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Taco Bell vs Del Taco

Both are junk but I have to say that TB has a slight edge. Both have rubbery tortillas (as do most similar places). Although neither one has much to offer me, TB has a beef and potato burrito that I find rather good. Recently DT came out with a steak and potato burrito that is both bland and terrible. They use pieces of steak and French fries; 2 unevenly shaped and sized ingredients that cannot be rolled into a decent burrito. OTOH, TB uses seasoned ground beef and mashed potatoes which, when rolled, fill the tortilla perfectly.

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  1. Tacos al carbon(especially the carnitas version which is seasonal, unfortunately) from Del Taco may be my favorite item from any fast food joint. DT's asada tacos are decent, as well. I agree that much of Del Taco's menu is bland though.

    The only time I go to Taco Bell is when I get a hankering for a chili cheese burrito.

    1. I much prefer DT over TB. At DT the beans are fresher and the grilled chicken has a good flavor. Also, they serve crinkle cut fries and if you get them fresh out of the fryer, they are heavenly.

      I do enjoy TB occasionally, but the ground beef there always gives me wicked heart burn.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jelly71

        DT has serves a great popper; love 'em. I wish both places would offer fresh hot salsa rather than the prepack junk and, it seems strange that DT wouldn't have some guac on the menu.

      2. The best reason to stop at Del Taco is when you're in Barstow, CA driving to or from Vegas.

        The Barstow restaurants are still owned and operated by the founder's family, and they make a lot of the items fresh (the beans, for example, are cooked fresh daily-- not opened from a can).

        They also overstuff their tacos so the portions are considerably larger. Oh, and after placing your order at the counter, they bring your meal to you! Yes, you read it right-- table service at a fast food restaurant chain.

        Copious quantities of condiment packets are available at each table in a little wicker basket.

        The "Barstow Taco" (only available at Barstow locations, obviously) is a dirty little piece of fast food greatness. There are a few tther "only in Barstow" menu items like carrot cake (and why not?), tostadas, and the odd hamburger/sloppy joe "bun taco".

        http://hdeats.blogspot.com/2011/06/le...

        Mr Taster

        19 Replies
        1. re: Mr Taster

          you are right.

          no wonder why I thought the Del Taco in Barstow was quite different, along with that table service.

          1. re: Mr Taster

            Wow, didn't know that but I drive to LV almost once a month and will have to stop.

            I prefer DT, only because the Macho beef burrito reminds me (faintly) of what the food tasted like when it was Naugles.

            TB does nothing for me. The tacos seem like what I had in my grade school cafeteria.

            1. re: BubblyOne

              Please report back here once you've been to Barstow. I'd love to hear your impression.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                Just stopped yesterday afternoon on my way back from LV, and if every Del Taco was run like the Barstow location by the outlet mall, Taco Bell would be out of business.

                I was not very hungry after indulging in so many good meals the prior few days, so I ordered 2 Barstow tacos and some fries. To start with, the food actually looked like the picture!

                Every ingredient was fresh and "real" food- and the tacos were double the size (at least) of what I am used to for $1.40 each.

                I could see into the kictchen, and there was a nicely dressed older guy- maybe one of the owners helping to prepare the orders.

                This whole experience reminded me of In N Out meets Del Taco- friendly employees, good food and service.

                I don't eat fast food enough to compare prices, but I have no idea why the other Del Tacos don't use this business model.

                Thanks for the tip Mr Taster!

                1. re: BubblyOne

                  Very glad that you reported back, and that you enjoyed your visit. I'm a recent convert also, which is why I'm proselytizing. But it really is wonderful-- a great surprise in the middle of the desert.

                  Mr Taster

              2. re: BubblyOne

                Naugles - wow that takes me back, DT bought them out in STL and later went belly-up. I think something to do with the individual franchises and perhaps tax evasion (nobody has said much)

                1. re: hill food

                  Wow, I'd never heard of Naugles before, as I arrived in LA in 1997.

                  Interesting that Barstow "bun taco" was originally the "Naugles Taco Sandwich".

