Walking with Nachos

What do you do when you want nachos, BUT you’ve got to be on the run? Risk your shirt? Yes. A shirt is a worthy loss in the great nacho hunt. Unfortunately, we all have moments where soiled garments won’t work. Sure, nachos will settle you before that big job interview. No, the remnants of the stacked chips on your crisp white shirt won’t help. What can you do? You must satisfy an urge, but you must also retain some decorum. Baja Fresh believes it has the answer.

When I was treated to lunch yesterday at Baja Fresh. Initially my interest was low, I was content ordering a bean burrito. I was surprised, to say the least, when a small poster advertising a new item caught my eye. The “nacho burrito.” My choice was made. I could walk and eat nachos. I could investigate an amalgamation of two dishes. I could quell hunger and have a topic of conversation for this blog. Baja Fresh’s description of the burrito is as follows: “Nacho Burrito – It’s Spicy! Chicken, Jack & Cheddar cheese, black or pinto beans, rice, Smokey Queso Fundido, jalepenos, and Salsa Crema.” Those elements were all there, for sure, and I consumed the item quickly while thinking of a few questions.

Did it solve the quandary of eating nachos while walking? Well, yes. Was it good? No, not really. Does the inclusion of tortilla strips in a regular burrito make it a “nacho burrito?” Hmm…. no. Why was there so much rice?

I am fortunate enough to have a brilliant and beautiful lady in my life. That lady, sage that she is, vehemently rejects any Tex-Mex that includes rice as anything but a side. She offered the following key points (I’ve edited slightly because her tongue is so sharp).

1. Why do people like Burritos when their cousin Taco is clearly superior?
2. Rice belongs on the side of plate when served with Mexican cuisine, NOT mixed in.  (Rice is cheap so people add Loads of it which then takes away from the actual tasty substance of the ‘rito)
3. Why do people insist on combining two perfectly good meals into one Disappointing meal?
4. Tortilla “strips” – what the bleep is that bleep?  Strips aren’t for Nachos because there’s not enough room to cradle the goods – too heavy a load for a weak chip.
5. When a restaurant screams that they use fresh ingredients by including it in their name, it automatically makes me wary.
6. A true lover of Good Food would never trade in the fulfillment of eating the Real Deal because they are afraid of getting melted cheese on their shirt.  Pussies.
7. No matter how disappointing, we should always be grateful for a Free Meal.

And, she is absolutely right. In the the Baja Fresh nacho burrito, rice almost completely nullified the remaining ingredients. Only the jalepeno pepper really sang, and thanks to actually being very fresh provided a crunch that was completely missing from the tortilla strips.

I’m also baffled as to the inclusion of rice in strict nacho definition. Rice, simply, plays no roll in nachos. Rice, does, suffice to say, play an important roll in filling out the fast food burrito. Cheap, plentiful, and bland. Rice makes many a burrito sit in the pit of ones stomach unable to face the remaining rigors of the day. In terms of this burrito, it is the inclusion of rice that makes it more “burrito” than “nacho.” In fact, the “nacho” elements are their only in name.

Learned, via ingestion of the “nacho burrito,” is that if I really want to eat nachos while walking, I should simply adapt the classic walking taco (chili, crushed Fritos still in bag, cheese… also called a Frito pie) recipe to a true nacho purpose. Nice try baja fresh, you’ve given it your all. Unfortunately, the nacho hunters are pulling your card.

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