Friday Q&A: Taco Bell softball


On to it:

Pitcher – Crunchy taco: The single most important quality in a rec-league softball pitcher, by far, is consistency, and no Taco Bell menu item delivers consistency like the classic crunchy taco. You know exactly what you’re getting every single time. Nothing’s more irritating than a slow-pitch softball craftsman telling you about his special spin pitches. Shut up. Shut up. You’re the Biscuit Breakfast Taco of rec softball players; your shtick sounded interesting for like 30 seconds until everyone figured out it wasn’t an upgrade over a plain old-fashioned crunchy taco. Put the ball over the freakin’ plate.

Catcher – Power Menu Veggie Bowl: It depends on the level, I guess, but a rec-league softball catcher is pretty useless. You’re not calling pitches, you’re not throwing out base-stealers, you’re probably not getting all that many plays at the plate, and in many cases, your job could be better performed by a particularly durable lawnchair. Nothing on the Taco Bell menu seems more useless than the Power Menu Veggie Bowl. Like “catcher,” it sounds strong and good. Like the rec-league softball catcher position, it probably only offers upside to the deeply hungover.

First base – Mexican Pizza: At the Major League level, first base tends to be where teams bury bad defenders. But the bar for defense is so much lower at the rec-league softball level that you really can’t stick your worst glove at first base, since the first baseman’s going to need good hands or you’re never going to get any outs. The Mexican Pizza is strong and generally great but lacks range. You can’t take a Mexican Pizza anywhere, really, as it’s tortilla discs are limp and useless by the time you get it home, and you wouldn’t even think about eating one in the car. But you want its bat in the lineup, for sure, and it’s skillful enough to .

Second base – Crunchwrap Supreme: The keystone in softball is a great position for someone who seems rangy but actually isn’t. The Crunchwrap Supreme was marketed for its portability when it first came out, but it’s quietly ungainly.

Third base – Burrito Supreme: Quietly a very important defensive position in slow-pitch softball, where hitters tend to pull the ball hard or top over slow pitches and squib weird rollers down the third-base line. With its combination of beef and beans, Burrito Supreme covers everything without carrying the excess bulk of Taco Bell rice, endemic to burritos. My one concern is that Burrito Supremes are not quite spicy enough for the “hot corner,” but one packet of Fire Sauce should clear that up. 

Shortstop – Cheesy Gordita Crunch: Shortstop plays home to practically every rec-softball team’s best player by reputation, if not by reality. Assuming that having good hands is akin to having multiple taco shells glued together by melted cheese, having good range is a lot like being covered with Spicy Ranch Sauce, and having a strong arm is the same as being filled with beef — all fair assumptions, I believe — then there’s no more obvious call than this one. There’s also an irrepressible showman ship to the Cheesy G that makes it a perfect fit for the position.

Outfield rover – Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller: If you’re playing with an outfield rover, you probably want it to be one of your best and most versatile players, if not your most heralded one. The Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller ranks with the best that Taco Bell has to offer, but never really gets credit for its excellence. I think Major League teams should use rovers, and just stand their best defender wherever the batter is most likely to hit the ball. My top dude is quietly the Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller, preferably with extra beef and additional Creamy Jalapeno sauce.

Left field – Doritos Locos Taco: A lot of New York City rec-league softball fields are squeezed into spaces so small that your left fielder will wind up standing more or less face-to-face with the right fielder from an adjacent game. For entertainment value, then, the left fielder should be the saltiest person on the team.

Center field – Beefy 5 Layer Burrito with added Crunchy Red Strips: I bet you’re sleeping on the Beefy 5 Layer Burrito, because I know I am. It’s basically a Quesarito but with refried beans instead of rice, meaning it is a handful of Crunchy Red Strips shy of having everything I want in a Taco Bell thing and nothing I don’t. Next time I go to Taco Bell, I’m getting a Beefy 5 Layer Burrito with added Crunchy Red Strips, and then I’ll come back here to tell you why it rules. Why is it playing center? Because it’s probably incredible, and you want an incredible center fielder out there. I don’t know. I didn’t sleep a lot last night and I’m actually nodding off as I type this.

