I catch a lot of hell from friends who can't understand how someone who lives in a city and state with such a strong Hispanic influence can patronize the ersatz Mexican cuisine at Taco Bell. And, they probably have a point.
But, when I was still in college, Taco Bell made two marketing moves that hooked me for good: (1) They introduced the fantastic seven-layer burrito to their menu and (2) Taco Bell was the first established fast food restaurant to open on the campus of Long Beach City College. Trust me, children…once upon a time, this was a BIG deal.
As were most things back in the slave days.
So, over the last 15 years, Taco Bell has maintained a consistent slot in my top two or three "quick eatin' options". And, without fail, anytime a new menu item is introduced, you'll most likely find me in the drive-thru with guinea pig intentions.
Last month, they debuted the "Grande Quesadilla", a melted three cheese blend with your choice of chicken or steak, all between something called "panadero bread". I picked one up on my way home from the airport late last week. With only a $3 pouch of cranberry trail mix on my belly, I brought my appetite for what's been hyped as a "more filling" quesadilla.
Back to the drawing board, Taco Bell.
The overly-chewy bread was dry and bland. In fact, if you were to take two pieces of stale wheat bread, cram some shredded cheese in the middle and microwave it all for 30 seconds, you'd get the same thing. Screwing up a quesadilla is akin to finding a way to burn boiling water.
Quesadillas should only be made with flour tortillas that absorb all of the excess oil from the sweet greasy cheese within. The end result should be a slightly crispy portable meal with a light shine on the outside and an ooey-gooey mess on the inside. It's not rocket science.
Meanwhile, our friends over at Burger King have their own take on America's favorite dairy product.
Without a lick of the marketing blitz that Taco Bell rolled out for their quesadilla, BK has quietly introduced one of the most singularly delicious fast food items out there today.
Seriously…they're probably still open. Go get some cheesy tots.
I'd never heard of this menu item up until a few months ago. While in search of something to cram into my kid's cry-hole, I ended up in the BK drive-thru. Figuring that he'd eat the fries (and most of the toy) from his Kid's Meal, I'd be left with his tiny cheeseburger and no side order to accompany my cholesterol.
I saw "cheesy tots" and assumed they were just tater tots covered in that faux cheese usually found on nachos. But, no!
In fact, they're little deep-fried potato bites blended with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Crispy on the outside (thanks, insanely hot grease!) fluffy n' melty on the inside, someone needs to tell BK to get the word out on these bad boys, ASAP.
Let's all just ignore the fact that a six-piece order contains nearly a quarter of the fat and sodium that the food police have determined to be your daily requirement. Instead, let's focus on the fact that this is the only fast food item to be PUBLICLY endorsed by my fellow Machine Gun Funk co-writers Mathan Erhardt and Jeff Fernandez, too.
And, if there's one thing minorities know…it's food that'll shave years off our lives.