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Sep 12, 2000 05:53 PM

Jack in the Box tacos

  • p

If there is anyone out there who shares my conviction that the JitB taco is a tiny slice of Nirvana served in a clever waxed envelope, please post a reply or email me at the above address.

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  1. I've never had a Jack in the Box taco -- we don't have them around here -- but just last night I had a couple Taco Bell tacos and a tostada. Exquisitely trashy, and I love 'em. Minutes later I told the Big Dog I'd dined at TB. He winced but allowed that it's a chowhound prerogative and refused to engage in trash talk.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Jim Dorsch

      I would encourage you to hunt down the JITB taco; puts Taco Bell to red-faced shame. Like the Platonic world of forms and appearances, TB tacos are but pale reflections of the real thing. JITB is mostly west coast (my favorite is on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu) but they are opening in the south as well. I bide my time till they creep up the East Coast.

      Unlike TB, JITB tacos are stuffed with "meat" and beans and then fried, and then topped with shredded lettuce, cheese and a vinegary red sauce. The contrast in texture between the meet stuffed part and the chewy crispy corny shell in the JITB taco has it all over the crumble-when-you-bite-it Taco Bell. Moreover, JITB is served in an elegant waxed pouch that catches what crumbs you create (you will want to eat them) whereas TB is wrapped haphazardly in paper, which spills the contents all over the place when you unroll it. Unacceptable.

      1. re: pam

        What I do at Taco Bell is buy 2 or 3 tacos and a tostada. (I always buy the cheapest stuff on the menu. None of the stuff with sour cream oozing out of it. There's something 'pure' about it, and I only eat a billion calories instead of, say 2 billion.) I eat the tacos directly over top of the tostada, which catches all the stuff that falls off the tacos. Then I scoop it all in with the tostada.

        1. re: Jim Dorsch

          Now there is Chowhound ingenuity!

          Of course, some would argue it would be better to eat the Taco Bell tacos over a waste receptacle and you'd be better off.

          1. re: Dave Feldman

            "Of course, some would argue it would be better to eat the Taco Bell tacos over a waste receptacle and you'd be better off."


            1. re: Jim Dorsch

              Or just to throw the Taco Bell tacos into the waste receptacle to begin with and cut out the middleman.

              1. re: Pepper

                TB is not my favorite, but I will tell you what, Crunch Wrap Supremes are the most delicious food articles made in under three minutes. I am ready to defend my position.

                1. re: Pepper

                  Perhaps even throw them in the toilet and cut out yet another step.

            2. re: Jim Dorsch

              That's exactly what I order and how I eat 'em! Been doing it for 35 years. p.

              1. re: pat hammond

                I led a tacoless childhood, and when I first went to a TB around 1975, I cautiously ordered something they had then called a Bell Burger. Well, this thing was just a taco on a hamburger bun, and wasn't that great, to say the least.

                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                  I remember those! Oh, how fast food time flies.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    Dang I miss the Bell Beefers, anyone else?

                    1. re: davinagr

                      They still have them at the Taco Bell in my hometown. The reason is that way back in the pre-TB days we had a vile place called Taco Hut (which my parents loved for some reason) that served taco burgers, and got everyone in town hooked on them. TB came in and knew they'd go broke if they didn't offer something similar to the clueless local folks who thought such things were edible.

             I'm starting to want one.

                2. re: Jim Dorsch

                  My strategy is NOT to eat at Taco Bell. The establishments in my area are DIRTY, SLOW, and ILL MANAGED.

                3. re: pam

                  Opening where in the South? I haven't seen one anywhere in Florida. JitB is one of the fast food franchises I still pine for having moved from CA to FL (the others being In-N-Out and Round Table Pizza).

                  1. re: aynrandgirl

                    They are a few in NC and upstate SC.

              2. j
                judy leibovitch

                Used to work for JIB in high school and still have a nostalgic fondness for the stuff. One thing I can share is that the quality of the food was terribly high, (for the genre). I mean, real, fresh eggs, fresh produce we poor shmucks had to shred, all beef for the burgers and tacos. Cleanliness was a religion, and anything over 20 minutes old was tossed, (in our case, we gave it to a street person who came by regularly.) I still have illicit thrills for fast food breakfasts, even though a breakfast sandwich carries enough calories to fuel a small country.

                1 Reply
                1. re: judy leibovitch

                  How many calories in one of your regular tacos?

                2. Pam,

                  You have named one of my very favorite fast-food items, either. There is something about the crisp texture of most of the shell combined with the soggy bottom where the meat is placed that is sublime. Love 'em. But beware of JIB Super Tacos. They are the enemy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                    I love Jack in the Box tacos, too, but the Ultimate Cheeseburger is my absolute favorite. Two patties, three slices of erstaz cheese, and all the mayo you can handle on a squishy bun! I may be alone, but that heart-attack-waiting-to-happen wrapped in foil gets my juices flowing.

                  2. I haven't been to Jack in the Box in 25 years. But back then, when stricken with the munchies, a carload of my friends and I would head for the Jack in the Box drive-through and each order a complete meal. Then, if we had money left over, we would repeat the process, doing as many laps as it would take to exhaust our pooled funds.

