Current Weight: 166.8 lbs.
Last week – a few days after Christmas – Mrs. Bootleg and I decided to treat our household to a belated family gift. We settled on a high-definition television for the master bedroom. For Mrs. Bootleg, it'll provide a reasonable facsimile of warm human contact while I'm blogging well past 11:00 PM. As for me, I'll use it to get closer to my new son, "Playstation 3". He was born under the tree on Christmas Day.
Unfortunately, the karmic forces that followed me throughout 2009 made sure to finish with a flourish. Just before the New Year, our washer AND dryer died. Mrs. Bootleg insists the cause of death was "natural causes", but she's wanted new laundering appliances for years. Personally, I suspected foul play: intentionally heavy, uneven loads that bludgeoned the washing machine off-balance and a dryer asphyxiated with an overload of cheap towels that suffocated the lint trap.
In the span of 72 hours, we laid down dollars for three major purchases – only one of which we really needed.
Consequently, as we enter 2010, money is going to be tight for the first few months. And, I've yet to factor in Jalen's sixth birthday in early February or my family's long-in-the-works encore vacation to Arizona in March. Throw in an increasingly uncertain employment status for both me and Mrs. Bootleg and we'll be seeing a lot more nights like these: the wife didn't feel like cooking and since Taco Bell's been pushing a new 89-cent burrito…
I'm always excited to introduce my innards to TB's latest menu item. The feeling, however, is occasionally topped by the drive-thru discovery of new food that has yet to be widely advertised. And, TB's Crispy Potato Soft Taco damn sure qualifies.
Did you think I wouldn't find out, Taco Bell? What other menu secrets are you keeping to yourselves? Well, besides the ongoing availability of Volcano Tacos and Nachos, despite their absence from your menu boards. They're still selling them, people! Just ask!
Now, let's hit up Taco Bell's website for an introduction to the Beefy 5-Layer Burrito:
Layers of seasoned ground beef, beans, real cheddar cheese and cool reduced-fat sour cream all wrapped in a flour tortilla with a special layer of warm nacho cheese sauce.
If you'll allow me to beat my usual dead horse: the local Taco Bell almost always overdoes it with the sour cream. I'd had this burrito on two occasions and the first time was fine. Last night, the burrito's insides were white from beginning to end. Honestly, you could order it sans sour cream and not miss it.
When the 5-Layer is done right, it's a solid little cheap burrito. There's a good beef-to-beans balance while the amount of cheese isn't too much and isn't too little. No superfluous vegetables to be found here, either. Grab a couple of packets of TB's "fire" sauce and you've got some above (fast food) average eatin' here.
Back to TB's website for their description of the Crispy Potato Soft Taco:
A warm, soft flour tortilla filled with crispy potato bites, pepper jack sauce, crisp shredded lettuce and real cheddar cheese.
TB's Beef and Potato Burrito was a popular item on their "Why Pay More" Value Menu for years. Sadly, it appears to have been discontinued (replaced with the Cheesy Potato Burrito which isn't on the Value Menu). But, the Crispy Potato Soft Taco keeps the memory alive.
I wasn't a fan of TB's Black Jack Taco, but here, the pepper jack sauce inexplicably works better with the crisp chunks of fried potatoes. The lettuce and cheese balanced it all out as the flavor from each ingredient was never overwhelmed by the others. The addition of bacon could take this to the five-star level, Taco Bell. Hint! Hint!
Grade (Beefy 5-Layer Burrito): 3 (out of 5)
Calories: 550 Fat: 22g
Grade (Crispy Potato Soft Taco): 4
Calories: 260 Fat: 13g