One of the best things about working for Lifehacker is getting to try takeaway meals and other food products as part of our Taste Test series. It enables me to indulge my sugar and fat cravings guilt-free, as it's a legitimate part of the job. Sometimes however, this sweet-sounding gig can turn horribly sour. Enter Nachos To Go: an affront to Mexican cuisine and all food in general.
The Mexican Express 'Nachos To Go' meal is a complete Nachos-in-a-box available from Coles supermarkets. It comes in Mild and Hot variants and includes everything needed to make a single serve of nachos in 30 seconds; from corn chips to salsa and "cheese".
This ridiculously overlong video explains how it works:
The main image on the box points towards a tasty meal that probably wouldn't look out of place in a Mexican restaurant:
Mind you, it's somewhat telling that they have chosen to focus on the corn chips rather than the toppings. The cheese and salsa almost look like they've been buried away from view. Hmm.
Here's what you get inside the box (the napkin is a nice touch):
Nachos To Go is a non-perishable food item that doesn't require refrigeration. The downside is that the pack contains no minced beef or shredded cheese -- the staples of any good nachos meal. Instead, you're presented with microwaveable pouches of tomato salsa and a creamy liquid dubiously described as Nachos Cheese Sauce. Worryingly, the instructions warn you not to eat the meal if the pouches look "swollen".
After nuking the contents in the microwave and pouring everything into the box we ended up with a meal that looked like this:
It's not particularly appetising looking, is it? We think the cheese is the main stumbling block to success here: in addition to looking disgusting it wasn't particularly tasty either (in fact, the same thing could be said about the corn chips, which were a bit brittle for our taste).
It also lacked bite for something that has 'Hot' surrounded by flames and chilies on the cover. We suppose the flavour could be improved by adding some fresh chili and cheese to the mix, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having a complete meal-in-a box.
However, the main issue we have with Nachos To Go is the price: it retails for around $6.50 which seems a bit steep for what you're getting. As Angus pointed out, for a couple of extra dollars you could snap up enough salsa, corn chips and cheese to last you the whole week -- and it would inevitably taste a lot better too.
All in all, we can recommend Nachos To Go for the convenience it affords the buyer, but not much else. Score: 5/10