Tag Archives: trivia

Clarke’s (Faneuil Hall): Come For The Ladies Room, Stay For The Nachos

18 Jun

Nothing tastes better after a crushing bar trivia defeat than a steaming plate of nachos. This week, we’re stuffing our faces at Clarke’s in Faneuil Hall.

Before we begin the review, we need to make a brief statement regarding the Clarke’s Boston website. Presenting possibly the most awkward and/or brilliant marketing move we’ve seen in awhile, the website proudly proclaims itself “the” bar in Boston to meet people. And how does a  Faneuil Hall bar achieve a favorable balance between the genders? By proclaiming via prominent website banner they have the largest and cleanest ladies rooms in Boston! Clarke’s, you have our attention…We did a hasty Google search and discovered that no one has formally reviewed this statement, so you’ve read it here first:

According to one Nacho Patroller, the ladies room wasn’t anything to write home about, though the stalls were large enough that you didn’t have crawl over the toilet to close the door (ladies, you know what we mean). One of our guest patrollers also commented that the bathrooms appeared clean, but thanks to the dark colored tile, could be secretly filthy. We would post a picture, but we didn’t want to be “those girls” taking photos in the ladies room. So, we suppose a guarded “well done” is deserved. But this isn’t Bathroom Patrol (add that to the list of blogs to write after we’ve eaten all the nachos in Boston). On to the ‘chos.

  • Appearance: (8) It was generally agreed at our table that these nachos were some variation of “b-e-a-utiful” or “ha-uuuuge.” While the presentation was on the sloppy side, the mouthwatering display of cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, jalepenos, fresh tomatoes and green onions, and multicolor chips left us ready to dig in.
  • Distribution: (9) At first glance, we thought distribution would be a problem. Typically when we see that much cheese atop a plate of nachos, it means that there won’t be much left in the under-layers. This was absolutely not a problem here: the cheese was layered all the way to the bottom, with just enough crispy chips left unsoaked to use for dipping. These nachos had both chicken and cheese. Our one complaint is that the scant quantity of chili was hidden in the middle, requiring a bit of excavation.
  • Quality: (6.1) Good flavors on the whole, but nothing to get us excited. The chicken was moist, but not especially flavorful. Chili was generic, but tasted homemade. Salsa was great!
  • Price: (7.1) We toyed with the idea of getting the $25 nacho platter, but we’re glad we stuck with the well portioned $12 plate. The smaller size was enough for an appetizer for four people. $10 would have been a more reasonable price, so we assume that extra $2 went to the Faneuil Hall Atmosphere Fund.
  • Overall: 30.2/40

A strong showing from a bar we all but discounted because it happened to be down the street from Hong Kong Faneuil Hall. Just when we’d all but written off Faneuil Hall…

Phoenix Landing: We Nix Returning

1 Mar

Leap Day, a once-every-four-years occasion, found us engaging in a once-in-a-lifetime-is-enough activity, nachos at the Phoenix Landing.  Given our previous limited experiences with this bar, all we knew going in was that 1) the drinks are strong and 2) around 1am the dance floor starts to feel like you’re in a sweaty washing machine.  So when we showed up for Geeks Who Drink trivia and saw these on the menu, we assumed…the nachos must be great, right?

  • Appearance: (6) Nothing too exciting going on here.  Fresh jalapenos were the only item to catch the eye.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (5) The chef surely didn’t tax himself much, beyond using a can opener. The chili bore a striking resemblance to taco beef, or, according to one reviewer, Manwich. While the chips were decidedly from a bag, they were thicker and saltier than your average Tostito. The one non-packaged item on the nachos was the diced tomato in the salsa…or so we think.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (5) Early on it was apparent that there would be distribution issues. Many of the underlying chips were broken, and there was not nearly enough cheese, nor was it evenly dispersed. Even the landslide of chili/Manwich was hard to get in one’s mouth due to the broken chips, and a lack of flatware due to our flustered waiter.
  • Price: (6) At $10, standard.
  • Overall: 22/40. Best leave the Phoenix Landing to what it does best– Guinness pints and Euro Football, and Midweek Techno.

The Living Room: In Which Our House West Grows Up And Gets A Job In Finance

3 May
Here are few very unsurprising facts about The Living Room (Waterfront-ish): first, they have couches, which are extremely difficult to wrangle if you show up during happy hour. Second, we’re pretty sure they serve modernized “comfort food,” because that’s what you want when you’re in a living room. Third, because it’s located somewhere in between the inaccessible North End and the awfully distant Aquarium T Stop, we will probably never go back. I tell you unsurprising facts because we actually have nothing all that exciting to say about our nacho experience. Sure, we dominated trivia (“Shirley Temple of Doom” FTW!) and the actual food is probably excellent, but if the nachos are subpar and it’s more than two trains away, it’s not worth our time. Shall we review?
  • Appearance: (7) A colorful splash of tomato on top, but fashion police need to ask: what is it wearing?  With a topper of sour crem so ludicrously large and ornate, these nachos would fit right in at a royal wedding.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (6) unless you like sour cream (please see “Distribution), the flavors on this plate were somewhere between less-than- and rather-average. The tomatoes were peppery and yummy, and complimented the jalepenos nicely (yes, we said something nice about jalapenos for a change). What little pork we had was moist and flavorful…the chicken? Not so much.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (3) naked chips were a problem, but tonight we need to focus on the racquetball of sour cream on top of these nachos. We had trouble actually coming up with a proper comparison for it. Golf ball was certainly too small, baseball slightly too big. Slightly…because it was a friggin’ cantaloupe of sour cream. Needless to say, we scooped it off. Our other main complaint: not enough meat. Some of us didn’t even have a piece of pork, and the chicken that we did have wasn’t very good. Our suggestion would be to eliminate the white meat (chicken) and double the other white meat (pork). Rumor has it they have hot cherry peppers, chopped avocado, and black beans. We found none of these things.
  • Price: (7) $11 for chips and sour cream? Not so much.
  • Overall: 23/40
Oh, how we wanted to love these nachos! Since the tragic passing of Our House West, we’ve longed to find another bar with couches, preferably one with a slightly more grown-up sensibility and decent nachos.  Alas, the search continues….