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Taco Bell - My Guilty Pleasure, My Secret Shame


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Their new Ultimate Chalupa is now available. The carne asada steak appears to be seasoned a bit differently in this incarnation than it has in foods past (i.e. the limited-time only Grilled Steak Taco*). I think it's a major improvement and really brings out the juiciness of the meat. I'm also really impressed with their take on guacamole - they clearly put some effort into this, making it more than just the mashed up avocados one would expect from T-Bell guac.

I heard someone in line the other day remark that all Taco Bell food is the same, just repackaged in a different shell. Excepting the fact that this isn't true, I had to explain to my clearly disinterested fiancee that it's like a fine wine. Simply changing the shape or size of the glass can profoundly affect the way the taste and smell of the wine greets your nose, tongue, and palate. To truly appreciate the subtleties of TB cuisine, one must approach it from every angle.

I encourage other closeted Bellphiles to speak up with their take on this unique culinary style.

I'm going to DR.com hell for this post, aren't I?

*Limited time only, but still available at the Courthouse T-Bell.

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G is for GROSS.

don't drink the kool aid, dancole! that stuff masquerading as cow product in your "chalupa" isn't really meat. it's people.

i stopped eating taco bell about 6 years ago after going to the "bulletproof bell" located on M St SE just off of 395. to put it frankly, my three taco supreme value meal came back to haunt me and i came dangerously close to landing in the hospital with dehydration after being violently ill for three days. never again! yuck.

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I'm glad there are people out there like me. What do people usually order?

Generally I'll start my meal with a new item I haven't tried before - usually whatever limited-time item they're offering (such as the Ultimate Chalupa). Then I'll enjoy what I call my "palate cleanser" - a small, no-frills taco or nachos supreme*. Then I finish the meal with my staple - a beef supreme chalupa.

I found this Taco Bell somewhere off 95 in Maryland that, for some reason, still offered just about every limited-time item that I've ever seen offered in a Taco Bell. It was like I'd entered some kind of quantum flux where every menu selection existed at the same time and place. The tomatoes and lettuce were top notch - it was like they came from an organic garden in Oregon. Real grand cru, if you know what I mean.

*Yes, I am aware that neither of those things would really serve to "cleanse my palate" in the tradiational sense.

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When I worked for AmeriCorps many, many years ago, the Meximelt and the bean burrito were staples of my diet.

Of course, this was before the days of Baja Fresh and Chipotle (hardly good, but a significant step up IMO).

ETA: During my freshman year of college, I foolishly bet someone $50 that I could eat 20 chicken soft tacos in one sitting. Stopped after 7. I probably could've made it to 11 or 12, but that would've likely put me out of commission for a while.

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I bet I can beat any stories of college Taco Bells. In downtown Jefferson City, around the corner from the state capitol (about a twenty minute drive from my campus) was a two story ALL YOU CAN EAT Taco Bell with TABLE SERVICE.

You read that right. You went to the counter downstairs and paid something like seven buck and ordered three items and a drink. You'd then go upstairs with your drink and a WAITRESS would bring you your tray. They would also be available to get you whatever other items you wanted and refills on drinks.

Is it any wonder why I look like I do?

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The Crunchwrap Supreme is my all time favorite.

One gripe I do have is that when you order burrito supremes, they never seem to spread out the sour cream, but always just put a blob of it at one end or the other. Is it so hard to spread it out the length of the burrito?

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The Crunchwrap Supreme is my all time favorite.

One gripe I do have is that when you order burrito supremes, they never seem to spread out the sour cream, but always just put a blob of it at one end or the other. Is it so hard to spread it out the length of the burrito?

I thought that was what that caulk gun thing was for. Are there any other restaurants in the area that use a caulk gun?

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I bet I can beat any stories of college Taco Bells. In downtown Jefferson City, around the corner from the state capitol (about a twenty minute drive from my campus) was a two story ALL YOU CAN EAT Taco Bell with TABLE SERVICE.

You read that right. You went to the counter downstairs and paid something like seven buck and ordered three items and a drink. You'd then go upstairs with your drink and a WAITRESS would bring you your tray. They would also be available to get you whatever other items you wanted and refills on drinks.

Is it any wonder why I look like I do?

