I like to go to the movies. The sights, the sounds, the cinema, the whole shebang. The theater I usually go to is a large, stand alone building in a field of parking lot, but when I went to the special theatrical presentation of Mandy the other day I had to visit the Regal Cinemas at the local mall. This was unfortunate in that it was a longer drive to get to, but good in that I got a Cinnabon while walking around looking for new shoes before the film. There are some days though, days when you are eagerly awaiting to see how crazy Nicholas Cage is going to be in the latest Panos Cosmatos vehicle for example, when a single Cinnabon “Classic Roll” isn’t going to meet your caloric needs. Days when you need an additional 800+ calories from some movie theater concession nachos to make it through. Days like the one I am going to relate to you now where I sampled the Regal Cinemas Loaded Nachos.
Now, as we all know, concession nachos are, at best… questionable… so I didn’t get my hopes up for these. I’ve eaten movie theater nachos a time or two over the years and was familiar with the typical round chips, orange cheese sauce, and maybe three pickled jalapeno slices I was bound to get, but then I saw the menu at Regal. Sure, I could get the generic movie theater nachos I was expecting, or I could get the food that caught my eye known as “Loaded Nachos”, which purported to have unheard of concession toppings like “pulled pork” and “bacon” and “tomatoes”. Not believing a theater would carry nachos with real ingredients, I had to give these a try.
As you can see from the above picture, these nachos were more surprising than I imagined, but not very substantial, much like Linus Roache (or should I say a part of Linus Roache) in Mandy. There are a lot of toppings, much more than your regular theater nachos, but the ratio leaves a little something to be desired, much like the ratio of comedy to horror in Mandy. Now the toppings to chips were good, much like in… nah, I’m doing doing this conceit anymore… but the issue was that there just wasn’t enough cheese sauce to stick it all together. When you have a bunch of dryer ingredients like pulled pork sans sauce or little bacon shreds, just the little bit of moisture from tomato pieces or pickle jalapeno bits isn’t going to be enough to offset salty chips. Plus you’ve got a bunch of loose toppings rolling around that you need to chase down with your chips afterward in the vain hope that you can manage to scoop them up and get them to your mouth before they fall off. Fall off like Nicholas Cage’s mental state by the end of Mandy. Still got it!
Speaking of chips, if you jazz up the rest of your nachos and still keep using the same crummy round chips used in you regular concession nachos, you’re doing it wrong. You don’t go to a wedding in a three piece suit, and then swap out the pants for some ripped up jeans out of a Def Leppard music video, or something else from the 80’s. Like Mandy. Alright, for real, I’m stopping. Just like Regal should be doing with their round chips. You’re already charging a few bucks more for better toppings, why not tack on another 50 cents and get some better chips too? I get you can’t do double duty and use them on your regular nachos as well, but when you’re charging $13.70 for a movie ticket, maybe a few of those pennies could trickle over to the food side of the operations.
I’m not going to recommend you get nachos at a movie theater chain, but if you had to due to one Cinnabon “Classic Roll” not filling you up and you for some reason not getting a Jamocha shake as you passed the Arby’s, these are much better than your average. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but it still has a few more steps to go before it can be a contender. One thing that would undoubtedly help, ditch the lame “Loaded Nachos” name and go with something clever, like the names at this 18+ Regal Cinema spinoff theater that actually brings you food to your seat. “Apoca-Chips Now”, that is how you class up a meal at the movies!