Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I am so glad the Taco Bell boycott is over

This ad intrigues me. Doesn't it seem as thought the promoters of this ad are also having a secret chuckle at the migrant workers they are attempting to support? THe "Low Prices, Lower Ethics" motto is a good one. The picture, though, isn't very hard-hitting. It looks like an ad for a cheesy new sitcom. The "benches" i.e. migrant workers are the nannies or long lost uncles. maybe it's city mouse family meets country mouse family sorta clash. the mom looks a little interested in the guy with the hat but maybe she is just smiling into her Taco Bell tomatoes that they hand picked and got paid a dollar for a day's work. But man, this family is enjoying their Taco Bell. I don't think the ad designers intended to send all viewers running for the border but they may have done just that. Next time: remind people the beans, while delicious, are powder and water instead.

A Conundrum

I've been wrestling with a problem for the past week:

While in Boston last week, I went to a little place called Anna's Taqueria. I'd heard wonderful things about this joint from friends who love it. I was suspect. Yes, surely it is good--these friends have good taste in food, but a cashier/fast food style Taco restaurant rarely holds its ground in value and taste to Taco Bell.

And yet Anna's did. I got the grilled veggie burrito and they cut up the fresh, grilled vegetables in front of me. I had my choice of beans and salsa. And it was cheap, approx. $3. A much better deal (taste?) than Chipotle or Baja Fresh which in taste it's certainly more comparable than Taco Bell. SO this is a conundrum. I'd always choose TB over C or BF but over Anna's? And this is the conundrum. I can rationalize with thoughts like "well, it would depend on what kind of mood I am in" or "well, Anna's is only in Cambridge--lame". stuff like that and i guess i will have to stick with it.

The limited location, in the end, is the downfall of any restaurant that might otherwise compete with TB. Course, I would rather not support a Pepsi company but what's a girl to do.

THis past weekend, I had a lengthy conversation about Taco Bueno with some friends. I've never been. They only exist, now, in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Apparently this small chain is reason enough to buy a ticket to Kansas. One day I am sure I will behold the taste of Taco Bueno, but until then, I should be grateful that I haven't tried it--that I don't have another conundrum to face.

I am running out of things to say about Taco Bell! I will go again this weekend and renew my love and come back, brimming with more wonderments of beans and cheese to share.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A reminder: every now and then, good things come to pass

I hadn't heard that the crunchwrap was a permanent addition to the Taco Bell menu.
We can all rest safely now!
I want Bill Pearce's job. Read how seriously he takes Taco Bell's creativity in taste and presentation!

Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supreme back by popular demand
IRVINE, Calif. — Taco Bell announced its most portable and popular menu item, the Crunchwrap Supreme, will be a permanent menu addition at participating Taco Bell locations starting Jan. 30. Previously introduced as a limited-time offering in summer 2005, the Crunchwrap Supreme was a runaway success, quickly becoming Taco Bell's most successful product introduction ever, according to a news release.

"We have always been innovators in taste here at Taco Bell while also creating breakthroughs in presentation and portability," said Bill Pearce, chief marketing officer of Taco Bell Corp. "Crunchwrap Supreme is the latest incarnation of our popular grilled products, such as our Grilled Stuft Burritos and Quesadillas, designed to be 'good to go.' Crunchwrap's combination of taste and convenience connected so strongly with our consumers, that there was an outpouring of support for us to bring it back."

Erin dreams of Taco Bell too!