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

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Mr. T, the Naugles connection is what has me excited to try Barstow. Back in the late 70s, early 80s it was our group's go-to after the clubs.

                    They used to make a shake with hot fudge that was to die for.

                    I even went there sober as well-

                      1. re: Tripeler

                        I guess sometimes one is just too tired to make the rest of the trek to Vegas.

                        1. re: Tripeler

                          This was a Naugles in OC, NOT Barstow. Sorry for the confusing post.

                          1. re: BubblyOne

                            No problems, really. We had some fun with it!

                              1. re: BubblyOne

                                I never even knew Naugles had any kind of national (interstate anyway) presence.

                                when they showed up it was mostly just Taco Bell or Casa Gallardo or Taco Tico (uggh) so Naugle's was kind of a treat. now that even we in no-neck middle states have a decent amount of Latinos running true taquerias, TB and DT can just go use the other definitions of those abbreviations and lurch along as drunk/hangover/stoner food.

                                1. re: hill food

                                  Yeah, but look how famous Naugahyde has become.

                    1. re: hill food

                      When I lived in Hollywood in the 80s, I used to go to the Naugles on Santa Monica and Highland all the time. (I worked at a photo lab three blocks away, and lived three blocks south of Naugles.)

                      They weren't great, good plus at best, but compared to the Pink Slime chains we've got on offer these days, they were haute cuisine.

                      If one magically materialized close by, I'd be there in a heartbeat. (The arteries connected to said heart would be hardening with every bite. Would I care? Nope.)

                  2. re: Mr Taster

                    Agree about the Barstow DT locations. Much better than the usual DT (which is already marginally better than TB, IMO). The one off I-15 on Main is our regular stop between Vegas and L.A.

                  3. I definitely prefer Taco Bell but I'm judging this solely based on each places bean burrito.

                    1. The Del Taco I was at in the Greater Palm springs area was far superior to any Taco Bell I have ever been to.

                      1. I've eaten at TB more times than I can count, and DT only a handful of times. Each time that I do go back to DT, I am reminded why I don't go more often.
                        Bland, bland, bland. How do they manage to serve such a flavorless burrito? I don't recall the name, but it was a big one. Macho something? Anyway, I'm not going back unless I'm stuck somewhere and I'm starving and the only food in sight is DT. I like for my junk food calories to have some flavor. LOL

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: PasadenaRose

                          Go to the Barstow Del Tacos and report back.

                          This is not a life-changing taco-- as far as chains go, King Taco is way better. And of course there are countless trucks, trompos, mercados and Latino food courts around Los Angeles that make fresher and better tacos. But if what you seek is gringified, fast food chain Ameri-Mex, the Barstow Del Tacos are about as good as it gets.

                          (I chatted with a long time Barstow born-and-raised Del Taco worker who told me the story of the first time she tried Del Taco outside of Barstow, and was as horrified as you at the quality and quantity of the food.)

                          Mr Taster

                        2. Depends on what I'm wanting, to a degree. I'd say it's 85-15 in favor of TB, but I'm not against stopping at DT in a pinch, when I'm hungry, and three "tacos" for $1.47 doesn't sound terrible.

                          1. Not to get off topic, but I made the grandkids homemade Bell Beefers over Thanksgiving and they thought I was a genius.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Samalicious

                              Oh, man, I wish I was invited over for Thanksgiving.

                              I would have gone through over a half dozen Bell Beefers.

                              You're making me very hungry. :)

                            2. DT by a wide margin. I may be crazy, but I have been craving that junk since We moved away from the LA area 4+ years ago. I miss the spicy chicken burrito. I didn't care much for the fries, but I would mix a packet of Del Scorcho with some ketchup for the best fry sauce outside of that garlic aioli at Oinkster, and the fries made for a great sauce delivery system.

                              1. In Michigan DT wins for "regular" hard shell beef tacos, hands down. As I've read elsewhere on this board - DT tacos today taste the way TB's did in the 70s/80s (aka like real food).