Thursday, December 5, 2013
Carl's Jr. / The Green Burrito (San Jose, CA): Super Nachos w/Charbroiled Chicken
Back in the early 90's during my time at UCLA, there was a 'Green Burrito' tacqueria on the way from school back to my apartment off of Wilshire Blvd. I used to stop there and get chicken nachos from time to time and they were great, with their big portion, lots of chicken and plenty of cheese and sour cream, especially for a hungry college student. It was also the first place I ever tasted green tomatillo salsa. However, The Green Burrito is quite a different place now, most likely due to its getting purchased by Carl's Junior...
This time, I was actually on my way to La Victoria, where I'd been before, but wanted to try a different meat selection on my nachos (I was also thinking about that delicious "orange sauce"). Sitting at a stop light on Almaden, I noticed a 'Carl's junior/Green Burrito' restaurant and decided that it was time to see if The Green Burrito's current cuisine could bring me some college-days nostalgia.
Kind of strange to be standing into a restaurant that has food that's blatantly American on one side of the menu and food that's reminiscent of Taco Bell on the other... I ordered the "Super Nachos" with "Charbroiled Chicken" and grabbed a table. When the nachos arrived, 2 thoughts went through my head. The first? When did they switch to plastic cheese sauce?Second? When will I ever learn that you shouldn't, under any circumstances, order chicken on your nachos at a fast food restaurant? I could tell just by looking at the chicken that this was going to be Del Taco all over again. Sure enough, the chicken was chewy, soft, and too salty. My first bite with a bit of everything (Chip, chicken, "cheese", guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo) told me that this was going to be a disappointing lunch.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the salsa bar, and not a moment too soon. With the ingredients from there (red salsa, more pico de gallo, minced onions, sliced jalapeños, and minced cilantro)...
...I was able to make my plate of nachos look like this...
...and the taste improved a lot! But there's an expression, "You can never go back". So true this time. Green burrito, I'll try to forget this experience and remember you from my college days instead.
Rating: 2½ out of 5
Rating Notes: Would've been a 1½ if not for the items from the salsa bar that I piled on top of these disappointing nachos.
Map to Location: http://www.carlsjr.com/greenburrito