HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

This can go in any board here for the various regions of the US but I' from the LA area so it will go here.

People often put down Taco Bell talking about how bad it taste and everything. I don't know if they really feel that way or feel it's cool to. Honestly I don't think Taco Bell taste good at all but that's not from a coolness agenda but because it really in my opinion does not taste good. But in the 70s as a kid and the '80s as a teen into my early '20s it really was good. I am not sure what year they changed the formula for the taco meat but it was once really good.

Yes I know it was very greasy in the old days and they probably changed it for apparent health reasons but I don't go to Taco Bell for healthy food, then or now. I go to TB about once ever three months. Why if it's so bad? Well sometimes I do have a hankering for Taco Bell so I go and most the time I regret it because I'm displeased with it. It's not so bad if they just made the meat and it's super hot but even at that it's not so good. Actually I stopped going and will go for other specialty items but none that have to do with the meat they make.

Here is the reason it taste different. One thing is I knew a guy who used to work there. I knew him from a recent job. He used to work there in the '80s and said they used lard in their taco meat but because of health concerns they stopped. That's probably not the only reason, they probably changed the formulation of the recipe in other ways too. I often try to make the taco meat at home like they did in the good old days of Taco Bell but it never taste right. There is a recipe on the net that claims to be like Taco Bell but there are two problems. Once it's based on the current Taco Bell meat which I don't care for and two their recipe not only doesn't taste like the current Taco Bell meat but it taste really bad, as bad as Taco Bell nowadays.

Do any of you who are in their early '40s or older like me taste the difference of the old and new Taco Bell recipe? Which do you like better? I contacted Taco Bell about this and they deny their meat taste different now than it did back then. Blatant lie. The fact that they stopped using lard is enough for it to taste different so they lie when they say it taste the same. The formulation besides no lard must be different too. I know you all might not want lard in your food but let's face it Taco Bell used to taste good with the old formulation and the current is pretty bad.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. the nachos of today are nothing like the nachos of yesteryear.

    tomatoes, green onion, etc. i miss all of you.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      Same thing w/ the Mexican Pizza. The top of it used to be covered in olives, green onions and tomatoes. Now it's just cheese. But if they can save 1 cent per pizza . . .

      1. re: I got nothin

        "Same thing w/ the Mexican Pizza. The top of it used to be covered in olives, green onions and tomatoes. Now it's just cheese. But if they can save 1 cent per pizza . . ."

        the only thing I ever order from TB is the grilled stuft burrito, and it seems my decision was just validated.

        1. re: I got nothin

          They stopped using green onions because of e coli. Tomatoes got really expensive so they dropped them on some items as well.

          Taco Bell is TOTALLY different in many ways now than what it was in each decade. They use all soft flour tortillas, the chips are different, the beans are different and the sauces are different.

          I go there once in a blue moon any more.

          1. re: I got nothin

            I missed the old Mexican Pizza, now they cover it with some kind of BBQ sauce which I don't like

          2. re: ns1

            The nachos of today ARE the nachos of yesteryear!

            1. re: ns1

              When I was a kid in the '70's, Taco bell was still owned by Glen Bell, and the food was excellent. Taco shells were fried at the store in coconut oil; the higher-grade meat was cooked on a grill; and the non-dehydrated beans were prepared with lard.

              Now it's dog food and so over-salted that it's inedible. It's a shame, because they could be doing it right.

              1. re: stevel6

                Hi Steve16,

                You just concurred with what I have been saying for a long time. Yes TB was real ,healthy, and ecstasy to the tongue once upon a time. Coconut oil is very healthy, along with natural leaf lard.
                Today's TB is not Taco Bell. Far far from it. Ask the Korean owners.....

            2. I think I just didn't know any better when I was much younger in the '90s.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                I wasn't sure either until I recently had a taco at Rick's Drive-In and realized, _this_ is the (gringo) taco I fell in love with in the early 90's, when the first Taco Bell opened in NYC.

                1. re: Peripatetic

                  Note: Rick's Drive-In is a fast food joint in Pasadena, CA. I made the reference before this thread was moved from the LA board to Chains.

              2. I remember when back in the late 80's Taco Bell started to (re-)expand to the DC market. They a a ~$1 steak soft taco where the meat was recognizably steak. Similarly they had great chicken soft taco. I used to live near one and had to bring bags of these whenever I went to somebody's house. Ahh, those were the days. Now, not so much. Probably not all.

                3 Replies
                1. re: bigterp1

                  I went recently and asked for a Fiesta steak taco. The woman says "you mean beef?", I said yes. I got ground beef. Online they are supposed to carry steak. Haven't felt like going back since, but if I do, I'm sticking to chicken.

                  1. re: libgirl2

                    Steak. Beef. Chicken. Three different prices on the menu.

                    Look at the cash register when they place your order. You will know what they charged for and what you will get.

                    Steak is on the menu.

                    1. re: libgirl2

                      The Taco Bell near me has steak. Surprised that the one near you does not.

                  2. I just wish they still had the bell burger/bellbeefer, I really liked those!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                      There is at least one in the LA area that still makes them. It isn't on the menu, but if you ask for it, you can get one.

                      1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                        The ex-Naugles 'bun taco' at Del Taco is very similar. You will have to ask for it (a so-called secret menu item :-\ ) and some locations may not make it. Tariff is about $2.

                      2. Definitely different. I'd probably go there once in a while if they still had olives and scallions.

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: ToxicJungle

                            I loved the Burrito Supreme as a kid - sour cream, tons of olives, tomatoes and green onions inside. Alas...

                            1. re: HillsofBeverly

                              Me too! This is why I make my own at home. Recipe below:

                              refrigerated flour tortilla (large) warmed in microwave under damp paper towel for 50 seconds on high

                              Place refried beans thinned w/water and heated with a teaspoon of lard on one side-amount to your liking. Then add seasoned real ground beef (recipe described in previous post), a few chopped sweet white onion, a little enchilada sauce drizzled, chopped tomatoes, then shredded lettuce, then shredded mild cheddar cheese, then some regular sour cream, then some sliced black olives. Roll and fold one side only in keeping one end open. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds if you like.
                              ENJOY!

                        1. Well, in Taco Bell's defense, most if not all of the visits I made there in the 80's, I was drunk, so it was great. I remember when one opened right outside of LSU's campus, the food actually looked like the photos on the menu board.
                          Now when I go, it's just not as I remember, but I'm sober when I go now, so I wouldn't expect it to be as good.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: roro1831

                            "Now when I go, it's just not as I remember, but I'm sober when I go now, so I wouldn't expect it to be as good."

                            HA HA HA ditto roro.

                            1. re: roro1831

                              I was waiting for that one -- I KNEW someone would say it.

                            2. People if you think that Taco Bell taco meat is not as good as it once was, that the formula for the meat recipe is different and doesn't taste good you can go to the Taco Bell web site and send them a complaint about it. Enough complaints maybe they will change thins and make it better.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                I wonder if El Taco in Downey taste like original Taco Bell because Taco Bell and El Taco I think were founded by the same people. Anyone know?

                                  1. re: Cathy

                                    Thanks for the link. Now I wonder if I go to El Taco if it will taste like old Taco Bell or if it will be different. It probably will be different but I will try anyhow.

                                    1. re: HoundDogz

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7374...

                                      This topic is similar in that in the 1990's you were younger and your tastes change.

                                      Smell evokes the greatest memories, not taste...

                                        1. re: Cathy

                                          Not too sure about that, I still eat McDonald, Pizza Hut, Popeye....etc, I don't hate them, but I do hate Taco Bell
                                          Very interesting topic

                                          1. re: ToxicJungle

                                            I think pizza hit has changed though too. The crust seems different and I miss the Romano cheese dressing that used to be in that crazy salad of theirs.

                                            1. re: melpy

                                              The wafers are the same, but they reduced the size of the them, and they removed both the green onions and black olives. The pizza used to be made like this: one wafer, layer of beef, layer of refried beans, another wafer, a smear of enchilada/tomato chunk sauce, shredded monterey and mild cheddar cheeses, tomatoes, green onions, black olives, and then placed in a steamer to melt the cheese.

                                              Not sure what salad you are referring too....

                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                It was a typo. I meant Pizza Hut. Damn autocorrect!

                                1. Finally! Someone other than myself noticed the change! I noticed that they went to flour tortillas that I can only describe as rubbery. Prior to that, they were, for lack of a better way to phrase it, dryer. I preferred the older style. I'm thinking that they went to vegie oil in those, like as has been previously mentioned in their taco meat.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ITry

                                    You are right they are rubbery. I don't get that why they want to put out a product like that. I like the dryer ones as you describe better too.

                                  2. Does any one remember Taco Del Amo in the Del Amo Fashion Square? Were they Taco Bell with a slightly different name?

                                    1. Anybody else remember when Taco Bell had breakfast?

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Itsmy6

                                        YES! When I was young and poor(er) in the late 80's and early 90's. I used to go to the one on Beverly and La Cienega in L.A., next to the where the Beverly Connection is now.

                                        I used to get the cinnamon roll for .99 and a cup of coffee. Those were the days...

                                        1. re: Itsmy6

                                          Oh man do I ever. Their breakfast burritos are the ones to which all others are judge in my mind. And, sadly, they never reach the same level of awesomosity.

                                          The only one to come close is Sonic. But the country burrito (eggs, sausage, tots, gravy, cheese) were pure magic.

                                          1. re: Itsmy6

                                            I do! Gotta admit though, Del Taco had a superior egg and bean burrito...

                                          2. Seems to me that as time has gone by, the proportion of refried beans has shot up, too (I know, cost, etc, etc.,) -- only problem is, I HATE refried beans (not just at TB, but from anywhere) -- so the more refried beans they put in things, the less I eat there.

                                            1. I hadn't had Taco Bell in at least five years (and 15 before that) when I decided to grab a quick bite at their drive-thru. I only wanted a snack, so I grabbed a beef and cheese burrito. The tortilla felt like a dish rag. The beans didn't look like beans at all, refried or not and there was absolutely not cheese in the burrito. At least none that I could taste. Not only was it completely unappetizing, but it made me physically ill. I have a cast iron stomach when it comes to beans, spice, etc, but this awful esperiment stayed with me for a few hours. Never again!

                                              1. The menus/recipes/ingredients were also affected by what was going on at corporate level. In '78 TB was purchased by Pepsico; in '97 it was part of spinoff into Tricon Global (now called Yum Brands).

                                                With expansion came many dual KFC/TBs where they no doubt were looking for efficiencies.

                                                The bottom line is TB is not offering the original TB experience we remember.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: HDinCentralME

                                                  Agreed. Good way to put it. You are right when you say that the bottom line is TB is not offering the original TB experience we remember. It was not only a better tasting taco in the early days of the chain but also just a better experience. I try to duplicate the original TB recipe but it never taste right. I give up and have to admit I'll never have that original TB taco again.

                                                  1. re: HDinCentralME

                                                    We are very lucky to have a locally owned fast food restaraunt here called Gringos! The original Gringos is in Webb City, Mo. If anyone is ever in southwest Missouri and misses the authenticy of Taco Bell, this is for sure a "Must Have"!

                                                  2. I used to live off Taco Bell in the early 90's, what's there to eat for a poor punkass high school kid, with $5-6 dollars, (at McDonald or any other fast food chains, I can only get kids meal) you can get one of hard taco, soft taco, cheesy fries and maximelt or a Mexican pizza and fries, I don't drink pop so that I can get more food. And yes I have notice the changes and finally give up about half a year ago, it's not just the taste is not the same anymore, but the quality is way worst.
                                                    Beef patty is not the same, too

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: ToxicJungle

                                                      Toxic,

                                                      Where do you live? I mean what state because in CA I have never seen cheesy fries at Taco Bell, never. I am pretty sure in different states the different Taco Bells have the same stuff plus a few different items. In CA never there was any cheesy fries but in your state maybe.

                                                      Glad I'm not the only one to notice that it does not taste the same anymore.

                                                      1. re: HoundDogz

                                                        Toronto, On. You are right, I don't think you have them in the States. Cheesy fries are just fries topped with melted cheese, they put them in the same container as fries supreme

                                                        1. re: ToxicJungle

                                                          Toxic, I can speak for HoundDogz that CA Taco Bells do not carry fries of any variety, cheesy, supreme, plain or whatever other iteration they might sell them in Toronto or elsewhere.

                                                          Must be a Canada-only TB thingie. Makes one wonder, do we lucky Yanks have any special TB items that our neighbors to the North don't?

                                                          Come on, let's make them feel really jealous!! ;-)

                                                          1. re: GK in SO

                                                            you mean it's even possible to be jealous about Taco Bell?

                                                            1. re: GK in SO

                                                              A lot of the Taco Bells here in Eastern Canada are attached to KFC's, so that could be the reason for the fries? If I recall, there are a few variations on the cheesy fries.

                                                              Taco Bell had gone 'meh' for me as well, until I got my hands on one of those volcano crunch wrap things this past year. Rare indulgence, but I love it (with beans, no meat), and it actually has a good kick, with lots of jalapenos. Nice junky treat.

                                                              1. re: GK in SO

                                                                Didn't notice that they don't sell fries in the States, I was just looking at the menu, you have a lot more items on the menu than us.
                                                                If I remember right, when I came over in the early 90's, the fries from KFC were more like a thick cut fries, Taco bell were a lightly breaded seasoned thin cut fries. Then KFC merged with Taco bell (can't remember when), they both used the lightly breaded one.

                                                              2. re: ToxicJungle

                                                                That sounds good. Wish they had cheese fries here in the US at Taco Bell.

                                                          2. The hard shell beef taco supreme tastes the same to me. But perhaps that because I douse it with hot sauce. I do notice that the chicken in the soft tacos used to taste like it was actually grilled, sometimes even dry and now it tastes like microwaved rubbery chicken with no char at all.
                                                            I also find a big difference in quality at different locations.

                                                            1. I actually wrote to Taco Bell and suggested that they go back to the old taco meat formula for the recipe and maybe have the original and the newer one and they said they don't take suggestions from people because of legal reasons or something. I forgot exactly but I think they are afraid that someone will give them a good idea and they'll use it and then be sued for that. But that makes no sense in this case because they own the recipes or formulas so how can they be sued over this if they use my idea to have a TB classic Taco with the classic meat and then the new one they use? I think they just don't like my idea.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                That's pretty much a standard answer from any corporation in regards to unsolicited outside suggestions. That's what those survey cards are for, and that's how they gather customer feedback..

                                                                1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                  Very true. Too bad old guys like me are the only ones who knew how much better TB taste in the past. The whole new generation of Taco Bell consumers from the '90s to the present don't know how good it used to be. TB is making plenty of money so why would they want to change and go back to the other old formula recipe for the taco meat if things are fine now? This is a lost cause they'll never go back to the old ways.

                                                                  1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                    It might just be expense. KFC, for example, will not go back to their original gravy recipe, which was said to be excellent, because of the expense. It always has and always will be about the bottom line.

                                                              2. I'm in my late 20's and when I was a kid my parents took us to Taco Bell for dinner and we sat inside and had our meals, and we were not the only ones doing so. My go to was always the Meximelt with the fresh pico, yummm. And, I swear that back then they had Dr Pepper which was so good with the mild/hot sauces. It has gone downhill infinitely since those days. Now, I agree with roro that the only Taco Bell is drunk Taco Bell.

                                                                1. Anyone else remember when the cinnamon twists were cinnamon crisps and the starch base was actually tortillas instead of the puffed corn styrofoam they use now for the dessert?

                                                                  So, so, much tastier with the tortilla base from what I remember.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: beachmouse

                                                                    Yes, TB called them Cinnamon "Crispas". If you Google it, you'll get recipes and some fond remembrances.

