An email appeared in my inbox the other morning:
"Ever wonder what that sandwich taste like in the Fresh Food machine but don’t want to spend the $3 to find out you don’t like it.
Join us in the kitchen at 3:00 to taste some of the food items that are available in the fresh food machine. We will have bite size samples of items ranging from Holy Toledo Sandwich, bacon burger, Ham & Turkey club or Mexican breakfast pita. We don't know how long the samples will last so get there at 3.
This week we will be sending out a survey to see what items you would like to see in the machine. Also there will be a list of nutritional values of some of the items available in the machine.
The food is restocked 2-3 times a week, every item is guaranteed fresh and if not you will get your money back. Every item has a sell by date and will be removed by that date if not before."
It was shaping up to be quite the day. Not only did I get tipped off about the presence of Mountain Dew Revolution in the office, I would get to sample the contents of the "fresh food" vending machine for free.
I was obviously the first person to reach the kitchen. With the wide range of choices laid out for me, I wasn't sure what to do. I nearly backed down from the challenge. My eyes scanned the table. Then, there it was. TACO SUB.
Its sesame loaf was filled with orange beef, topped with onion, tomato, yellow pepper rings and a smattering of cheese. I took it back to my desk to ponder whether or not I would be able to consume such a thing. Since the original idea behind Nate's Plate was to document the new "fresh food" machine, I knew I had to.
I took a nibble of some of the spiced meat to see what I was up against. Not bad. I became bolder and bolder with each bite. The cheese strangely hadn't melted after 30 seconds in the microwave, but I never understood cheese any way.
The yellow peppers were remarkably fresh and crisp. They even left a neon yellow stain where they had been touching the bun.
I got about half way through my sample before it started falling apart. It was already cold from taking breaks to type between bites. I decided to quit while I was ahead.
Then, I tried to finish it to be a man, but my last bite revealed something. The outer shell of the bread was of remarkable construction. A bite from either end of the sub went as planned, but a nibble at the side of the bun failed to pierce the skin. It was like I needed a cross-cut pattern on my teeth.
This was surely the result of some sort of anti-sogginess additive, which is probably represented by the random appearance of the number 2008263 in the list of ingredients. If my mom couldn't make a sandwich hold up from the morning to school lunch time, a TACO SUB surely can't last for days in a vending machine without the help of some serious preservatives.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the packaging indicates that the TACO SUB offers .00 servings per container. This could possibly serve as a warning that such an item is not fit for consumption, but I managed.
Five minutes after the end of consumption, I felt fine, if not a bit apprehensive. The TACO SUB was shockingly edible, while undeniably cheap-tasting. The spiciness of the fixins probably aided this in no small way, but that is fine with me. It's highly unlikely that I will purchase anything from the machine again, especially after the incident I had with "BJ's Farms Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches" earlier this summer, but it's nice to know that there's an acceptable option out there.