Thursday, August 31, 2006

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment VII

Whipcreamy's comment on my last post has prompted me to give y'all something a little more uplifting. So today's Republican party thrives on facism while, ironically, it is attempting to rejuvinate itself by calling others facists. So what? We have Barak Obama to give us a little bit of hope. He's not as full of shit as most Democrats. He's charming and smart and articulate. He could actually be president one day. Maybe not in 2008. Hilary will bag that nomination and Democrats everywhere will be SHOCKED when she loses. Hope is a little ways off, but let's remember that it does exist. Or pretend that it does for the day.

With that said, is Barak as delicious as an enchirito?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No you don't...

Well folks, this is one of those posts wherein I slightly deviate from the topic of this blog.

However, because I've oft referred to the Bush administration as a facist regime on this webpage--somehow in the context of Taco Bell, of course--I feel that today's rant is justified.

check it:

for the past 4 years, we dedicated liberals have been outraged at the facist ways of Bush and his leaders (hardy har hard). OURAGED, right? and the GOP decides that "facism" is the buzzword that is going ot save the party in the November elections. Republicans are going to call everyone else, every terrorist group, every dissenting group "facists" and then Americans will be really, really scared AGAIN. Literally scared out of their minds, pushing them to vote for the Republicans--who, unlike the Democrats, do not like this thing called "facism" even if they is exactly what their politics resemble.

The highlights of article I pasted above:

While "fascism" once referred to the rigid nationalistic one-party dictatorship first instituted in Italy, it has "been used very loosely in all kinds of ways for a long time," said Wayne Fields, a specialist in presidential rhetoric at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Typically, the Bush administration finds its vocabulary someplace in the middle ground of popular culture. It seems to me that they're trying to find something that resonates, without any effort to really define what they mean," Fields said.

Stephen J. Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University, suggested White House strategists "probably had a focus group and they found the word `fascist.'

"Most people are against fascists of whatever form. By definition, fascists are bad. If you're going to demonize, you might as well use the toughest words you can," Wayne said.

My response: take your facist bullshit, GOP, and GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment VI

The ultimate, most difficult installment yet of "Delicious as an Enchirito".

Monday, August 28, 2006

I've Always Had a Problem with Connecticut

Maybe it's just because that tiny state has the highest per capita in the country. I guess that makes sense--it's tiny, it's near New York, it's in New England. The excuses might be valid but that doesn't mean I have any respect for it.

Yet to be fair, I've had a number of very good trips to Connecticut in the last few years but that's a result of visiting good friends and a good friend's kick-ass house, which is placed squarely away from contact with the outside world (a.k.a. stay at home moms in new volvos, driving to the country club for lunch and happy hour while the kids stay at home with the nanny). See, stereotypes: apparently I am all about sharing mine today. But this response (rant?) is only prompted by news.

Yes, I've got another news article for you. Before you stop reading, though, I promise to highlight boldly and in color the most important parts: the parts that support my theory that Connecticut inhabitants (for the most part--please, I am not searching for a fight) think themselves above the rest of the country: they are richer and smarter and don't appreciate people honing in on their rich, smart land. I will highlight as such that you will be able to read the article in a coherant manner even if you skip over all of the non-bold. However, out of fairness to those truly interested, i will leave the nonbold...

Seriously, there are some CRYBABIES in Connecticut!

Neighbors speak against Taco Bell plan
By Jackie Majerus, The Bristol Press

BRISTOL - Though they approved a zone change for the property, city zoning commissioners delayed a decision to allow a new Taco Bell restaurant on the east end of Farmington Avenue.

After hearing from Sheila Court neighbors who oppose a Taco Bell near their condominium building, commissioners continued a public hearing on the special permit and site plan approval for the restaurant until Sept. 13. But the commissioners agreed to change the zone of the property at 1250 Farmington Ave. from residential to a general business use. It's the only vacant lot left on Route 6 east of the Shop Rite plaza that hasn't been re-zoned, said attorney James Ziogas, who represented Taco Bell. The zone change is effective Sept. 5. Neighbors who opposed the plan to put in a Taco Bell raised concerns about traffic and fumes from cars and from the restaurant, but primarily objected to the prospect of noisy customers and the extended hours of the establishment.

Taco Bell stays open later than most restaurants, with hours until 2 a.m. every night except Friday and Saturday, when it is open until 4 a.m.

"It's not fair," said neighbor Jennifer Livingston, who said residents get up early for work. "How will we live?"

Livingston said she can live with the Dunkin' Donuts next door to the proposed Taco Bell because it doesn't conduct business before 7 a.m. and there isn't a drive-through. With Taco Bell, Livingston said, she and her condo neighbors will have to put up with "a little squawk box and people screaming into it" late into the night."I'm really worried about noise, the odors, late nights," said condo resident Brenda Coviello. "It really is a quiet neighborhood and we'd like to keep it that way."