                                                                  2. I read a story on Yahoo today about a lawyer that is suing Taco Bell because their "beef" is only 35% real beef. That got me thinking about my 12 years working there in the 80's and 90's and how much better the food was when I started working there. That has led me to this thread and my post.

                                                                    YES, the food was definitely better through the 1980's. This is because almost all the food was cooked/prepped from raw ingredients in each store. Meat arrived raw, in 5 lb bags, to be cooked with freshly mixed seasoning as it was needed. The re-fried beans arrived raw and were cooked in a pressure cooker with lard and salt in a two hour process. Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions arrived whole and were shredded/diced each day. Cheese arrived in a 50 lb block that was sectioned and then shredded fresh each day. Our store actually received whole olives and had to slice each one by hand into three pieces. All shells were fried fresh in the store in 100% coconut oil by a full time fryer. When chicken and steak soft tacos were introduced, the meat arrived raw(frozen) and was thawed and then grilled on a real grill.

                                                                    Starting in 1988 Taco Bell began rolling out the K minus kitchen prep system, which led to the demise of all of the freshly prepared ingredients. One major change was the introduction of the 5 lb bags of pre-cooked meat that were merely reheated in hot water. And the re-fried beans arrived freeze dried in bags, just waiting for hot tap water. Eventually the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and onions arrived in sealed bags already prepped. And the chicken and steak went the same way as the meat - pre-cooked in plastic bags just waiting for that 30 minute dip in 190 degree water. Most fried shells were shipped to the store in boxes, and the original cinnamon crispas were replaced with cinnamon twists (which look like small pieces of twisted pasta before frying).

                                                                    The two main (stated) purposes for the K minus prep system was to maintain a consistent product from store to store, and reduce prep costs at the store by having all the prep performed in factories. However, over time, I'm sure that various cost cutting measures have been implemented, which has led to the reduced quality of food we have today.

                                                                    One major complaint I've seen repeatedly is that the tortillas are 'rubbery'. This is most likely due to them changing to a 'shelf stable' tortilla that didn't need refrigeration. Originally all shells were shipped and stored cold, but when the switch was made to the K minus system they switched to tortillas that could be stored at room temp.

                                                                    I'm sure I could ramble on for quite some time (don't get me started about the source cream or nacho cheese!), but I'll end this by saying that is still enjoy eating at Taco Bell, but I would gladly pay more for my food if it could be the same quality that it used to be.

                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                    1. re: midkemian52

                                                                      midkemian, thank you so much for your input on this subject. To read about how it was and how it changed from someone who worked there really speaks volumes and validates what I and others have said about it tasting different.

                                                                      I have at home in my kitchen tried to replicate the Taco Bell meat recipe, well at least taste from the '70s and '80s but can not do it. I have a good memory so when I make something I can tell from memory if it's right. Everything is wrong.

                                                                      Not sure if you saw my original post but my co-worker at an office I used to work out used to work at TB in the early '80s and he told me about 7 years ago that the taco meat was cooked in lard or I should say with lard. I should have asked him what the cooking process is and what ingredients they used. I'd love to replicate it at home. I don't care for TB now. I get a hunger for TB once every few months then go and then after have a bad after taste in my mouth. I'm not big on the current TB.

                                                                      From what I gather from what you say is that before they went to this K minus system that the food even though a fast food joint was made fresh like a real restaurant. Maybe it was not authentic Mexican food but it was freshly made Mexican food inspired Mexican-American food. I guess when Pepsi Co bought TB they kept it the way that Glenn Bell had it when he started it but after a few years Pepsi decided to do away with his system and go with the K minus system.

                                                                      Don't know if you saw my thread on El Taco but El Taco was also a Glenn Bell fast food chain and I went there for the first time ever on this past Sunday and it was great. The tacos were just okay but the beef and chicken, especially chicken enchiladas were outstanding. They were in fact out of this world. I was hoping that the tacos would be identical to old TB tacos since Glenn Bell started both El Taco and Taco Bell but the El Taco tacos were not like current or classic '70s/80s TB tacos. They were more akin to tacos at the taco bar at Sizzler's salad bar. Not bad but not spectacular.

                                                                      El Taco seemed more authentic Mexican than TB. TB isn't so authentic I know but I thought it would be like TB because both were started by Glenn Bell. But El Taco's hard taco was Mexican inspired Mexican-American tacos but the enchiladas were very authentic Mexican as were the tacquitos I believe. I did not have tacquitos but I heard people on the next table raving about them and they looked real authentic. Regardless of authentic or not I saw the kitchen and it looked like the Mexican staff were really cooking things traditionally. No premade stuff I think. I think all slow cooked from scratch the way Taco Bell would have made before the K minus system you said they implemented.

                                                                      1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                        midkemian, oh here is the link to the El Taco discussion I started -

                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/761481

                                                                        Could you discuss the process in which the meat was made in detail? I miss the original TB taste and because TB refuses to make it as it did back then in the old days and because I can not find another taco joint with the same taste and because I can not seem to make it at home, or duplicate it I mean could you please tell me how it's made? The process and the ingredients. I'm hoping to try to do something like it at home.

                                                                        By the way, I saw that story about the lawsuit about the meat at TB also earlier today. Wonder how that will stand in court.

                                                                        Thank You

                                                                        1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                          don't know if it will stand up in court, but it definitely turned my stomach to read the ingredients list.

                                                                          this lawsuit hit the press just as I was closing the cover of "Fast Food Nation"...don't think I'll be eating any of it any time soon.

                                                                          (10 years after publication, there wasn't much in FFN that I hadn't already read elsewhere...but erg....it sure makes you think when it's all in one place at one time.)

                                                                          1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                            I started in September of 84, and I don't recall anyone talking about a different process.
                                                                            The meat was grade A and arrived in 5 or 10 pound bags. The seasoning arrived dry and was mixed with water at the store. The meat and seasoning were cooked in a large aluminum pan about 2 ft by 1 1/2 foot and 9 inches deep. Lard was not used, it was only used when cooking the beans. After cooking it was drained of grease and then put in pans for the front line to use

                                                                            1. re: midkemian52

                                                                              Thanks for the info. One thing I do recall from Taco Bell from the '70s and '80s is that it was very greasy. That when you got the taco, the wrapper it came in was drenched in grease. This is one reason I thought they used lard. Also the old co-worker of mine said they used lard but he was not specific so I guess he meant they used lard in the beans not the meat since you confirmed lard was not used in the meat.

                                                                              When you say grade A do you know the percentage of fat to meat? What I mean is you know how in the store you buy ground beef that is 80% meat/ 20% fat or 85%/15% proportions. Do you know how the proportions are?

                                                                              I'm wondering if TB taste a lot different today not because of the spices they use but because now but because they add more fillers than they used to. I wonder if they spices and such are the same but the fillers are more now which cause it to taste differently that if they went back to high quality meat and more of it, it would taste the same?

                                                                              By the way do you know what spices they used?

                                                                              Thanks.

                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                Sorry, but i don't recall any of the spices, just that the seasoning mix was fairly thick with quite a bit of texture to it. Based on the amount of grease you would drain out I believe it was just regular ground beef. Not any of the leaner ones.

                                                                                1. re: midkemian52

                                                                                  Thanks for the info. The earlier post you made about the taco shells being made on site with coconut oil does help though, helps a lot in my quest to duplicate old Taco Bell. At least maybe I can try to make the shells some day and that will help. I'll use probably regular ground beef, the non-lean type you refer too. That might help. I'll use chuck steak that's ground because chuck is the best for burgers and have a high content of fat so I think that maybe Taco Bell used that. I know In and Out Burger uses ground chuck.

                                                                        2. re: midkemian52

                                                                          I totally agree with you and what you say is the truth. I managed a Taco Bell around the same time. Everything was made from scratch. I have been saying this for a while that it doesn't taste the same as it did. Now I know exactly why.

                                                                          Any of you old Taco Bell people try Del Taco? To me their meat tastes a lot closer to what Taco Bell used to be.

                                                                          1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                            Did you manage a store in the St. Louis area? I worked at the Winchester and Kirkwood stores primarily.

                                                                            1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                              Dell Taco taste better than the current Taco Bell. I agree with you it is closer. Not the same but closer and than nowadays Taco Bell.

                                                                          2. I was very disappointed when Pepsi seemed to buy everything up, and decided Zantigo should be swallowed up into Taco Bell. I know Zapata / Zantigo has been reborn in the Twin Cities metro area. I liked the green chili, but, I don't get to MN much. I might go to Taco Bell once or twice a year to get a hard taco fix, but, I live in Phoenix, and better alternatives are all over the place. I don't remember Taco Bell being much better before the '90's, and I'm not very surprised of the reports about the "taco meat". Less than 40% beef is lower than I would have figured. I've also thought it weird that Taco Bell reinvents items, constantly, and seems to discontinue items, despite their success.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: johnseberg

                                                                              johnseberg, I don't know what Zapata/Zantigo is but I take it it's a fast food Mexican joint that was destroyed by Pepsi. You know, in So Cal where I live there is a fast food Mexican place called Green Burrito. Carl's Junior bought them out and the stand alone ones are gone, well the ones I knew of and they have been placed inside of Carl's Jr. When they were stand alone independent places they were so good but since Carl's took over they are not nearly as good as they once were.

                                                                              You are not the only one who does not recall Taco Bell being better prior to the '90s. I'm not sure why people who are old enough and went to TB don't realize this Honestly it was many times better. The meat actually taste good and did not have a strange taste to it. Some time about 10 years ago they changed the cheese texture from finely shredded to thicker strands of cheese. That's more of a textural preference over a taste preference I'll admit to that.

                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                I guess Zantigo was a midwestern thing. There is a wikipedia entry for it. There are a bunch of Carl's Jr Green Burrito combinations here in the Phoenix area, too. I've never bothered to check them out, though tempted.

                                                                                1. re: johnseberg

                                                                                  I remember Zantigo's cheese chilito, and for a short time after absorption Taco Bell carried it. It was a cheese burrito with just a little meat. I was addicted to them in junior high. Addicted.

                                                                            2. Pintos and Cheese! I remember in the 80's at a Taco Bell in the LA area, the manager was telling me how they made their pinto beans fresh each day.

                                                                              They WERE really good. I'm sure they don't do that any more...

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: rmb123

                                                                                The pintos and cheese used to be fantastic! And the container was quite generous in size.

                                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                                  Yep, Pintos & Cheese have 3 oz. of re-fried beans, topped with 1 oz. of red sauce and a quarter oz. of cheese, but they've eliminated that menu item. The bean burrito, nachos bellgrande, and taco salad all have 3 oz. of beans ( or they did when I last worked there in 1996). Comment on a separate post - the taco salad shells weren't normally fried to order, just kept hot in a heating cabinet, or under heat lamps until ordered. However, if the fryer wasn't doing their job, and keeping everything stocked up, you could end up frying shells to order.

                                                                              2. I love the fresco style menu. I have some good Taco Bells near me that always serve hot, cheap and very decent food. I love that they have a vegan bean burrito with fresh salsa in it for 99 cents. Del Taco's 49 cent bean burrito without cheese ain't bad either.

                                                                                I don't believe in nostalgia.

                                                                                1. Went to TB just about half hour ago. Yep I ate my tacos and got home and am typing this right away. As noted many times I don't like the way TB taco meat taste so why am I trying it again and again and again? Well I only go once in every few months and when I do I'm hoping I'll like it again. I shouldn't expect to unless the change the formula in which they make the meat for the tacos, hopefully to the '70s/80s version but we know they will not. So I had hopes that I'd like it. I ordered three thinking that won't be too much to eat, well it was. After one I thought this is pretty bad but I was hungry as I did not eat much for the day. So after two I was thinking it is bad. Then I started on the third ate it and finished it because I actually find it a blessing to get food to eat. I know I can afford it so it's not like I'm starving but it's a blessing so I try to finish what I start even if it's bad.

                                                                                  Point is I've had enough of TB tacos. I don't think I'll ever give their tacos another chance. Too bad Snappy's is far from me. It's in West Covina. I only go there when I go to church because I'm out there at church already.

                                                                                  I will say TB as a new item called the Quad Steak Quesadilla and it looks good. Made of whole pieces of steak, a lot of it. Now that might be good. I think the whole oat filler thing just makes the TB taco meat taste bad. I honestly think if they used more soy filler and no oat it would be better, that is if they are intent on keeping on using filler to keep cost down. Whether or not that lawyer in Alabama or wherever it is has it right that they use 30% meat or not I think the oats make it taste bad. But I gotta try that Quad Steak Q, I think that would be hard to mess up on.

                                                                                  1. I have to admit I didn't read this entire thread, but I comment anyway....I was introduced to Taco Bell in the late 80's, and back then I couldn't get enough...now, it's a rare guilty pleasure that I regret when the last bite of soft taco supreme is down the gullet...I believe my taste-buds have moved on as opposed to Taco Bell changing.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: yummykimmy

                                                                                      yummykimmy, maybe or maybe not. I am not sure when the TB recipe changed for the taco meat. if it changed before you started going to TB in the late '80s then it might be the same now as then and your taste buds have moved on but if it has changed since then, then the meat recipe has changed. I'm positive beyond the shadow of a doubt that the TB taco meat is different now as it was in the '70s when I was a kid and the early to mid '80s as a teen. But after that not sure when it changed, was it 1987 or 1989 or what.

                                                                                      I'm sure as we grew in age we all developed more sophisticated taste but that does not mean that we won't like any fast food. I'm sure if the recipe for the meat was the same I'd still like it even tho my taste has become more progressive for lack of better word.

                                                                                      1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                        I'm a super taster too. I don't think that is considered a medical condition but it's has to do with your taste buds. Super tasters generally taste things very differently than non-super tasters. We can taste things in food others can't which makes us picky because things often times taste vile that should not or does not to normal people. Yikes I'm abnormal then.

                                                                                        Whatever is in this TB meat I can taste and it's not good. Next time I go to TB it's the Quad Steak not the tacos. I've given TB enough of a chance with their meat hoping I'd like it but I don't.

                                                                                        Read up on Supertasters, I am one of them -

                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supertaster

                                                                                        1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                          I am a supertaster and then some...makes my husband crazy (because he's the cook) and envious too (when we are not eating his food). Thanks for the wiki....have to tell my mom (and NOT my kids) why I was a picky eater.

                                                                                    2. Taco Bell just did something right!

                                                                                      I finally tried the Quad Steak burrito and it was great. In it is, steak, rice, sauce, I think chipolte sauce, and sour cream. It tasted great. They also make the quesedilla version but I always liked the combination of steak or chicken with rice, some kind of hot sauce, and sour cream. I don't care for beans in burritos so this one was perfect. Reminds me of some of the hole in the wall Mexican places in downtown LA where I'd get similar burritos. Now I have a reason to go to Taco Bell and if they ever go back to the original TB recipe which taste much better than what they offer now then I'll be in there all the time.

                                                                                      Too bad TB or the parent company do not realize how great their food was at one time with the taco meat being so tasty and texturally perfect. I guess if sales are good with the tacos they won't change back to the old recipe but if sales drop for their tacos maybe they'll go back to the old recipe and realize it actually taste great compared to that cardboard tasting taco meat they use now.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. I first experienced Taco Bell in the late '60's as a child. The menu was limited, Bell Burgers were the transitional food to help a burger kid discover "Mexican". The pintos and cheese were fantastic.

                                                                                        In the '70's Taco Bell was still tasty and the greasy/salty/crunchy combo hit the right spot with recreational induced munchies.

                                                                                        The '80's I was very into their taco salad for an inexpensive meal that seemed healthy at the time. These salads were so big I couldn't eat the whole thing. Loaded with vegetables, the tortilla bowl was just fried - hot and crispy. Last time I tried one (late '90's) it was a puny, sad shadow of its former self.

