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March 16, 2013 11:50 PM   Subscribe

Taco Bell is to food what the propeller beanie hat is to transportation: wildly insufficient, but not altogether un-enjoyable if approached with the right attitude: Will Dorito-Sheathed Tacos Be The End Of Us All? (SLGawker)
posted by davidjmcgee (56 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
USA! USA! USA!
posted by bardic at 11:54 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a freaking movement. Taco Bell says it's their biggest launch ever; they're adding 15,000 jobs and 2,000 restaurants in the next 10 years because "what we have is proprietary and exclusive. Nobody else can make a Cool Ranch Doritos taco. And that’s just in the U.S." tl;dr: Demolition Man was a documentary.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:10 AM on March 17, 2013 [22 favorites]


...not altogether un-enjoyable if approached with the right attitude...

I am certain I would not enjoy this thing under any circumstances.
posted by Pudhoho at 12:13 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a fucking Cool Ranch Doritos Taco! This is some sort of junk food holy grail. I, for one, cannot wait to try it. I, for one, am part of the problem.
posted by asnider at 12:21 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


i hate I HATE I HATE ooh cool ranch taco
posted by cmoj at 12:36 AM on March 17, 2013


Sadly (not really) we don't have Tacos Bell in Australia so I guess I don't. know what I'm missing. Nice writing particularly because of that fave expression of mine - lips and arseholes.
posted by wilful at 12:46 AM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like many things that have an inkling of cultural meaning, some people will hate it, and some people will love it. Vocal minorities from each group will construct hyperbolic bad guys of the other side, and find reasons for feeling superior to them. In this particular case, Taco Bell has come up with a frankly brilliant product (in terms of marketing and really hitting their target demographic). Sure, it's mass produced, not-great-quality meat and cheese stuffed into highly processed, dense corn product assembled on the fly by underpaid workers. But it's really no worse than anything else they offer. Some people will be reviled by it and their regulars will love it. This phenomena is not new.
posted by spiderskull at 12:50 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oo, oo, I know the answer! It's "No, they will not be the end of us all."

What do I win?
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:51 AM on March 17, 2013


That guy writes like the second coming of Ian Shoales.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:54 AM on March 17, 2013


(Also, in case it's not clear, Taco Bell is owned by Yum! brands, which is a subsidiary of PepsiCo. PepsiCo also owns Frito Lays, so this isn't some sort of unique corporate joining. The Pepsi BoD just decided to glue two of their companies together).
posted by spiderskull at 12:55 AM on March 17, 2013


And that glue is provided by the Slurm Megacorporation of planet Wormulon.
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:04 AM on March 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


It's a freaking movement.

A freaking bowel movement?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:12 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


If we can survive the Double-Down, we can survive anything.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:20 AM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Taco Bell is headquartered in Irvine?!? When I visit Irvine/Tustin my brother takes me out for fish tacos that prove the existence of God. I wonder where the Taco Bell office workers go for lunch?
posted by benito.strauss at 1:29 AM on March 17, 2013


Do not eat. Your body will thank you.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 1:45 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Still far less appalling than those KFC infamous bowls.
posted by straight at 1:51 AM on March 17, 2013


I tried the doritos taco (regular flavor existing one). It was gross. I couldn't finish it. Guess I'm a taco bell traditionalist.
posted by sio42 at 1:54 AM on March 17, 2013


If we can survive the Double-Down, we can survive anything. 

Not to pick on you specifically, but the Double-Down is the ultimate triumph of marketing hype over fast food reality. So you take a chicken sandwich with cheese and bacon, which pretty well every fast food joint has on the menu sitting there unnoticed. And you add a second meat patty; not common with chicken, but a double cheeseburger goes unremarked on - heck, it's de rigeur at some, like In-N-Out.

If KFC had introduced a double chicken burger, who would have really noticed? But they threw away the bun, that is, they made a double chicken burger with less food, and all of a sudden pandemonium. Before the Double-Down, when had eating two whole pieces of fried chicken been a feat of strength? (To be fair, two out of three pieces of KFC are wings and legs that are so tiny and anemic it is almost as if the bird had lived its entire life in a box too small to run or flap in.)

And the same company, Yum Brands, had now taken a taco filled with salty beef and processed cheese that was no one's idea of healthy dining, but was a thing people ate without spectacle. They sprinkle a little more salt and processed cheese powder on it, and it's suddenly beyond the pale, and a media sensation.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:58 AM on March 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


Wait, what, you think those KFC chicken pieces are small? Jesus I got news for you, go anywhere where food production hasn't reached industrial scale and check out the size of the chicken breasts. Hint: they are not those opaque steak-sized slabs sold at basically the entire social class-spectrum of grocery stores in the US.
posted by legospaceman at 2:05 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lame. Where's the Mountain Dew salsa? Looks like you could cram a slice of pizza there, too. The shell should also be caffeinated.

