20 July, 2009

Banquet Enchilada Combo Meal

Because I actually kind of liked the Banquet Smothered Burrito meal I reviewed back in June, I didn't even think twice about picking up the Banquet Enchilada Combo Meal for lunch. Even though Banquet's quality runs hot and cold, I figured the worst I could get was an edible lunch for under $2.00.

Turns out that's exactly what I got.

The refried beans (a soupy pool of earth-flavored sludge) and the "Mexican-style rice" (firm medium grain rice studded with bits of red and green bell pepper but drooly with a slightly-spicy runny red sauce) were both pretty much identical to the sides offered with the Smothered Burrito. But the main course was far inferior.

I know that pictures on box labels are carefully staged and styled "Serving Suggestions" which usually have little in common with the actual food in the container, but in this case the reality is so far removed from the photographic fantasy that it's hard for me to believe that the food stylist was working for the same company as the packaging plant.

Those round, plump "Authentic Hand-Rolled Tortillas" bursting with meaty filling, topped with chili sauce and a sprinkling of cheese are nowhere to be found in the box. There are a couple of flattened folded corn tortillas, each with a bare smear of filling inside, plopped sadly into a thin brownish chili sauce. The "beef" enchilada was pretty awful; there didn't seem to be much beef in it. It was more like some sort of greasy red film studded with unidentified tiny chunks. Although the "chicken" one wasn't much better, there were recognizable thready-looking fibers of chicken meeat in amongst the "structured vegetable protein" filler. And it seems to me that corn tortillas are particularly unsuited to precooked reheatable meals: these had turned thick, wet, and soggy. As the meal heated up in the microwave, it smelled incredibly awesome - mouthwatering, even - but the reality just couldn't match it. The Enchilada Combo Meal is truly a horrid experience.

4 comments:

Michele said...

Did you honestly eat that?!! I don't think I could have gotten past the way it looks. Banquet should have paid you $2 to eat that slop...not the other way around. I wonder how a company with such low standards can stay in business for so many years.

cheezmaker said...

Dave- I usually check out your site at work and can't post there. But this article made me laugh so hard that I saved you to my fav's at home and just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your comments! "Manly corn!!!" I'll need to tell my son that as he always wonders how corn "puts itself together" in the intestines.....

So, when are you going to review Lean Cuisines or Weight Watcher lunches for us "ladies"?

cheezmaker

Dave said...

My daughter tells me that Lean Cuisine meals are pretty good. I'll have to try a couple...

Thanks for the idea!

figtree said...

Soooo funny. I think Im gonna pass on this one!!Figtreeapps