Right field – Baja Blast Freeze: I could really use some caffeine and some brainfreeze to jolt myself awake, then maybe I could explain to you why Baja Blast Freeze plays right field for my Taco Bell rec softball team. It makes sense in my head, I promise.


The Flamin’ Hot Doritos Locos Taco: It’s good


I know it has been roughly 15 years since the Crunchwrap Supreme came out, because I remember writing a poem about it while proctoring an exam when I worked in a high school. I know the Volcano Taco emerged sometime late in 2008 or early in 2009, because I remember that it was new to the scene when my friend Jake and I started the Taco Bell Wiki in a Fort Greene apartment where I only lived for 11 months. I have a general sense of when Nacho Fries first landed in the U.S., because I remember which of three different NYC offices USA Today occupied when I brought them back and which co-workers tried them when I did. And so on.

I have been writing regularly about Taco Bell for so damn long that I can mark Taco Bell stuff in time and mark time in Taco Bell stuff. It’s either depressing or exhilarating, or perhaps depressingly exhilarating.

Still, it amazed me this morning when I thought back to the dawn of the Doritos Locos Tacos era and recalled that I was in Port St. Lucie, Fla. and wrote about it here on, meaning I was still covering spring training for SNY when it happened, meaning Doritos Locos Tacos have now been a fixture on Taco Bell menus for more than eight full years. People who were in middle school are now about to graduate from college, perhaps having never really known a Taco Bell menu without the popular cross-promotional item. The Giants were Super Bowl champions the last time Doritos Locos Tacos weren’t available. Encyclopaedia Brittanica was still putting out print editions.

I bring all this up to note that, here in Year 8 ADLT, I’ve probably eaten no more than five Doritos Locos Tacos in my life, and only because I came into them somehow. They’ve become the default offering for Taco Bell giveaways, but Taco Bell giveaways are for amateurs. And, as I mentioned upon eating my first DLT more than eight years ago, I’ve just never eaten a Taco Bell crunchy taco and wished that it could be saltier and more orange.

But I’m in this content game right now, for better or worse, and it beckoned me to Taco Bell this weekend to sample one of the new Flamin’ Hot Doritos Locos Tacos. And friends, I am prepared to call the new Flamin’ Hot Doritos Locos Tacos: Pretty damn good. I’m not sure if time has altered my memories of the Flamin’ Hot DLT’s Nacho Cheese cousins, but these seemed like they had a less assertive dusting of Doritos stuff and existed at a spice level one seldom finds in Taco Bell things. It wasn’t unpleasantly hot, but the spice definitely lingered for a little while after I ate them — think Buffalo wings sold as “hot,” but not Buffalo wings sold as “atomic.”

I also ordered a Cheesy Gordita Crunch with a Flamin’ Hot Doritos Taco inside — something every Taco Bell can do for you, even if you’re not a former honorary president — and was surprised to learn that I found it, somehow: An upgrade over the standard Cheesy G, which is saying something. This particular Cheesy Gordita Crunch was poorly made — they took the flatbread out of the little heater thing before all the cheese was melted, and the spicy ranch sauce was haphazardly distributed. But compared to a traditional Cheesy Gordita Crunch of similar build quality, this offered an extra spicy kick that proved pleasant.

The only downside to the Flamin’ Hot Doritos Locos Taco is that it is red, as as such reminds me of the long-lost Volcano Taco, my one true love. But it’s good nonetheless, and I will likely have one again before it leaves menus. I endorse this Taco Bell thing.

What happened to the Doublelupa?

Screenshot 2020-04-07 at 1.09.18 PM

Heck yeah, I had a Triplelupa yesterday.

Though in this post I will detail some of the ways in which the Triplelupa is wholly unlike anything I’ve ever encountered on the Taco Bell menu, it is, at its heart — and like all the best Taco Bell things — a newly configured collection of straightforward Taco Bell ingredients: Seasoned beef, nacho cheese, lettuce, tomato, chalupa dough. As such, is prepared to call the Triplelupa: F@#$ing fabulous. 

