HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Do you create unique foods? Tell us about it
TELL US

Taco, freakin', Bell.

Meowzerz Jul 25, 2013 07:45 PM

Does anyone else *honest-to-God* LOVE Taco Bell? Warning: this may come across as fanatical... but if Taco Bell ever shut down, I'd mourn it deeply. Probably some sort of memorial service would occur. I find Taco Bell to be delicious, wonderfully cheap, and open in the strangest of hours that I find myself hungry. And I am no teenager. Granted, I am at the 30 year mark of life, so I'm wondering if other age groups have differing opinions on Taco Bell.

If you may, please share your favorite Taco Bell items.

Mine? Well, I'd love to make a meal entirely comprised of their Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, but I'd feel fat :-( . I also love the 7 layer burrito, Crunchwrap Supreme (sub beef for beans), and Cantina Burrito Bowl. I should mention that I'm pescetarian (no meat besides fish).

  1. girloftheworld Jul 26, 2013 03:51 PM

    the only thing I have I had from there is when I was spending the night with a friend and her mom went through the take away window and I ate some sort of cinnimon crispy things that were pretty yummy.

    7 Replies
    1. re: girloftheworld
      Boston_Otter Jul 26, 2013 04:01 PM

      Churros.

      1. re: Boston_Otter
        Firegoat Jul 27, 2013 08:09 AM

        I have a weird relationship with Taco Bell. I never ate there as a child, in undergrad or for the majority of my years of my adult life. Maybe occasionally if I was with a friend who was a huge fan. I'd probably get something boring like the cheese or chicken quesadilla. Fast forward to this year, and for some reason I've suddenly become attracted to Taco Bell. I try to keep it to no more than once a month, and like the OP usually at odd times... like after working very late and not feeling at all like cooking at home.
        A friend got me hooked on it, and so help me I love the 5 layer beefy burrito. I'm also looking forward to trying the new smothered burrito.
        The churros I have not tried. I've had allegedly authentic churros at other "sit-down" Mexican restaurants in the past.

        I just read an article on Foodbeast.com about how the Churros at Taco Bell are actually rice pasta that are boiled. Then dried. Then fried so they puff up like churros.

        1. re: Boston_Otter
          k
          KatoK Jul 27, 2013 12:31 PM

          Or perhaps the "Cinnamon Crispas".

        2. re: girloftheworld
          s
          schrutefarms Jul 28, 2013 04:21 PM

          What year? They used to have fried cinnamon flour tortilla chips that were the bomb. Then, I think late '80's, early '90's, they changed them to what they have now, which are these gross cinnamon things that are the consistency of Chee-tos.

          1. re: schrutefarms
            s
            suzigirl Jul 28, 2013 04:30 PM

            GOTW is thirteen. She wasn't even a twinkle in her mothers eye when those yummy fried tortillas were around. She means the styrofom things that replaced them. No offense GOTW. They are decent, but are nothing like the fresh fried original.

            1. re: suzigirl
              s
              schrutefarms Jul 28, 2013 05:34 PM

              Those original crispas were sooooo good!

              1. re: suzigirl
                melpy Sep 14, 2013 04:28 AM

                I can't eat the cinnamon twists. They taste too chemically.

          2. LA Buckeye Fan Jul 27, 2013 12:39 PM

            I loveTB. Especially when I am designated drinker. All beef burrito with extra sauce and onions.

            2 Replies
            1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
              Meowzerz Jul 27, 2013 06:07 PM

              Yes, I should mention, Taco Bell gets INHALED when inebriated haha

              1. re: Meowzerz
                LA Buckeye Fan Jul 27, 2013 07:05 PM

                Guilty

            2. b
              Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jul 27, 2013 03:44 PM

              I ate a lot of Taco Bell as a poor student, and still prefer it to most other fast food joints, even though I only partake two or three times a year at most now. (I'm in my 30s too.)

              I still like the Mexican Pizza, Grilled Stuft Burrito Supreme, and Crunchwrap Supreme, and sometimes even the big nachos. Used to love Gorditas and Chalupas too.

