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November 11, 1999


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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