Here’s what it looked like in the wild. I got mine with no tomatoes:


Look at all those lupas!

If somehow something distracted you from the Triplelupa’s launch, and if you haven’t found a lot of time in recent weeks to think critically about the new options at your local Taco Bell, understand that the Triplelupa is built of three smaller sub-lupas, and Taco Bell intends for you to tear the individual lupas off the larger Triplelupa and eat them separately.

As far as I know, Taco Bell has never offered anything like that before. It feels like a page out of the Pizza Hut playbook, but thankfully, it’s a million times better than anything that has ever been served at Pizza Hut (except possibly the breadsticks, which are decent). And it begs the question: What the heck happened to the Doublelupa?

Once Taco Bell developed multi-lupa technology, wouldn’t it make sense — and be very much in keeping with how Taco Bell does things — to start by rolling out the Doublelupa with all the requisite pomp and circumstance, then, roughly six months to a year after it quietly left menus, unveiling the Triplelupa and blowing minds?

Call it a hunch, but I believe that the imprecise nature of Taco Bell ingredient distribution made the Doublelupa impossible. On the Triplelupa, the lupa on one side has nacho cheese, the lupa on the opposite side has chipotle sauce, and the middle lupa has both nacho cheese and chipotle sauce. It is basically a Venn diagram in chalupa form. One circle is the part of the chalupa that has nacho cheese, the other circle represents chipotle sauce, and the middle part is the center lupa.

Screenshot 2020-04-07 at 1.44.28 PM

This, to me, implies a couple of things: 1) It proved impossible to sauce two adjacent lupas without overlap, meaning the Doublelupa remains ony theoretical for now. 2) Taco Bell now asks for intentionally uneven sauce distribution from the heroes constructing our tacos, a paradigm shift. It’s hardly unheard of to get a Taco Bell thing with sour cream glopped on to only one half, but previously this was assumed to be the output of an inept hand with the sour cream gun.

Now that we know Taco Bell artisans have the capacity to sauce only half a taco, what wonders might come to the menu? The Quintuplelupa seems like a no brainer, but what about, like, a Heptadita, or a Partly Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes?

In an era in which we are tortured by uncertainty, in this one venue, the uncertainty is welcome. With one new thing, Taco Bell quietly changed everything. And without knowing what Taco Bell has in store for us, we can only strap in, hold on, and delight in the infinite possibilities for what could come next. It will probably have beef and cheese, and most likely some lettuce.

Taco Bell in the time of COVID-19


These are grim times. You know that. They’re grim times for artists and grim times for doctors and grim times for teachers and students and builders and lawyers and farmers and soldiers and IT professionals, because people are getting sick and dying at terrifying rates and the best way — the only way — to combat it involves the near-complete suspension of community and enterprise and normalcy and everything else we typically turn to for help handling hardships. It sucks.

And these are, undoubtedly, grim times for the restaurant industry — especially in New York City, where exorbitant rents require restaurateurs to operate on impossibly slim margins in a landscape already blighted with empty storefronts.

If you are getting takeout and have the opportunity to support a small business, you should do it. But after you do that, or, perhaps, when you have few other options, you may find yourself at a Taco Bell. I know, because it happened to me over the weekend, and because my former roommate Bill texted me not two hours ago to note that the same thing happened to him yesterday. Taco Bell is delicious and inexpensive and comforting, and while it appears far better positioned than most to survive this pandemic, these presumably aren’t great times for area Taco Bell franchisees, either.

Here are four tips for enjoying Taco Bell in the time of COVID-19:

1) Be cool: If you thought this nation’s only truly horrendous people were the ones running it, think again! A Business Insider post surveying fast-food workers notes, “some customers were treating employees poorly in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. Multiple workers shared stories of customers coughing on them, either by accident or as a ‘joke.’ Others said customers had yelled at them due to restricted hours or longer wait times.”

