What Is It About Border Cafe?

Seriously, what is it?  The food is not particularity good.  The salsa that you're served at the beginning of your meal is more like watered down ketchup with some canned diced peppers thrown in.  The chips are good, they are a nice thick chip that hits your table warm.  The menu is standard, you've got your run-of-the-mill tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc. and the atmosphere is Mexican-tacky.  But the place is packed and when you mention "Border Cafe" to anyone in Boston (or Cambridge I supposes because it's located in Harvard Square) their eyes get big and they excitedly exclaim, "I LOVE Border Cafe!"

But why?

When I went, the place was packed, as it usually is.  We had to wait about half an hour or so just to be seated.  When we were seated, I ordered chicken enchiladas and they were okay.  A fair amount of sauce-to-chicken-to-cheese ratio, but none of it was overly fresh.  And the rice, with little flecks of red and green peppers, was so salty!   My dish was also oddly garnished with a couple shreds of iceberg lettuce that just seemed out of place.  But nonetheless, I cleaned my plate (save for the iceberg lettuce. I despise iceberg lettuce) and left feeling as I've always left after a meal at Border Cafe: satisfied.  But why? I'll never know.  One thing I do know; I'll be back to Border Cafe again.  I'll be happy and excited about it and will still have no idea why.

Can anyone help me solve this mystery?

Border Cafe (Harvard Square) on Urbanspoon


Boston Food Diary said...

I completely agree. Maybe this is Boston's Loch Ness Monster? A mystery that will never be solved? It really is a rare spot that you hardly find a person who doesn't like it, but once you're there, chowing down- there is no reason for you to love it. Maybe it's something in the...um....water? :-)

Anne @ Your Kind of Salad said...

Seriously, they must put love potion in the chips. I usually order from the Cajun side of the menu - much better in my opinion. And who can resist a 4.99 margarita?! Clearly, I DO love this place :)

What's Hot From The Small Boston Kitchen