Ric Livingston, who is the condo association board president, said 13 of 31 owners showed up at the zoning meeting to oppose Taco Bell. Others, he said, worked the night shift and couldn't make it. The condo association president said that Taco Bell's hours make it the place for crowds to gather after the bars close. He said at that time of night, it draws bar patrons and truck drivers.

But Ziogas said Taco Bell is "not a destination." Taco Bell customers, said Ziogas, go to the restaurant, get their food and leave. Neighbor Susan Kuchman said she wasn't out to criticize Taco Bell but said she feared she'd hear "the noise and the crowd and the CHEERING" of Taco Bell customers as well as the drive-through orders until the wee hours.

Kuchman said she's familiar with the current Taco Bell. "It's not a quiet location," Kuchman said.Greg McGlynn, another Sheila Court resident, said he didn't understand why Taco Bell couldn't remain where it is. He said he wants to be able to relax and cook a meal and sit outside when he comes home at the end of the day, not put up with the sounds and smells of Taco Bell. "I can't stand Taco Bell. I don't want it in my backyard," said McGlynn. "I don't want the smell in my backyard."

Neighbor Jim Reinwald said the area is "loud enough as it is now with just Dunkin' Donuts."City Planner Alan Weiner said the condo property does not abut the proposed Taco Bell property - there is a 50-foot buffer in between. The large trees on that buffer will remain, Ziogas said.

But neighbors said the tall trees offer a canopy, but only trunks where the sound barrier is needed.

When one condo owner said the buffer area will be a place for rowdy young crowds to congregate, zoning board Chairman Frank Johnson told the neighbors, "My suggestion is you buy it and fence it."

Ziogas said the restaurant would have a two-way driveway that would use the traffic light serving Bristol Farms plaza across the street.The restaurant would be 3,260 square feet in size, said Ziogas, with a drive-through window.

Jim Santos, representing Taco Bell, told commissioners that the new building would follow the company's new prototype rather than the Mission-style of the current Taco Bell down the road.

I'm Not the Only One Who Analyzes the Hell out of Taco Bell

I've noticed folks aren't big fans of the copying and pasting of seemingly long articles on this blog. I understand. I wouldn't be either unless it was a subject which I had my undying love and devotion. However, there are some very funny aspects of this article pasted below, mainly because, without intention, it makes fun of how serious a town like Ashland, Oregon takes itself.

Now I have driven through the town and I've had friends who lived there and who quite like it, but I think comparing Ashland, OR to Asheville, NC (where i have lived and can there speak on authority) is not a stretch. Both are very pretty and very (seemingly) progressive towns. THey love a good artist. Hell, they love a bad artist. They love freedom and weirdness and organic food. That's cool. I have no problems with those things, and sometimes fall in line myself. My request, though, is that every once in awhile, these inhabitants sit back, look at their lives and their friends and their kayaks on top of their subaru outbacks and their co-ops and and indie record and video stores and realize that they are trying really, really hard to fit the look that is Ashland/Asheville--and unfortunately they often reveal themselves to be a little (or a lot) hypocrital. I wish this wasn't the case because i LOVE a good progressive cause but.... (In the defense of the 21st century hippies/progressives, I much prefer they take over towns than, say, a bunch of hooligan frat boys in khakis or all-red meat, all the time mullets).

Which brings me to the point at hand: Ashland is ashamed of fast food joints because fast food isn't healthy or hip or good for the world and its people. BUT Taco Bell, though they acknowledge it as a fast food restaurant, somehow survives.

I've highlighted the lines that really tickle me.

August 26, 2006

Tacos rule fast food in Ashland

Re-opening of town's popular Taco Bell defies the trend against fast-food chains

By Alan Panebaker
for the Mail Tribune

ASHLAND — The local Taco Bell is making a run to the bank and not the border in this town, unlike other food chains that have been tossed aside like so many cold Mexi-Nuggets.

Following a major renovation, the local franchise re-opened at about 5 p.m. Thursday. Within minutes, taco-craving locals entered the restaurant. The previous building was torn down in April and rebuilt with a newer, fancier look.

Jan Sutherland has owned the local franchise since 1999. It has outlasted Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonald's, Denny's and Dairy Queen, all of which closed in Ashland in recent years.

"Ashland is not friendly to fast food," Sutherland said.

However, she practices the same style of business in Ashland as in her other 17 Taco Bell franchises. Sutherland doesn't know why her business does so well in Ashland. She said it might be local seniors, who as a group tend to like the inexpensive and tasty fare.

The chain thrives here, but, Sutherland said, "There're towns where Taco Bells don't do real well."

