovine head on the wall (though stuffed, not skeletal). The “Victory Club Nachos” came with little descriptive text, but considering that they were $5, we waited in nervous anticipation for them to arrive. Would they live up to our fantasies, or would they be little more than cheese over chips? And then, at long last, they arrived:Image

  • Appearance: (4) Excuse me, waiter? There must be some mistake, you’ve brought me a salad!
  • Quality of Ingredients: (9) Upon closer investigation, the vegetable on top was not lettuce but sliced Napa cabbage, which was…better than expected.  With the Cotija cheese on top and some crema sauce underneath, it was almost edible on its own as a salad.  Underneath, we appreciated the thick housemade chips and pickled jalapenos. There were a few small dabs of guacamole, but we found them to be slightly funky and overripe tasting.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7.5) There was a fair amount of cheese and the sour cream sauce added to the distribution, but the lid of cabbage cooled the cheese unusually fast, leaving it in thick slabs.  Still, just about every chip has something tasty on it.
  • Price: (10) For $5 these were an exceptionally filling snack for two.
  • Overall: 30.5/40.  If you make a trip to Lone Star, these nachos are definitely worth your time, cash, and stomach space.  Sometimes dreams really do come true…

Mija Cantina: Not Worth Their Salt

13 Jun

The Boston Nacho News Network (BNNN) is all atwitter today with the news that Jalepenos is closing (the curse of Our House West rears its ugly head…). But with its passing comes another crappy Mexican restaurant–this time in the doldrums of Quincy Market. On first glance, Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar  seemed to be a lovely oasis with a design concept best described by our friend Zach as “pro-tourist salvage-yard neo-mexigoth.” We would have been wise, however, to heed the advice of the many Yelp reviewers who cautioned us to keep clear.

According to our server, Mija opened two weeks ago, but if we didn’t know better, we would assume someone had hauled in a wait staff off the street, forgot to train them, and then opened doors three months early. We didn’t even know where to begin in describing the problems with the service, so we condensed it down into a list:

  • Upon arriving, a nervous looking hostess told us it would be an hour wait for a table of seven. This was Wednesday early evening, and once we pointed to a whole slew of empty tables and told her we would just sit separately, she told us they could push two tables together.
  • While waiting for our table, we noticed numerous waitresses demonstrate an absolute inability to hold a tray.
  • Our waitress could only find one drink menu, and then brought out the wrong beer three times. We asked for a Long Trail IPA–first they served us Bud Light. Twice they brought out Harpoon IPA. We gave up after that.
  • It took five bartenders 22 minutes to serve us two margaritas so bad that we had to send them back.
  • In deference to our vegetarian table-mate, we asked for carnitas to be served on the side of our ‘chos. When the runner put the plate on the table, we saw a distinct pile of meat. Asking him if these had “carnitas on the side,” he quickly said yes and left before we could argue. We would have been grumpy about this until we noticed that the beans had meat built in. Which brings us to the issue of the nachos…
Based on the description on the menu, these nachos had promise: tortilla chips, charro beans (pinto beans with bacon and chorizo) , Monterey jack cheese, chile con queso, pico, crema, guacamole, and carnitas.
  • Appearance: (7.5) Attractive, with an artful drizzle of crema.  Points off for the “on the side” carnitas…
  • Quality: (7) We enjoyed the carnitas and beans; however, the chips were both unevenly cooked and unevenly salted, so much so that there were bites that left us choking and teary-eyed with sodium overdose (and Nacho Patrol LOVES their salt).  The guacamole and salsa were nothing special.
  • Distribution: (7.3) There were a lot of toppings, but overall the dish was heavy, rather than complementary. The unevenly cooked chips only added to the problem as some became incredibly soggy under the weight of all the toppings.
  • Price: (3) The management might think that $13 nachos (and $11 margaritas) are appropriate for the space and location, but we say they simply aren’t worth the trouble of dealing with this establishment.
  • Overall: 24.8/40.  These nachos aren’t bad, but please, don’t go.  This place hasn’t yet earned the right to be in business and we don’t want to encourage them!
We were lucky to share this meal with a small army of food industry professionals, and as they pointed out, a new restaurant needs a competent wait-staff to support it while it builds a reputation. Sadly, Mija’s under-qualified staff and overpriced menu handicapped what could have been a pleasant dining experience. We will be eagerly anticipating the next Mexican restaurant to sweep in on the Tex-Mex tides.

Happy Cinco de Drinko!

5 May

Happy Cinco de Mayo from everyone at Nachopatrol! After National Tortilla Chip Day, it’s our favorite holiday of the year! On our menu tonight: grilled chicken fajitas, nachos with homemade Qdoba queso sauce, and our signature margarita, “The Border” (no fewer than 2 shots of tequila, Sauza margarita mix, and a ranch salt rim).

Yes, ranch salt. Patent pending.

From all of us at Nachopatrol, we wish you and yours a crunch, cheesy, spicy, and hangover free holiday season!

– Love,

Andi, Skyler, Smashley, Shanti, Trevor, Angela, Harrison, and our Army of Guest Correspondents