                                                                                        Now, once every 3 years or so, usually on a road trip I'll decide to try Taco Bell. And I always end up regretting the choice. Partially a changing personal palette, partially a change in quality of ingredients.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                                                          meatn3, thank you for posting your experiences with Taco Bell from the past up to the present. You and I are similar in the fact that we regret eating it after the fact and we both eat it now and then. I only eat it about 4 times a year but you eat it less being every 3 years or so. I am going to stop eating their tacos because they just taste bad but the Quad Steak burrito is very good so I'll go there to get that.

                                                                                          You started going to Taco Bell in the late '60s and I started in the early '70s so I can identify with your experiences.

                                                                                          I remember when Taco Bell used to have promos for real glass cups. I mean they'd have the Looney Tunes characters or other characters. You'd buy a large drink and you can choose your character. The last of ours broke probably in the early '90s. Taco Bell was a better experience back then. Not only the food was better the experience was like going to an independent taco fast food joint.

                                                                                          Now only if Taco Bell would make their taco meat the same as before I'd go back and more people would too. I think it's those oats they throw in their meat as a filler that gives it a bad taste.

                                                                                        2. Wow. Reading some of the posts here led me to this: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi...

                                                                                          It really is just a money machine to those folks.

                                                                                          1. I'm sad about the tortilla/filling ratio in the bean burrito and burrito supreme. Too much folded over tortilla flopping about on the ends. I remember the filling used to just BURST out everwhere in messy deliciousness.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Wisey

                                                                                              Drives me up the wall that they fold both ends now. Every burrito was always open at one end. I know picky but it does make a difference in taste and texture.

                                                                                              1. re: Wisey

                                                                                                The tortilla/filling ratio on ALL of their burritos sucks compared to the olden days.

                                                                                                Regardless of which one, it seems the fillings are very sparse, and yes, there is WAY too much folded over tortilla (implying, lots of tortilla capacity that was wasted instead of being filled!!).

                                                                                                Their burrito supremes of old were HUGE, and I remember the bursting effect as well, which is but a distant memory.

                                                                                                1. re: Wisey

                                                                                                  Well described, Wisely. I remember the same Burrito Supreme and miss it so...

                                                                                                2. I couldn't agree with you more; Taco Bell has changed so much that I simply will not eat there any more. In the 70's and 80's I would go specifically go there for the Burito Supreme - they were so darn good, but now they have changed it to what amounts to garbage -YUK!!!!!
                                                                                                  I do so miss they old days...
                                                                                                  Best regards

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: anmrwe

                                                                                                    Glad that you and some others who were around in the '70s and '80s remember how good Taco Bell was back then. Sure it was greasy but I don't go to fast food to be healthy. They try to make it healthier or try to cut back on ingredients to save on money but it ends up tasting like trash. So I venture to Taco Bell once every four months to chance it but end up having this horrible after taste in my mouth and regret eating there. Too bad it's not like it used to be. I won't go again even every four months.

                                                                                                    1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                      The Chilito I did like. I am glad you remember that one. Most people don't. That one was one of the few recent Taco Bell items that I liked. That was not from the '70s/'80s or even '90s but from the 2000s. That stood for the Chili Cheese Burrito.

                                                                                                      1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                        Ask them to make it for you. Most of them will.

                                                                                                        1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                                                          Thanks for the info, did not know that. Next time I go I will ask them.

                                                                                                      2. LOLOL. And they changed Hershey's chocolate bars too!
                                                                                                        sorry Houndogz, but the only things' that changed is you. you were a teen and now you're a grownup.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: fara

                                                                                                          I suspect Taco Bell's "seasoned beef" didn't always contain these ingredients:

                                                                                                          [From: http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/ing...]

                                                                                                          "Beef, Water, Seasoning [Cellulose, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Salt, Oats (Contains Wheat), Maltodextrin (Corn, Potato, Tapioca), Soy Lecithin, Tomato Powder, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Sea Salt, Yeast Extract (Contains Gluten), Spices, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Potassium Chloride, Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Trehalose, Modified Corn Starch, Inactivated Yeast, Lactic Acid, Torula Yeast, Natural Smoke Flavor], Salt, Sodium Phosphate. Contains: SOYBEANS, WHEAT"

                                                                                                          1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                                                            I'll tell my nana that all of these years she has neglected to add Potassium Chloride and Soy Lechithin to her machaca and carne asada.

                                                                                                            Growing up in Phoenix in the 1970s and 1980s, Taco Bell didn't have the stigma it does today. We enjoyed their Bell Burgers (anyone remember those?) and nachos. Yes, even having access to excellent homemade Sonoran Mexican food, we found ourselves at Taco Bell.

                                                                                                            I'd like to think I've become much more savvy in making food choices. But today I had a Quinoa burger and onion rings. That meal would not have been recognized by my ancestors, either.

                                                                                                            When I find myself driving past a TB, I become nostalgic. Then off to Whole Foods I go, spending a fortune.

                                                                                                            Cheers.

                                                                                                            1. re: globocity

                                                                                                              Taco Bell pre-90's was Ecstasy in food form. Anyone who remembers it, knows what I mean. It almost was better than sex. I said almost....

                                                                                                          2. re: fara

                                                                                                            No, not at all it taste many times different now than it did back then. It did. You should realize that's true because for one Pepsi Co bought out the original Taco Bell, which should be a red flag that they would probably change the formula for the meat just to cut cost and fill it with more junk.

                                                                                                            How old are you fara? Did you have Taco Bell back in the '70s and early '80s?

                                                                                                          3. I remember in the early-mid 90s they came out with the low fat (low cal? something like that) versions of many of their products. A year or two later they merged the two lines using ingredients that they said weren't as light as the light menu but less than the normal. I remember thinking there was a noticeable downgrade at the time.

                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                              jgg13, yes I remember the s"healthier" version of the Taco Bell tacos. It might have been Taco Bell Lite or something like that. I remember being able to buy either one and I tried the healthier one it was not very good. I think Taco Bell was really good up to the mid '90s and you hit the nail on the head. They must have merged the two to make the regular ones more healthy and make the healthier ones taste better, in other words hybrid them. That's probably when it went down hill. They should have left things alone because plenty of people were buying Taco Bell without a concern for health.

                                                                                                              Also about 10 years ago or a little less, the cheese they used used to be really fine shredded but they changed to a bigger shred of cheese. I don't think the cheese might taste so different but the texture is different and I prefer the finer shred of cheese too. So I call Taco Bell a few months after the change and talk to customer service and tell the lady that I don't like the change and ask why they changed the cheese to a thicker shred of cheese and she replies by saying no they did not change a thing and that it always has been the way it is now. That's so long. Either the lady in customer service was told to tell customers not to tell them it changed or this woman never ate at Taco Bell in her life yet is supporting their customer's inquiries.

                                                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                I know for sure that they merged the two lines into one that was somewhere in between, I just don't know if it's going to be the One True Demarcation Point for anyone trying to solve this riddle. For me, it was very noticeable though.

                                                                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                  I am glad that you and a few others notice the Taco Bell tacos don't taste the same any more. Some people who are too young don't know that. Some who are maybe not too young but some who are not very observant or did not eat there enough in the past don't notice. I think that the "healthy" taco line was the Taco Bell Light menu. I tried it when it came out and thought it was pretty bad so I went back to the regular one. Too bad they merged the two to make something not very good. For those of you who think it taste the same now as in the old days you are wrong. I posted this before but will again. My old co-worker once worked at Taco Bell back in the early to mid '80s and confirms that Taco Bell uses a different formula to make the meat as they did back then. Not only does it taste different but the process is way different. Yes they had secret ingredients back in the old days but the process is different and the taste is diff so he can tell the formula is different. As long as Taco Bell is making money they will not change back to the old formula as Coke did when they had the big backlash over new Coke. I think if I recall Coke started offering new Coke and Classic Coke. I don't know now if they offer both still or it's just the old Classic formula but point is no uproar over Taco Bell like Coke then Pepsi Co or whoever owns Taco Bell now won't change it back.

                                                                                                                  Because I don't like the way Taco Bell tacos taste anylonger I don't go often. I get a craving for Taco Bell every few months and decide to chance it and then leave wishing I had not gone. So last night I had a craving but decided to skip out on Taco Bell completely because I knew that it's not the same and every time I eat there now I regret it since it doesn't taste good. I guess my craving I get so often is just a hopeful one that it will be good but I know it's not.

                                                                                                                  I try at home to duplicate the old Taco Bell but no matter what I do I can not. It does not taste right.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                    I used to work at a Taco Bell in the 80's as others have said we would get the ground beef raw in big packages. We had bags of seasoning (just seasoning no filler) that we mixed with a little bit of water and put in the ground beef in big cook pans. Now I believe they are precooked and come in bags and are just warmed up now. And why are their soy beans in "seasoned beef"? Filler.

                                                                                                                    Strike One.

                                                                                                                    Beans. They would come raw/dried in big bags. We would sort them put them in big pressure cookers and add LARD yes lard. That's how you make refried beans. They were good too. Now? Soy oil! And I bet they come in cans now. I actually had a bean burrito yesterday and opened it up. Tasted the beans by them self and no flavor.

                                                                                                                    Strike Two

                                                                                                                    Condiments. We would shred the cheese finely ourselves from big blocks of cheese fresh. Lettuce was shredded every day. Onions chopped every day. I bet all that stuff comes in bags already ready to go.

                                                                                                                    Strike Three!

                                                                                                                    All their items changed. Enchirito (flour instead of corn tortilla, no olives), Burrito supreme (not even sure what it is anymore), They don't use green onions at all. All their chips, shells etc used to be fried on location fresh every day. I could go on but you get the picture.

                                                                                                                    Del Taco comes close to how it tasted but they are doing the same things and I think they are declining too.

                                                                                                                    It changed so long ago most of you don't even know what it tasted like. Do you notice all the things they push have a bunch of ingredients? It's to hide the flavor or lack of flavor. I would rather pay extra for a local businesses.

                                                                                                                    And no Bellbeefer anymore? They are evil! LOL.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                      I tell my kids all the time how good TB used to be and they just look at me and say ok dad. Ha. I couldnt get enough of the old tacos or bell beefers now its just a big dissapointment.

                                                                                                                      1. re: bigt2112

                                                                                                                        When you say big disappointment you are right. I go once in awhile to Taco Bell but I know after I finish it eating it won't be that good and will leave a funny aftertaste. But I go anyway for the heck of it. But not often. I have not gone in about 3 months have no desire but probably in a few months will go again.

                                                                                                                        When Coke went to the new Coke, I think about 1985 or 1986 people were in an uproar and Coke went back to the original Coke. I wish that Taco Bell customers make an uproar. I have many times written to them via customer feed back about this but I never hear back from them. I have called customer service at TB but they always deny it's different now. They say Taco Bell meat now is the same as years ago but we in the know, know they are either lying or the customer service rep is so young that they don't know how it used to be.

                                                                                                                        Even the shredded cheese are really thick shaved strands of cheese. It used to be really fine cheese shreds. I like the texture and consistency of the fine shredded cheese over this newer big shredded cheese.

                                                                                                                        Things like this made TB lose me as a regular customer and lose many of you too. But I'm sure that TB makes plenty in sales every year so they have no incentive to go back to the old ways of making their products. They would have needed an outpouring like Coke did when they changed in order for TB to go back to their old school ways. I do watch the old TB commercials on YouTube to bring back memories of when TB was good.

                                                                                                                        If they would only introduce an old school menu or taco called "Taco Bell Classic" and let us have the option of the current TB taco meat or the old school one but they have no incentive for that and it would cause more work for them, therefore won't happen.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                        the nacho supremes are a joke now too.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                          That's exactly how I remember it in 1985ish.

                                                                                                                2. Wish I had seen this post two years ago when I started ranting about how Taco Bell was better back in the day. At any rate, I can probably help the people on this board connect the dots.

                                                                                                                  I can't say exactly what year it happened - I want to say it was the early nineties- but I distinctly remember Taco Bell making a big PR production about how they have listened to the consumer that wants less fat, especially in the ground beef, from Taco Bell. Now keep in mind that the health food craze back then was not nearly what it is now, what with cities banning trans fats and all the food intolerances. So why was Taco Bell so quick to change a formula that had proved so popular?

                                                                                                                  I believe the answer becomes apparent when you consider what the original poster here mentioned about the ground beef recipe: it used to contain lard. The word lard has a bad connotation, but lard is animal fat, and it is relatively expensive. Taco Bell definitely got rid of lard, and who knows what else natural, fatty, and probably expensive ingredients and replaced them with the filler stuff, made from cheap soy or other cheap ingredients.

                                                                                                                  It was a pretty brilliant marketing move really. Replace expensive ingredients that I remember used to leave a grease mark on the bottom of the wrapper (when was the last time you saw that on a Taco Bell beef taco?) with cheaper, more chemical, and ultimately probably worse for you ingredients, and tell people you are doing it for their heath and because you are a good corporate citizen. It was probably good business.

                                                                                                                  Man I miss those old tacos. I used to go at least once a week all the way through high school. Now I go back maybe once a year in the vain hope they have gone back to the old ways. Alas, I think with the price of food going up in general, Taco Bell quality, and taste, will probably suffer more long before it gets better.

                                                                                                                  I hope I was able to at constructively to the discussion.

                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: TexasTastsBetter

                                                                                                                    See my post above, I cited that low-cal pr push in the early-mid 90s

                                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                        Remember the Taco Bell Lite menu in the '90s. I can't recall when they changed the recipe/formula to the current one but I wonder if in the '90s the Lite menu became the current menu. What I mean is, is the recipe for the "Lite" tacos now the standard meat recipe and they just got rid of the lite menu and now just have the regular menu with the lite recipe? Maybe that low-cal PR push pushed its way into the regular line up and that's why it taste like it does now.

                                                                                                                        1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                          That's what I'm referring to, and the react hat TTB mentioned it corroborates. When they got rid of the light menu it was replaced with a single menu that was supposedly in between the two

                                                                                                                          1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                            Funny, I am replying to my post. Actually the Taco Bell Lite items taste better than the "regular" TB now. Back then I tried it but went back to the regular menu but if I had the choice between old TB Lite and the current Tacos I'd go back to the TB Lite.

                                                                                                                            1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                              maybe because they're made for fresh to order ?????????

                                                                                                                              maybe ?????????????

                                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                Maybe, but I think the ingredients and recipe formula was just better even on the Lite menu back then than the regular now.

                                                                                                                        2. re: TexasTastsBetter

                                                                                                                          I am the original poster. You hit the nail on the head so to speak. The last time I saw the grease mark on the wrapper the taco is in has been so many years I can not pin point the exact year. But I like your comment because you are right on the money on this.

                                                                                                                        3. I'm sure they feel they are on the right track because the Doritos taco was/is such a huge financial success.Not that I would ever have one.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                                            Yeah that's TB going after the junk-food-as-a-badge-of-honor nitsch. Doesn't bode well for those of us who want a return to quality.

                                                                                                                            1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                                              I like Doritos but I think the Doritos taco isn't really that great.

                                                                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                Meat quality and most other factors aside, I would like the Dorrito taco a lot more if the shell was an actual Dorrito. I tried one a while ago and was disappointed that the shell was not in fact, a Dorrito.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fledflew

                                                                                                                                  Yeah that's what I was expecting. It's a regular shell dusted with dorrito dust. I think if the shell was actually a dorrito it would taste better. But probably would crack too easy.

                                                                                                                            2. I remember the Taco BellGrande taco and oliveson both it and the Burrito Supreme. The current incarnation of TB leaves much to be desired. There is no consistancy and the chips in the nacho supreme are hideous.

                                                                                                                              I, now, only go to a TB that is doubled with a Long John Silvers for a fish taco.

