Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl… Mmm

Good To-Go foods recently announced two new meals, and we tried out both during a long bikepacking trip. Here are are thoughts on the Chicken Pho and one of our favorites to date, the new Cuban Rice Bowl…

Share Facebook 0 Twitter Pinterest

When it comes to off-the-shelf dehydrated entrees, it’s hard to beat Maine’s Good To-Go Foods. We’ve certainly raved over their meals before. Founded by four-star NYC restauranteur, Iron Chef winner, and backpacker Jennifer Scism, the company makes lightweight, high-calorie meals that are tasty, filling, and made of natural and pronounceable ingredients. The company now offers 13 different entrees, ranging from the Mexican Quinoa Bowl to Korean Bibimbap. And while it’s hard to beat the company’s flagship Thai Curry, there might be a new sheriff at their HQ in Kittery, Maine. I recently tried the new Cuban Rice Bowl and Chicken Pho. Here are my thoughts on each.

Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl, Chicken Pho

Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl

While I’m not 100% vegetarian, I eat meat very little. As such, I’ve often gravitated toward dehydrated meals that contain either beans or rice, or both. Fortunately, the classic mix of rice and beans is one of my favorite food groups, and I also appreciate the fact that the combination of those two staples creates a complete protein, providing that much-needed recovery meal after a long day spent turning the pedals. In a pinch, I’ve grabbed the Red Beans and Rice meal from Mountain House, which isn’t necessarily a culinary masterpiece, but it’s cheap, has a lot of protein, and it’s generally filling. Quick rice and a can of beans with some tortillas is also an occasional camp meal menu item. Similarly, Good To-Go’s new Cuban Rice Bowl is quite filling and has a fair amount of protein. The single serving pouch has about 15 grams of protein per serving, and the massive double serving has 30g. However, unlike the Mountain House meal and the DIY option, it’s super tasty and has some unique ingredients that up the flavor quotient.

Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl
  • Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl
  • Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl

INGREDIENTS: Onion, Instant Long Grain Rice, Dried Black Beans, Poblano Pepper, Sour Cream Powder (Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk), Plantain Chips (Plantain, Non Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Salt), Garlic, Dried Tomato Flakes, Grapeseed Oil, Sweet Rice Flour, Cilantro, Red Wine Vinegar, Dried Leeks, Ground Cumin, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Dried Cilantro, Crystallized Lime (Citric Acid, Lime Oil, Lime Juice).

The Cuban Rice Bowl packs quite a unique flavor with the “garlic crema sauce,” which gives it a rich texture and a flavor defined by the poblano pepper, sour cream powder, and other seasonings that give it a zesty blend of spiciness and tanginess. In addition, the large plantain pieces provide a nice chew and add a bit of starch texture and flavor into the mix.

  • Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl
  • Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl
  • Good To-Go Cuban Rice Bowl

I’m a pretty big eater while bikepacking, so I’ve often required Good To-Go’s hefty double serving packs to satiate my appetite after a big day. However, the single serving of the Cuban Rice Bowl is pretty significant. It has 540 calories, which isn’t a ton, but I figured out a good pro-tip for making it a full meal: use a little less water than stated on the package; then add some Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar to a large tortilla and it makes a fantastic burrito. You can get two giant burritos out of a package, or three smaller ones. The added tortillas and cheese provide some extra calories to round it out. I ate those for multiple nights during a scouting trip a few weeks ago. Delicious.

The only downside I found with this meal—as well as all of Good To-Go’s meals (and most camping meals, in general)—is that they don’t come in a biodegradable package. Eliminating plastics and single-use waste should be a number one priority at this point in time, and we’d really like to see outdoor companies like Good To-Go take the lead. When I asked Good To-go about it, they stated, “There is not currently an option out there [for biodegradable packaging] that works for what we need – being able to store the food for 5+ years, maintain freshness without adding air, and accepting boiling water… this is a big priority for Good To-Go, the last thing we want is to add more unnecessary garbage to the landfill. We’re working hard, but scientists have not cracked this one yet.”

  • Calories: 540
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Weight: 137 grams (single serving)
  • Place of Manufacture: Kittery, Maine
  • Price: $7.75
  • Manufacturer’s Details: goodto-go.com

Good To-Go Chicken Pho

Considered Vietnam’s national dish, phở is a soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. Pho is a special experience if you get it from a good Vietnamese restaurant, so I knew that it would be possible to replicate with a dehydrated meal. However, I put those preconceptions aside, read the ingredient list, and gave Good To-Go’s new Chicken Pho a try.

Good To-Go Chicken Pho
  • Good To-Go Chicken Pho
  • Good To-Go Chicken Pho
  • Good To-Go Chicken Pho

INGREDIENTS: Dark Meat Chicken (Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics), Rice Noodles (Rice Flour, Water), Dried Cabbage, Powdered Chicken Broth, Grapeseed Oil, Ginger, Dried Scallion, Dried Shallots, Fish Sauce Powder (Anchovies, Salt, Maltodextrin), Crystallized Lime (Citric Acid, Lime Oil, Lime Juice), Sea Salt, Dried Cilantro, Dried Shiitake Mushroom Powder, Dried Jalapeno, Dried Cloves, Cinnamon, Star Anise.

I can’t say that I have the same spotless report with the Chicken Pho as I did with the Cuban Rice Bowl. But, again, I don’t often eat meat, and small pieces of dehydrated chicken aren’t usually on the top of my list when I do. However, it’s pretty good, considering. It has a savory, tangy, and spicy broth with flavors of ginger and a hints of cinnamon and shiitake mushrooms. An included packet of crystalized lime adds a bit of citrus as well. Generally speaking, I enjoyed it. It felt good for the muscles to have a zesty broth as a post-ride meal, and it has a solid 27 grams of protein, too. However, with only 390 calories I had to eat a few other snacks to bolster the meal. And that may make the $8 price tag a little hard to swallow for many bikepackers.

  • Calories: 390
  • Protein: 27 grams
  • Weight: 114 grams (single serving)
  • Place of Manufacture: Kittery, Maine
  • Price: $7.95
  • Manufacturer’s Details: goodto-go.com

FILED IN (CATEGORIES & TAGS)

Share This

others did. Support us and pass it along...
art