Taco Bell XXL Nachos and the new churro -- they're rich, b*tch!
We've all heard (or made up our own) the pejorative nicknames for Taco Bell. Taco Hell, Taco Fail, Toxic Hell, Taco Smell, Tizzle Bizzle, Baco Tell, Think Inside Your Buns, and Get The Runs From the Border are just a few off the top. It might seem like all of this negative attention would be demoralizing for the company that owns Taco Bell, Yum! Brands, Inc.
J. Wohletz The new XXL Nachos from Taco Bell.
Nope. If this company were an actual person (I heard during the election that this was possible), it would be a gigantic, dazzling Rick James, covered with sequins, chunky gold jewelry and huge, glittering diamonds, screaming: "I'm Rick James, BITCH!--and YOU MOTHERF*CKERS DID IT!
The first Taco Bell was erected in Downey, California, by restaurant entrepreneur Glen Bell in 1962; in 1964 former police officer Kermit Becky opened the first franchise in Torrance. By 1970 there were 325 stores, and PepsiCo bought the whole enchilada from Bell in 1978. Interestingly, Taco Bell has tried to insert itself into Mexico twice, once in 1992 and again in 2007, and both times had to close shop because actual Mexicans just didn't eat there.
J. Wohletz Taco Bell Colfax--great dinner theater.
But Americans eat plenty of Taco Bell, with Yum! Brands reporting "$1.3 billion of net income and over $2 billion in cash from operations" in 2011. And apparently adding the Doritos Locos tacos to the menu sent sales soaring this year, so if customers really are experiencing gastrointestinal complications from the tacos, burritos and caramel apple empanadas, they are still unloading their wallets.
I absolutely love dining in the Taco Bell at 1775 East Colfax Avenue -- for the floor show, if not the food. Fast-food restaurants on Colfax tend to have mixed bags of colorful patrons, and the dining rooms are susceptible to some unintentional Rocky Horror dinner theater, so go prepared to be entertained. I saw the advertisements for the new XXL Nachos and dessert menu, and figured this warranted a visit inside rather than a drive-thru drive-by.
J. Wohletz Enchiritos must have extra red sauce.
The floor show started early this particular evening, around 7 p.m., and the store was ringed with a circus of homeless people, hustlers and a couple of angry-looking hookers that the high-school-aged employees seemed oblivious to.
I ordered the XXL nachos with half beef, half chicken; an enchirito with extra red sauce the only way to go -- as well as a Meximelt; a 7-layer burrito; pintos & cheese with extra red sauce; a Doritos Locos taco supreme; a sparkling limeade and the two new desserts (the empanada isn't new): the churro and the cookie sandwich. I spent a grand total of $23, and I got that much in entertainment alone during the first fifteen minutes after I sat down at a table in the dining room.
The table next to me had a couple sharing a heated and verbally abusive conversation about whether or not child-support services could locate people on Facebook, and the guy kept waving a tortilla chip in the air for emphasis while repeating the phrase, "Ain't gettin' shit from me!"
J. Wohletz As great as the nachos BellGrande used to be.
A homeless man wandered in, sat down at the table across from me, pulled up a chair next to me and began to dispassionately explain why he needed me to give him any cash or change I could spare. Something about needing to raise capital for an out-of-state move to find work, and how the economy has really fucked over his business, and when I asked him what business he was in, he muttered something about computers, and then declined my offer to purchase him something to eat.
My order was ready.