                                                                                                                              1. I worked at a TBs as a teenager -- my first regular paycheck job, actually -- about '84 or '85. Some things that were different then, as far as I can tell:

                                                                                                                                At that time, they had just switched to refried beans we reconstituted from a dry mix. I was told they had switched to canned beans months before and customers could taste the difference and complained, so they actually reverted to the bean mix. We added spices and water from a pre-mixed pack and fried them up in about 50lb batches on the stove. I'm pretty sure they use canned beans now. In my opinion, the par-cooked dehydrated beans we used in the late 80s had more flavor and texture. Also, that was some back breaking work cooking up big batches of beans by hand! I wonder if they even heat them on a stove now or just nuke them?

                                                                                                                                Cooking beans and ground beef was one of the first jobs you'd do there, before you were trusted assembling food on the front line. "The line" back then was a space very visible to the customer, where we assembled orders as they came in. I don't recall us ever making items ahead of time (although of course we cooked large batches of beans and meat and held them in warmers). Now, sometimes you can see who is making the food at TB and sometimes you can't; there is less uniformity store-to-store in actual layout of kitchen/counter. Also, I've gone in TBs many times in recent years and seen food made and sitting out under heat lamps before anyone ordered it, waiting. Even though the TB I worked at was one of the busiest in town, we didn't have food sitting out before it was ordered.

                                                                                                                                As far as menu items went, we had a seafood salad in the late 80s, too. Yes, it had pre-cooked, formerly frozen baby shrimp and "krab" meat, but it was actually a very generous portion of seafood. Basically, it was the regular taco salad except with no beans, cheese or red meat, and the shrimp/krab in it's place. I wish they'd bring that back, actually...except maybe minus the fake crab. It was one of the healthier items you'd find on a fast food menu, except for the fried shell bowl, of course.

                                                                                                                                We also cut all of our vegetables fresh. In fact, almost 30 years later (wow) I still have a small scar on my left hand from too-quickly coring a head of lettuce -- well, missing the lettuce and slicing my finger -- with a very sharp chef's knife. We chopped all the tomatoes and shredded cheese using a combination of hand prep and the trusty Hobart (industrial food prep machines). I do not know if they still prep their own vegetables at individual stores now or whether everything comes pre-diced/shredded.

                                                                                                                                TB also had the "cinnamon crispas" as a dessert item; basically, nacho chips that were dusted with a sugar cinnamon mix instead of salt. They were hot, crunchy and addictive, and a regular serving was plenty because of their rich fried taste. Now they have those airy, cinnamon twisty things I don't care for at all because they are tasteless and have the texture of Styrofoam packing peanuts.

                                                                                                                                I'm also guessing they cut down on trans-fats in food prep since the late 80s, which definitely effects taste.

                                                                                                                                1. I agree with most of what has been stated above. Something that I haven't seen others mention here is the sauce. If I recall correctly, their sauces used to come in little tubs where you peeled the lid off and then poured it out. Similar to the sauce containers used for mcnuggets, but the tub for the taco sauce was a bit shallower. I remember the sauces being quite a bit more spicy and having a sort of smoky or fire-roasted chile flavor. Am I off on this?
                                                                                                                                  On a side note, there is a place in Campbell, California that I love called Taco Bravo that has been around for upwards of 20 years and has a strong cult following. It is almost everything that we wish Taco Bell were.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: fledflew

                                                                                                                                    They had sauce packets when I started eating TB in ~86-88 or so.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                      We had sauce packets, too, not tubs. If you see my post above, I worked in a TB '84-'85.

                                                                                                                                  2. Back in the '70s people would say that the meat in Taco Bell tacos had soy beans in it as a filler. That it did have real beef but a certain amount was filler. If TB never and does not have filler where did these rumors start? I have no problem with soybean filler if it's still a majority meat product. If there is 20% or 25% soy filler and the rest meat and it taste good then I'm okay with that but people say the soy filler is a rumor at least back in the glory days of TB. Today maybe but back then people say no that was rumor. Why did that rumor start. And yes TB tasted great back then but now does not.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                      The only place I recall that was rumored to have beans in the meat was Jack In The Box..Because they used (And still do) a meat Paste. I never recall any inkling of beans in the wonderful Taco meat of the 70's and 80's

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Taelyn

                                                                                                                                        That's right about Jack In The Box. They use beans with the meat and it is a paste. Never had a taco like that before. Whether good or bad, taste great or horrible, it's brilliant. Taco Bell used to be so good as you know too. Wish they would just make the meat the same as before. Tight wads won't do it at Yum brands.

                                                                                                                                    2. Believe you have some of your facts wrong as I worked at TB in the 80's and in the corporate office in the late 90's and early 2000's. Lard wasn't added to the meat, it was added to the beans. The unseasoned ground beef used to come in a plastic bag in the shape of a large cube....just plain ol' ground beef like you buy at the grocery store. The seasoning was powder that you mixed with water then added to the meat while it cooked in large rectangle pans. This is where TB got its distinctive smell. I can still remember smelling like TB after a shift. Pinto beans came in bulk and cooked in a pressure cooker with lard then refried in a similar rectangle pan. Lard was never put in the meat. Ground beef has enough fat that it doesn't need more. Meat is no longer cooked in the store nor are the refried beans. Even the chips are no longer fried in store. The meat changed to boil-in-the-bag.... shipped to the store preseasoned in a bag and reheated by boiling the bag. I can't attest to the change in seasoning as I never knew what the seasonings were in the first place.

                                                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: koakai

                                                                                                                                        You are a 110% correct! That is how it used to be done. I managed a location and can still remember how to do all that stuff to this day.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                          Taco Bell SUCKS!!!! And I know! I first ate my beloved Taco Bell orgasmic food in 1984. It was delicious like you would never know today. Back then I had no money, but through the graciousness of friends was able to enjoy one of life's most satisfying and succulent pleasures. Yes the Bell was heaven on earth. I used to buy the bean burritos, mexican pizzas, and nachos belgrande's. Then moved on to the burrito supreme, bacon cheeseburger burrito, beef burrito and of course tacos. Went at least three times a week and remained 150 lbs. at all times. Never had the flue or any other health problem. The pizza, nachos belgrande, and burrito supreme all came with black olives one of my favorite and flavorful ingredients. The pizza and nachos belgrande also had green onions. When money was available, I purchased these, also the beef burrito, taco salad and the burrito supreme regularly. When money was tight, I purchased only the bean burritos. The bacon cheeseburger burrito was incredible when it appeared too.

                                                                                                                                          Fast forward now to early or mid 90's (don't remember) and I first noticed one day that my nachos belgrande chips tasted horrible all of a sudden. I thought maybe the frying oil went rancid, so blew it off as a one time event. Then it started to happen every time I bought the nachos begrande's. I knew something was not right. Then the black olives were gone, then the baconcheeseburger burrito disappeared.
                                                                                                                                          I then noticed the beef burrito was gone, the ground beef lost its taste. The taco salad disappeared. Then the shredded cheese was no longer thin, and there was less of it used on items. Next the sourcream became tasteless and bland. Followed by the removal of the green onions from items with an excuse used as ecoli which was never true. It was the tomato's that caused the ecoli.
                                                                                                                                          Again NEXT I noticed the bean burrito lost its full filling in the tortilla, and then the tortilla was being folded different enclosing both ends instead of one open end. The bean burrito became a dough burrito. I learned that instead of two scoops of refried beans, employees were ordered to only put one. Not sure what else is going on today, BECAUSE I NO LONGER PATRONIZE TACO BELL! I make my own at home will real lard, full fat, full portions and full list of ingredients. I will never again eat their food, that I so adored years ago. I have much more money today to spend, but will not give one more penny to Taco Bell. I have many friends who do the same. Until God himself or someone with a brain changes back to the original recipes and processes, you will never see us making another Taco Bell purchase ever again. Buh Bye Bell! YOU SUCK THE MEAT! And I pass along every recipe that Taco Bell had to my friends and family so we can make it at our homes.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                            HUNGRYMAN8, you are another person who confirms that Taco Bell used to be so good back pre-90s and in the '90s to present just taste bad. I used to go back to TB every few months even though it does not taste good, just hoping they went back to the original recipes but they have not and I leave TB feeling like I wasted money and calories. I will no longer go there, not even every few months. Just taste horrible.

                                                                                                                                            As long as they are making big money they will not go back to the old TB. Unfortunately people like you and me and others here who know how good it was back in the day don't make enough noise or count. The ones that count are the ones who go there today and spend money. If I could travel back into time and go back to eat old school TB I would and I'd eat plenty. If they went back to the old way I'd eat plenty too, they'd make money off of me. When Coke, I think 1985ish went to the new Coke everyone made a big deal of it and they went back to the classic Coke but this did not happen for TB.

                                                                                                                                            What's these recipes you are talking about? I've seen recipies on the net for Taco Bell meat but these are referring to the current TB type of meat so it's useless to me but do you have something that emulates the original TB?

                                                                                                                                            I even look at old TB commercials on YouTube for nostalgia and for memories when TB tasted good.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                              yeah man, the nachos of today are nothing like they were in the 80's early 90's.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                Nope, they're real real bad. Besides the missing black olives and the bland low fat sour cream, the chips are fried in man made chemically altered vegetable oils instead of natural lard like they used to be.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                    Those too! Like I said before... Taco Bell lied to the public, it was an excuse by them to permanently remove the green onions from the menu items. The green onions did not cause the problem, it was the tomatoes. And even so, it was temporary anyhow. So there were a few bad tomatoes - big deal! Yet, Taco Bell makes a permanent change to their ingredient list for a temporary problem? It is just total BS! Yum brands sucks too! Yum even affected Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. Notice how all these places are declining in quality?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                      Exactly Hungryman 8 !!
                                                                                                                                                      I too NEVER NEVER go to TB, Not in years, heck decades, Maybe ONE time after 1990 .. I have my memories..And they make me smile and want to cry at the same time.
                                                                                                                                                      (It seems you have atleast a little more than memories .. Lucky stiff :-).
                                                                                                                                                      The "Ecoli" thing? What a Crock ... WASH the green onions like all the other veggies and your good,Being Samitary should NOT change a recipe... with all the extensive prep they did I find it hard to believe they didnt wash the veg's THAT was a true major concern but rather an excuse.

                                                                                                                                                      What A shame that TB either has no clue or does not care how MANY customers they lost, and don't realize that even the unknowing younger patrons they do have would DOUBLE/TRIPLE the visits if they returned to ALL the origional recipe's including the freshly prepared toppings.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Taelyn

                                                                                                                                                        Taelyn, I assume you are female. I would like to see more women chime in too on here. I'm certain many patronized TB years ago and would also know today that there is a BIG difference in taste and quality. Thank you for your valid experiences and please do not leave or let this go.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                          I'm reading a lot of these past and present posts about Taco Bell, and I wished they would go back to their old recipes if not forever then at least have a week long of bringing it back for the people like us that enjoyed the heck out of it. Like have a commercial and have it say Taco Bell a blast from the past for your taste buds for the generation of the 80's people or something like that. Just to see how many people show up at Taco Bell for their taste bud memories. I remember being pregnant with my son & having Taco Bell almost everyday. Yeah it was that good!!!!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tamb68

                                                                                                                                                            Amen to that! Glad you joined the discussion. The more people that come forward and reveal what we all know to be true about Taco Bell the better. TB today is a shell of what it used to be - no pun. I remember the exact point when the changes started. It was one time many years ago when the taste of the chips used in the Nachos BelGrande was different. The chips no longer tasted as good. That was the beginning of the downfall. I knew something was very wrong. Then it only got worse.

                                                                                                                                                            Even though a great idea, I don't think it is possible. Because in order to make Taco Bell in original form.... They would need to install kitchen equipment and purchase fresh produce meats and cheeses and prepare them in store on site. The equipment no longer exists at any location thanks to the Koreans.

                                                                                                                                        2. I think it happened in 93/94 when all the Taco Bell's got the Demolition Man overhaul. Around that time all the restaurants were updated and the menus were changed. They got rid of the 59,79,99 menu. Got rid of the old steak and potato burrito that had the hash brown sticks in it. And they introduced the fresco or whatever they called it healthy menu. I remember these changes because I was a broke college student at the time who spent way too much time living on bean burritos and chicken soft tacos.

                                                                                                                                          46 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Velvet Elvis

                                                                                                                                            That was part of the problem for sure..... Now I just went to Taco Bell the other day to see if there was an improvement. Well nothing has changed for the better - SURPRISE!
                                                                                                                                            I focused this time on the ground beef to see how bad it has become. I purchased two beef gordita supremes to find out. Yes, it is as bad as ever. There is no way that this ground beef is the same as it once was. Bad taste, more of an orangey color pastey texture unlike real 100% ground beef w/tiny ball meat beads such as used when Glen Bell owned the franchise and possibly Pepsico too.
                                                                                                                                            It looked and tasted like the cheapest chili in a can. I believe the statement claiming 65% soy filler and 35% beef to be absolutely TRUE! Not sure how YUM brands beat that lawsuit a couple of years ago???? They either gave a test sample of 100% beef for the courts OR somehow there was a technicality in the plaintiffs case that made them lose! Taco Bell ground beef is not in any way 100%, no way, no how, and NOT like it used to be! They can fool some people with burnt taste buds, but not all of us who ate their food in the 80's and early 90's. This is why we all must make their food at home AND in addition spread the recipes all over the public to beat YUM brands on this!!!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                              1. taco bell claims 88% beef 12% filler
                                                                                                                                              2. The people who sued taco bell withdraw the lawsuit, which basically means they were full of it and had no proof.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                I don't believe that the meat is the same. NO WAY! I've been eating Taco Bell since 1984, and the ground beef is very much different than it was back then. Whatever the percentage is - is irrelevant. The taste is worse today. It is now an orangy smooth paste. Years ago it was full ground beef dark brown and prill (small spheres/grains) with only seasoned beef taste. You are probably too young to know. But if you want to know what it tasted like when it was good? Just make it yourself to compare. I explained how to do it in earlier posts.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                  I honestly don't think ANYTHING they make now is the same as before. Maybe the mild sauce in the packets.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                    Check up thread from the guy who used to work there. They stopped prepping raw meat and veggies in the store in the mid 1980s and switched to zero-prep cryovac bags of pre-cooked meat and pre-shredded veggies. It doesn't taste the same because they went with cheaper ingredients that untrained staff can just slop into prep bins and dump onto burrito skins.

                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7517...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                      Yep saw that a while back and knew about it. They just don't get food made fresh is superior. But again they don't care about the food they just care about $$.

                                                                                                                                                      If someone started a similar chain and touted fresh made on site ingredients I bet TB would feel the squeeze and change their food.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                        Nope, because such a chain would not be able to compete on price. Lots of people don't care if their food tastes like crap, as long as it's cheap.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                          Not true. Kids with drugged out tastebuds don't run the world of fast food. Ask Glen Bell.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                            Fast food, like it or not, is all about cheap and fast. Taste is secondary. Fast casual goes for fast and 'tasty,' with expense being a secondary concern.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                              Taco Bell was FAST back in the 80's. But at the same time it was exctasy to the taste buds. Not today, just fast slop.

                                                                                                                                                              Because YUM brands cares not for quality as Glen Bell did, YUM has no personal reputation as did Glen Bell. An entity has no feelings like an individual who's name is represented.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                          Sbarro, well Sbarro is pizza not tacos but Sbarro for example is now boasting that they make everything fresh now. The dough was always made on site and fresh but the sauce was canned and the cheese was per-shredded baged type. Now they stress that they make their sauce from fresh tomatoes and freshly shredded cheese. So they make sure people know it's all from scratch and fresh. They were kind of expensive before and I think the price is the same so they didn't raise the prices when they went fresh.

                                                                                                                                                          I have been to El Taco the place Glen Bell had before he started Taco Bell. This is in Downey. I was hoping that it would taste like old Taco Bell. Does not but it is good quality. They use real beef I'm pretty sure and they use fresh ingredients like Taco Bell once did.

