This is Mexican food? It looks like a horny Chihuahua splooged on it.
1. Meat, schmeat — are you ever certain of the meat supply at any fast-food outlet? A few years ago, there was a website that claimed the average McDonald’s hamburger had been lodged in permafrost for around three years before it was thawed and served at an outlet. The rancid meat explains the odd smell you associate with stepping into a McDonald’s.
2. When you order something made with ground meat (we used to call it “mystery meat” in school), you get exactly what you deserve. I’m much more annoyed by the other ingredients at Taco Bell — the gummy flour tortillas that turn into glue in your mouth, or the weird micro-“cheese” curls that seem to be poking out of every orifice: The white ones look exactly like pinworms.
3. The astonishing lack of spice in nearly everything you get at TB (that’s Taco Bell, not tuberculosis — though maybe you’ll get that, too, if you linger long enough). And the little plastic packets containing what tastes like Tabasco — when there are zillions of authentic Mexican hot sauces available — don’t help at all.
4. What Taco Bell has done to Mexican food, which — with its dependence on minimally refined corn products, beans, and fresh vegetables — must be one of the healthiest cuisines on earth, is criminal! The chilies, cumin, oregano, scallions, and other herbs and spices seem to be entirely missing, and in their place: bad mayo.
5. Have you ever seen a Mexican eating in Taco Bell?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 26, 2011