Here is her dreams, in her own words:

Last week I dreamed that I went to taco bell in some unknown place. All I know is that it was dark outside and the taco bell had a walk up window. The neighborhood we were in was creepy and the only light came from the walk up window...as if this window was the only safe haven in the whole town. There was a person in front of me ordering and I looked up at the menu, which only had quick and easy taco bell items (bean burritos, soft tacos). When it was my turn to order I ordered two bean burritos with no onions. i was so excited for the burritos that I almost forgot to ask for sauce (something I do quite often). When the burritos came I asked the woman behind the register for some mild sauces and she replied, "we don't have any sauce left!". The woman was quite rude and I was pissed at her response. I mean, I am a taco bell conesiour and she did not know who she was messing with...you don't just sell someone two bean burritos without letting them know that there is no more sauce left...that's like selling someone a big mac at mcdonalds and saying oh! there's no meat in that big mac (this analogy may only be true for me, but that's how important mild sauce is to me). so i decided to tell the lady at taco bell that i was a food critic and i was rating all the taco bells in the area. i just remembered that i told the women that one taco bell would be closed down if they got the worst marks meaning that these ladies would lose their jobs (i was lying in the dream, i was just a normal taco bell civillian). The woman who snapped at me didnt seem to care and I was ready to tell her how she would be losing her job when the other taco bell woman (the one actually making the bean burritos) bent over to get something. when i realized what it was she was handing it to me...it was a special mild sauce...it was so huge! i would sya that it was 3 by 6 inches....it was just bulging like it was about to burst! the one packet was perfect to cover two bean burritos!and that, my friends, is where the dream ends.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Who's trying to one-up me?

this from TacoBell's website:

11. What are your typical hours of operation?

A: Taco Bell restaurant hours vary by location. However, most of our restaurants are open by 11:00 am and stay open until midnight or later.

Me: what about the COMMERCIALS that say 1 am or later? huh? I want to write them but don't want to get the wrong impression. what if they try to blacklist me from Taco Bells? I am just trying to make the company more reliable, more efficient, more trustworthy. and who knows--maybe get some free food and fame out of the process.

back to question #11:

Our customers visit us all hours of the day. A group of four guys in Oregon once hit 19 restaurants in a single day on their cross-country trip, visiting 100 Taco Bell® restaurants in a week.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHY AREN'T THEY MY FRIENDS? and why does the Taco Bell website believe their little "story." I mean, how many Taco Bell's are in Oregon? More than 19? i don't know about that. i want details. and i want to challenge their 100 Taco Bells in one week. why not 200? okay, that was some bitterness seeping out. I'll admit: it's just jealousy. i want the time to be able to take that journey. and i want to see their diary, complete with pictures.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What's Up with this "Late-Night" Promise?

"Open 'Til 1 am or later". We've all seen the ads--the promises Taco Bell flashes at the end of their tv ads. But that is a lie. Is there a little * by the later on the ads, with an attached footnote reading "at select locations"? I really don't think so but after this weekend, I will look more closely.

However, with that intro, I don't want you to worry: Thursday night Erin and I made it safely into the drive-thru of Taco Bell at 11:45. The dining room was closed which was disappointing. The drive-thru was only opened until 12 midnight Sunday-Thursday and 1 am on Friday and Saturdays. Lies. After we ate in the car (sob story, indeed), we passed a Taco Bell whose dining room was still open post midnight. If we had been able to trust the promises Taco Bell feeds us, then we would have rested easy passing the drive-thru only establishment, knowing we'd find at least another drive-thru whilst holding out hope for a dining room experience.

That said, here's what we split:

1. crunchwrap (not enough beans this time)--yet not as messy in the past which should be a good thing but apparently is not
2. the grilled stuft burrito with beans: i love the rice in it but it's just not as good as it should be. not enough to it. and yet it was the most costly item we ordered--and thus, the item we received for free using the infamous coupon.
3. 7 layer burrito: it is really good.
4. bean burrito: saving the best for last. the beans were extra good--tasting especially beany. we agreed: it was the best item of the evening. which is not to sell short the crunchwrap with which i am still infatuated.

And we asked for and received a lot of sauce packets. success! (note: this Taco Bell was, indeed, in the suburbs).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Big News!

I returned home yesterday to a lovely surprise: a personalized letter from Taco Bell--every girl's dream come true. Just seeing that purple and golden bell made my day. I'm pasting the enclosed letter to this post. Unfortunately the coupon for any one item free would not paste. I guess they know that could turn into a profitable counterfit business--which of course was not my intention.