I was given a free sample of chicken and waffles flavored potato chips recently. I think I like them but they're... odd. They actually taste like chicken waffles. I like chicken and waffles. I'm not sure I like the chemistry of artificial flavorings that taste like chicken and waffles.

In the grim future of junk and snack food there will be fractal-shaped food structures to maximize flavoring and additive delivery, nano-particles or structures like micro-bubbles and foams that deliver changing or timed flavors, chemically reactive additives that respond to your body chemistry and saliva and maybe even genetically engineered foods or chemicals that interface with your particular preferences, not unlike the food synthesizers from on the Heart of Gold from The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy.
posted by loquacious at 2:26 AM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm in Australia too, but I don't really understand why this is different. I know that what we get over here is a pathetic attempt to vaguely imitate Mexican food, but the "taco" shells you can buy here are basically the same as Doritos, but of a size and shape that you can stuff food into them. Are "tacos" at Taco Bell not normally made of corn chip material?
posted by lollusc at 2:46 AM on March 17, 2013


Taco Bell has failed a couple of times in the UK; I believe their latest attempt to get a foothold has been torpedoed by the discovery that like many other crap products, their stuff was contaminated with horse meat. Everyone was really surprised.
posted by Segundus at 3:12 AM on March 17, 2013


Meh, the cool ranch version isn't as good as the nacho cheese shell.

I wouldn't even have that one regularly, it's more when I feel in the mood for an unintentionally hilarious, yet oddly enjoyable, performance art version of food.
posted by Talanvor at 3:25 AM on March 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


God, I wouldn't want to live with that guy......
posted by HuronBob at 4:25 AM on March 17, 2013


exec 1: "No one is talking about the Dorito taco anymore... Kind of a flop really."


exec 2: "Let's do Cool Ranch, and just repeat the marketing. Morning shows, drive time djs... Just like last time."
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 4:25 AM on March 17, 2013


i prefer to make tacos at home
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:52 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


lollusc: The taco shells here in Australia are the size and shape of corn tortilla shells, but Doritos have all that extra powdery flavour on them. The addition of such flavour is the "advancement" being discussed.

I miss Taco Bell.
posted by forza at 5:07 AM on March 17, 2013


Is this AskMe? Because I sure see someone who needs a pile-on of people telling him to a) eat the fucking taco already; b) stop overthinking that plate of refried beans; and c) maybe think about getting some therapy.
posted by drlith at 5:25 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cool ranch taco? What's cool ranch? What's a taco? I don't even own a TV guys!

I love Taco Bell and watch tons of TV.
posted by The Deej at 5:42 AM on March 17, 2013


> "Oo, oo, I know the answer! It's 'No, they will not be the end of us all.'"

I was totally going to come in and agree with this, because I don't see what the big deal is, but I doubled-checked Revelation before posting just in case, and, well:

6:12 And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood;
6:13 And the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind, and Taco Bell unveiled the Cool Ranch Dorito-Sheathed Taco.
6:14 And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

That's the American Standard version, though. The King James says something about a "Bender in a Bun With Cheese" instead.
posted by kyrademon at 6:11 AM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I swear to the FSM that the last time I ate Taco Bell the lady handing me my food said "Good luck." That was a dozen or so years ago, I haven't even thought of being back since.

I will say that Taco Bell works so well in the only States because of the millions of people who have become adjusted to twelve years of institutional/educational cafeteria food products sourced to the vendor that costs the least amount of money.

Taco Bell:Mexican Food::that mean cafeteria lady from 7th grade with the giant hairy mole on the side of her face:rest of humanity. (Sure, it fits the technical definition, but that's because it's a poorly defined thing.)
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:14 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Taco Bell fans mad after Cool Ranch tacos hiccup.

The End Of Us All, indeed.
posted by mazola at 6:48 AM on March 17, 2013


wilful: "that fave expression of mine - lips and arseholes"

AKA "The part of the animal that made it over the fence last".
posted by notsnot at 7:16 AM on March 17, 2013


Taco Bell fans mad after Cool Ranch tacos hiccup.

Well, it's certainly the end times for impartial, intelligent, non-commercial journalism, all right.
posted by Spatch at 7:20 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fastfood Meals for Failures
posted by Navelgazer at 7:23 AM on March 17, 2013


Taco Bell is headquartered in Irvine?!? When I visit Irvine/Tustin my brother takes me out for fish tacos that prove the existence of God. I wonder where the Taco Bell office workers go for lunch?
posted by benito.strauss at 1:29 AM on March 17 [+] [!]


I used to work near there. It's my understanding that they have a really nice Taco Bell in the bottom of the office tower.

Are you talking about Wahoo's Fish Tacos? I miss them so much.
posted by bq at 7:55 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Also, in case it's not clear, Taco Bell is owned by Yum! brands, which is a subsidiary of PepsiCo. PepsiCo also owns Frito Lays, so this isn't some sort of unique corporate joining. The Pepsi BoD just decided to glue two of their companies together).