For fuck’s sake. I find few things more off-putting than people who mistreat food-service workers. (Once, when I got confused about the terms of a coupon at the lobster farm, the customer actually said, “that’s why I go to Cornell and you work at a lobster farm.” No joke.) It’s just a lousy thing to do, but also, I don’t think problem customers realize that people really do spit in their food sometimes. I never did it myself, but I’ve seen it happen enough times to know better than to take out my frustrations on someone handling my food, even on my worst day.

Yes, you’re scared about the ‘rona. Yes, your Taco Bell might take longer than it normally does because of the extra crowds and precautions that come along with the virus. But for heaven’s sake, be cool. Everyone’s scared. Everyone’s stressed. That person taking your order is literally putting her life on the line to provide you Taco Bell. It’s downright noble! And you’re working from home anyway! No one can see if you spent an extra ten minutes away from your desk getting lunch.

2) Use the Taco Bell app: Have you used the Taco Bell app? It’s phenomenal. And — I want to point out — it is awfully similar to a concept I outlined in this space in 2011. You can trick out any Taco Bell thing you can think of in practically any way. I like adding jalapenos to stuff just because I can. Sometimes I swap out Spicy Ranch sauce for Avocado Ranch sauce, not because I can necessarily tell the difference so much as because I am drunk with power. Extra meat? You can do that. Multiple meats? Absolutely. They don’t really let you mess with the various incarnations of tortilla that deliver your Taco Bell stuff, but everything inside is fair game.

Why it matters now is that you pay via the app, so you don’t have to use cash and you don’t force the Taco Bell employee to handle your grimy credit card and pass your germs along to the next person in line.

3) Skip the Crunchy Tacos: We all need to make sacrifices in this time And the particulars of eating Taco Bell during the coronavirus shutdown mean that you are likely either eating Taco Bell in your car or taking it away to eat somewhere besides the Taco Bell dining room. Crunchy Tacos are a great many things, but they are not particularly portable, nor are they really built to withstand more than a few minutes’ worth of travel time. If you want something that crunches, go with plain old nachos, or something that utilizes the superlative Crunchy Red Strips, or opt for the ever-popular Cheesy G.

4) For cryin’ out loud, try a Beefy Nacho Griller: If it didn’t already seem like End Times, we might be spending more time considering that Taco Bell has only now, finally, come out with something called the “Taco Burrito,” and that somehow the Taco Burrito — based on my recent experience — just isn’t all that good. It’s fine, obviously, but it’s basically just a soft taco with slightly more tortilla (albeit with infinitely more Crunchy Red Strips).

I feel like a broken record: The best new Taco Bell menu item of the last 10 years, and possibly the very best Taco Bell menu item of all, is the relatively unheralded Beefy Nacho Griller. It’s just seasoned beef, nacho cheese, and Crunchy Red Strips in a burrito, which is to say that it’s all the Taco Bell things you want with no superfluous lettuce. Then, to make it extra good, they press it in their magical Taco Bell grill thing.

Good luck out there.

The Volcano Taco is dead. Long live the Volcano Taco!

Someone told me the Volcano Taco no longer exists, so I hiked to my nearest Taco Bell to investigate. I’ve been trying to eat healthier of late, but I figured the two-mile walk would more than mitigate the damage done by a single taco.

volcanotacoMy nearest Taco Bell pumps classic rock music all the time, which always seems out of place in the middle of East Harlem. Tom Petty’s “Running Down the Dream” was cranking when I walked in. Speaking of which:

“Do you still make Volcano Tacos?” I asked nonchalantly, as if it were a casual curiosity and not a pointed inquiry. I try to play it cool at Taco Bell and act as if I’m not in the 99.999th percentile of human beings in terms of Taco Bell knowledge. I don’t really know why. I guess I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of the Taco Bell employees.

“We don’t,” said the woman at the register. She stepped back and pointed toward a sign advertising the new Fiery Doritos Locos Taco. “If you’re looking for something similar, I could-”

I cut her off. I’m certainly interested in knowing how the new Doritos Locos Taco tastes, but I don’t particularly want one. Healthier eating means a far smaller monthly quota for Taco Bell items, and I’ve been so underwhelmed by both the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos that I don’t want to waste any of my very limited Taco Bell intake on more Doritos Locos Tacos.

