Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Border Cafe

I feel like a bad blogger these days. School and work have seriously curtailed my free time (in a good way though!). But nonetheless, another Monday in Harvard, another spot for lunch.

Due to the simple fact that it is a chain, Border Cafe would not normally be a selection of mine. However, it is a small chain (6 restaurants in 3 states). Three locations are here in the Boston area. Last spring, Matt and I went with Jan and Howard to the one in Saugus. I remembered the food was good, but due to a torn contact lens and removal of the other due to a depth perception headache, I ate my meal in a sort of foggy haze. Oh yeah, and Jan and I had margaritas, so that helped too. And yet, in this haze, I still remembered the satisfactory experience of the meal.

Border Cafe in Cambridge is easy to find in Harvard, especially if you have 20 minutes to kill. First you walk into the Coop through the front door. Wander through the first floor, then browse the music and travel books in the back for 20 minutes. Exit through the Coop's back door, and bang a right. You're there!

I grabbed a seat at the bar, which is for me a more comfortable location when dining alone than sitting at a big table solo. Also, service is usually faster at bars, which was the case here. The young man working the bar was fast, respectful, kind, and flawless in his service. And although I didn't have one, appeared quite skilled in his margarita-making skills.

Although the menu has a good selection of entrees, due to all of the sides and accompaniments, I dubbed them too big for lunch, even though affordable. Instead, I selected the Chorizo Flambado from the appetizer menu. The menu guaranteed, specifically for this dish, that if I did not like it, I would get my money back. Good deal. Anyways, the dish is crumbled Mexican-style chorizo baked with green chilis, tomatoes and LOTS of Monterey Jack cheese. Accompanying this sizzling hot heaven of cheese and pork are four warmed small tortillas that were soft and pliable but sturdy. To my surprise, the tomatoes were exceptionally fresh, as were the green chilis...no cans here. I could not finish this appetizer, for three tortillas stuffed with gobs of melted cheese and pork were very filling, especially being washed down by a Wolaver's IPA.

The only improvement I would make on this dish is to actually, dare I say, make it lighter. The chorizo could have been drained better, and if a second, lighter cheese were added, there would have been significantly less oil, which is what made the small dish difficult to finish.

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