Saturday, April 4, 2009

TBG Eats: Taco Nachos from Jack in the Box

Current Weight: 168.0 lbs.

I am proud to think of myself as a "Nachos aficionado".

I first discovered nachos as a morbidly obese 11-year-old. Way back then, the only REAL fake Mexican food was served by places like Taco Bell, Pup n' Taco and Naugles. But, my first nachos came from a mall food court after a long afternoon of Track & Field. Of course, I mean the old arcade game. Any real physical activity made my body too jiggly.

Throughout high school and college, all I needed were a few fistfuls of tortilla chips, two slices of American cheese and my family's 1980s microwave. 45 minutes later, I had a hot and gooey/uncooked-in-the-middle masterpiece of food ingenuity.

In the last year, I've conquered Taco Bell's Fully Loaded Artery Napalm and eaten orders of five and seven-layer nachos in a single sitting. I had grown concerned that there was increasingly less and less nacho ground to cover. Taco Bell's nacho monopoly produced only minor derivatives of the chain's ubiquitous Nachos Bell Grande product.

What restaurant could take the same-old nachos to the next level?

"Taco Nachos"? OK, Jack in the Box…I'm officially intrigued.

For just $1.99, here's what you get: several large tortilla chips – with one stacked on top of another – stuffed with JitB's underrated taco meat, an overflowing ladle of authentic imitation nacho cheese, shredded lettuce, jalapeƱos and fire-roasted tomato salsa.

My friends, if you'll indulge me for a moment. During my last semester at San Diego State, I wrote an exhaustive marketing analysis that focused on Jack in the Box's possible expansion into Asian countries. If Taco Nachos had been the centerpiece of JitB's international campaign, I daresay it would've cured China's communism, cleansed the country's air and restored basic human rights to its oppressed populace.

I didn't want this snack to end. The chips, meat and cheese were the exact same Taco Bell combination, but different in taste and texture. The salsa was better than anything places like Baja Fresh and El Pollo Loco proudly proclaim is "made fresh daily". Even after I'd annihilated the last chip, there remained a plate full of leftover lettuce, peppers and cheese. A Taco Nacho salad!

Best non-Taco Bell, non-ballpark nachos ever. EVER~!

Grade: 500 (out of 5)


SHough610 said...

There's a local mexican place/bar that I go to with my friends, it's that sort of upscale "Tex/Mex Fusion" food that is an excuse to put too much citrus in the salsa.

It was my second time there; the first I got a tamale, which included flavorless dark meat chicken (a pet peeve of mine at Mexican restaurants) and a side of that Vietnamese chili sauce and chipotle hot sauce. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed.

On Wednesday I went and got nachos: gloriously salty chips covered in cheese, sour cream, spiced chicken, and jalapenos (I didn't want the pico de gallo and beans). Oh my God... They're the reason I went back to working out.

That Bootleg Guy said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I will be stealing your awesome line about "...too much citrus in the salsa" and claiming it as my own.

You will see no royalties.

Mathan said...

First off; Cam you're killing me. JitB has nachos now? The grass truly is always greener.

Secondly, Cheesecake factory has the saltiest chips I've ever had, but the nachos can be cumbersome.

Qdoba has the best "salty chip" nachos I've ever had.

SHough610 said...

Feel free, we need to get this out there. I think Cantina (the place I go to) makes their own, it just annoys me when salsa isn't spicy but I can taste lime in it.