“Nah,” I said, shaking my head. “Could you–”

“You could get a regular taco with the same sauce,” she said.

“With the Lava Sauce, yeah,” I said, accidentally exposing that I’m aware it’s called Lava Sauce, prompting a fleeting moment of embarrassment before I remembered that I’m not at all ashamed to know that.

“So a regular Crunchy Taco plus Lava Sauce,” she repeated, pounding away at the register. There are buttons for that. We’re in the clear.

A few minutes later, I ate what tasted exactly like a Volcano Taco, containing all the same ingredients. The red taco shell is no longer available, but that was just a novelty anyway, gone the way of the Black Jack Taco shell because Taco Bell’s current gimmicky shell thing is making them out of Doritos, not giving them different colors.

As to that: Whatever. They’re not my thing, but clearly they’re popular, and anything that helps keep Taco Bell flourishing is fine by me. Plus, the burgeoning relationship between Taco Bell and Frito-Lay seems like a step toward global Taco Bell dominance, winning the Restaurant Wars and all that.

Plus, at some point, Taco Bell’s going to start making taco shells out of other snack chips, which should get interesting. How about a pretzel taco? I could get down with that.

As for the Volcano Taco, it joins the pantheon of great retired Taco Bell items like the Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito. It will exist forever in our memories, a reminder of the transitional era in which Taco Bell first started toying with taco shells but before they started covering them with Dorito stuff. And the Taco Bell lifehackers among us will know that we can taste the Volcano Taco whenever we want by adding Lava Sauce to a Crunchy Taco, even if that adds an element of entropy that makes the Taco Bell significantly more likely to screw up your order than if you could just ask for a Volcano Taco.

I walked out to the boring thump of “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago, a band inspired by the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” to fuse rock music with a horn section, and one that enjoyed great commercial success while making largely terrible music. Sometimes good ideas pay off even when poorly executed. Taco Bell powers forward.

My Taco Bell expertise finally legitimized

Yesterday, the Internet heralded the coming of the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco as if it’s a newly verified thing even though this site and many others have been all over that news for nearly half a year. Longtime friend of the program Gina Pace at the New York Daily News took time off from her diligent work on the Tom Brady moat beat to report and clarify the Taco Bell news, citing the research of one well-coiffed “sports writer and Taco Bell aficionado.”

Taco Bell’s new Beefy Nacho Griller, briefly

I hope to have a more thorough review of Taco Bell’s new line of Grillers upon my return from vacation later this month. But last night I had the opportunity to enjoy a Beefy Nacho Griller at the World’s Weirdest Taco Bell — in the back of Liberty Cafe on 3rd Ave. in Manhattan — and, in lieu of a qualified defense of Rex Ryan’s decision to flee prying questions about Tim Tebow’s future for Bahamian beaches, I figured I’d provide a quick write-up now.

pdp_griller_beefy_nacho_1The Beefy Nacho Griller contains nothing new or unfamiliar to longtime fans of Taco Bell. It’s a burrito shell, wrapped and grilled around seasoned beef, nacho cheese and — this is important — crunchy f-ing red strips.

Reconfiguring longstanding Taco Bell ingredients into new Taco Bell menu items is right in Taco Bell’s wheelhouse, and Taco Bell knocks this one out of the park. It’s not large — the Griller series is marketed to snackers, and the Beefy Nacho Griller contains roughly the meatlode of a MexiMelt or Crunchy Taco.

But it’s delicious. The seasoned beef and nacho cheese combine to create a comforting, salty, peppery Taco Bell flavor. It’s not unlike the MexiMelt, actually, only the distinction in cheese styles renders the Beefy Nacho Griller more creamy than melty, and it comes without the frustrating need to specify no tomatoes.

Also, the tightly wrapped and grilled tortilla aptly contains the Taco Bell on par with the most portable prior products, producing a great treat for the drive-thru set or, in urban settings like this one, those who prefer to eat their Taco Bell while walking. And those red strips, by far the most underrated Taco Bell ingredient, continue to defy the ubiquitous orange Taco Bell grease, maintaining their crunchiness and creating a pleasant diversity of textures.