One place that proved especially hostile was Arcata, Calif. Sales were up. Customers loved the food. But broken windows and other persistent vandalism forced her from the town. Sutherland says Arcata is similar to Ashland in its disdain for chain restaurants. Ashland, however, welcomes Taco Bell.

"You hate to say it's an addictive flavor, but it is," she said.

James Twyman, a local New Age author and singer who calls himself the Emissary of Light, was one of Taco Bell's first customers Thursday.

He munched on a 7-Layer Burrito, a concoction of beans, guacamole, lettuce, rice, sour cream, "three-cheese blend" and tomato wrapped in a tortilla.

"Maybe it's just an illusion, but it just seems a little healthier," he said. "Ashland tends to be such a health-conscious town. Just the idea of going to McDonald's seems kind of repulsive to me."

Nutrition data available at Taco Bell's corporate Web site run by Yum! Brands, which also owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Long John Silvers, among others, shows the good and bad for the regular 7-Layer Burrito: 530 calories, 21 grams of fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 2.5 grams trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol and 1,400 milligrams of sodium — but with good amounts of calcium, protein, fiber and iron.

Twyman said his Taco Bell addiction started when he was a vegetarian. The traveling "Peace Troubadour," also known for his ability to bend spoons, said he finds Taco Bell's food doesn't have the same fried taste of food from other fast-food places. Now a meat eater, he still stops at Taco Bell first on his travels.

"For some reason, people think that Taco Bell's not quite as greasy and grimy as other fast food places," he said.

Answers to Taco Bell's success in Ashland while other franchises have failed are elusive. Ron Peil, the former owner of the Ashland Dairy Queen, is still baffled by the nature of the business. He sold his site to the People's Bank of Commerce last summer. It was not failing, he said, but business was slumping.

"It's one of those things. You really don't know," Peil said. "They accept some restaurants, and others they don't. It's kind of hard not to take it personally."

Alan Panebaker is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 482-3456, Ext. 227, or

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Faithful and longtime readers will remember that I posted this hilarious Onion article during "Onion Week" some months ago.

However, in honor of today's FDA announcement, I feel it's necessary to "republish". Not only is it fitting, but I must be fair to the science community: it broke my heart a little today with the "downgrading" of Pluto (see previous post). However, the FDA has redeemed the science world somewhat--and in the same day--by passing the oft-discussed Plan B. The bill isn't ideal, of course, and the FDA will never live down its residence in the pocket of President Bush, but i will give kudos where kudos are due, especially on a dark, dark day for dear, beloved Pluto.

Taco Bell Launches New 'Morning After' Burrito

March 12, 1997 Issue 31•09

PURCHASE, NY—Hot on the heels of last week's FDA approval, on Monday PepsiCo subsidiary Taco Bell launched its controversial "morning after" burrito, a zesty, Mexican-style entree that prevents unwanted pregnancies if ingested within 36 hours following intercourse.

Developed by a team of top Taco Bell gynecologists, the $1.99 "ContraceptiMelt" burrito creates an inhospitable environment within the womb, causing fertilized ovum tissue to be flushed from the body.

Also available are ContraceptiMelt Supremes, featuring sour cream and extra cheese.

Taco Bell officials are excited about the offering. "In the past, before Roe v. Wade, young women literally had to 'make a run for the border' to terminate an unwanted pregnancy," Taco Bell public relations director Grant Lesko said. "But now, women can make that same run for the border at over 7,300 convenient locations right in their own hometowns."

Possible side effects of the new birth-control snack item include weight gain, stomach upset and gas, the same as with all other Taco Bell products.

Nineteen-year-old Alicia Vargas of Yuma, AZ, avoids getting pregnant with a delicious Taco Bell ContraceptiMelt.

"The new ContraceptiMelt is a safe, effective alternative to traditional forms of birth control that must be administered before intercourse," Lesko said. "Plus, it's delicious."

Customers who wish to purchase a ContraceptiMelt will be required to meet briefly for consultation with a registered Taco Bell counselor/cashier. The counselor will ring up the customer's order and collect money for it, then provide change, before being allowed to administer the ContraceptiMelt.

Additionally, a five- to ten-minute waiting period may be necessary during high-volume "busy periods" in the restaurant, depending on the length of the line.

"Late afternoon, like 3 p.m., is usually a good time to come in," said Gerry Frankel, an Arlington, VA, Taco Bell counselor/cashier.

While the new burrito is legal and available in all 50 states, parental-consent laws in 37 states require minors who wish to purchase the ContraceptiMelt to obtain permission from a parent or legal guardian—unless they order a side of Cinnamon Crisps and a large beverage.

Taco Bell vice-president of product research and development Marvin Sekuler expects the new product to be tremendously successful.

