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November 11, 1999
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Taco Bell

Uh, the good news was that the entire meal cost $9.50--for two. The bad news, I was at Taco Bell, probably the worst excuse for a meal in American. Now it might surprise you to learn that my life is not all champagne and caviar, some nights its not eve Szechwan port with egg roll. Yes, occasionally, even I succumb to the obscene allure of a fast food sodium fest. So, after being inundated with that obnoxious Chihuahua dog on television for the past year, I decided to put the world's most heavily advertised restaurant to the taste test. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed.

How do I hate thee Taco Bell??? Well, let me count the ways. First, there's the world's ugliest logo, some crude rendition of a bell done up in hideous purple, blue and yellow, then there's the faux Spanish architecture truly a blight every where it appears. Like moths to the flame, it's customers are drawn to a menu chock full of fancy sounding made-up names. Shhhhh, but here's a secret, despite the hype, they're all the same thing. Basically, the Taco Bell scam consists of mixing and matching the same five ingredients, unripe tomatoes, lettuce, ground beef, sour cream and tasteless cheese. These are reconfigured according to how thick, thin, crunchy or deep fried you like your tortilla shell. Everything tastes pretty much the same, which is not very good, and everything looks like hell, adding injury to insult, nothing is easy to eat. One bite from a chalupa had its back end exploding all over me like a Mexican food cannon shell, and the pita-like Gordita scarcely did a better job of taco meat containment. As for the taco supreme, there's nothing supreme about it. Food this terrible needs a multi-million dollar ad campaign to sell it. Why anyone's buying it is anyone's guess.

This is John Curtas.

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Archives

Nov 24, 2010 | Thanksgiving 2010 - Another Beanie Reveal
John Curtas delves into family history to discover the real story behind Grandma Schroader's Sour Beans.

Nov 19, 2009 | Valentino -- You don't know the truffles I've seen
According to Food Critic John Curtas, no other Italian restaurant in Las Vegas has performed at such a high level for so long.

Oct 1, 2009 | Blow It Up
In at least one part of town, our dining critic John Curtas says the food used to be a lot better.

Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown
For our dining critic, John Curtas, social media has started to intrude on dining out.

Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS
Our dining critic John Curtas finds a new affordable favorite.

Aug 20, 2009 | Chinois R.I.P.
For John Curtas the recent closing of Wolfgang Puck's first Las Vegas restaurant brings back memories.

Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.
John Curtas turns movie reviewer today - but the subject is in his usual area of expertise. Hear his review of "Food, Inc."

Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas
Dining critic John Curtas finds some steak aged for EIGHT MONTHS and he tells us how it tastes.

Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck
Everyone's food budget is tighter these days. But if you still want to dine out now and then, our dining critic John Curtas has a few tips on restaurants now giving you more bang for your buck.

Jun 19, 2009 | Whassup with Wazuzu
Explore Dining Critic John Curtas' love/hate relationship with Wazuzu. If you want to spice up your dinner go for at least a "4 or 5."

Jun 12, 2009 | Two Farmer's Markets
Fresh, locally produced food has become a big trend across the U.S. Our food critic, John Curtas, says there's more of this trend in Las Vegas than you might think.

Jun 4, 2009 | MandM Soul Food
John Curtas tells us about one of his favorite dining spots - a surpsingly affordable one.

May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie
While fine dining has seen a downturn in Las Vegas in recent months, our dining critic John Curtas says at least one dining legend intends to stay put. Charlie Trotter is standing pat in Las Vegas. John Curtas reviews Resturant Charlie.

May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.

May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.

Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations

Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.

Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.

Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.

Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the west edge of the city.

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