Vanessa’s on a roll. Here’s another contribution…
First of all, I’m going to get the common “but, but, Taco Bell isn’t AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FOOD!!” cry out of the way. No shit. I lived in California for 22 years and have been to Mexico more times than I can count. I know it’s not “real” Mexican food, but that doesn’t stop it from being awesome. Jurassic Park isn’t a documentary about the time they actually cloned dinosaurs from DNA caught in tree sap and then created a dinosaur safari theme park that went awry. You should also know that isn’t the REAL Mickey Mouse in your family photos from Disneyland circa 1992. But those things are still good things, and they serve their purpose regardless of your definition of “authenticity.” And also, I mean, what IS reality anyway, man?
Now for those of you that are thinking: “Ew. I would NEVER eat fast food. It’s so GROSS.” Put down the $13 quinoa and kale salad that you just got from that “adorable little organic-vegan-local-raw place on Bedford Avenue” and get over yourself. Do you like meat, cheese, and sauce? If you’re a human, then yes, you do, ergo you like Taco Bell. Sorry.
With that being said, let’s get to the taco. The Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, to be exact. I got my hands on one of these little gems on my hour lunch break on a fateful Thursday where I forgot to grab my usual Lean Cuisine out of the freezer before leaving my apartment. Oops. At that point Taco Bell was the only way to remedy the situation, obviously, but since there are only like three of them in the entire borough of Manhattan, I had to take the train up to 14th Street and walk 2½ Avenues to get there, but these are the kinds of sacrifices you make for science. And journalism. And, apparently, the magical fusion of snack foods.
Aside: The first and only other time I had ever been to this particular TB on 14th Street and 5th Avenue was at about 11am on a Saturday six months ago. The L train wasn’t running and I was on a convoluted and hungover subway-bus-walk of shame back from the Bushwick apartment of this divorcé with a receding hairline that I was briefly romantically involved with who was almost a decade my senior. It was the best of times. It was the wor–, no, actually, it was just the worst of times and Taco Bell seemed like the only way to soothe my pounding head and churning stomach, and also to help me mourn the loss of my dignity and self respect. Thanks, Taco Bell, for being there for me in my time of need. For the record, I continued to see the divorcé until it became very apparent that I am not equipped to carry on conversations with people in their 30s who have PhDs. So I stopped answering phone calls, like the mature adult that I am.
But, again, the taco. If you’re anything like me, I know what you’re thinking: “THIS. WAS. MY. IDEA.” I came up with this shit after getting stoned with my college roommates one time in 2007. But, alas, Taco Bell had the resources to get this baby off the ground and I didn’t, so it’s ok. I’m just happy to see it materialized. The execution, however, was just so-so. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you could put sour cream on a piece of dog shit and it would probably be delicious, but I just really wish more of the integrity of the Nacho Cheese Dorito came through in the final product. The Dorito shell was definitely less zesty than its vending machine counterpart and had a thinner, less crunchy texture, lacking those little air bubbles that add so much dynamism and distinctiveness to the standard Dorito. The filling, on the other hand was pretty good, although like any and all Taco Bell tacos to have ever been, or will ever be, there was too much lettuce. Maybe that’s just their trademark. What do I know? I’m not a chef. In sum, for 200 calories, about the same as my forgotten Lean Cuisine, it was fairly decent, especially since I topped it off with my old fallback, the bean and cheese burrito with no onions, for good measure.
I hear they’re coming out with Cool Ranch next. Cool Ranch Doritos are quite possibly my favorite part about being alive so I think I’ll give the Doritos Locos Taco Supreme one more chance when that happens. Until then, I’m glad I now know what all the fuss is about. I’ll let you know if I get a stomach ache in about an hour.