"All of our test marketing and demographic research indicates that among 14- to 22-year-old females, there is great demand for a quick, relatively painless termination of unwanted pregnancy via spontaneously induced rejection of fertilized, pre-fetal tissue from the uterine canal," Sekuler said. "Plus, 14- to 22-year-olds love delicious, Mexican-style fast-food products.
We're thrilled that our newest menu item can meet both these important needs in a lip-smacking, tasty way."

While he hopes that many young women will purchase the new burrito, Sekuler stressed that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is an individual one.

"We are in no way advocating any particular view on this most sensitive of issues," he said. "We simply want to offer this option. And, of course, we fully respect our customers who decide to carry their babies to term. In fact, I'd like to point out that Taco Bell offers a wide variety of non-contraceptive menu items that can provide the crucial nutrients—such as mild sauce, shredded cheddar and beef—that a growing fetus needs to develop properly."

Sekuler noted that every pregnacy terminated by the Taco Bell ContraceptiMelt comes with a special guarantee.

"If any one of our customers becomes pregnant after consuming our new burrito, the Taco Bell Corporation will, guaranteed, hire that person to work for us at $6.25 per hour," he said. "Taco Bell's competitive, above-minimum-wage salaries; flexible schedules; and fun, team-oriented atmosphere make it the ideal place for a young, single mother, enabling her to provide for herself and her children with uninsured subsistence living."

Pending FDA approval, Taco Bell plans to follow up the ContraceptiMelt with the RU-486 MexiCarriage Deluxe. Already legal in France, the MexiCarriage Deluxe costs $1.59 if purchased during the first MexiMester, $1.79 during the second and $1.99 during the third.

Just because it doesn't have a Taco Bell...

Doesn't mean it should be stripped of its 76 year status as a planet!
So its moon is not that much smaller than it. It's still small. And it's name is Pluto. Everyone's favorite planet is Pluto. You know, it's the underdog, the runt, the one that had to try so hard to become a planet and finally, finally won its rightful place with the other 8 planets. And then boom! Fancy technology and scientists fighting for tenure decide to that Pluto is too small and allowing it to retain its spot in the classrooms of 3rd graders everywhere would lead to a slippery slope--13 planets or maybe 23, depending on what facts various hotshot spaceologists throw at us lay people in attempts to wow us. well, i am NOT wowed. I am NOT happy. I am not going to pick religion over science as a result, but I still have a bone of contention with science. Is it a bigger one than the bone I had after earning a D in my Freshman "Cell to Organism" biology class? I think so. This one goes to the marrow.

When I was little and hopeful that I would grow my hair very very long, I'd say "I want to grow my hair all the way to Pluto." Surely I was not the only little girl who spoke these words and felt so strongly strongly about the length of her hair. Now what are girls going to say? "I want to grow my hair to Uranus." HAHA, okay, that would be funny. But they might say "Neptune" instead and no one cares about Neptune.

Here's a lovely cartoonist/writer/scientist who aptly describes how so many of feel on this day:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment V

Oh boy! Now before y'all immediately get it in your heads that KFed is certainly NOT delicious as an enchirito--that you would rather have a Dustin Diamond/Screech/Mr. Belding enchirito before anything KFed, check out his earrings. they look like diamond sunflowers. beautiful.

Basically, since he debuted his latest single at Sunday's Teen Choice Awards, I feel the obligation to give him some blog time since Brit and he are second only to me in their love for Taco Bell. I mean, even I haven't said I want my kids to work at Taco Bell (though think of all the free food! Yeah, it's cheap already but free is way different--and way better--than cheap!). So what if he supposedly had a terrible performance--or, if you rather go by AP standards, a "not half-bad" performance. His attempt at stardom and not living off his wife (weak attempt though it may be) is enough for him to weasle his way back onto my blog. I missed him. Admit it, you did too because even though we can get on our high house and call him a trashy, dumb, starchy hat wearing, wife-mooching, FERTILE, babymama-leaving, talentless Vanilla Ice wannabe, that part of ourselves that loves the shock and awe of the celeb world doesn't want this guy to slide off the radar for very long.

With that said, delicious as an enchirito?

Why I Don't Read Comics

They are dumb. Even the ones about Taco Bell.

While on the subject of lame, I have to apologize for the shortness of my recent blogs. I will pick it up a notch. It's been a busy and bean-free week. Two things that lead one to feeling she is has fallen into a black hole.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wikipedia Revisited

According to Wikipedia, these are slogans in the history of Taco Bell. I assume they are in chronological order. I don't recognize some of the recent ones. Or maybe "slogan" is an exaggeration.