That's my Vatican. I have to find out more about this place. If I find I'm dying of a terminal illness, I'm spending my remaining days there.
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That's my Vatican. I have to find out more about this place. If I find I'm dying of a terminal illness, I'm spending my remaining days there.

Unfortunately it only operated that way for a few years after I graduated. Coincidence?

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I grew up on Guam, and I remember the first trip to Taco Bell back in the eighties. Any new business, especially mainland chains, did big business on the island. My mother was the adventurous eater in our family and always dragged us kids to the newest fast food place. To this day, I still remember what we had that first time: the mexi-pizza, a tostada, a bean burrito, hard-shell tacos and a taco salad. It was my first taste of "Mexican" food ever, and it was GOOD. I know it ain't the real deal, but I still occasionally crave the classics -hard shell taco supreme, the burrito supreme - as well as the newer stuff like the gorditas and grilled burritos. Yo Quiero Taco Bell!

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When I was in college, I visited friends in Tuscon, AZ, and we drove down to Nogales, Mexico/Arizona for the day. I was dismayed to find that while there is a Burger King at the border, there is no Taco Bell. At least back then, the nearest Taco Bell to Nogales was about 9 miles from the border. I was disappointed.

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Am I the only person on this board who considers taco "shells" the Devil's spawn? What on earth goes into those dreadful things? Is there something WRONG with an ordinary corn tortilla?

They must be made of some inorganic substance because it doesn't matter how long you chew, there is always one tiny particle that will flay your esophegus on the way down. That's why I always order soft tacos!

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I probably get Taco Bell more than any other fast food but I will not get anything with chicken. It never seems to be fully cooked and having had first-uh, hand experience with campylobacter from touching raw chicken (wanna lose nine pounds in week? it's not pretty) I am not going to take a chance when there is such deliciousness to be found elsewhere on the TB menu.

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Now Open
Thank god. I was worried. I was living the dream when I lived in Courthouse... only a few blocks from my apartment to Taco Bell. When I moved to the upper Alexandria area, I was worried! Clearly my absence caused T-bell sales to flag, so right after I moved they built me an entire Taco Bell, again, a few blocks from my apartment.
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I'm tending to navigate from taco bell to taco bell for directional needs! LOL

I found a taco bell on Sterling Blvd (w/pizza hut combo woohoo!) and another on Wiehle Ave both in Reston. I wonder if there are any others in Reston or closeby for me to discover?! I got the crunchwrap supreme combo w/meat and the apple empanada for dessert - my dog and I both enjoyed lunch on Wednesday that way! :) (If she could talk I bet she'd say YO QUIERO TACO BELL)

Actually the one on WIEHLE has breakfast I forgot to mention. WOOHOO! Breakfast burritos? I never tried it yet though...

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I'm tending to navigate from taco bell to taco bell for directional needs! LOL

I found a taco bell on Sterling Blvd (w/pizza hut combo woohoo!) and another on Wiehle Ave both in Reston. I wonder if there are any others in Reston or closeby for me to discover?! I got the crunchwrap supreme combo w/meat and the apple empanada for dessert - my dog and I both enjoyed lunch on Wednesday that way! :) (If she could talk I bet she'd say YO QUIERO TACO BELL)

I miss that dog.

I find that combo restaurants involving the former TriCon entities to be somewhat lacking. It's like having a DVD-VHS combo. You'll never get as good picture & sound quality as you would from buying the components individually.

Having Pizza Hut in the same location ruins the all-important terroir that contributes to the Taco Bell experience.

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I found a taco bell on Sterling Blvd (w/pizza hut combo woohoo!) and another on Wiehle Ave both in Reston.
Sterling Blvd. is most certainly not in Reston (thank God). It's in Sterling. Sterling's the one without its own strain of the Ebola virus, hatched just across Wiehle Avenue from that particular Taco Bell. :)

That being said, there used to be a fairly impressive tomato patch behind the Taco Bell. They could've done a lot worse than harvesting them for use in the restaurant.

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I miss that dog.

I find that combo restaurants involving the former TriCon entities to be somewhat lacking. It's like having a DVD-VHS combo. You'll never get as good picture & sound quality as you would from buying the components individually.

Having Pizza Hut in the same location ruins the all-important terroir that contributes to the Taco Bell experience.

Mmmmm....the KenTacoHut. The best is when these are housed in a gas station. Nothing screams sanitary and fresh quite like Sunoco

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