I was hoping for a $25 gift certificate, if anything, but I am pleased with something. Erin wanted me to receive 10, or at least 2, free things but hey, we will take what we can get. And we'll be getting that something tonight!

here's the letter:

Taco Bell Corp.
Taco BELL,
March 11,2006

Elizabeth Moran

Dear Elizabeth Moran,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the accuracy of your order at Taco Bell.
Comments from our customers are very important to us, and we appreciate yours.

At Taco Bell, we strive to ensure that ail of our restaurants meet every customer's expectations. So
when a valued customer like you, takes the time to contact us, we take it seriously. For this reason,
1 have forwarded your comments to the appropriate team members in order to help us toward
continuous improvement. The information you provided will help us in our efforts to ensure order

Once again, thank you for your comments. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience you
may have experienced. We hope you will accept the enclosed as a token of our appreciation for
your comments. We look forward to welcoming you back to the great taste of Taco Bell.
Guest Service Representative
ID: TB2010-Y351001-4453126
We Care!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Damn You, Blogspot

Erin sent me a couple of pictures this week of her trip to taco bell on saturday. they are great. blogspot won't let me upload them...i've tried numerous ways and clearly have done the upload before so i cannot explain it but it's very sad so i want you to picture this:

erin holding a bean burrito in one hand, a taco in the other, with the crunchwrap, in all its perfect glory, on the table in front of her.

and this:

the crunchwrap surrounded by packets of mild sauce. true beauty, indeed.

next week, i will return to the blog with pictures of us at taco bell with at least the following:

bean burito
7 layer
grilled stuft burrito

a word on the 7 layer: first, is one of the layers beef? we'll get extra bean instead if that is the case (supposing they don't charge extra--no, i have yet to hear from taco bell about that monstrosity).

more importantly: i've never ordered the 7 layer on my own accord. i think i am just so smitten iwth the bean burrito that i don't need extra layers on it. i do remember my grandma loved the 7 layer. she appreciated all those layers for one low price. who wouldn't? and she savored every bite of those 7 layers. and that, anne, is why my grandma was better than yours (see anne's march 15 (14?) blog about grandmas).

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sunday's Grey's Anatomy: Jeers

I watched Sunday's Grey's Anatomy yesterday and boy, was I disappointed.

Here's what I liked:

Burke and George running together, making pancakes, and jamming out at the end of a long day. They admire and genuinely like one another, and it's cute and funny and heartwarming.

Izzy and the heart patient: I also liked that. I teared up a bit. Alex may have given her a cupcake last week and that was cute, but he's still an ass. Izzy is probably going to end up heartbroken as is bound to happen to her with her propensity for getting attached to patients but...maybe they will end up happily ever after. At least until he dies.

Here's what I didn't like:

Addison: oh poor you. your husband doesn't pay attention to you because you cheated on him with his best friend and he's trying to make it work for some dumb reason even though he's in love with someone else. So: your day is made by some woman's husband having a psuedo-crush on you. sad tomato.

Meridith and Derek: PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. all this "we are friends, derek, but i can't tell you this deep dark secret I have but i will keep mentioning it to you and pretending like you can give me some friend feedback on my problem even though i won't tell you what the problem is because, like i said, it's too dark and personal and very, very bad." she's DYING to tell him she slept with george and broke his heart. and when she finally "gives in", his advice: trap him in an elevator to make him hear your apology because that works for me. LAME. this whole interaction was so dumb and annoying that i don't even want them together anymore. derek should go back to his trailor and keep living in his loveless marriage because he's too much of a wimp to do anything proactive, and meridith can continue thinking she is the saddest person in the world, and i just ask that they not get as much air time as the cooler characters.

George: was he really bitching about meridith and the turmoil and pain, etc to his possible new love interest...in surgery? that's the way to move on, george. that's the way to win over the ladies who actually like you.