Taca-taca-taca-taca-taca-taca Taco Bell!
Ooh! What a difference Taco Bell makes!
Make a run for the border.
Nothing ordinary about it.
Cross the Border.
Fetch that food!
Taste that food! Dong!
Change Is Good
Want some?
Yo quiero [I want] Taco Bell.
Think outside the bun.
Spice up the night. (For the introduction of open Taco Bells at night)
Good To Go (For the Crunchwrap Supreme)
The Fourth Meal
I'm Full!
Is it hot in here?

comments? favorites?

my favorite: Taste that food! Dong!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chocolate Mary vs. Satan Burrito

Whipcreamy and I had a very interesting IM conversation today.

We were talking about the Chocolate Mary. Then we talked about this website:

In other words, we were talking about people who are crazy on account of god and religion. It's a common discussion, especially with whip, but hearing that a woman refound god through chocolate rejuvinates a topic that can, admittedly, get old.

So then whip said she ate a Taco Bell bean burrito last week that looked like Satan. I asked for a sketch. She was simply making a point, of course. anything can look like anything if you are "lost" and "in a bad place" which of course you are if you are ready to say there is no god as was the woman who found Mary in a chocolate shop.

that's all.

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment IV

I was really going to take a break from this string of "delicious as an enchirito?" posts today. Really. But then I read this story about people seeing Mary in chocolate and thought "hmmm...would people like to eat this? and if so, would it be as good as an enchirito if you thought it was actually Mary reincarnated?"

And so I must pose the question to the public. Is chocolate Mary as delicious as an enchirito?

Here's the story from (there are some GEMS in this story. Seriously. You will not be disappointed.):

Sweet Mary, mother of God?

Workers at candy company see form of Virgin Mary in chocolate

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California (AP) -- Workers at a chocolate company have discovered a 2-inch-tall (5-centimeter-tall) column of chocolate drippings that they believe bears a striking resemblance to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary.

Since the discovery of the drippings under a vat on Monday, employees of Bodega Chocolates have spent much of their time hovering over the tiny figure, praying and placing rose petals and candles around it.

"I was raised to believe in the Virgin Mary, but this still gives me the chills," company co-owner Martucci Angiano said as she balanced the dark brown figure in her hand during an interview Thursday. "Everyone should see this."

Kitchen worker Cruz Jacinto was the first to spot the lump of melted chocolate when she began her shift Monday cleaning up drippings that had accumulated under a large vat of dark chocolate.

Chocolate drippings usually harden in thin, flat strips on wax paper. But Jacinto said she froze when she noticed the unusual shape of this cast-off: It looked just like the Virgin Mary on the prayer card she always carries in her right pocket.

"When I come in, the first thing I do is look at the clock, but this time I didn't look at the clock. My eyes went directly to the chocolate," said Jacinto, wearing a hair net and apron as she paused from her work. "I thought, 'Am I the only one who can see this? I picked it up and I felt emotion just come over me. For me, it was a sign."

The chocolate, on display for most of the week in the front of the company gift shop, now rests in a plastic case in a back room and is brought out only for curious visitors.

The stack of hardened confection has a wide base and tapers gently toward a rounded top, giving the appearance of a female figure with her head tilted slightly to the right. The dark brown melting chocolate hardened into subtle layers that resemble the folds of a gown and a flowing veil.

A tiny white circle, about the size of a pencil eraser, sits in the upper center of the creation, just above a slight ridge that runs across it. Jacinto says the white speck is the head of the Baby Jesus as he is held in Mary's folded arms.

For Jacinto, the discovery came just in time. The single mother said she has struggled with personal problems for months and says she was about to lose her faith.

"I have big problems right now, personally, and lately I've been saying that God doesn't exist," she said, pulling the dog-eared prayer card out of her pocket. "This has given me renewed faith."

Angiano, who co-owns the 10-year-old company with her sister, has rubbed shoulders with plenty of stars in her job.

The gourmet boutique runs booths at all the big awards shows, including the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Oscars, the Country Music Awards and the Latin Grammys. Pictures of Angiano with top celebrities -- and her chocolates -- line the office walls.

But this week's brush with the iconic image has left even Angiano star-struck.

"That's our Oscar right there," she said.

Wow, right?

News Flash: chocolate can be god and worthy of worship even when it isn't in the accidential shape of mary.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment III

Now, before you place your answer, perhaps overwhelmed by the pokka dots and fanny pack, remember that there was a time called the 80s and Mark Paul was an intrigual part of that period despite the early 90s flop that was "Saved By The Bell: The College Years".

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment II

Extra point if you can name this (delicious?) fellow.

San Bernardino Has Reason to be Proud (insert sarcasm)

The San Bernardino County Sun has never been known for its excellent journalism. Let's not blame that on Freelance Reporter Mark Landis who, in today's paper, gives us a nice, albeit boring, synopsis of Glen Bell, the biography. It's not his fault Glen is boring. Any sane person would assume that someone who's brought us the deliciousness and joy of Taco Bell would have a great story to tell.