                                                                                                                                                          I love watching the old Taco Bell commercials on YouTube from the '70s and '80s. Such memories of good food and good times.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                            Ya got me curious about the Sbarro thing, so I had to find an article. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/bus... oughta do it.

                                                                                                                                                            Doesn't look like they're actually using fresh tomatoes, just canned whole ones and turning them into sauce in the store. Big whoop. Same deal with the cheese. It probably still sucks, they're just shredding it in the store instead of in their local factory.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                              I actually had the new pizza that they make now and it's good but I actually like the pizza they made before they went "fresh". Oh they use canned tomatoes. That's still pretty good in my book because I am a big New York style pizza fan and make NY style pie also and I know making from canned tomato is still very respectable. I don't find Sbarro to be a bad place but because they are in the mall they get a bad rap. I think though the canned sauce they used before was better than the new sauce made from tomatoes. I sometimes make sauce from canned tomatoes and comes out good.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                I always make sauce from canned tomatoes. Escalon 6-in-1, and it is always fantastic. Canned tomatoes are far superior to fresh romas for pizza sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                  I'd have to agree. I tried fresh tomatoes and it just doesn't taste as good believe it or not as canned tomatoes. I have been using Classico Ground Peeled Tomatoes and they are excellent. Some say on par with 6-in-1. I use the Classico because the cans are smaller than the Escalon so I don't have to deal with too much at once for storage.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                    Whenever I can't get to one of my local outlets that has escalon, I pick up canned from the grocer and usually go with Hunt's. Never quite as good. I'll have to give Classico a shot. Thanks for the tip!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                      Glad to help. I think you'll like Classico. Walmart depending on which one will have it.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                    A great pizza sauce is very special. It is very different from pasta sauce. And the one I find best at the retail level is Don Pepino in a yellow can. It is goooood!

                                                                                                                                                                    Don't EVER use pasta sauce for a pizza and vice versa!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                Let's hope Taco Bell takes a tip from Sbarro!

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                I agree. I hope someone who cares buys out TB and restores it.

                                                                                                                                                              4. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                You're correct. That too and the fact that they changed recipes and ingredients. Not to mention the different cooking procedures. Tastes like playdoh and oscar meyer lunchables mixed together.

                                                                                                                                                              5. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                I remember how good taco bell used to be. We used to buy those 6-10 packs all the time and it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                The quality of beef argument is different than the percentage of beef argument.

                                                                                                                                                                Your first post:
                                                                                                                                                                "I believe the statement claiming 65% soy filler and 35% beef to be absolutely TRUE!"

                                                                                                                                                                Argument is null and void

                                                                                                                                                                Your second post
                                                                                                                                                                "I don't believe that the meat is the same. NO WAY! I've been eating Taco Bell since 1984, and the ground beef is very much different than it was back then. Whatever the percentage is - is irrelevant. "

                                                                                                                                                                Argument is 100% true

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                              Exactly with the low prices they charge for their tacos there is no way they use 100% beef. Okay they are not dirt cheap but they want to maximize profits so they use meat that is not really all beef, charge a reasonable price per taco so people buy them then they make a nice hefty profit. So at those prices not real beef, or not all 100% real beef. And at Del Taco on Tuesday they have something like 59 cent tacos or something like that. I doubt that they can be real beef at that price too.

                                                                                                                                                              I agree we must make at home since the stuff in the fast food joints don't taste so good and are not made or real ingredients as they claim it is.

                                                                                                                                                              I also miss the old Taco Bell mission style restaurants. Most of those have been sold off to independent fast food owners and are something else, not Taco Bell. I was in Hawaii in 2005 with my wife getting married and we went to a Taco Bell on Oahu that was still the mission style restaurant. I got a kick out of that. Wonder if 7 years later if it still is TB?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                Cheap doesn't mean fake. A crunchy taco weighs 2.75 ounces best I can tell, and half of that is probably shell, lettuce, and cheese. An ounce or so of beef mixture (with 12% seasoning and filler, of course) probably costs them about $.20 or so. Del Taco's tacos are only 2.25 ounces, so they can afford to charge $.59 I'm sure. Works out to $4.20 a pound.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                  Did you notice the cheese? They now use coarse cut pieces. Want to know why? Because finely shredded cheese like Taco Bell used years back is more difficult to skimp. When the preparer grabs a pinch, they can now grab a smaller quantity between their fingers because it does not gather a pile like finely shredded. Try an experiment at home and see for yourself. Finely shredded cheese clusters very easily.

                                                                                                                                                                  Trust me, Taco Bell (YUM brands) thinks of every way possible to skimp that they can get away with and they DO!

                                                                                                                                                                  I would rather Taco Bell make their items in the same way shape and form like originally and WOULD PAY MORE to get the same quality like long ago. Price does not matter to me.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                    I totally agree with you that I would pay more for Taco Bell if they made it the same way they did back in the glory days of the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                    You are right about YUM brands skimping to increase profit. They do this at the cost of taste and quality.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                      The thing is a lot of people AREN'T willing to pay more for a better tasting taco. Taco Bell's slop tastes good enough at that .99 and $1.99 price point. Sometimes you want a fine single malt scotch or a rare burgundy and sometimes you just want to get stinko on the cheap. I'm fortunate to have an excellent tacqueria near me where I pay $3 per taco for some excellent al pastor and carne asada tacos. There's also a Taco Bell right up the road. I'm convinced that if you took their customers to my tacqueria, they'd either shrug and refuse to pay $3 for a taco or whine about how it doesn't taste like a "real taco" from Taco Bell, because THAT'S what they grew up eating.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                        And THAT is why we are losing our food traditions in our country. We need to slow down and realize everything doesn't have to be pre-made, come in a box, have ingredients nobody knows what they are etc.

                                                                                                                                                                        Look at the grocery store. Precut onions, vegetables, SALAD. That bagged salad used to be just the lettuce they couldn't sell, now look at your grocery store. How long does it take to cut an onion? People must be buying it or it wouldn't be there.

                                                                                                                                                                        So if the generation now is used to eating cr@p that is all they know. We have all fallen into this trap. Ever taste a pie crust made with homemade or real lard? Flakey and tasty. Real BBQ cooked over wood for hours vs a McRib sandwich? I could go on for ever...

                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry </RANT>

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with you, but time is money. All that pre-cut, pre-bagged stuff is for people working two jobs and lugging kids around from soccer to music to ballet classes. To them, it's cheaper than getting carryout and less hassle, for which they're willing to pay, and groceries are happy to take their money. Like fastfood, groceries have two options: charging a premium for more expensive good or make their money in volume. My tacqueria takes the former route, Taco Bell the latter. What's depressing is that you have students in college who think of Subway as "comfort food" because it reminds them of home because that's what their parents bought them when they were kids.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                            ha ha, Subway? That and Blimpie are both wastes of money. A deli is where you get a great sandwich. I went to one of those sub places once in my life and only once. I paid $15.00 and got 3 rolls of bread and a paint brush stroke worth of meat. Never again.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                            You are so right Mr_See. Even though I am the Class of 1985, I have an old yearbook from 1954 from the same high school I graduated from. It might has well been a million years difference not just 31 years. I have other old year books from my old school and other schools. People in the year books from the old days looked much healthier and happier than the kids now. My class of '85 even looked healthier and happier than kids now even though we used to eat fast good back in '85. Back in 1954 I there were fast food joints but as you note things were not all pre-made and super processed. Kids were not as fat and just looked healthier. In 1985 by then fast food was king but not to the point it is now and even Taco Bell was still good at that point in time.

                                                                                                                                                                            You are right we are losing our food traditions in this country. If Papa Johns has a large pizza for $11 and get a second one for half off then makes you wonder. I can't say if PJ is junk or not but just think that with all these price wars I wonder if the quality suffers. I think so.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                              Right again! And Papa Johns pizza is another. Worst @$%%^ pizza I ever tasted. Anyone who thinks Papa Johns is good? Has been bamboozled to the kilt!

                                                                                                                                                                              Take it from a Sicilian.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                Papa Johns is all about that garlic butter sauce they give you. It's basically a Digiorno's frozen pizza that you can slather in delicious chemicals.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                                                  Papa Johns is one of the worst pizza's made. Even worse than pizza in Washington DC and the Arlington Virginia area. That is saying a lot!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                              Those real foods exist. The smart people know what is good and what isn't. Only fools partake in fake and phony imposters. Don't worry in Europe all the fine cuisines still use real ingredients. Once you taste real butter and lard, you never go back to crap.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                              I go to plenty of authentic Mexican places but those tacos are different that the Mexican influenced Taco Bell tacos whether it was Taco Bell of the glory days that a lot here miss or they are from today the ones we don't care for. I doubt it would cost them a lot to make the tacos the same as they did during the glory days today if they would do it. But every cent counts to a cheap parent company like Yum brands. So if it would cost them 10 cent more and they think that raising the price 10 cents or so would cause customers to not eat there then they would not improve the quality at the fear of losing customers.

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not asking they shred the lettuce on site or the cheese but at least make the meat right. Also I don't think it's only the raw meat ingredient but the spice formula they use now as well as the as many pointed out the process in which the meat is cooked. If they would get the right spice formula again and return to the same process of cooking the meat it would taste much better and the cost of using better real beef per taco should not cost a lot as the poster above somewhere noted.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                Once you've gone the cheap slop route, there's a financial incentive to stay the course. You create an entire ecosystem devoted to processing, packaging, and delivering raw slop to the distribution stations. Dominos gets their dough delivered in huge tractor trailor rigs from the dough processing center. They let it thaw near the ovens and throw the rest in the fridge. I can't imagine them moving to a fresh product mixed in-house. I used to deliver for them back when they still hand-tore chunks of sausage from a 5lb slab. Then they switched to the pre-molded pelletized stuff that looks like dry dogfood. Helped their bottom line but it didn't taste the same. So when Taco Bell decides they can save 2 cents per taco by switching to bleached cow rectums, you better believe they'll do it. Their board of directors million-dollar bonuses depend on the success of Taco Bell's New Outrageous Volcano Rectum Taco.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                  Very true. If they can save 2 cents they'll do it even if that 2 cents difference could essentially be the difference between a good or a bad product.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I bet some of the execs who call the shots at Yum or Taco Bell would never eat at their own restaurants. The food is edible so if they had to for show they would but I bet they would feel the food is pretty bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                    Over time, eventually, people get used to the cheap slop and forget what the original thing tasted like. They eventually become nostalgic for the hideous simulacra of what once was. At some point, they decided that Cheez Wiz was an adequate substitute for real cheese. Now you have people who think that's what's supposed to go on a cheesesteak. If you've ever had that Government cheese they hand out for people on a fixed income, there's a whole subculture that worships that stuff. And even though SPAM doesn't really resemble baked ham at all, Stalin said that stuff is what got the Russians through the winter of 1942 and it's pretty much a staple in Phillipine cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                      SPAM is a staple of Hawaiin cooking too. The GIs in the war that were stationed in Hawaii were given SPAM to eat as their normal meals so after the war the Hawaiian culture just took to it and kept eating it to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                    That is why I say "Make Your Own Bell".....oh and those pelleted sausage pieces put on pizza? They all taste terrible no matter what brand uses them...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't think that all the fools would stay with the same mindset after tasting REAL Taco Bell food.

                                                                                                                                                                            4. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                              You're right. The original style was more appealing too. But the food is of utmost importance here. And those children of today have no clue on how food SHOULD taste. When one is introduced on dog food, they think it is the best there is. Just ask anyone who grew up eating maggots, slugs and bugs....

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                You are so right HUNGRYMAN8. Think about it those of use who are older who knew the quality and taste of Taco Bell back in the glory days so to speak know the difference but those who are young have no clue. Then again some people who were old enough to eat at Taco Bell say in the '80s might have no clue because they don't pay enough attention to food quality and taste and might have no idea the taste is different now.

                                                                                                                                                                                I wish Taco Bell would go back to the old ways and just charge a little more. Or have a Taco Bell Classic menu and the current menu. Maybe a limited one with just the old school tacos with the good meat but we know that is not gonna happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                If I could go back in time to say 1985 I would for sure eat at Taco Bell every day I was there before I had to go back to the future (great movie too). In the movie Burger King was featured, wish it had been Taco Bell who sponsored them like they sponsored I think it was the movie Demolition Man.

                                                                                                                                                                                By the way the cheese is not shredded finely now as it was years ago. They are thicker shreds which adds the wrong texture too. They actually used finely shredded cheese even after they changed the meat to the bad tasting meat. When they changed the cheese I called Taco Bell customer support to ask about that and the woman said no it was always like that. No it was not the cheese was finely shredded even when the meat was changed it stayed finely shredded for years until one day they changed it. Even if the cheese was good quality the taste would be different because of the texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                Taco Bell has plenty of customers so they won't change and go back to the old good ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                Now I know why I only go to Taco Bell maybe two times a year at most and I regret it after but I go for old time sake even if it is different now.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yep.... That is what I feel. Class of 1985 here also, so I know what I'm talking about. Glad I shared the recipes as did others here. Spread the knowledge to ALL!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. So th eOP is in his/her early 40s. That means a teen before the 90s . I don't think taco bell food was any better then, you just liked crappy food better. Of course some may believe that their palates were just as sophisticated at 16 as at 42, but they are likely wrong. Heck, I ate at taco Bell 30 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi that was me. I was 43 when I started the thread and now I am 45 so you are right, early 40s. It's been 2 years and 1 day since I started the thread.

                                                                                                                                                                            No Taco Bell tasted way different back then it did. It really did. Many people here even agree with me.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                              We're the same age. Yup! I told the other poster how wrong they really are. I tasted Taco Bell CHANGE their food in real time as it happened! I know what I experienced.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah...and where is my chili-cheese chilito?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jennyfur

                                                                                                                                                                                  hmmm I missed that one apparently. i hope it was a good menu item : )

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                                                                                                                You are mistaken my friend. There is a big difference between today and yesterday in Taco Bell. I can prove it. I tasted it change. I knew everytime a change was made. Be it the frying of the tortilla chips for the nachos, the removal of black olives, the removal of green onions, the change from whole milk sour cream to low fat, the change to stable burrito (tortillas) from refrigerated type, change from finely shredded montery jack / mild cheddar blend to coarse shred cheddar, change of 100% ground beef and seasoning that was granular brown to the orangy colored filler infused slop they use now. Want me to go on?

                                                                                                                                                                                I know, I was there, and my taste buds are just as sensitive as they were back then. In fact if anything, taste buds are at their peak when you are a child. Think about why kids hate vegetables so much...hmmmm So that arguement is mute! Nothing personal, but you are sorely wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                    Much obliged! I hate to toot my horn, it is just not me. But feel free to use what I said above on (HUNGRYMAN8 Dec 13, 2012 04:31 PM) to tell anyone who doubts Taco Bell changed. It explains it all. The smart ones who are old enough know. And the rest either are too young to know what they missed or are fools with compromised tongues.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Like I said before I TASTED IT CHANGE!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                      Too young to know better, or fools? Please.

                                                                                                                                                                                      You forgot option 3: people who simply disagree with you that Taco Bell was better in the past.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                        True there can be differs in opinions but I think the vast majority of the people will tell you that Taco Bell tasted way better in the '70s and '80s and maybe part of the '90s.