Bailey and baby and Christina: why does this woman keep bringing her baby to the hospital? why does an intern have to babysit? and yeah, christina isn't motherly, whatever, but she wouldn't do that terrible of a job. she couldn't even hold the baby.

I Dreamt of Taco Bell!

So I know my blog title is "I dream of Taco Bell." Literally, I day-dream of Taco Bell. BUT last night I had a REM dream about it.

A few nights ago, Erin had a dream about Taco Bell--that is hilarious. I pressed her yesterday to type it up so I could post it which is partly why, I imagine, I had to go and dream about it. Her dream is still in draft form but I will post it when she sends it.

But here is mine:

So I was in my high school cafeteria...a place i haven't been physically, mentally, subconsciously in many, many years. There were boys and a Taco Bell there: two fabricated characteristics. I was talking to a crush at a table before eating/ordering. Then we got in line at the Taco Bell. He ordered the crunchwrap...with beef, not beans...and I ordered the crunchwrap a la beans and then had a long inner battle about whether to change this order because I planned on getting the crunchwrap when i go to Boston this weekend (that part is really happening). Eventually, I changed my order to the grilled stufT (love the T) burrito with beans and was very happy with my choice. so much so that i think i will have to order it next time i got to TB (Thursday). In any case, i don't remember any more of the dream and have no idea who this cute boy i was with is, which is too bad because he may be my future husband, what with his love for Taco Bell, and we're probably supposed to get married and have a Taco Bell reception and all that good stuff, but now I'll never find him, and I'll never have my dream wedding (i.e. choco taco cake). Oh well. I'll focus on the present: come Thursday evening, I will be dining on a crunchwrap and grilled stuft burrito in the Boston suburbs (with all the mild sauce I could ever want).

Monday, March 13, 2006

A note on Sunday's Grey's Anatomy

I have not watched it yet. Saw a kick-ass show instead (beth orton). However, i taped it and will watch it tonight and report tomorrow. just hold your pants on that one. we will analyze tomorrow.


Erin has a thing for making t-shirts.

She has not been able to acting on this interest for awhile, but has just moved into a new place where she can make the loft a studio for t-shirt production, if she likes. I suppose I can do the same in my apartment though Erin's dedication is more advanced.

In any case, we have long discussed ideas for t-shirts that incorporate Taco Bell and music festivals, two of our favorite topics. We welcome suggestions.

The other day I saw one of those shirts that says "i (clove leaf image) St. Patrick's Day" and immediately thought: "i (crunchwrap image) Taco Bell" Cool, right? because we do, we do crunchwrap taco bell!

another design Erin will hopefully concoct in time for our Bonaroo excursion is a t-shirt that says on the front "Taco Bell Tour" It will probably include a picture of the infamous bell or bean burrito. The back of the shirt will list cities at which we have enjoyed Taco Bells: similar to how band tour shirts list the cities on a particular tour.

We'd like an array of shirts that incorporate bands we are going to see at Bonaroo, too. Brainstorming on this issue has, thus far, been minimal. So far we have:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah if you love Taco Bell.
From my Taco Bell to yours...to the tune of an Arcade Fire song but they aren't even going to be at Bonaroo so you know, no rush on that one.

While we welcome suggestions, I must add that all of the above ideas/plans are copyrighted.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Grey's Anatomy, Season 1

It's time to take a break from Taco Bell. I know, that is what this blog is for but honestly, the more I write about it, the more I crave it and sadly, I cannot allow myself to have Taco Bell everyday. In fact, I have to stop thinking about it every hour. It's not easy. Like I want to complain about how I STILL have not received a response from tacobell.com about my complaint (i resent it yesterday. next i will write them and tell them i am telling the world about them on my blog. yes, the world--all 5 people who read this blog). But then when i start thinking about that, i remember that i wrote in about the crunchwrap mispricing/dirty/stingy Taco Bell on 14th Street. and i think: yummmmm. crunchwraps. i love them. the beans, the cheese, the corn and flour tortilla, the sour cream, the tomatoes, the mild sauce. and then i am back where i started: hungry for Taco Bell and nothing else.

