Taco Bell Tuesday

And a beautiful Taco Bell Tuesday it is.

NPR reviews Crunchwrap Supreme: The big story is that the review comes as part of NPR’s weekly “Sandwich Monday” series, implying that NPR deems the Crunchwrap Supreme a sandwich. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Y’all know I operate with a pretty liberal definition of “sandwich,” but the Crunchwrap Supreme feels so distinctly like something that could only be created at Taco Bell that it straddles some (awesome) line. Though it certainly meets a lot of the qualifications for a sandwich, I suspect it is more an ingenious Taco Bell creation than a sandwich proper. NPR’s review is predictably a little judgmental, but earns points for several legitimately funny lines.

Taco Bell Train surging through the market: Despite struggling in China — its most profitable division — this quarter, Yum Foods announced five-percent higher earnings and attributed the growth to the success of the Doritos Locos Taco. I don’t really know or care much about the stock-market ramifications, but it looks like another early, on-target salvo in the forthcoming Restaurant Wars prophesied by Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. In a related story, Chipotle’s stock has dropped, a loss also attributed to the Doritos Locos Taco.

For what it’s worth to those curious, KFC is ubiquitous in China. From Shanghai in 2007, I joked: “The ominous Big Brother stare of Chairman Mao has been replaced by the perhaps equally ominous stare of Colonel Sanders.” A bit glib, certainly, but I wrote it after spending an afternoon in a beautiful garden under the watchful eye of the Colonel’s disembodied face on a second-story window in an otherwise historic area.

Cantina Bell reviews keep rolling in: Jenn Wohletz at Denver Westword contends that the Cantina Bell menu is not as well-prepared by average Taco Bell employees as it was by chef Lorena Garcia at a tasting event. That seems to make sense given my experience with the Cantina Burrito, but I have no way to compare the two because Taco Bell utterly failed to invite me to one of said tasting events.

Taking the high road: Mother Nature Network considers whether fast-food chains have “crossed the line” by “shamelessly targeting potheads with their ads.” This feels sort of like a New York Times trend piece, acting like this is a new phenomenon. I seem to remember a certain 2000 Jack in the Box ad in which an extremely handsome young backpacker wearing a P-Funk shirt tells Jack that he’s “jonesin'” for a Chicken Fajita Pita. The Fix, linked in the piece, sites a bunch of recent examples including Taco Bell’s “Late Night Munchies” jingle. First of all: Does anyone really care? Second, it’s sort of a chicken-egg thing. Does late-night fast food appeal to potheads or does pot appeal to late-night fast-food heads?

When innovation goes awry: HuffPo relays an unfortunate incident in which a Taco Bell employee included the cardboard Doritos Locos Taco holder inside a taco. The obvious issue: The person ordered a Doritos Locos Taco inside a Cheesy Gordita Crunch — as is recommended by this site — and whoever made it for some reason put together the entire Doritos Locos Taco with holder before embedding it in the gordita.


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