                                                                                                                                                                                        How long ago did you first eat at Taco Bell?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                          1984 or so. It was different, but I wouldn't necessarily say better. I also wouldn't say someone was wrong who thinks it tastes better now, and I certainly would not call them a fool for having a different opinion. That's not what CH is about.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                            I am not sure who you are referring to but I never said anyone was wrong or a fool but I can say it does taste different now than then and in my opinion so much better. Now I don't really care for the taste that's why I don't go to Taco Bell any longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                              You sure you don't know whom he was referring to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll just say all opinions are only opinions, and YMMV. We're not in a one size fits all world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                                                                                                                                                    He is saying it was different and not necessarily better. Okay I know it's about opinions and one might differ from mine but I will say is that I started this thread and it was my opinion that Taco Bell was way better in the '70s and '80s and maybe just maybe into the beginning of the '90s. That was my opinion and my original post. So yes you don't have to tell me that these are opinions because I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                                                                                                                                                      If what you say is true.... Then why did YUM brands change recipes and ingredients to cheapen and make them smaller? You don't think that had an affect on taste?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      If not, maybe you and others eat like dogs. That is bite and swallow without chewing and tasting your food. That may be problem solved on those who think TB is delicious. Bingo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you whatever the heck YUM was up to did change the taste. I'm just saying that other poster was saying it's opinion and I say okay it's opinion and in my opinion it taste different now and horrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you see my postings I have been saying that Taco Bell taste horrible now. So no, I don't eat like dogs. I agreed with you on many of your post now you think I am disagreeing with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Did you not see that I am the original poster and the main theme of my post that this new Taco Bell taste bad? Where do you get that I think it doesn't when in fact I was just agreeing with the other poster that some might think it taste the same and that is their opinion. Read my posts and the other posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hounddogz, I was not referring to you. Maybe I replied to the wrong post in error. My apologies if that happened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know all along you and I agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now lets get back to our mission. And that is to figure out and disseminate ALL old Taco Bell recipes for free to the public. So that those who have real taste can enjoy old school Taco Bell. I enjoyed my beautiful bean burritos with warm filling oozing with real cheese and soft onion and red sauce. MMMMM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No problem : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think the screen shifts sometimes when loading and the replies can go to the wrong recipient.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway - I'm still making my delicious bean burritos at home. One open end, big, heavy, oozing with mild cheddar, red sauce and some steamed white onion!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. ...no more chilitos either :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AdamD

                                                                                                                                                                                    I liked the Chilioto. I wish they still had it. Did it not sell well is that why it's gone?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                      Many items can still be ordered. I have friends who still order enchiritos. The chilito still pretty much tastes the same, but seems to have gotten smaller. And, HoundDogz, you're not the one acting like your you know what doesn't stink and everone else is just a dog. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                                                                                                                                        Enchiritos are still on the menu. Nothing tatses the same as in the 80's, because the tortillas and tortilla chips including the salad shell are not made the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                        These items are gone:

                                                                                                                                                                                        Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito - (special item)
                                                                                                                                                                                        Taco Salad - (staple)
                                                                                                                                                                                        Cinnamon crispers - (staple)
                                                                                                                                                                                        Tostada - (staple)
                                                                                                                                                                                        Black Olives - (staple)
                                                                                                                                                                                        Green Onions - (staple)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tostadas are still there? Just had a couple the other day. Of course by the time I got home both slid to one side. I know it came that way when they bagged it. It just tasted plain and nothing special about it. Beans ruined it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't forget the Bellbeefer. Bun, sauce, onions, ground beef and cheese. THAT was tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmm, Last time I checked it was no longer on the menu. I asked and they said they do not have that item anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                That was the large taco. Had a larger shell. Like the macho taco at Del Taco. I believe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, maybe the Taco Bell's by me never added that item. If it was old days, then I'm sure it was GOOD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                  extra-large corn taco shell, sour cream, lettuce, tomato.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                                                                                                                                              The enchirito is still there but it's not the same. The original used corn tortillas they use flour now and had 3 olives on it. I don't like olives but would eat those.

                                                                                                                                                                                              So to make one you would do the following:

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. corn tortilla steamed
                                                                                                                                                                                              2. beans, meat and onions roll up
                                                                                                                                                                                              3. sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                              4. cheese and topped with 3 olives.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The current version doesn't taste anything like the original.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. A slightly off topic question. Is it just my local TB, or has the1/2 lb Combo Burrito shrunk in the last couple of months? I just checked the company website and it's still listed the same. I suppose I could try the next location in, to see, but they probably have the same owner.

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                            It's kinda like Subway's $5 Footlongs are six inches long. I blame the "new math."

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                              My niece noticed that the diameter of the Reeses Peanut Butter cups is smaller now. I don't know if that's true but she thinks so. Smaller and charge the same and the company makes more money and we spend more for the same quantity. Who wins and who loses? We do lose and they win.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                                It is smaller. In the 70's and 80's it was 1.8 ounces for 2 cups. In 2003, 1.6 ounces. Now, 1.5 ounces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Beware, the King Size is 2.8 ounces for 4 cups, so I would not be surprised to see the regular twin pack shrink to 1.4 ounces in the near future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sources:
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonlie...
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.deadcaterpillar.com/are-re...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You confirmed it. Smaller cups for the consumer. Too bad for those who like these. I do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: HoundDogz

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think she is correct. I noticed that one too. Time to SAVE packaging and deep freeze portion sizes to prove to the ignorant and inattentive how food changes for the worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Same as politics. People have short memories. That is why we are in a mess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It probably did. That is how it starts. The prepares in the Taco Bell's are ordered to USE LESS filling. Then over time people forget and come to believe that any particular item was "always that way".... Just like the bean burrito, it went from 2 scoops of bean down to 1 scoop of bean under direct orders by YUM brands. Now it is a DOUGH BURRITO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Same as when McDonald's reduced the size of the Big Mac and still claims to this day that it is the same. I wish someone froze a Big Mac from the 70's to prove it was bigger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  People start deep freezing fast food of today to prove how items shrink in size/weight years from now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Well people, I just made delicious Bean Burritos again last night at home. Came out just like it used to be from Taco Bell pre early 90's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll tell you exactly how I made them. So you too can taste and feel the orgasmic qualities that we used to enjoy:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Follow this exactly, trust me. If you don't it will not come out correctly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  OK first thing is to get refrigerated burrito size tortillas - not shelf stable!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Take out as many as you think you will fill from the package. Then set them aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next get a can or two of refried beans (does not matter what brand). Dump the contents into a pot. Heat on stove and add water to the consistency that YOU like. I like mine a little runny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next while bean is heating, chop a white sweet onion. If it is too hot raw, then nuke the chopped onion on a flat dish in the microwave until you see steam and the tips of the pieces just start to shrink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next get a finely shredded mild cheddar ready at room temperature. A blend of monterey jack/mild cheddar will do too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Open you bottle or can of red enchilada sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Once your bean paste is heated and to the proper consistency, take a tortilla and place on a large plate. Fill one side of circle with a nice helping of warmed refried bean paste (not to ends). Next, add about a tablespoon or so (to taste) of the chopped sweet or heated onion on the bean.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next add a nice helping of the finely shredded cheese along the bean. Then drizzle a ribbon of some red enchilada sauce down the pile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next fold one end (I do right side) over to touch the filling about a 1/4 length up from one side. Again, I fold right side on mine. Next roll the filling and tortilla into a roll leaving one end OPEN. This is how Taco Bell used to fold them until they cut down filling amount.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  OK place the completed burrito on another plate. Then repeat for the rest. After all is done. Place the plate of burritos into the microwave until the cheese melts slightly. You can VIEW the cheese through the one OPEN end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then remove and ENJOY the PAST. MMMMMM!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You may even enjoy this as much as sex, trust me. It is a taste sensation climax.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I live in southern AZ, so I will answer with my own voice and no other, except for DH, who agrees.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    They used to be a borderline viable option, until they started wrapping the taco shells with beans, et cetera, and another taco shell and became a parody of themselves. There are youtube videos to parody that thing. But they've become a horrible bastardization of southwest american food. And Mexican food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I, for one, enjoyed Taco Bell starting in the early '90's and continue to do so today. I haven't noticed too much of a drop off. The Mexican pizza isn't what it was, IMHO. But I still enjoy my all too infrequent visits, when I usually get a burrito supreme, a double-decker taco and a supreme soft taco. The supreme nachos are still good, too. Sure, I'm drunk almost everytime I go, but that was true of my prior visits, as well. It's still good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you were drunk all those times, then you missed the great tasting food of the very early 90's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        All I can say is no matter what Taco Bell thinks of with new names, sizes, etc. It will never be good anymore. Ever since YUM brands took over, the days of Glen Bell quality are over. If you are old enough to remember the glory days of fresh, full, real ingredients of the 80's? Then you know what I'm talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The days when full fat regular sour cream, black olives, green onions, refrigerated tortillas (NOT shelf stable), refried beans mixed with water and cooked w/lard on site each day, vegetables chopped on site each day, monterey jack and mild cheddar shredded on site each day, and 100% ground beef ground and cooked with spices/water on site each day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        All that is gone, everything is shipped in stale to each location pre-made and the beef is no longer 100%, now it has fillers. That is why it is an orangey paste as opposed to years past of brown meat granules only. This new idea to save YUM money is called the "K minus kitchen" or K-minus program. Stands for minus quality. Should have been named Q-minus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyway you are better off staying away from Taco Bell, and making the entrees at HOME yourself. It will cost less, and you will taste a big difference. Old school Taco Bell was orgasmic in taste. Today all you get is pig slop. Not very healthy at all like years ago. Recipes for original Taco Bell can be found here and on the internet. Your mouth and body will thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Try making refried beans from scratch with lard sometime. Nothing like that canned junk you get now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          One of these days I'm going to make their menu the way it was done before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds great! But what I am doing currently is adding lard to my refried beans from a can. It's not perfect but I still like it better than TB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "One of these days I'm going to make their menu the way it was done before."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is what I like to hear!!! Everyone should be doing this. I try to pass the recipes out after I duplicate them. We all should do the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. HD .. You are SO RIGHT, Im so happy to know Im not the only person upset by this. I actually feel cheated, My memories are vivid and I recall the taste and smell well, And knowing Ill never eat another upsets me too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe TB has changed the recipe a couple of times... So if someone does not recall TB when they served ONE basic taco sauce in a little tub, And One Hot tub usually given by request as the mild sauce was most popular.. Before they changed it then put it in a packet a packet, Well... They will never understand, because The "Original Recipe's of ALL Items" Has not been served since the mid 80's. Probably when Pepsico took over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My taste buds have not changed..Fast food has changed... And why any Owner would take 1 or 2 of the most popular best selling FF franchises, and try to "Improve" something that was clearly loved and famous for what it was boggles my mind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for being healthier (Which is what the original excuse for the changes were) Like you, If I want healthy food the last place I would go is a Junk food place,, At Best I would keep what works, and add healthy choices If that was the concern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Like you I sorely miss those greasy Tacos, Wrapped in yellow wrappers filled with freshly shredded lettuce and fine mild Cheese (Fresh cheese is VERY different then pre prepped packaged cheese) try shedding some at home and you will see. Fresh finely shredded mild cheese is soft and moist and sticks to the lettuce and just stays in place better than pre frozen cheese, and the fresh Taste is distinct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Id unwrap one of my 4 or 6 tacos open one tub and apply then begin a journey only those over 40 could know. The grease (Or greasy juice) would leak down my arm as I ate, Id open another little tub just to pour on my bites.. Oh and the Taco shells were a thinner white corn, and crispy, never stale, or rubbery, and the Taco was stuffed, The only thing they were a bit stingy with was the cheese but you could ask for double or extra.. I LOVED Taco Bell Tacos back then.. Now you could not pay me to eat one. I think the last time I tried one was when they changed hands again the last time.. Still Bad !! The shells are made of coarsely ground yellow corn, They are not crisp and are instead stale, and the Meat was still awful and dry, little lettuce, and pre frozen tasteless cheese that was a large shred and almost not even visible. But the new generation does not know any better so they dont understand how much they are missing..But I cant imagine that TB does as well in sales as before.. Fresh prepped is ALWAYS better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The same can be said about McDonalds, I recall standing in line while orders were placed to the """GRILL COOKS""
                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 burgers ,8 Cheeseburgers, 4 Big Macs plz ... and calling out special orders and if we ordered a S O ,, We had to wait a few minutes longer.. But everything was HOT, grilled within 5 minutes cuz it all went so fast, NOTHING was cold, nothing was microwaved We could often still see the sizzle on the meat and be it Plain or with the regular toppings, it was always moist, Hot, and YUMMY..Now they are all precooked and the precooked patties are pressed/nuked then condiment go on buns, The fries are still good but not as good as they used to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Its a SHAME that Government and corporations have ruined this business of Fast Food, and the pleasure of consumers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Its up yo US to make sure we dont GORGE ourself .. Thats never the businesses fault.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only FF Item I know that has not changed at all is the Jack in the Box Taco, It depends on the store you go to whether they are stingy or lazy filling the taco..But the taco is how its always been, Greasy with a meat spread, a slice of AM cheese and a squirt of taco sauce.. And quite tasty even though different than most tacos.. JIB has tried changing other items but thank goodness they were smart enough to leave the tacos alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh how I wish Taco Bell had done the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Heck they can sell me the recipe for it and the Orig taco sauce.. I'll open my OWN taco shop LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Taelyn

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funny I just made tacos last night. I found a couple packets of taco bell taco seasoning in my pantry so I thought I would try it. Now I'm assuming this is the same stuff they use in their meat factory now. It is NOT the same seasoning as back then. I opened up up and smelled it and tasted it. For one they used to use dried onions not onion powder. This stuff is so powdery like flour now. I remember the color being darker too. Really not much taste at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought some fresh flour tortillas for my son and he LOVED them. He said they don't compare to taco bell or the normal packaged ones you get in the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If people could actually TASTE quality I think their attitudes would change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't expect Taco Bell seasoning in a packet to be the same as years past. You can add dried chopped onions to it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can also add fresh chopped onion to the ground beef halfway through the browning and simmering with water for the filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Taelyn

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Taelyn you gave a wonderful accurate description of what occurred to our beloved 80's TB food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stick around, and also spread what you know and have learned about this problem. Try to make the foods you liked at home. I and others together want to let everyone know how to duplicate the original TB foods. I posted my recipes here prior. Together we can overcome this taste deprivation we suffer. And maybe Glen Bell will buy back Taco Bell or someone who will hold true to its founding...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I am wondering if the nostalgia that many posters feel for the "old taste of Taco Bell" aren't just misplaced feelings for all those drunken party nights when the food was horked down with enthusiasm and hunger. Could it be that many miss those fun party feelings rather than the food enjoyed at the end of the night?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                              my taco bell experiences were while sober. look at the changes/deletions of ingredients. could be that we miss the olives, the full-fat sour cream, the soy-free meat, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Absolutely not. Taco Bell was my first job and I know how it was made and how it's made now. Two different companies really. The only thing that is the same or close is the mild sauce packet. Take the bean burrito for instance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Beans now: Pinto Beans, Soy Oil (Trans Fat Free Shortening with TBHQ and Citric Acid to Protect Flavor), Salt. Comes pre packaged now. And why do you need to "Protect flavor"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Beans back then: Pinto Beans, Lard. This was made fresh in the store. From dry beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Red Sauce. If you had the old it had a more pronounced flavor than it does now. It came in a can back then and was more of a flavor of enchilada sauce. Here are the ingredients now: Modified Corn Starch, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Salt, Tomato Powder, Onion Powder, Spices, Garlic Powder, Yeast Extract (Contains Gluten), Extractives Of Paprika (Color), Xanthan Gum, Malic Acid, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Trehalose, Natural Flavors, And Less Than 2% Silicon Dioxide Added As A Processing Aid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Onions. Chopped fresh at location. Not sure how they do it now but I imagine pre bagged?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Cheese. Was cheddar that came in a block. We shredded it ourselves finely. Now it is large pieces that comes pre shredded in a bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                5. Tortillas. They were different back then. But all tortillas I think were different back then. They were made with lard. Here are ONE of the possible ingredient lists you may get now: Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Ground Corn treated with Lime, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following: Corn Oil, Soybean Oil) with TBHQ and Citric Acid (to preserve freshness), contains 2% or less of the following: Salt, Calcium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (to preserve freshness), Furmaric Acid, Dough Conditioner. CONTAINS: WHEAT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Preserve freshness? If we didn't rotate them correctly they would go bad and we would toss them. They were kept in a water steam cabinet. Not sure now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                6. Assembly. This is stupid I know but the proper way to make the bean burrito was to leave one end open. I can't stand when both ends are closed. I think it's just to hide how crappy they are now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mr. Smee,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for the thoroughness and details in your answer, which really answered my question (and assertion) very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fresh, Lard, Natural, etc. - All key terms of OLD Taco Bell!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the bean burrito, the open end is proper. They close it on both ends now to hide the small amount of filling. Nothing but a "dough burrito" now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Absolutely not. I was sober as rain everytime I enjoyed my Taco Bell dinner. I would get it on the weekends and eat it before going out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We know Taco Bell removed ingredients from items, changed to the K-minus kitchen instead of FRESH vegetables, beans, meats, cheese and tortillas, uses low fat sour cream, vegetable oils for chips, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You don't think these changes affected the quality and taste of the food?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nope...completely sober when I enjoyed the great taste back then although I'd have to be drunk to enjoy the taste now...ironically enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cynsant71