Or maybe it is a good story but my propensity for turning up my nose at the world of business leads me to this conclusion. Perhaps those in the San Bernardino area and my faithful readers will find this article more interesting than I.

Either way, I am sure most will concur that boasting of one's town as a "fast-food mecca" is, er, strange.

SB area became fast-food mecca

Mark Landis

For years, innovative local competitors carefully studied the successes of Richard (Dick) and Maurice (Mac) McDonald, the fast-food pioneers who started a dining revolution in 1948 at a tiny hamburger stand at the corner of 14th and E street in San Bernardino.

Glen Bell, an enterprising young serviceman, returned home to the San Bernardino area after World War II and was anxious to start a business of his own. Bell and his best friend, Neal Baker, would sit in the McDonald's parking lot and marvel at the crowds standing in line to buy hamburgers.

"Glen and I would take our wives down there and just watch," said Baker. "One of those times, Glen told me, `I'm going to start a hamburger stand.' I said, `You don't know anything about hamburgers!' "

To which Bell replied, "I know, but you're going to help me build my first restaurant."
Bell opened Bell's Hamburgers in March 1948 at the corner of Oak and Mount Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino. The tiny stand hand-built by Bell and Baker, was the first in a succession of fast food restaurants that evolved into the multibillion-dollar Taco Bell empire.

In 1952, Baker jumped into the fast-food frenzy when he opened his own Baker's Burgers restaurant in San Bernardino. Baker and Bell became "friendly competitors," and Baker went on to open 36 drive-through restaurants around the Inland Empire.

Convinced that the area would soon be saturated with hamburger stands, Bell came up with the novel idea of selling "Mexican fast food" out of his burger stands.

In the infancy of the fast-food movement, pioneers like the McDonald brothers and Glen Bell had to create innovative new methods to cook, assemble and deliver their food. In order to mass produce tacos, Bell came up with an ingenious new method of pre-cooking taco shells.

In his biography, Bell said "I worked with an equipment salesman who contacted a man who made chicken coops. He made a fry basket for me out of chicken wire."

Bell had a knack for choosing great locations, and in 1953, he started a fast-food restaurant in Barstow that sold tacos and hamburgers. When tacos began outselling hamburgers at the Barstow restaurant, he decided to build the first all-Mexican fast-food restaurant in San Bernardino.

Bell opened the first Taco Tia in 1954 at the corner of Base Line and Acacia in San Bernardino. Bell became quite a showman when it came to grand openings, and he promoted the occasion with a colorful fiesta, complete with mariachis, dancers and free sombreros.

Busy with his San Bernardino operations, Bell hired Ed Hackbarth, a young part-time employee of Neal Baker to manage his restaurant in Barstow. Bell struck a deal to sell Hackbarth half interest in the restaurant if he'd stick it out in Barstow, and the stage was set for the birth of yet another fast-food pioneer.

In the early years, Bell's restaurants evolved through several partnerships and name permutations, including El Taco. The first Taco Bell was opened in Downey in 1962.

Armed with a healthy dose of business savvy and the experience he'd gained from his mentor, Glen Bell, Hackbarth opened the first Del Taco restaurant in Barstow in 1964. Hackbarth quickly expanded his operations, and Del Taco went on to become one of the most successful Mexican fast-food chains in the industry.

Another pioneer in San Bernardino's fast-food connection was 23-year-old John Galardi, a manager at Glen Bell's El Taco commissary. Glen and his wife Marty helped Galardi open a small hot dog stand on a busy corner in Wilmington.

It was Marty Bell who came up with the name Der Wienerschnitzel after looking through some of her cookbooks. Galardi built the company into Wienerschnitzel, the hot dog giant of the fast food industry.

Like most great entrepreneurs, the fast-food pioneers found their most fulfilling challenges in building their business from the ground up. The McDonald brothers, Glen Bell and Ed Hackbarth, sold the interest in their companies when the pinnacle of success seemed at hand.

At 82, Neal Baker continues to run the family-owned Baker's Drive Thru restaurants.

`'We worked seven days a week when we first started out," said Baker. "It was hard work, but that's what it took to get things going."

So what was the recipe that made San Bernardino such a fertile breeding ground for fast-food pioneers? History combined a balmy climate, a high traffic flow, an increasingly mobile population and a handful of ingenious entrepreneurs into a potent formula that made San Bernardino "The birthplace of fast food."

Mark Landis is a freelance writer for The Sun.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

If I Didn't Know Better, I'd Say "These Kids Need to Get a Life" or "Only in Indiana"

But I do know better. Phew.

The Indy Channel:

25,000 Stolen Sauce Packets Returned To Taco Bell

Several masked people this week entered a Taco Bell restaurant and left six 40-gallon trash bags filled with apparently stolen sauce packets, Marion police said.

The bags, which contained 25,000 sauce packets, were accompanied with an apologetic note that said the packets were stolen over a three-year period.