SO: Grey's Anatomy, season one. I borrowed the dvd from Jen last week and watched it in two days. only 9 episodes, each 40 minutes so it's not THAT embarrassing. ANyway, i must say that if this season was much like last season, I wouldn't be obsessed. it was still a good show and i am glad to have seen it but it wasn't as good: the acting, the writing, the plots, the characters. granted, it takes time to fully develop characters so it's understandable. i am not dissing the writers or actors...merely happy that it has become what it has. actually, i feel more sexual tension between derek and meridith this season, now that they can't be together. Oh but ALEX! he is terrible. after last season, i find it hard to believe that he and izzy are really dating--and therefore more convinced that izzy needs to leave his ass for heart patient.

apparently one intern is leaving at the end of this season. guesses on whom it might be? i am pulling for alex, if one must leave. i will start a campaign if it's sandra oh.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Taco Bell Birthday

Today is Anne's birthday! May I suggest a bean burrito and a crunchwrap for Anne, Anne's friends in New York (who, of course, aren't reading this). That is the best way to celebrate a birthday. Maybe with some margaritas. A real Mexican drink for some real Mexican food.

Of course, Anne will have to deal with the dirty, no napkin, no sauce madness of New York City. sniff sniff. oh well--we can't have everything we deserve, even on our birthdays.

FYI: Taco Bell has yet to respond to my email.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Another reason to hate Primus

What little I know of the band Primus has scared me. I assume most of their songs are violent and offensive towards women. Now I found a song that offensive toward Taco Bell and women...all in one--I assume but I dont really understand what the song means.

Wynona's Big Brown Beaver

Wynona's got herself a big brown beaver
and she shows it off to all her friends.
One day, you know, that beaver tried to leave her,
So she caged him up with cyclone fence.
Along came Lou with the old baboon
And said "Recognize that smell?"
"Smells like seven layers,
That beaver eats Taco Bell."
Now Rex he was a Texan out of New Orleans
And he travelled with the carnival shows.
He ran bumper cars, sucked cheap cigars
And he candied up his nose.
He got wind of the big brown beaver
So he though he'd take himself a peek,
But the beaver was quick
And grabbed him by the kiwis.
Now he ain't pissed for a week.
(And a half!)
Now Wynona took her big brown beaver,
And she stuck him up in the air.
Said "I sure do love this big brown beaver
And I wish I did have a pair."
Now the beaver onces slept for seven days
And it gave us all an awful fright.
So I tickled his chin and I gave him a pinch
And the bastard tried to bite me.
Wynona loved her big brown beaver
And she stroked him all the time.
She pricked her finger one day and it
Occurred to her she might have a porcupine.

The 25 Cent Problem

Ashley and I went to Taco Bell this weekend. Due to our busy schedules, we went to an urban outfit. The food was delicious, per usual, but I did have to send Taco Bell the following letter via the internet:

This complaint is mild, I do admit, but as an admitted Taco Bell lover, I must inform you of inconsistencies with your restaurant locations. On Saturday, I ordered the crunchwrap, only requested beans instead of beef. For this request, your employee charged me 25 cents extra: as if I requested an addition instead of a substitution. It was a small price, and she didn't understand the issue so I didn't press it--there was a long line. But upon further reflection, I thought I should inform you: Taco Bell is already making additional money on this order, supposing the beef is more expensive than beans (i hope).
I ordered the crunchwrap the previous weekend at a location in Arlington, VA and was not charged for this substition. Unfortunately, this incident compounds other problems within the Taco Bell system: the suburban locations are superior to the urban ones. They are cleaner; napkins, forks, sauce packets are in the dining area; service is more competent. We city dwellers deserve better.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Santa Barbara's Pride and Joy

I visited Erin In Santa Barbara 2 plus years ago. She'd told me about a Taco Bell up the road from her apartment that was extraordinarily good--one with a walk-in window open extra late (with a limited menu but this menu included bean burritoes so there could be no complaints).