                    THIS is why kids should just say no to drugs.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: R. Carter

                      I think it was definitely the drugs. I loved those tacos back then. Now, I don't think so.

                      What about Popeye's though? Sublime spicy fried chicken. Love the red beans and rice too.
                      There just aren't enough of them around.
                      Do any other chowhounds share this passion? My only fast food guilty pleasure.

                      1. re: Vanessa

                        Ironically, Popeyes was about the only place open in the rubble of the Jakarta revolution ('98). Went there almost every day.

                        I had never even heard of them actually (and never seen one anywhere since) -- what region are they from?

                        I recall some Tex/Mex-sounding name on those beans (Bronco Beans?). Dang, they were good...almost worth having our house torched, and the Marine airlift out of there....

                        Chicken stunk though!! Grease city. Maybe just that branch.

                        1. re: Jim Wong

                          I don't know where they are from, but I wanna guess the South. They seem to be spread thinly across the country though. A few here in the Bay Area where I live, a few in NY, I even saw one in Maine of all places. I think I backed up on the freeway that time.
                          I've seen them in the middle of the country, but can't remember where, and they are definitely not numerous. Jakarta huh? Interesting. Does anyone know the answer to this question?

                          1. re: Jim Wong

                            Popeye's is based in New Orleans. And the flagship store on Canal St. is something to behold on a weekday lunch, when hundreds & hundreds of people stream through. The food tends to be at its best then (more turnover) and the dirty rice, in particular, benefits from being prepared seconds before you eat it.

                            FWIW, I'm fond of Popeye's onion rings, which contain the same spices as the chicken. The only problem is that the fry cooks hate to make them, and usually they are made to order. I've heard anguished squeals of pain as hot oil hits employees, making the onion rings a doubly guilty pleasure.

                          2. re: Vanessa

                            Popeye's is unbelievable! Loved the biscuits and Cajun Fries. One meal filled my grease quota for the month though.Had one in my town in Fairfield Cty for several years which sadly closed (not a Fairfield Cty type of chow). Don't know of any others in the NY metro area.

                            1. re: rjka

                              You mean the one in Times Square is gone?

                              1. re: MU

                                at a minimum, the ones in Chinatown (on bowery under Silver Palace) and on Lexington at around 25th are open - the latter opened just about a year ago. Must be others too - no reason to think the chain is going away in NYC.

                                Havent tried it yet - I have a grievance against the Lex shop, which replaced a really excellent little mideastern takeout.

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  Was there just 6 weeks ago. Am still working off the extra biscuits. It's around 44th or 45th St.

                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                    A branch of Popeye's just opened on Court St., near Borough Hall in Brooklyn, in the space formerly occupied by a Ranch 1. For the record.

                                  2. re: MU

                                    I apologize. I am in the suburbs usually and they are hard to find here. Should have been more specific in my comment.

                                2. re: Vanessa

                                  Popeye's is most definitely the class of fast food chains. The diry rice is great, and the crawfish etoufee, which appears a couple times a year, is far better than what you would expect at a fast food joint.

                                  Those biscuits! That chicken! Those fries! MMMMMM.

                                  1. re: Vanessa

                                    Popeye's red beans & rice is (are?) great. A medium makes a good lunch, and reasonably healthy if you don't get a biscuit to go with it. Of course, I always get the biscuit.

                                    1. re: Vanessa

                                      Popeye's was our standard picnic food for opera/Philharmonic in Central Park. While those around us would set out their dainty spreads of stinky cheese and $37-a-pound pate, we'd haul the "Family Size" box of chicken and grease-soaked bag of biscuits out of a fraying Bag-Day-at-Shea giveaway, pop the cork on some Freixenet, and feast away. People would look at us as if to say, "Is one ALLOWED to bring such pedestrian fare to the Philharmonic?" and "Why didn't WE think of that?"

                                      We got ours from the one that used to be on 23rd St. just west of 7th. I think it's now an S&M theme restaurant. Come to think of it, Popeye's had something of a pleasure/pain dichotomy, too: pleasure now, (gas) pain later.

                                      1. re: R. Carter

                                        That is sooo funny, because I live on the West coast, but when I was in Manhattan just this last July, I had cocktails at that very S&M restaurant. Wasn't quite masochistic enough to try the food.

                                    2. re: R. Carter

                                      Now that's just funny. Please, don't get me wrong ... Popeyes red beans and rice are one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but "relatively healthy"? I read an article once about how much margarine the chain uses to cook all their food. Let's just leave it at "a lot". I am quite certain that if you are looking for healthy stuff, Popeyes shouldn't be on the list. But I LOVE it. Thank god they finally closed the one in Cambridge Mass., or I'd be at least 300 lbs.

                                      1. re: R. Carter

                                        There is a Jack in the Box commercial about folks like you used to be.....(guy goes to JIB apparently stoned, not sure what to order, Jack suggests one of everything, that is what he does....)

                                      2. Ah, the Jack in the Box taco...truly a staple of my youth. I think the key for me was the sliced (velveeta?) cheese. Delicious but deadly...