The note's author wrote that the group felt guilty and decided to return the packets, police said.

And from the Chicago Sun Times:

Thousands of sauce packets returned to Taco Bell

August 14, 2006

MARION, Ind. -- Doesn't Taco Bell already have taco sauce?

Police say 10 to 15 pranksters left six 40-gallon trash bags full of taco sauce packets at the restaurant.

A note attached to the bags said the group had been accumulating them for three years, storing them in the trunk of a car, authorities said.

Police suspended an investigation Tuesday night in the city without any arrests, said Marion Deputy Police Chief Cliff Sessoms.

''From everything we've got here, there doesn't appear that there has been any crime committed,'' he said.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Delicious as an Enchirito?

With this post, I introduce a game, the name state in the subject. I think a lot of good stuff is going to come down the pipeline from this game.
So today's topic: Ben Harper. Delicious as an Enchirito? I'll reveal the answer on Tuesday.

A Mini-Hiatus from the Blog but not Taco Bell

Purged of all liquids and gels in my carry-on and supposing my early early arrival at the airport is sufficient, I will depart for beautiful St. Louis this evening.

My plans for this trip:

1. hang out with my family
2. eat

And yet I intend no sarcasm when I write that it will be a jam-packed weekend. Certainly no time for blogging.

Back to #2, though. Per usual, I will eat wonderful home-cooked meals and dine at some delicious and perhaps quaint St. Louis-only establishments...with the exception of Taco Bell.

Tonight, upon my arrival, my dad and I intend to swing by the Taco Bell drive to bring dinner to my grandma's. This is not "per usual" and most likely blog-inspired. This visit will be the first time I've returned to Taco Bell since falling for the Enchirito, and I am completely confused about how to handle this situation. How do I decide what to order? I am also intrigued as to what my grandma will get and how she will like it.

All this to say, I should return next week with some good blogging material.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's Been Awhile...

since the cuteness of Itzie has forced itself onto this blog.

Press Release on the Nacho Crunch Grilled Stuft Burrito

My description of the nacho crunch grilled stuft burrito yesterday left a lot to be desired. I think my description was as long as the name.

And so the Official Release:

August 08, 2006 06:00 AM US Eastern Timezone

Taco Bell(R) Expands Its Grilled Stuft Burrito Line; Nacho Crunch Grilled Stuft Burrito is Latest Portable Offering

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 8, 2006--Taco Bell(R), known for its popular Grilled Stuft Burritos that can't be found elsewhere, announced today the debut of the Nacho Crunch Grilled Stuft Burrito. The new menu addition delivers an exciting twist on the usual burrito fare by adding carne asada or grilled, marinated all white meat chicken, warm nacho cheese sauce, hearty beans and crunchy red tortilla strips, green onions and sour cream. The Nacho Crunch Grilled Stuft Burrito is available for $2.99 at participating restaurants (price may vary by location) for a limited time only.

"Grilled Stuft Burritos are some of the most popular and portable menu items Taco Bell has to offer," said Bill Pearce, Chief Marketing Officer of Taco Bell Corp. " By taking Mexican-inspired classic dishes like Chicken Enchiladas and Fajitas and putting them in a more portable form, our Grilled Stuft Burritos have always been a hit with our customers looking for great tastes on the go."

The Grilled Stuft Burrito made its menu debut in 2001 to immediate acclaim for its portability and classic Taco Bell tastes and textures. Since then, Taco Bell has expanded its Grilled Stuft Burrito lineup to include popular limited-time offerings such as the Chipotle Grilled Stuft Burrito, Chicken Enchilada Grilled Stuft Burrito, Fajita Grilled Stuft Burrito and Chicken Caesar Grilled Stuft Burrito.

The limited-time-offer is supported by 30- and 15-second TV spots and radio ads produced by Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB). The ad details how "crunchy makes it fun."

Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE:YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain serving tacos, burritos, signature Quesadillas, Grilled Stuft Burritos, nachos and other specialty items. Taco Bell serves more than 35 million consumers each week in nearly 5,800 restaurants in the U.S. "Think Outside the Bun(R)" and visit

Taco Bell Corp.Rob Poetsch/Will Bortz, 949-863-3915
Cohn & WolfeEhrin Cummings, 310-967-2974

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Information Overload

There's been so much going on in the Taco Bell world this week that I can't keep up.
I missed the up to the minute reporting on a NEW item: The NACHO CRUNCH GRILLED STUFT BURRITO!!!

what is the crunch about it? no, not the flat hard taco shell that provides the "crunch" in the crunchwrap but CRUNCHY RED TORTILLA STRIPS!!! Sounds very new to the taco bell menu. It comes with steak or chicken. How do you think crunchy tortilla strips and beans would mix? I fear not as well as all other substitutions usually work at TB so i don't know that i will try it but please report back for us if you do sample it. I doubt it's as good as the crunchwrap or enchirito but probably still tasty in that meaty/torilla strip kind of way.

