Typically I’m not a fan of pre-packaged backpacking meals.
They are expensive.
They don’t taste as good as what I can dehydrate and prep at home.
And…I don’t want to spend the money to sample a backpacking meal at home before I take it on the trail.
I hate to admit this but there have been plenty of times when I’ve backpacked with a package or two of untested and untried food, cooked it up at my campsite and then realized that it was absolutely disgusting but had to choke it down anyway because it’s all I had.
Don’t be like me.
You wouldn’t take a tent into the backcountry without setting it up first in your living room or backyard so why would you do that with food?
I have no idea.
But I digress.
Naturally, food was important for the trip.
(Isn’t it the most important part of every trip?)
Backpacker’s Bistro generously offered us several meals to sample at a discounted price.
Since Backpacker’s Bistro is a small, new company we were happy to support them and offered to test and review a few of their meal options.
We tested these meals:
Here’s what we liked.
First and most important, the taste. All 3 of these meals were delicious…and trust us, we know good food when we eat it!
We also enjoyed that the meals came in individual serving packages -or- double serving packages. This was perfect for our trip because we all wanted to sample different meals.
Next, we felt the price $7.00 single-serving package & $12.00 for a double serving package was more than fair because the ingredients that Backpacker’s Bistro uses are healthy, wholesome and locally sourced.
We decided to compare the ingredients of the Backpacker’s Bistro Mexican Beans & Rice to the Backpacker’s Pantry Louisianna Beans & Rice.
Here’s what we found.
- Backpacker’s Pantry double serving of Beans & Rice
- $7.28 from Amazon
- Ingredients: red beans, precooked long grain white rice, tomato, onion, potato starch, salt, New Mexico chili pepper, sugar, corn starch, garlic, cumin seed, oregano, cayenne pepper
- Backpacker’s Bistro double serving of Beans & Rice
- $12.00 direct from Backpacker’s Bistro
- Ingredients: brown rice, black beans, corn, vegetable stock, red bell peppers, red onions, homemade enchilada sauce, scallions, jalapeños, cilantro and smoked paprika -plus- dehydrated salsa and green onions
As you can see, the Backpacker’s Bistro meal is a little bit more expensive than Backpacker’s Pantry but it also contains homemade ingredients, uses brown rice instead of white rice and doesn’t have not-so-healthy additives like potato starch, salt, and sugar.
Plus, it tastes a hell of a lot better and we like supporting small, hometown businesses, like Backpacker’s Bistro.
Here’s what a few women from our CDT trip had to say about their Backpacker’s Bistro dinners.
I loved that they weren’t overly salty and each offered unique flavors that can’t be found in other commercial dehydrated or freeze dried meals. –Stephanie
Totally agree with the not overly salty. That’s a huge plus for me. The only suggestion I would have is for the package to have a marker line for the liquid amount to be poured. –Michelle
I really appreciated that they had vegetarian options- like real, desirable options, not just one basic veggie version mixed in with the rest. –Gretchen, the token vegetarian on the trip
Our biggest complaint about the rice dishes (although it’s not so much of a complaint but more of an observation) is that cooking rice above 10,000 takes time and a lot of patience.
Here’s a fun fact courtesy the USDA, “At 7,500 feet, for example, water boils at about 198 °F. Because water boils at a lower temperature at higher elevations, foods that are prepared by boiling or simmering will cook at a lower temperature, and it will take longer to cook.”
So, back to rice at 10,000 + feet…it’s hard to keep water hot for a long enough period of time to adequately cook rice.
Overall, we give Backpacker’s Bistro two thumbs up and we’ll definately be eating their delicious backcountry dinners on future adventures!
We’d love to give one lucky reader a single serving of Backpacker’s Bistro Mexican Beans & Rice to test out on your next adventure!
Enter below. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Backpacker’s Bistro Mexican Beans & Rice
*giveaway has ended*
Note: Backpacker’s Bistro offered these meals to us at a reduced rate (thank you!) but all thoughts and opinions are our own and the giveaway is on us, courtesy of #teamHLAW. There are a few affiliate links in this post and shopping through them does help support our team, so thank you for using them when you shop online (although we really want you to support your local outdoor stores too!)