My one small gripe with the Beefy Nacho Griller is its somewhat high ratio of tortilla to filling, which seems unavoidable fallout from repurposing the burrito shell for a snack-sized product.

The Beefy Nacho Griller hardly launched to the type of hype that came with the Doritos Locos Tacos or the Cantina Bell menu, but Taco Bell traditionalists will find it far better than all those things.

Taco Bell Tuesday: Slow Taco Bell day

I’ve got a podcast to record in a minute and most of this week’s Taco Bell news involves murder and death, so I’m avoiding it. Here are some less-terrifying Taco Bell items of note:

Two from Nation’s Restaurant News: In an unveiling about as predictable as Justin Verlander’s 2011 Cy Young Award, multiple Taco Bell offerings were named to the Nation’s Restaurant News’ list of “top menu rollouts” for 2012. More than 200 million Doritos Locos Tacos have been served to date, and Cool Ranch and Flamas versions are on their way once Taco Bell gets Frito Lay to make enough taco shells to catch up with demand.

Also from NRN: Taco Bell’s First Meal commercial is the site’s top played video. Of course it is. This is restaurant news, people. Taco Bell is an unstoppable force.

Plot to steal tacos thwarted by tempting ATMAt least that’s how I assume it went down. Thieves in Dededo, Guam broke into a Taco Bell at 5 a.m. (Chamorro Standard Time)  and stole an ATM, probably once they realized the blaring alarm would distract them from the late-night taco artistry they hoped to endeavor. The big news here is that Guam has a Taco Bell, and apparently Taco Bells in Guam have ATMs in them. Or at least, they used to.

Also, did you know that Guam is in the midst of a movement to change its name to “Guahan,” its name in the native Chamorro language? It is. That’s one thing I didn’t know about Guam. Also: Most other things. I bet it’s beautiful. I can’t figure out from this site’s metrics if anyone in Guam ever visits TedQuarters, so if anyone from Guam is out there, do say hello. The Internet’s crazy like that. Yesterday I got a visit from Laos though. Hello, Laos! I will see you soon!

Taco Bell Tuesday

And a very important Taco Bell Tuesday indeed. First and foremost:

Free Doritos Locos Tacos on the East Coast: Perhaps the least-heralded and certainly the least-important impact of Superstorm Sandy was the way it thwarted so many plans to eat the free tacos Angel Pagan got for all of us by stealing a base in the World Series. Taco Bell, bastion of benevolence, will make that right today by offering free Doritos Locos Tacos at participating locations in areas affected by the storm. The full list is included in the link. All three of my hometown Taco Bells on Long Island will provide free tacos from 2-6 p.m. this afternoon. My dad’s day just got a bit brighter.

Here's what a Doritos Locos Taco Supreme sort of looks like.

Heretofore unknown Taco Bell product detailed: Because Taco Bell consumers in India are apparently not familiar with the peculiarities of Mexican-inspired American fast food, Taco Bells in India serve something called a “kotito.” Per Niren Chaudhary of Yum Brands:

[I]t is a fusion product. It has a combination of the Indian bread on the outside called koti [ph] and on the inside, it has the good old international burrito fillings.

So koti and burrito is kotito, a very outstanding product and one for which I would highly recommend that you make a trip to Bangalore. And if you take kotito on the way to Bangalore, I think the flight won’t seem that long.

That sounds outstanding. Someone more familiar with Indian food should chime in here, but I’m assuming “koti” is another translation for kati, which you can find in New York at, among other places, the Biryani Cart in Midtown right near my office. It’s good: Thicker than a burrito but thinner than a pita, chewy and moist. Seems like a fine delivery method for burrito stuff.

Incidentally, this site’s traffic metrics show that it gets a few hits a day from India. So if anyone reading this now is in India or going to India soon, please visit your local Taco Bell to photograph and eat a kotito. It turns out the Google Image returns for “kotito” are mostly scantily clad photos of a Japanese woman. This may surprise you, but the Internet already has lots and lots of scantily clad photos of women. But it has none that I can find of Mexican-inspired Indian fast food. With your help, I’d like to change that.