Erin explained that the reason the Taco Bells in Santa Barbara were so good: they were closer to the Mexican border. I was skeptical.

Then I had the best bean burrito of my life.

Now, without much effort, I found this site in a google image search:


Individual Taco Bell establishments rarely get their own page on a city's website. So yeah, clearly this one is something to behold (despite some of the comments you'll read on this page--people can be such downers).

Right next to this Taco Bell is a great little dive bar, too. The combination is perfect for a Saturday night.

The photo of me on the roofdeck of a Taco Bell in the previous post was taken in San Diego. The burrito was as good as that in Santa Barbara so I don't know how this fact plays into the "closer to the Mexican border" theory. In any case, the roofdeck is bound to keep the place popular.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hey World, Check Me Out!

A roofdeck on a Taco Bell? Only in California!

Are you a Late Night Pro?

On Taco Bell's website, www.tacobell.com, there is a Late Night Questionaire. After you take the quiz, you'll know 1. if you are a Late Night Pro and 2. with what delicious menu item you should reward yourself if, indeed, you are a Late Night Pro. Beware: Some of the questions are a little spicy. No pun intended.

I passed the test and was suggested a quesadilla.

and taco bell would like you to advertise for them as well:


make your own t-shirts!!

Actually, I think they heard that we were already planning to make t-shirts. They won't have a picture of a crunchwrap on them, but they'll be cooler. Many ideas have passed through our heads: I think the best one being a "Taco Bell Tour" Shirt complete with TB logo. On the back, we'll have a list of cities--a design similar to band tour shirts, only the list will be the best/most frequented cities where we've visited taco bell. This idea is copyrighted.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I Don't Like McDonalds But...


check out this link. A couple got married in a McDonalds because they met behind the counter of a McDonalds. Apparently, if you meet in a fast food joint, getting married there is an obvious choice. At least in Ohio. Don't worry--they didn't close down for the ceremony.

I found this video especially interesting since I plan to have Taco Bell cater my wedding. I'd never thought about just getting married in the Taco Bell. Don't have to worry about the whole transporting the food issue. And who needs a cake when there are choco-tacos? I can't wait to stuff one of those into my intended's face.

Erin is having trouble with her Taco Bell catering plans for her wedding. She's planning to get married in Vermont but as we all know, there's only one Taco Bell in Vermont. Poor Vermonters. Can you imagine? Traveling all the way to Burlington for Taco Bell--and it's in a mall no less! I've been there and it's pretty good but certainly not above par.

In any case, Erin's wedding will be about 1.5 hours (if i recall correctly) from this Burlington establishment. She is worried about how the bean burritos are going to keep warm/be reheated. Perhaps Taco Bell will start a catering business by the time her wedding takes place. Let's hope. Those tortillas are so good when they are so soft and warm. A warmed-over burrito isn't for a celebratory occasion.

The Urban Myth

Pepsi Corporation doesn't trust us city folk, eh? Well, I like Coca-Cola better anyway.

I know there are too many people in the city, all wanting to get their hands on as many packets of mild sauce as possible. To Taco Bell's credit, they make a person really strategize about how to go about getting these packets. They make us really think about how to best perfect our meal--and teach us valuable lessons about neccesity versus want. We do not NEED 20 packets of sauce per meal. What we NEED is 6-7 packets of sauce and a bean burrito, piping hot.

While I can look on the bright side of the situation, I cannot ignore the issue at hand: Large corporations believe that suburban residents are more trustworthy than ubanites--because they have money, don't like diversity, appreciate family values, have fewer homeless people. It's not a pretty picture they've developed in their skyscraper offices, looking down upon the city streets.