              I know it's not real, authentic Mexican food or even Tex-Mex, but there aren't many good places near me to get real, authentic Mexican food anyway.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                v
                Velvet Elvis Jul 31, 2013 07:11 AM

                I was in a Taco Bell in the LA area where they had painted on the wall that it was mexican-inspired fast food. I found that bit of honesty refreshing.

              2. s
                suzigirl Jul 27, 2013 03:54 PM

                God help me for admitting out loud but yes. I first had it in my early twenties when my boss handed me a five and told me to go get her a taco and a meximelt and buy what i wanted with the change. I thought" how selfish. There won't be any change." It was love at first sight when I saw the menu.
                Faves...
                Meximelt
                Nachos
                Mexican pizza
                Seven layer burrito
                Taco salad

                1. t
                  thistle5 Jul 27, 2013 03:58 PM

                  Yes, I'm a lot older & I still love Taco Bell-crunchy tacos, bean burrito, no onion, & if I'm feeling flush, Mexican pizza. It's cheap, close, not Mexican, but I like it....

                  1. Firegoat Jul 27, 2013 04:03 PM

                    I did take out there today (thanks to this thread). A 5 layer burrito. Shared a few bites with dog. Have a chicken burrito in the fridge. $3.22.

                    1. biondanonima Jul 28, 2013 06:18 AM

                      Love Taco Bell. I know it's disgusting and wrong, but I just don't care. I eat low-carb most of the time, so I only have Taco Bell when I'm road tripping, but I enjoy the hell out of it every time.

                      I'm on the road right now and I decided to try the new smothered burrito for dinner. Awesome. Thin layer of beans, a generous amount of meat and rice and nacho cheese sauce. The burrito itself is almost as large as their XXL grilled stuffed burrito. It's then smothered in red sauce (a little bland, but I fixed that by adding a little fire salsa), cheese and sour cream. SO tasty, and a relative bargain at $2.99 for the beef version. I expect that price will go up if they make it a regular menu item.

                      Other faves include the baja beef gordita, mexican pizza and grilled stuffed burrito. Even their chicken soft tacos from the Fresco menu are decent if I want something a little less awful for me.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: biondanonima
                        c
                        chloebell Jul 28, 2013 07:06 AM

                        Doritos Tacos Locos - I could take a bath in them........

                      2. d
                        donw9876 Jul 28, 2013 10:33 AM

                        I'm in my 50s and I have an odd personal loyalty to Taco Bell. It's been around throughout my adolescence and adult life. In the 70s TB was open at 3 AM when the bars closed down and we needed (well, wanted) a quick bite. The food has always been cheap and satisfying. The basic concept has never really changed. The core menu items have been relatively unchanging, although TB's ingredients have lowered in quality over the years like all fast food place's have. For instance, in the 70s the ground beef was all-meat, and when Mexican pizzas were first introduced you got green onions as a garnish. Neither is true today. But it's still pretty much the same stuff.

                        In contrast... Long John Silver's just seems gross today (maybe it was back in the day, too.) Arby's was once a go-to chain with delicious sandwiches and today I disregard it, it's just awful.

                        I think only McDonald's and Taco Bell have sort of kept their old-line qualities over the years.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: donw9876
                          d
                          Dee S Sep 16, 2013 10:25 AM

                          Same here; back in the 70s, the quality of Taco Bell was so much different that it is today. It seems every decade, there was some change that negatively impacted the quality. The green onions went away when there was an e coli issue back in the 90s.

                          Gone are those days but I still enjoy a couple of tacos maybe twice a year. Oh how I long for the original style Enchirito. Those were my favs and you can't get it anymore; they make it now with a gummy flour tortilla. Blech!

                          Long John Silvers was never a fav. We called a secondary slogan of "Wring out your fish!" since everything was soaking in fryer grease. I used to love Arthur Treachers. But that's another thread.

                        2. t
                          tzurriz Jul 28, 2013 10:42 AM

                          Oh yes. Every few weeks we get a party pack of tacos, half hard shell, half soft. Feeds the whole family a yummy lunch for $10, and everyone is happy.

                          Must remember to ask for "extra packets of fire sauce". :D

                          1. annagranfors Jul 28, 2013 02:38 PM

                            Wish I wasn't the t*rd in the punchbowl on this, but although I used to quite like (love would've been a bit strong) Taco Bell, over the last, oh, 5 to 10 years, they've gotten worse and worse. It may be a geographical thing–I'm in Los Angeles, and perhaps they're still good elsewhere–but even...ESPECIALLY... the old standbys (hard-shell tacos, bean burritos, and gorditas) have just been awful the last few times I've tried (even at various locations).

