Taco Bell is really pushing the menu envelope. First, they almost kill me with a shrimp taco, and now, they've added a Cantina Taco to the menu, a damn near perfect replica of something you'd expect to be fed as an innocent kidnapping victim of narcotraficantes. Not that it's a hard thing to fuck up (there are 5 ingredients if you count the lime), but it's still fast food. Let's taco 'bout it:
1. A lime actually does come with each taco. Tucked into the folds of foil, its freshness was debatable (food additives can do wonders for appearance), but it did the trick.
2. The corn tortillas, doubled up just like they do in the cantina, weren't terribly brittle. Taken at face value, however, even the best corn tortillas have little to offer in the way of flavor.
3. The cilantro bled all over the white onions, giving them an offputting greenish-brown hue like that of guacamole left out too long. The mixture was also soggy. More than the flavor of onions, I appreciate their crunch, which was lacking here.
4. The pork was mushy, and as you can see in the picture above, it looks a lot like the "beef" that's ubiquitous in the rest of their offerings. It really didn't taste too bad, though. Perhaps a grain too salty, but with sodium levels in fast food being as high as they are, it's a taste that's hard to mask.
I think we paid something like $1.89 for each one. If you find yourself at Taco Bell for other reasons (Mexican Pizza, maybe), it's cheap enough for you to try, and there's no reason you shouldn't. Buen provecho.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Behold, the durian fruit, an oversized exotic pine cone full of what good pal Mark Novasack called "mayonnaise with hair in it." Uncut and frozen, there's little evidence of the putrid smell so widely documented (there's even some folklore about your stomach exploding if you combine it with alcohol), but what lies beneath the surface is a deceptive fruity aroma that gives way to a subtle yet gag-inducing fart smell. At least that's what happened when I got close. One would think that the need to wear puncture-resistant gloves while handling it would be enough for you to steer clear. This was not the case for two friends of mine, who, after watching Andrew Zimmern gag on the thing, decided to have a durian fruit showdown. Whoever can eat the most durian gets to choose a costume that the other has to wear for 24 hours--at work, at home, and more than likely, a happy hour with cheap enough drink specials to make you forget that you lost the bet after subjecting yourself to such gustatory torture. Dubbing themselves Eva Pierogi and Borscht Yeltsin (damn creative guys), we filmed and photographed the challenge. And yes, we were drinking, and no, none of our stomachs exploded, although it would have been really cool and really messy to see that happen. Check out the photos and videos after the jump.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
At the risk of having a trio of douchebags materialize out of thin air, I went ahead and ordered the Bacon Club Chalupa, thus falling off the Taco Bell wagon once again. Granted, I was in a drive-thru on City Avenue, where the likelihood of a combination stabbing/carjacking is ten times that of getting hit on by a few feathered-hair passersby than it would be in the brightly lit and clearly exclusive club shown in the above commercial, so I wasn't too worried about an onslaught of douchebags. I'm also a dude. I also do my best not to carry a clutch, but every now and again, it's unavoidable. But enough about my fashion sense. Let's talk about what happens when Taco Bell runs out of ideas thinking outside the bun and goes back to thinking inside the bun.
The Wall Street Journal, master of the obvious, is only now stating what we already know: people love themselves some bacon. Pork belly prices are up 53% from last year. But my favorite part of the article is the fact that bacon demand coincides with an increased consumption of BLT sandwiches in the summer (if I was one to write "WTF," this would be where I would write it). Thinking back, I don't recall summer being associated with BLTs, but apparently Taco Bell is hip to the game. Let's see how it stacks, er, folds up against what the Journal claims to be summer's most popular sandwich:
1. The crunch of the toast, even though it doesn't get its name on the marquee, is one of the most important parts of the BLT. The chalupa shell, limp from an extended bath in the fry grease, was a terrible proxy for the toast.
2. The lettuce and tomato were minutes away from being rancid. Even the smoky flavor of the bacon couldn't mask the acrid taste.
3. Speaking of the bacon, it was diced so small that I could have snorted it.
4. The chicken was barely there, maybe a chunk or two, and not worth commenting on.
5. Another key ingredient to the BLT is the gloppy, oozes-out-the-side mayonnaise (a very good thing). In its stead, Taco Bell substitutes "club sauce," a watery thin condiment that looks and tastes like whitewash.
I think there's a concurrent promotion happening with the cheesy gordita crunch. If you're going to fall off the wagon, it's really the only thing worth ordering at Taco Bell. If you don't believe me, ask the other 2,693 people that like it on Facebook. Yes, the cheesy gordita crunch has more fans than me on Facebook. Get liking people, and use your disposable income for better things than a bacon club chalupa. Buen provecho