I like Taco Bell. I’m not ashamed to say it. My body does not reject their food in the often joked about manner. I am neither doubled over in pain nor flatulent after consuming it, and frankly, it’s nice to have something where I can get a variety of food for less than $5. Hate if you must and frankly, if you don’t like Taco Bell, then you should stop reading now. Go look at pictures of cats or something. It won’t hurt my feelings.
Taco Bell was my second job ever. In high school, it was tough to find part time work. After quitting my first job at Wendy’s, for egregious violations of child labor laws, I was thrilled to get a job at a restaurant whose food I would actually eat. Taco Bell was everything Wendy’s wasn’t: clean, friendly, and operating with full awareness and endorsement of the labor laws. It was a very nice job for a teen, and I recommend that if you’re considering a job, this would be a good one for someone entering the workforce.
Things haven’t always been cool between me and “the Bell.” They change their menu a lot, which seems counter-intuitive for a restaurant whose customers are high people and drunks, or people on their very limited lunch breaks. My favorite menu item of all time, the chili cheese burrito, has been discontinued. I know from my previous employment that items on “the line” (where the components of each menu item taking up valuable real estate) need to work for many different items or sell like crazy in order to earn their spot. I imagine the chili cheese burrito didn’t make the cut. It went the way of the bacon cheeseburger burrito and the chicken club taco.
When they began introducing crossover items like Doritos and flaming hot Fritos into the menu, I was skeptical. I like those things, but didn’t think they merged well with the existing flavors. I backed off for a while, mostly due to the relocation of my office that didn’t leave me with enough time to go off campus for lunch. However, when I saw the introduction of the Dorito taco shell, I was intrigued.
I purchased a regular version of the Locos Tacos, one without sour cream and tomatoes (which I loathe). Happily the item comes in a cardboard container which prevents the nacho dust from coating your hands. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to actually consume. I wish there was a way to push the taco forward in a way that was a bit more graceful.
That said, the taco isn’t really enhanced that much by the addition of the Doritos. The chip like consistency of the shell breaks much more easily than the original corn shell, and the flavor gets muddied by the original taco tastes and hardly noticeable. Overall, the novelty of it, while neat and a fun twist, wears off fast. I’d love to have seen them attempt the cool ranch flavor instead or something that would stand up to the heavy seasoning already in place. That said, it doesn’t mean I won’t try it again. A for effort, Taco Bell, and bring back the Chili Cheese Burrito, will ya?