                            As a matter of fact, LA had a local tacotruck blog, "The Great Taco Hunt", written by a man whose blogname was "Bandini", who wrote a post along the same lines. He, too, used to rely on Taco Bell for a fast, Americanized version of Mexican food, but wrote pretty much what I said above around a year ago. He's no longer posting, but here's his take on it:

                            http://www.greattacohunt.com/2012/04/...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: annagranfors
                              SaraAshley Sep 14, 2013 04:29 PM

                              I agree, I used to like it a lot as kid, but then again I used to like a lot of things as a kid that I don't like now, so I'm not sure how much that's worth.

                              I don't hate it now, I just find it incredibly not worth the calories. I pretty much only eat it on occasion late night when I'm drunk and my DD stops because the rest of the drunkards in the car want some. I regret it every time. This actually happened last night and I tried a new to me product, the Cantina quesadilla. Eh, I'd rate it better than their regular quesadilla, but yeah still not worth it.

                            2. s
                              schrutefarms Jul 28, 2013 04:22 PM

                              I havent eaten there in years, but I used to love the Mexican Pizza. And a friend introduced me to the Mexi-Melt a few years ago, they were super good!!

                              1. KaimukiMan Jul 28, 2013 05:11 PM

                                back in the mid 70s my friends and I would head to Taco Bell after finishing our late shift at the ice rink. We each got 6 tacos (there was only one kind back then) with 3 hot sauces on each taco. They were great in that over the edge fast food way. One night we got silly and got 10 each. My two friends each made their way through 9, I ended up eating 12. Back then the hot sauce came in only one flavor as well, and it was packaged in a hard plastic box about the size of a standard domino with a foil cap.

                                Like others I think the quality has gone down, but who knows really? I still like the regular taco and now I get it with 3 packets of fire sauce for each taco. I don't think of it as Mexican food, more as Mexican inspired fast food. And if I wasn't going to a friend's house for dinner in a little while I'd probably be headed over to TB right now.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: KaimukiMan
                                  Meowzerz Jul 28, 2013 09:08 PM

                                  Yeah, I never think in my head "Hmm I want Mexican food. I'm gonna go to Taco Bell"

                                  It is simply an "I want Taco Bell" thought =)

                                  1. re: Meowzerz
                                    EM23 Sep 13, 2013 08:09 PM

                                    This reminds me of an interview that I watched last year with one of the SEAL Team 6 who took out bin Laden--in it, he tells 60 Minutes that, upon his return to the U.S. after the operation, he did a drive-thru at Taco Bell because, “It's routine.”
                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caLB41...

                                  2. re: KaimukiMan
                                    kattyeyes Aug 1, 2013 05:12 AM

                                    We didn't get Taco Bell around here till either the late 80s or early 90s, IIRC. I remember thinking it was cool I could finally check out that place they were singing about in "Gone Hollywood" (from Supertramp's "Breakfast in America" album).

                                    It was different for cheap eats back then, but I can't even remember what I used to order (tacos, stuff with beans?) as I'd go back when I used to go out for lunch at work with friends (i.e. 20 years ago or so). And it's probably been that long since I set foot in a TB, either. It might be a fun trip down memory lane if I can just get past the image of that guy licking a stack of taco shells. ;) Maybe not.

                                    http://now.msn.com/taco-bell-shells-a...

                                  3. l
                                    LordForceOne Jul 29, 2013 05:19 PM

                                    I used to love Taco Bell until I learned how to get my ground beef to have the same texture as theirs. Now I make it but use better ingredients and I haven't been back to Taco Hell ever since.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: LordForceOne
                                      s
                                      suzigirl Jul 29, 2013 05:52 PM

                                      Spill the refried beans LFO. How do you make the beef?