Do you have a cite for that? Everything I've found says Yum was spun off from Pepsico in '97, and the only ongoing connection is a lifetime agreement for Yum restaurants to carry Pepsi brands.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:20 AM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man I can't wait for the internet to get tired of dimestore bloggers writing breathless hyperbole about the pedestrian and ultimately inconsequential creature-comforts of the "ugly" American.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:34 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


My curiosity got the better of me and I ordered one last week. If you want to replicate the experience, just dump a salt packet on your tongue and eat a regular crunchy taco.
posted by BishopFistwick at 8:49 AM on March 17, 2013


Like many Mefites, I'm sure, I try my best to patronize local, authentic dining establishments whenever possible. And living in Southern California, good Mexican joints are hardly in short supply.

The brilliance of Taco Bell's marketing is that they create these weirdly appealing items that as far as I can tell are not easily replicated anywhere else. Not that they are a regular part of my diet or anything, but sometimes I get a craving for a Beef Meximelt or a Crunchwrap Supreme, and when I do, it's pretty much Taco Bell or bust.

(From my own experience, the Doritos Locos Tacos are pretty good, but the shells are way too fragile)
posted by The Gooch at 8:52 AM on March 17, 2013


Can I answer your question headline, Albert? The answer is no. Also, that first graph is a 100-level college writing course's wet dream.
posted by stltony at 9:16 AM on March 17, 2013


I read the fucking article. Damn funny writing.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:20 AM on March 17, 2013


What I don't understand is his complete aversion to the oh-so-yummy-cheesy-cheese-nachoy-goodness taco shell.

Or maybe he tried one and realized it tastes nothing like an actual Dorito, but rather kind of like crunchy/soggy cardboard with some orange dust poorly glued on.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:41 AM on March 17, 2013


Sidhedevil: "Oo, oo, I know the answer! It's "No, they will not be the end of us all."

What do I win?
"

A Cool Ranch Doritos Taco, of course.
posted by Splunge at 10:19 AM on March 17, 2013


"Taste sand" is my new favorite food term. Mouthfeel Taste Sand.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:56 AM on March 17, 2013


Taco shell made out of bacon at minor league ballpark. Your move, Lorena Garcia.
posted by aaronetc at 11:20 AM on March 17, 2013


PYT Philly has you beat. They even made it on SNL (about meh quality for an SNL joke).
posted by DoubleLune at 11:35 AM on March 17, 2013


Are you talking about Wahoo's Fish Tacos? I miss them so much.
posted by bq


I would have been, two years ago, but the last time I visited there my "local experts" (bro and sis-in-law) pointed out that Wahoo had suffered from over-franchising and took me to Baja Fish Tacos after having been to Wahoo's. The Wahoo's were still great, but BFT was amazing and was better, from the first forkful of beans.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:05 PM on March 17, 2013


I enjoy the aspect of the reaction to this (like in the linked "Fastfood for Failures" article) that treats these items as trying to be bad: "As an affront to God, it is successful, but as a sandwich, it falls flat". Makes me curious to see what would happen if a fast-food chain tried to do something with ortolans. "At Burger King we give you a special napkin with King's face on it. Hide your shame the BK way!"
posted by benito.strauss at 12:13 PM on March 17, 2013


"Cool Ranch" is often packaged in other countries as "Cool American" so you folks overseas should be on the lookout for "Cool American Loco Tacos".
posted by sourwookie at 12:42 PM on March 17, 2013


Do you have a cite for that? Everything I've found says Yum was spun off from Pepsico in '97, and the only ongoing connection is a lifetime agreement for Yum restaurants to carry Pepsi brands.

You are correct! I was under the impression that they shared a BoD. But that does not seem to be the case -- I retract my original statement.
posted by spiderskull at 1:48 PM on March 17, 2013


I am a resident of Toledo, Ohio where Taco Bell has chosen to do its test marketing. We had the Cool Ranch taco over a year ago. As Taco Bell's official test market I will now inform you of the things you have to look forward to down the line:

-Frito Pie (official Taco Bell style)
-Cherry Coke Salsa
-Burritos stuffed with Skyline Chili and Fritos
-Baja Blast Mountain Dew Jello Shots
-Pepto-pink Mountain Dew
-Coffee-flavored Mountain Dew with Advil morning burritos
posted by charred husk at 1:52 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll have what he's having...
posted by ReeMonster at 9:07 PM on March 17, 2013


-Burritos stuffed with Skyline Chili and Fritos

Is the spaghetti in the burrito, or is the burrito served on a bed of spaghetti?
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:26 PM on March 18, 2013


Is the spaghetti in the burrito, or is the burrito served on a bed of spaghetti?

It's all delivered via enema. The drive-thrus around here move pretty slowly now.
posted by charred husk at 10:45 AM on March 19, 2013


2bucksplus: "Demolition Man was a documentary."

When do we get the three seashells?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:38 PM on March 19, 2013


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