Guy who peed on Nachos claims that’s not what happened: For whatever reason, a Fort Wayne, Ind. reporter caught up with Cameron Jankowski, the former Taco Bell employee fired for photographing himself urinating on Nachos BellGrande. Jankowski claims that what we all thought was urine was actually a watered-down solution of Mountain Dew and water squirted from a bottle, which seems like a lot of effort to defile some nachos when you could just, you know, pee on them or something. But Jankowski claims he passed a lie-detector test, which is amazing for so many reasons. I like to imagine the police pulling a good-cop bad-cop routine, with the bad cop all up in this kid’s face like, “You peed on those nachos, you disgusting bastard! ADMIT IT!”

The article also says that, “Jankowski is currently a student at IPFW and is ironically studying business management.” To his credit, business management is the perfect thing to study ironically, and no one will ever accuse Cameron Jankowski of half-assing his jokes.

So what’s up with the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco?: It turns out that factories producing Doritos taco shells couldn’t catch up with demand, so plans to unveil Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos were held up while Taco Bell commissioned PepsiCo to “build two new lines to increase its capacity for taco shell production.” So there’s that.

The article also notes that there are 123 different flavors of Doritos worldwide, which is stunning. The web site lists nearly 100 of them, including Peking Duck Doritos Gold, Gourmet Sausage Doritos, Ketchup Doritos, Pepper Bacon Doritos, and Wasabi Doritos.

Taco Bell Tuesday

We act like the Winter Meetings are the only thing happening when meanwhile there are Taco Bell things happening.

New York City fast-food workers move to unionize: I’ll continue avoiding politics as best as I can, but I thought you should be aware of why some workers at local fast food restaurants — including Taco Bells — have been walking off the job. This site supports Taco Bell employees’ efforts to earn a living wage through whatever measures necessary, and would be willing to pay a bit more for tacos to know that the people making them were happier and healthier.

Journalist gets to drive $2.5 million car, takes it to Taco Bell drive-thru: Why wouldn’t he? If a blind man behind the wheel for the first time in years thanks to Google’s self-driving car would immediately go to Taco Bell, I don’t see why anyone driving a $2.5 million Bugati wouldn’t. It’s just the logical first place to go when you’re in any car.

Fast food dessert category heating up: Joe Satran of the Huffington Post investigates why and how fast food restaurants are adding desserts to their menus, highlighted by Taco Bell’s newly improved dessert selection. He quotes a Taco Bell senior director who describes market research suggesting customers are interested in “clockless eating.”

Clockless eating. I hope that phrase catches on. Stop pigeonholing me into your oppressive three-meal regime, society. I demand clockless eating!

The article suggests that Taco Bell will soon consider adding a larger dessert option, which brings me to an important point: Bring back the Choco Taco. Seriously, with the success of the cross-promotional Doritos Locos Taco, why not work something out with Klondike to ensure the sale of Choco Tacos in all Taco Bell stores? It’s a taco, but it’s choco — the perfect Taco Bell dessert. It’s f—ing Mexican, can’t you see?


Also of note: A Chipotle spokesman quoted in the article says Chipotle has no designs on dessert, which is odd to me because Chipotle makes me crave dessert 100-percent of the time I eat it. I think it’s partly due to the salt content, and mostly for Pavlovian reasons. When I was at NYU, one semester I had two evening classes with a 40-minute break in between. It was exactly the right amount of time to get myself to the Chipotle on 8th St., enjoy a burrito, then get a cookie across the street at Au Bon Pain. So I would heartily recommend Chipotle start carrying cookies.

Mountain Goats endorse Taco Bell: Unfortunately it’s not actual mountain goats, as that would be hilarious. It’s John Darnielle, lead singer and songwriter for the band The Mountain Goats, which I have heard of but never really pursued. Are they good? I’m open to the possibility, because Darnielle could be totally snarky and condescending about his affinity for Taco Bell — and is even baited to do so by the interviewer — but resists, calling Taco Bell “a lifesaver” for touring vegetarian musicians.