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know, tell me about it. Besides my favorites like the original nachos belgrande, mexican pizza, burrito supreme, beef burrito, and bacon cheeseburger burrito... I used to get 4 bean burritos after a night out and chow down! These were made full of filling, heavy and flavorful. Oh the days....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. "Do You Notice the Difference Now?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "yea".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      there's no simarity in anything.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the tacos are baby sized.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the bell burgers have been gone for ions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      some weird odd nonMexican undelights have come and gone. everything's smaller. < now some may like that but when I want a bean burrito I want 1 not 2. 1 is so small though I've actually pulled up to the drive thru or walked in depending on time of day, and said I'd pay more understandably but can you make me a bean burrito bigger using a larger tortilla and more filling. they've always gotten it approved and done it. I even bought 2 that way and brought them home to put in hubby's lunch the next day. he asked (when he got home) "what Taco Bell I got those HUGE burritos from."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yea, it's all different now. < Those huge burritos he'd ask about we're the size they used to be, but not huge, just regular sized.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're right. However, the bean burrito tortilla itself is the same size - at least last time I had one years ago. It is just folded differently. It now has layers of folds and closed on both ends. 1 little scoop of beans instead of the two large ones back when.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Might as well just roll up a flour tortilla and dip it in bean paste. Tastes just as terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. One word sums it up: Pepsi. Well, another word also: Yum. They fucked up Kentucky Fried Chicken and A&W also. Pathetic. I just make my own "Mexican" food at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: joeroberts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You got it! No wonder I can't get Kentucky nuggets any longer. Those chicken nuggets were the best!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why o why did Glenn Bell sell????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Doesn't anybody care about quality any longer over one extra dollar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course not. Why do you think nearly every domestic appliance is made in China? People would rather spend $20 on a cheap waffle iron that breaks every few years than $100 on one that will last a lifetime. Check out eBay for vintage Sunbeam waffle irons made in America in the 1950s. Still going strong half a century later. Yours for $100. It's the same with tacos: most people would rather spend 99 cents on barely edible slop than $3 for a handmade tacqueria taco al pastor with fresh onions, cilantro, and chilis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At least White Castle and Nathans never changed their ingredients. That is why the food still tastes as great as when they first opened. Sure the prices went up, but I will pay for taste. Notice you only see older people at these places? Because if they pulled a YUM? Only the ignorant brainless teens would cater their establishments. Because these children love to feed with the hogs at the trough. They do not have the smarts to know any better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              White Castle - ONLY grade "A" beef is used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Taco Bell barely uses grade "D". And grade "D" is what McDonald's and Burger King use. Never will see me spend $4.00 for a Big Mac!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It is not a myth. There are different grades of beef. How do you think McDonald's and Burger King are able to maintain a cheeseburger or double cheeseburger at $1.00 prices? While White Castle continues to raise their prices even though there is just a sliver of beef on White Castle burgers?.... Because of the grades used by each, that is how.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I believe the comment was made because there is no such thing as grade "D" meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From the snopes page linked above:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    " In the USA meat is not graded on a scale represented by letters, so one would never see crates of meat labeled Grade D (or any other letter grade). "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You lost me at "White Castle tastes good"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Hello HoundDodz...Yeah, I grew up in Colorado. My older brother worked in Taco Hell as affectionately called it back in the late 70's and early 80's while he was in college. I remember the old sauce was indeed different. But it's only a tiny difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They changed the modern sauce by removing the Cumin (Cominos) from the recipe and replacing it with jalapeños.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you want to make your own like the original....just add a little cumin to the sauce when you get home from Taco Bell and it'll bring back memories..Cheers mate!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ***UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE***

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Taco Bell YUM brands caught!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Horse meat in Taco Bell beef!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "London: Taco Bell is the latest restaurant chain to acknowledge that its food has been adulterated with horse meat, yanking a variety of ground beef products from its three British outlets and issuing an apology to its patrons on Friday. Meanwhile, in Iceland, a food official said his team had found a beef product from a local producer that contained no meat at all."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://beta.fool.com/analyse360degree...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I knew the beef was not 100%! It may not have beef in it at all....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heh, where have you been? Beef in Europe has been turning up with traces of horse DNA for a while now. Really has nothing to do with Taco Bell at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sure it does.... Taco Bell under control of YUM knows full well their mission is to get the most amount of meat with fillers at the cheapest cost. They don't care what kind of meat it is, as long as it was once alive. The fillers of soy and food products fill the gaps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How do you like the stale produce (what is left) and lowest grades of sour cream, tortillas, and frying oils with the shipped in pre- packaged preservative drenched ingredients? Tasty?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mmmmmm....where have you been?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I loved Taco Bell in the 90's. However, their food is horrible now. I bought a Taco Salad a few days ago and it was full of cold, white rice. I had maybe 2 teaspoons of meat with clumps of rice filling most of the bowl. I ended up throwing it away and I won't eat there again. I don't remember any rice with their meat in the past so why are they doing it now? The meat does taste odd and nothing like it use to taste. If they keep this up they're going to go out of business. If I pay for something that is supposed to have beef in it then I expect beef and not cold rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: shlbycindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry Cindy for your waste of money. I know it is terrible today. Not too insult the youger people, but they are eating imitation, poor filler slop at Taco Bell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ever since Glen Bell sold to Pepsico, Taco Bell started the downfall in fresh healthy quality and taste. But when YUM (dumb) brands took control...watch out! They compounded the decline to the max. Between fillers, manmade additives, removal of natural ingrediants like full fat sour cream, green onions, freshly prepared on-site produce, meat and cheese...Taco Bell food today is by-product waste fit for the farm animals and nothing more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cindy please try to read this thread, especially HoundDog, myself and some others. We now make our own Taco Bell at home. It comes out just like or better than Taco Bell in the 80's. Trick is fresh items, regular fat ingredients, lard, and the cooking process. We don't have all the items duplicated, but as time goes by, we will have the whole menu down pat. Don't forget to deep fry flour tortillas in lard to make the mexican pizza wafers! 1 1/2 minute each side...Also does not hurt to complain to YUM brands and TB on their website...Join us : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Late to the party with my $.02 worth but I just have to chime in. While not an ardent Taco Bell fan, for years I have always been able to count on them for a couple of hard shell tacos for a tasty and enjoyable snack. Last night I stopped there for the first time since the new menu debuted. I ordered my usual and they were virtually inedible! I can't even describe how absolutely vile they were. Tasteless and yet a nasty flavor (how can they do that?) and a texture that I would guess resembled that of cat food. After reading this thread I wasn't expecting much but damn, this was BAD. Fortunately for me, there's a Taco John's right down the road. Not as good as the old Taco Bell but compared to what I had last night, delicious! And those freshly fried Potatoes Ole are pretty addictive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Welcome friend. Never too late. The more the word gets out the better. Someone needs to buyout Taco Bell from YUM and restore the quality and flavors back to the original across the whole line.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry for your crappy tacos. Yep, they sure don't make them right anymore. The beef is laced with mostly fillers and coloring. Remember how back in the 80's the beef was only beef, it was brown with soft grannuals? No more, now it is an orangy pastey mess. The shells are bland and the cheese...well what cheese?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stick around, read and learn here on how to make your own delicious Taco Bell. We are all testing and getting recipes duplicated. Join the movement!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes, as I get older, I wonder if somethings really aren't as good as I remembered or if it's just me. I didn't have to wonder about those tacos!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are there any Taco Johns in your area? Their tacos are made with the "brown with soft granules" beef you described.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi friend, oooohh I wish there was! Nope not even one. It is a shame. Don't doubt yourself. You are correct about the tacos and whatever else you found delicious in years past that is no longer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Taste buds do not change or go bad once you are an adult. In fact, flavors get more enjoyable. Children have selective taste, but as the develop it broadens to a wide spectrum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What taco bell did was wrong. Changing recipes to make an extra 2c at the cost of the public's enjoyment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is why we all must copy the old recipes and hand them out at libraries and all feasts, festivals, carnivals, picnics and gatherings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buy Taco Bell and restore the quality and flavors?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who's going to pay for the higher quality?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The customer, that's who. Taco Bell is cheap, fast food. You seem to be on a crusade to double their prices or something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is what it is, and it's good enough for a lot of people. I'm sorry it's not to your liking, but that doesn't mean it's bad food, and it doesn't mean you need to try to change it. There are plenty of upmarket texmex options if you want to spend more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Places like Chipotle and Baja Fresh use better ingredients, but then you get a bigger pricetag. But with a little bit of searching, there are some excellent cheap tacquerias run by Salvadoreans/Mexicans that use fresh ingredients, homemade salsas, and no horse meat for around $2 a taco. But if you insist on paying 99 cents for a taco, you get what you paid for. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually YUM brands is a greedy conglomerate just like any other monopoly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some people would eat innards to save a penny. I don't care if my bean burrito goes to $1.60 if they make it like the 80's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And if you believe the change was all done to keep costs low? Then why did TB (YUM) remove the green onions from the menu items during the Ecoli scare when it turned out to be the tomatoes instead. A temporary problem to begin with, yet no more green onions...Their claim was Ecoli????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ratbuddy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please give us a break. Is your health worth an extra 50 cents? I think most people would rather eat fresh, real, natural and traditional ingredients of life than worry about saving a dollar a meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Making taco bell the original way would not be that costly. Some things should never be changed - period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. The stuff's gone downhill since they went zero-prep cryovac meat, which is fine since it's still cheap junk. My problem, and it's not exclusively a Taco Bell problem but a fastfood one in general, is that what was once a simple choice is now a baffling ordeal. Pull up to the drive thru and you're faced with a bewildering variety of slop. Every possible combination of meat, beans, filling, and shell/wrap. So I just give up and order off the Value menu: bean burrito, nachos bel grande, and that elusive chilicheese burrito where I can find it. Same thing with McDonalds. At least they're getting rid of those stupid salads that nobody was buying anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yep, all Taco Bell ingredients are mass produced in some massive warehouse loaded with artificial coloring, fillers, and imitation by-products. Then shipped to TB outlets for the people without taste and intelligence to know what is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But the good news is that more and more are being enlightened to the blight. Thanks to the OP Hounddog for bringing this to the public forums!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm surprised YOU can still eat the so-called "bean burrito"? Where I am, that burrito is nothing but a dough burritio. I make my own now that taste just like Taco Bell in the 80's. Full, cheesey, even with the red enchilada sauce and white onions. MMMMMMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Refried beans of your choice (add lard and water to thin out and heat up)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dice white onion and heat in microwave until soft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Red enchilada sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shredded mild cheddar cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Refrigerated (not shelf stable) tortillas heated under a damp paper towel in microwave for 45 seconds each

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then just assemble and fold with ONE SIDE OPEN!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. All time favorite item there were the chicken tostadas...standard tostada with beans and lettuce but they would add chicken meat on top. Douse with hot sauce and it was like an awesome open faced taco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also does anyone else remember the "Taco Light' with the super flaky deep fried taco shell? Man those were good....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't remember those..... But I do remember the Bacon Cheeseburger burrito. That was one excellent item!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The sauce was boss!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. No - you are right on. Cool Factor: Taco Bell is like Mountain Dew, xbox and iphone. All cool factors and you can not diss it. Kids identify with it from the corporate sponsors and tie-ins. People my age, 50, remember when TBell tasted good. Also most of my peers prefer Del Taco, as I have since the 60's and 70's. Not greasy and just better tasting. Taco Bell lingers with you for several days, if you know what I mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Getting back to the cool factor, all these teens I see are chowing down on Taco Bell and I think it has to do with advertising. Some of my teenage daughters' friends constantly put down Del Taco saying it's dog food. My kids eat it, Del Taco, and report no heartburn, diarrhea, stomach aches, etc. Here -- it's just our opinions anyway, but how I look at it: Taco Bell had lard and reportedly stopped it because back in the 80s/early 90s there was the whole carb craze and lard in beans, etc was taken out in many food establishments. However, today, it has been reported that Taco Bell's meat is unlike the 70s/80s', i.e., 65% of its composition is NOT meat. I feel, as well as others, that Taco Bell has declined in quality. It's all about quantity and advertising and sticking Cheetos inside burritos. They are targeting the Go GREEN hemp life philosophy that is so apparent in today's world, with hip hop marketing weed as water, and so our late night food addiction, goes the way of "stoner mentality".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let me add that if we think Taco Bell was "greasy" back then, as did I - it's probably the typical "orange" taco meat grease that is inherent and "natural" in Mexican prepared taco meat. I think it's "more than greasy" today because of it's man-made/preservative/filler quality. We are definitely ingesting worse-prepared food today than before. Kid you not. You think it would be the other way around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Even in our grocery stores, I see an aisle devoted solely to different kinds of potato chips, another for colas. It's just ridiculous. We have Carb Free Ranch, Fat Free Ranch, Carb Lite Ranch, Reduced Fat Ranch -- what do you think is making this taste semi-decent and what steps to remove/add ingredients? Just have the regular and don't slam the whole bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just read your last comment that I had skipped over and it echoes my sentiments exactly: "The formulation besides no lard must be different..." -- It has to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also greed has a role in it such as reducing preparation costs therefore Taco Bell and other fast food chains aren't preparing meat, chicken, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes fresh. It's all pre-packed like in Logan's Run.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ok I've had my peace. Off for a Tommy's run!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dirklancer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You summed it up precisely. Today's mentality has degraded to the point of believing lies, not recognizing tom foolery and inferior product.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No way can man made chemicals be healthy, yet that is the spin the greedy advertisers and monopoly conglomerates want you to think.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just proves once again how the younger generation always believes they are sooooo smart and were taught by their teachers to "think for myself". It makes me laugh. If they really did use their brain, Taco Bell would not have survived the changes they made to their foods. I should say YUM brands. Notice the irony in the name "YUM"...? Just like a smart car. Total opposite is true and fact in reality than what is portrayed by advertisers. The young and dumb....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Taco Bell is still quite good in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What are you comparing it too? Frozen foods maybe?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I take it you have never tasted old school Taco Bell made correctly. It was truly a drug and orgasmic in nature...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. This may have been said before (many replies) but I was a kid in the 80s. After a morning of surfing and an afternoon of smoking pot, Taco Hell (as we called it) tasted wonderful!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I stopped smoking weed. Not sure what changes Taco Bell has made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Many changes were made. You can read them all here...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Btw, what do you guys think about the Taco Bell in Pacifica ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I live about a half a mile from there. Other than the view and the outside walk-up window for people wearing wetsuits, it's no different from any other Taco Bell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://blog.sfgate.com/thebigevent/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I was a manager at Taco Bell for about 6 years. Started there during a major transition in food prep. The reason things tasted better then is cost. Fast food restaurants, especially, are always trying o figure out a way to make a bit more profit. With the Bell, taco meat was prepped as needed from fresh beef and seasoning on a grill, now it comes frozen in 5lb bags and btw, there are no grills whatsoever anymore there. The frozen bags of meat, chicken, steaketc is tossed into a tub of hot water for 30 min and its ready o put on the make table. The beans are now dehydrated; put a bag in a in pan add 3 quarts of 190 degree water, and you got refried beans. Taco shells, salad shells and nachos were fried fresh everyday at the store (in grease, like mickey d's fries used to be fried in) now all that stuff comes in boxes like at the supermarket (full of preservatives too). No more cinnamon crispas, now its the rice puff junk called cinnamon twists. They didnt sell enough black olives tto bother with them, so they got rid of those long ago, too. Only thing still fried in store are taco salad shells, (too fragile otherwise) andthats in t'healthy' but bbland veg oil. Point of interset about taco salads... I used to chuckle at all the heavy people ordering a t-salad and a diet coke. Why? The t-salad has BY FAR more calories and fat than anything else on the menu. It's like 900cal's (think about it...its got 3oz's of beans, twice as much meat as a burr supreme, cheese, 2 shots of sour cream, salsa and a big ass fried shell). Anyone remember .29 cent taco sunday??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: slimgraff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      damn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      how about if you don't eat the shell and then get it without the meat, then it's got to be somewhat heathlier than the carbs-laden items on the menu, is that not correct ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but yeah it sucks, increasing profits and cutting back at the expense of taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        kevin, I would not worry about calories per say. It is the amount of calories consumed to the amount that you burn off in one day that is important. A construction worker for example can eat 5,000 calories a day and not gain a pound and still remain perfectly healthy. Calories in to calories out. That is what's important. It is all relative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        P.S. Males should STAY AWAY from soy products. Soy contains natural estrogen's, that can screw up a males endocrine system and male traits. Estrogen is for females. Taco Bell today contains soy. I wonder if there is a link between effeminate males today and soy products??? Hmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: slimgraff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi slimgraff, glad you joined the conversation here. You have confirmed what most of us have been complaing about. We all knew the recipes have changed to save a penny. YUM brands does NOT prepare Taco Bell they way Glen Bell did. We can taste that fact.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now the naysayers that claim the Bell is the same as always will know without doubt that a manager has confirmed that extreme changes to quality has taken place and severly diminished the healthy and great taste of old Taco Bell.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I happened upon this thread from an internet search on the old taco bell. I feel vindicated because those who I've asked in the past can't recall the good ol days of Taco Bell as I refer to them..or they are too young to remember. My husband and I talk about this often and remember the days of getting a 6 pack of tacos and loved every bite. We would go to the ends of the earth to have an original taco again. We married in 92 so the change to the orange goop meat came around mid 90's or so. I remember they advertised it as more flavorful which couldnt be further from the truth. It was marketing sabotage for diminished quality. Plus, it was a serious blow to the little things in life that made us happy. Yes, they were that good. At least I've lived to remember when. Those too young to know, don't realize what they've missed. I also remember the taco grande, the taco light made with a flour tortilla (not the taco light they brought back with "less calories") the old enchirito, the actual nacho bell grande with lots of toppings and green onions and the really good taco shells. One of my greatest dissapointments to have seen the change. On a sidenote on a recent sad trip TB I was told the only difference from the nacho supreme vs bell grande besides price is more chips aand an extra pump in cheese. Only allowed one scoop of meat and beans on each. TB is for the birds. Fat chance I'll ever come across the old taste again. Maybe in heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cynsant71

