Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The Horrors of the Taco Bell Taste Test
I got paid $25 bucks to eat 2 burritos today. You read that correctly-As part of Taco Bell "experimenting" with some new menu items I was selected to visit the Irvine Headquarters and take part in the program. The Taco Bell headquarters was big nice corporate building with plenty of big tvs that played nothing but Taco Bell Commercials over and over and over again. I was wondering if every 7 or 8 minutes they were going to show a 3 minute snippet of scenes from "How I met Your Mother" or "American Idol."
After herding our group into a very futuristic looking elevator we entered a room that was pretty much what you would expect in a test room with a row of 10 or so side to side cubicles(or in this case side-icles) with a cup of water, a saltine, and a door connected to the wall in which the people from behind would slide out the franchises latest concoctions and a computer monitor and keyboard where we could enter our thoughts on the various products. My Keyboard looked like it needed some cleaning and I secretly longed for a bottle of Purell or a Lysol Wipe. My computer at home looked cleaner and I've got 8 and 4 Year old Sons who regularly sneeze and cough on it as they play Club Penguin.
Burrito A- Your typical Taco Bell Style Burrito with ground beef, rice, and Cheese Whip. Yes thats what I refer to Taco Bell's cheese as. I am sure they refer to it as nacho creamy cheese sauce or some other bastardization of what in reality is probably the lowest grade cheese product one could possibly ingest. Being in Southern California why anyone in their right mind would prefer this over real grated cheese served everywhere else including Del Taco, the Bells main competitor, is rightfully well beyond my overall scope of reasoning. The Beef was good with a nice balance of spice and consistency but along with the aforementioned horror that that is the cheese sauce was also some Taco Bell rice which to me, had an overly fiberous grit like quality not too much different then vacuum packed precooked rice that requires no cooking at all. All in all pretty much what you'd expect from a bunch of Corporate Suits sitting in a conference room overlooking the 5 freeway and the Irvine Spectrum with a goal of "How can we create the most cost effective burrito using the rock bottom cheapeast ingredients yet make it minimally passable to the average high school student in California or average fast foot eater in the MidWest."
Burrito B came around and while they said they were looking for strictly quality of Beef questions, the second burrito had very little rice, much more corporate cheese product, and a meat that was much smaller in grain size with a higher water/liquid content. After a bite or two I decided this was very easily a burrito in which the filling could be simply eaten with a plastic spoon and at the end of the day the tortilla serving more as a delivery vessel then anything else. Who knows-the styrofoam cup on Cup of Noodles may have more flavor and very possibly could be a much healthier alternative. Burrito B also had a lot more Corporate Cheese Whip which once mingled with the smaller, watterier ground beef ended up being what one could best summate as "industrial beef and cheese product."
I used to be a Taco Bell fan back in the day but once again they are now clearly catering to a crowd with zero regard for flavor, authenticity, health factors, and pretty much anything that may remotely hit a small percentage higher then that of rock bottom. Im really surprised at this point why Taco Bell doesnt simply Co-op with AM/PM or 7/11 as the Nacho Cheese in any of those places really cant fall much lower then the Corporate Cheese Whip being served at Taco Bell. I could honestly make a better taco using ingredients from HomeTown Buffett-a franchise that makes no bones about catering to Seniors and boasting about their use of "For Industrial Use Only" Style of ingredients.
I almost envision a full blown gasoline tanker filled with nothing but corporate cheese whip with a dirty hose on the end of the tank, while a beer bellied guy in orange stained blue overalls gets out, flips the cover of a huge holding tank, and uses his dirty boot to hit the on/off switch while a stream of Corporate Cheese Whip fills the coffers of Taco Bell's cheese holding tanks around the Nation. Have you ever seen the guy who cleans out porta pottys? Same Principle, Same Result...only one guy takes **** out and the other puts **** in. On the bright side $25 bucks is $25 bucks. I figure after $10 bucks on ipecac and an enema Ill still have $15 to go to Albertos with.