                                      1. re: suzigirl
                                        l
                                        LordForceOne Jul 29, 2013 08:21 PM

                                        Find a recipe you like for taco seasoning. I use smoked hot paprika, substitutions like that to make my spices the way I like them. I also only use Simply Organic spices. I don't know why but their spices are great. So the most important thing to do when trying to recreate their beef is to brown it in water. Put the beef in the pan cold and put in a couple cups of water and start heating slowly while you mash the hell out of the beef to break it all up real fine. You'll find in recipes that they tell you to use a tablespoon or so of flour. Replace that with corn flour. Works every time and the better ingredients you use, the better the final product will be.

                                    2. Atomic76 Jul 29, 2013 05:53 PM

                                      I was disappointed to find out that they got rid of the Beefy Crunch Burritos. This was after they raised the price on them from $1 to $1.19 a couple months ago.

                                      Also, their $1 Grillers - or whatever they're called, are $1.50 if you don't order them between 2 and 5pm. That's kind of silly considering they're basically a $1 burrito with half the filling missing.

                                      1. BiscuitBoy Jul 31, 2013 07:17 AM

                                        Besides don and Kaimuki...I'm betting tacohell lovers are youngns'. I have never been, and never plan to. I should mention I am a frenchfrycetarian.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                          al b. darned Jul 31, 2013 03:57 PM

                                          That just leaves more for me! (And I ain't no young 'un.)

                                        2. al b. darned Jul 31, 2013 04:33 PM

                                          I'm more than twice your age, and I still love them. I first "discovered" Taco Bell when I was stationed in Vallejo California for Navy school and I've been a fan ever since.

                                          Federal law requires I order a Double-Decker Taco Supreme on each and every visit. Ordinary crunchy tacos are also a major hit, though it seems they don't put as much in them as they used to.

                                          I tend to think of Taco Bell as "hand food" and anything I can't eat in the car with my hands really doesn't belong on their menu. That's why I don't think the new "Smothered Burrito" really fits. There are a few other menu items that fit this category as well, but on the whole there is a lot like a Taco Bell.

                                          1. s
                                            Siegal Jul 31, 2013 04:37 PM

                                            Taco Bell is my pregnancy craving this baby. I ate so much of it the last few months I'm ashamed.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Siegal
                                              t
                                              thistle5 Jul 31, 2013 04:47 PM

                                              After I gave birth to my last child, I asked my DH to bring my Taco Bell takeout (& that tells you all you need to know about the hospital food).

                                              1. re: thistle5
                                                s
                                                Siegal Aug 1, 2013 05:42 AM

                                                At least you had an excuse. I have a lot of options and all I want is cheap burritos and fire sauce....
                                                This better go away after the birth

                                            2. m
                                              MonMauler Aug 2, 2013 11:10 AM

                                              I have to get in on this thread and proclaim my love for Taco Bell amongst all the chain hate commonly found on these boards. I LOVE TACO BELL!

                                              In college I would normally order a burrito supreme, a chalupa supreme, and either a double decker taco or the nachos bell grande. Those remain my favorite items, partially probably because of nostalgia.

                                              However, recently I have also really enjoyed the cheesy gordita crunch, which I learned about on these boards. And a few trips recently have had me and my girlfriend enjoying a six pack of hard shell tacos (with a six pack of beer).

                                              I will say that I really haven't found anything special about either of the Doritos locos options. I enjoy both Doritos and Taco Bell alone, but I didn't find the combination to be very special as compared to any number of other Taco Bell orders.

                                              1. RealMenJulienne Aug 2, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                When I was out of the country for three years the one food I missed to the point of frustration was Taco Bell. I would have lucid dreams of eating a crunch wrap supreme where I would wake up making chewing motions with my mouth.

                                                When I got back to the states a Taco Bell chalupa was my second meal off the plane. I will never again take that sweet sweet TB for granted.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                  PHREDDY Sep 13, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                  Can honestly say I had TB for the first time in my life, this year!!! I am 58 years old.

                                                  A customer said meet me there, I said Ok...it was 2PM..so ordered a potato and a chicken Griller...Not to bad, but boy oh boy helped my bowel movement the next day! Ahhh a new pleasure to enjoy while getting old!

                                                  1. re: PHREDDY
                                                    puzzler Sep 14, 2013 02:41 PM

                                                    "...helped my bowel movement the next day!"

                                                    That's an endorsement they should work into there TV ads.

                                                Show Hidden Posts