Nachos Grande: Hit or Miss?

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Layla Malhas, Staff Writer

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The Hall High cafeteria is home to an ever-changing menu constructed to satisfy the daily needs of hundreds of students. Some of these dishes become favorites while others never quite become a beloved midday bite. Today, I dive into the signature “Nachos Grande”– a, presumably, Latin-inspired main course served at least once a month.

Let’s start with the appearance of this dish: At first glance, you are presented with a platter of circular tortilla chips, a flashy yellow-orange cheese sauce, and a clump of ground beef in the center of the plate. The meal is also served with corn and sour cream on the side, as well as optional salsa and shredded lettuce. Overall, the presentation is nothing special, however the cheese sauce was exceedingly eye-catching in what some may find an appealing or off-putting way. I found myself in the middle of these two extremes.

On to the most important aspect of the meal – flavor. The chips served as the base of the nachos.  On their own, they were quite bland and salty. Disappointingly, they did not have a strong corn flavor as one might expect from a tortilla chip, but they held their crispness well.

Also lacking in flavor was the cheese sauce. The sauce did not taste like a specific type of cheese, though it had a pleasant creamy texture. Having eaten nacho cheese before, I expected a bit of heat from the sauce, unfortunately, spice was nowhere to be found. The absence of flavor in the topping was partially replaced by the enjoyable consistency, nonetheless, I was still dissatisfied.

The beef, on the other hand, delivered much more depth and flavor, packing zest and traces of Mexican spices within each morsel. Atop the nachos, the meat served to add much more excitement and seasoning to the meal. The accompaniments such as corn, sour cream, and salsa also paired extremely well with the contrasting textures of the dish.

If I were to rate the Nachos Grande on a scale of one to ten, I would say my experience was a six. Definitely not the worst the cafeteria has to offer, but not deserving of an above-average rating. Not all of the dish’s components were bursting with flavor, but as school lunches go, I was fairly pleased by the meal. I was pleasantly surprised by the varying textures and elements offered with the plate. By usual standards, this meal could not be considered overly remarkable, but its number of redeeming qualities ushered itself into a realm that few school lunches could dream of.

 

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