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Cynsant71, Glad you spoke up like many others who have the honesty and the drive to speak out. Sorry for what happened to Taco Bell and the demise of such an orgasmic food that once was. My friend and I called it Taco Drugs, that is how great it was. Not that we did real drugs or anything. But I am serious, Taco Bell when owned by Glenn Bell and even somewhat Pepsico was awesome!!! People today have no idea. We know, we were there, we ate it. It was bliss. It was like sex and being buzzed at the same time. A party of the ages for the tastebuds.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What I suggest we all do who miss the original Taco Bell foods of the Gods, is to make the items at home and spread the word on recipes. We can beat the new owners (Koreans) by their own game. YUM brands destroyed Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. I say let them go bankrupt. Make the foods at home. Use natural healthy lard, buy tortillas and fry them. Fry your own nachos chips in lard too. Use all the real ingredients that they used to use. Spread the word and enjoy. I make bean burritos just like the original TB used too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Its easy! Just get fresh large tortillas, get name brand refried beans, shredded mild cheddar cheese, some enchilada sauce, and chopped white sweet onion. Warm the tortillas for 50 seconds under a damp paper towel in the microwave, then heat up the beans, thinning with some water in a pot on stove. Add a teaspoon of lard, mix well. Then spoon a nice amount into tortilla on one side, then add your cheese, a little chopped onion, then drizzle some red enchilada sauce. Now when you roll it up, keep the filling at one end, and to one side. Roll it and flap over one end while rolling to seal the bottom leaving one OPEN END, like they used to do before the Koreans bought Taco Bell. You will love them! Today the bean burrito sold by TB is a dough burrito. This is why they fold both sides, there is barely any filling, and you are paying just for one tortilla rolled up. Glad you stopped by : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I echo and agree with your sentiments 110%.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'buff said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks for the memories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You're quite welcome. Just the ground beef alone is proof positive without doubt that the ingredients have been drastically altered after YUM bought them out. The original ground beef was 100% beef meat with seasoning and was dark brown little beads of meat only. Not the orange pasty slop they have now. I hope someone comes forward with pictures video or even a frozen sample of how it used to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Does anyone know who the original distributor is? Wonder if they are still in business?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes....it was orgasmic to the taste buds. It truly was. I did not know who it was sold to. Explains a lot and while we're at it, I remember when KFC formerly known as Kentucky FRIED Chicken was good! (Yes folks, its fried and changing the name doesn't make it healthier). I I tried researching the change of suppliers and came up empty. I sent in my piddly email to corporate voicing my dissatisfaction. I thought I was alone in my pining for the original taco bell taste. See, it wasn't my imagination. Don't let anyone, including the TB corporation tell us differently. If any TB corporate spies read this thread, let it be known that the lucky people who know and remember the true taste of Taco Bell will pay the higher price for freshness and quality. Just bring it back! What a lousy way to save a buck. Sell back to someone who cares about restoring the original. Just say no to orange meat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cynsant71

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Absolutely! And Kentucky Fried Chicken is owned by the same morons who own Taco Bell - YUM brands

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Everything they buy is destroyed of flavor and health. They turn to toxic man made food substitutes and remove healthy ingredients and the taste to save pennies. Say NO to YUM!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm thinking about recreating the recipes from whatever memory I have left and posting the recipes on a blog post. Might take a couple months before I do that but have been thinking about it for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made refried beans from scratch this last weekend and made me think about it some more. Believe it or not most everything back then was made from scratch on site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ok, if you do please set up a post here so that we may copy your recipes. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will that will be the point to share with everybody. I worked there in the late 80's so have first hand knowledge on how it was done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hard part will be finding a suitable red sauce and meat spices. The sauce came in a can ready to go and the spices for the meat were just spices you added in a slurry to the meat. I can probably recreate the spices fairly well from scratch. Would be real easy if I saw an ingredient list from way back. Wouldn't trust what the current list is as I'm sure it has changed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My first goal is the bean burrito which will lead to the burrito supreme. A real burrito supreme not that junk they sell now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://youtu.be/YR5YJ3qzIx4 an ad from the late 70's Check out that burrito supreme. Also notice their slogan at the end "The Fresh Food Place". They wouldn't dare say that now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember those uniforms too. They would soak up that smell. All the ladies loved it when I wore that vest and paper hat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        See how the ground beef was BROWN? Not the orangey paste they use now..... Video proof right there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You are soooo right Mr Smee! I know the red sauce was some type of enchilada sauce base with an augmentation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They added lard to the refried beans I believe. They fried the nacho chips in some type of natural animal fat. Because there was a definite change to those chips of the nachos belgrande when they switched to vegetable oils. Same with the Taco Salad bowl and mexican pizza discs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Copying the original menu would be spectacular! Items like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bean Burrito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Burrito Supreme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mexican Pizza
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nachos Belgrande
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Beef Burrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Then onto the less known items like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tostada
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enchirito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meximelt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pintos & Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          haha similar list. Yes lard was added. Trying to remember if it was at the time of cooking or after it was done. Thinking after. Anybody else?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So since I'm a food snob and I will be doing a lot on this I will keep to the original items. Although I do recall the meximelt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tostada was just a taco shell fried flat with beans, sauce, onions, lettuce and cheese. So once I get the sauce and beans down piece of cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Enchirito I recall used a different tortilla than the tacos. But I believe the tacos were yellow tortillas? Anybody?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yeah don't forget Cinnamon Crispas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, tacos were always yellow corn to my knowledge. You are correct about the Tostada. We need more former employees to write us...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds great Mr. Smee! Please do. And a former Taco Bell manager or even employee would be helpful too. Of course one from the 80's or earlier. Let us know what blog it will be. Maybe it will attract other former employees who can contribute to this site whatever it is named. It should be something like Original Taco Bell, or Make old school Taco Bell at home, Return to Taco Bell original taste, Taco Bell Classic.... You get the idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well I was an assistant manager so guess that's close but I forgot a lot so if anybody worked there back then feel free to chime in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FYI I will be doing it the same ways just on a smaller scale. Pressure cooker, shredding, cutting etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I already have a food blog so will decide if I want to make a separate one just for this or just post on that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So what are the mandatory items?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bean burrito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        burrito supreme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pizzazz Pizza (yes i'm old school)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bellbeefer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Taco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Taco Light (liked that one for some reason)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Once the main ingredients are done most of those will be easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I worked there when they introduced the pizza so based off a commercial I saw that was 1985. So I must have worked there from 1984 on or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I commend you Mr. Smee! Just let me know if you have any questions. I never worked there, but I sure did eat my share of great Taco Bell before the changes. My list is:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bean Burrito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Burrito Supreme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mexican Pizza
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nachos BelGrande
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Taco Salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Beef Burrito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Enchirito
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mexi Melt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These are the original items I remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cynsant71

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Where did you hit up Taco Bell in the early '90s ?????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, I subsisted on TB for years and loved it beyond compare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And yes, it was quite disgustingly delicious and orgasmic verging on a hard-core denouement if you catch my drift even if i was not stoned or drunk of my gorge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kevin specifically Santa Barbara County and up in Seattle area but it was the same everywhere just like its crappy everywhere now. I like to try it in different cities though in the chance of a small miracle that I would find an authentic TB hidden somewhere..lol. I can dream right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I first tasted Taco Bell on Long Island in 1984, specifically the one on New York Ave. in Huntington. It was heavenly bliss! I'm not exaggerating either. Many can back me up. If I could time travel and bring back some items like the nachos bel-grande, mexican pizza, burrito supreme, beef burrito, bacon cheeseburger burrito and even the bean burrito and put them side by side next to the garbage they have now. You would be astonished at the difference. And people would be appalled today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I used to like it- not in a long time, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I know this thread is old, but it just won't die.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wondering if Taco Bell had any plans to "step up it's game" with the recent legalization laws (in some states)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Come on corporate poobahs...how can you a pass up this chance to maximize profits?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The thread may be old, but it is a gold mine of information. That is why it stays alive. You can find out all you need about what Taco Bell has become after it was sold by Glen Bell (its Founder).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pass this great thread to anyone who misses the REAL Taco Bell of years past. Or those who think today's TB is something great. There is no item today on their menu that remotely tastes like or as good as what it used to be in the 80's. Back then - Real natural healthy freshly cooked meats on site & fresh produce chopped on site, fresh shredded cheese on site, and lard for frying on site. Today its preservatives, man made toxic oils, trucked in old meat & vegetables, fillers, and cheese food. Take your pick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I remember Taco Bell when it was still good and I really miss it. I use to love the Chalupas. I also liked the Taco Salad and Mexican pizza. I went to our local Taco Bell a few months ago and it was awful. I ordered the Taco Salad. There was a handful of orange meat and the rest of it was a rice filler. I ended up throwing it away and I will never go back unless they sell it to someone that will follow the old recipes. If you Google "Taco Bell copycat recipes" it will take you to several sites that have the old Taco Bell recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            32 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shlbycindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To be honest most of the copycat recipes I see aren't even close. Good on their own merit but don't taste the same. Don't think many people who make these recipes up ever tasted the real stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Their stuff was fairly simple but fresh too which made a huge difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree. I did make the Mexican Pizza once but I did it from memory and not a copycat recipe. It was really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: shlbycindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Was the pizza discs I call them.... just deep fried flour tortillas? Of course fried in lard I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes flour tortillas. Not fried in lard though. Coconut oil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That sounds proper! OK, to make the pizza wafers, fry a flour tortilla in coconut oil. Genius!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And they were the same ones used for taco lights FYI. Not really sure what so light about them but I thought they tasted good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well I do know for a fact that Coconut Oil is one of the good healthy oils and is all natural. Same as flak seed oil, and olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would assume it's good for you also but they got rid of it at some point for something healthier as I recall. Of course I think lard is healthier for you than all this junk they have now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Check out this report below** and the list of healthy fats and oils for human consumption. It sums everything up pretty well. I think they got rid of the Coconut oil because it is expensive. But when Glen Bell owned it....Nothing was too good for his patrons. A little more cost to the products, but selling more product of better quality counteracts the costlier ingredients. Glen knew this very well. Unlike dumb greedy Koreans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ** http://wellnessmama.com/2193/why-you-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Found this from 1987. Boy guess they are lucky they didn't use lard. So I assume they at some point switched to what we now call "bad" oils. That's why I always take what health "experts" say with a grain of salt. If they switched back to coconut oil now I bet it would get a lot of people saying they are now health conscious .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://articles.latimes.com/1987-08-1...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just like I said. That is what the lie is. Of course "WASHINGTON based"... It don't get more false than that. Should have just said paid lobbyist group. No basis in fact and a push by big corps. to sell more toxic vegetable oils. Everyone knows that natural oils are healthy. Nature made - not man made. Common sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They lie by claiming coconut oil is bad because it contains saturated fats. This is what nature made us to consume. The human body needs saturated fats. Studies have shown that polyunsaturated fats stimulate cancer while saturated fat does not and that saturated fats do not break down to form free radicals, like those polyunsaturated vegetable oils. The idiots against natural fats have it BACKWARDS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Unlike dumb greedy Koreans."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of my best friends is Korean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also Mr. Smee, I figured out that the cooked tomatoes on the Mexican Pizza are mexican stewed tomatoes! This was placed on top of the second wafer before the cheeses. These stewed tomatoes are either from a can or maybe made with regular stewed tomatoes with added garlic powder and cumin.... Not sure, but I know it is a key ingredient to the Mexican Pizza not so easy to duplicate. Correct me if I'm wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pizzaz Pizza was made:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fried flat flour tortilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                beans then meat on top
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                another fried flat flour tortilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                green onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 olives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heated in a toaster type oven quickly to melt cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cut into 4 pieces

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The pizza sauce was a separate can and sauce all together. Stewed Mexican tomatoes would seem to be close to what the tomatoes tasted like. I'll have to try the pizza now to see if it is close to what I remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was working there when they introduced it. Pretty surprising that I can actually remember it all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr_Smee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Indeed! Yes that order sounds correct. I do think the sauce was stewed Mexican tomatoes because it had a unique taste and chunks of tomato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And the cheese was a blend of Monterey Jack and mild cheddar if I'm not mistaken. 4 olive slices is right, but sometimes there would be an extra slice or two. I don't mind a few extra. : )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I think I saw steam come out of that toaster type oven. So it may have been a steamer oven. I used to be able to see them make the food in the original design of the restaurant. No more now!