Ten Mexican fast-food guilty pleasures

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Mexican fare from fast-food chains usually isn't authentic, healthy or even pretty, but it's irresistible. And we all indulge from time to time -- hitting the window at Taco Bell at 2 a.m. after a night of mainlining vodka gimlets; finding any excuse to grab a sunflower-seed-stuffed veggie burrito at Taco Time. Owning your guilty pleasures is one way to achieve self-confidence, and owning mine is a way for me to shove my big, cinnamony opinion-churro down everyone's throats.

So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, here is is my top ten list of Mexican fast-food and fast-casual guilty pleasures:

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10. Super Potato Olés from Taco John's.

Imagine loaded nachos, then swap out the corn chips for seasoned, fried tater tots, and you have a both a high-as-hell calorie count and a high level of satisfaction. I always thought they should be called "Tator-totchos," but apparently the folks at Taco John's don't have my knack for making up words. The tots are particularly memorable for their can't-quite-put-a-finger-on-it mystery seasoning, but I'll spoil it for you: celery salt.

9. Super Tex Mex Plate from Taco Cabana.

If you happen to be driving through Texas, Oklahoma or New Mexico (drive through Oklahoma as fast as you can), this combo plate is a must-try. It has everything on it that you could ask for in a fast-food meal: a cheese enchilada, crispy taco, bean and cheese chalupa and a decent-sized side of guacamole. Normally you have to shell out extra shekels for the guac, but not here...not on this plate.

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8. Crustos from Taco Time.

I will freely admit that the only reason I like these funny little flour-tortilla chips dusted in cinny-sugar is because they are called "Crustos." I like saying the name, I like ordering them so I can say the name, and then I love asking everyone in the car to eat my Crustos in the most obnoxious way possible.

7. Macho Nachos from Del Taco.

These Del Taco nachos are heavy on the meat, and you don't even have to ask for jalapenos. Are they manly and macho? Absolutely. But you can really cut back on the masculine by ordering the cheesecake bites for dessert.

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6. Cini-Sopapilla Bites from Taco John's.

Taco John's, our "West-Mex" buddy, makes the list again by way of this delectable dessert. It's a cup of tiny, deep-fried sopas rolled in cinnamon-sugar, and they taste just like fresh donut holes -- unless the kitchen hasn't t changed the grease in a while, in which case they taste just like Potato Olés. It's a win either way.

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10 comments
lada
lada

Since you mentioned the fried ice cream no longer available, what about the Cinnamon Crispas that Taco Bell used to have?  Giant tortilla chips coated in cinnamon sugar.  SO GOOD! 

And then about 20 years ago the replaced them with those cinnamon twists, which are just Styrofoam covered in cinnamon sugar.

worse than anything else on the menu...and that is saying something.

Absolute1
Absolute1

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa - Wholetz:

Last week you were wrapped in silver chains.

Now you're talkin 'bout shoving big, cinnamony opinion-churros down peeps' throats, and inviting folks to eat your crustos.

Be still my beating heart. 

Pintos
Pintos

Love pintos and cheese. Also used to soup em up.

Scott
Scott

Queso and chips at Illegal Pete's or Qdoba.  Can't resist the stuff, regardless of how I feel after eating it.

GFTW
GFTW

OMFG. Wolowitz's weight must be up to 300 by now, 350 even.

One thing that's nasty at Chipotle is their chips. Too salty and limey. Blech.

monopod
monopod

No mention of the sopapillas at Casa Bonita?  That's the very definition of guilty pleasure - you can't even set foot in the place without hiding your face in case someone you know is passing by on the street.

Mantonat
Mantonat

In heaven, the streets are cobbled with potato oles.

Jenn Loves Pintos
Jenn Loves Pintos

 There is so much with sexy in Mexican fast-food. I wanna put my sloppy, wet enchirito in your environmentally-friendly paper to-go box.

Jenn Loves Taters
Jenn Loves Taters

 @GFTW: No--but I got my eye on the brass ring. I have too much concentrated awesome to be contained in a thinner body type.

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