Citizen Journalism

I read an article in the New Yorker yesterday ("Amateur Hour" by Nicholas Lemann) about this thing called "citizen journalism". Blogging is a huge aspect of this up and coming (already came to stay) journalism.

So, since this is a blog, I thought I'd share some exerts and then tell you how important this blog makes me.

"According to a study published last month by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, there are twelve million bloggers in the United States, and thirty-four per cent of them consider blogging to be a form of journalism. That would add up to more than four million newly minted journalists just among the ranks of American bloggers."

the blog is the newest form of the "pamphlet" with its far-reaching influence (though despite--and perhaps because of--the number of political blogs far exceeding the number of influencial pamplets of the mid to late 1700s in America, the blog has yet to show itself as capable of change as the old pamphlet campaigns--which were "ideally suited to making a public statement at a particular moment.").

BUT blogs could become that influential:
"At least in part, Internet journalism will surely repeat the cycle, and will begin to differentiate itself tonally, by trying to sound responsible and trustworthy in the hope of building a larger, possibly paying audience."

And finally, here's where the article basically alludes to the importance of my blog:
"Citizen journalists bear a heavy theoretical load. They ought to be fanning out like a great army, covering not just what professional journalists cover, as well or better, but also much that they ignore...The Internet is not unfriendly to reporting; potentially, it is the best reporting medium ever invented."

Okay, so relevance is a bit of a stretch. Maybe I just wanted to pass on the article because I found it interesting, and, more importantly, since reading it, i can now tell people that i have a career as a citizen journalist. i've always wanted a career. i'd prefer "retirement" but will settle for citizen journalist.

What Whipcreamy didn't tell you...

In the last post, Whipcreamy told us about a dream she had about us and Taco Bell over the weekend.

Per google chatting, here's what she revealed that she didn't see fit to tell in the comment section:

"and it really happened like that in the dream, and i was a little embarrassed. not about you, but i was thinking jeesh...the kids arent gonna get it. they prob were not paying attention. i think i was also upset that you had your hands all over the beans cuz that was our lunch. you were ALL about it too."

Now though I am not an expert dream analyzer, I am going to make an attempt in this case. The obvious is that Whipcreamy dreamt about a presentation on the Taco Bell burrito because we love and know it so well. Nothing to be upset about there. So where does the resentment arise over my placing my hands all over the beans. Isn't that normal? Here's what I think: Whip mentioned that I was discussing the onions combining with the beans in part of the presentation (probably while I, ever graceful, had my hands running through our meal). Here's where the subconscious of the subconscious analysis enters: in college, Whip and I always ordered two bean burritos without onions. Now I get the onions. Whip still orders hers without onions. Maybe Whip is upset in the dream not because I have my hands in our food but because there are onions in that food. WHip, thoughts?

Monday, August 07, 2006

I Had A Dream...

About Taco Bell last night.

Unfortunately, I don't remember details. It was weird and disjointed, per usual.

But here's what I do remember:

1. Taco Bell delivered! Check check.
2. The first time, I ordered a lot of food.
3. The second time (long dream), I just ordered the Enchirito.
4. A friend (don't remember whom or if he/she was a real-life friend BUT) ordered a tomato and cheese sandwich. hmmm. disjointed dream, indeed!

One Search Leads to Another. And so on.

wow! another reason to love wikipedia. i just did a search on the fire and ice taco--attempting to find a description of this item since i can't imagine what it entails. Naturally, Wikipedia rears its lovely head--again with the list of discontinued items. Well, since Friday when i posted the discontinued items, someone has added the Mexi Nuggets. I never heard of them. Next to the item on the list was a footnote, which linked to this article:

When one of life's simple pleasures was taken from me

More From Staff Columns

PAUL CRAIG, pcraig@newsreview.infoJune 21, 2005

Life's simple pleasures often take an edible form. Dipping pizza and French fries in ranch dressing, for example, while not entirely necessary, is quite delicious.

Same goes for a cold Dos Equis before a hot plate of Mexican food arrives. A pint of chocolate milk during the morning drive is also quite a treat.

A quick warning, and not because I know from personal experience, but it may be harmful to interchange the two beverages and situations above. While we all know drinking and driving is bad, I don't think any of us want to discover how bad burritos and chocolate milk might be.

Another guilty pleasure of mine, though, is Taco Bell. I love Chalupas, dream of Double Decker Tacos and crave Mexi Nuggets. Until last summer, that is, when Taco Bell took my Mexi Nuggets from me.

That turned a simple pleasure into a serious frustration. It's like when that beer you drink leads to hiccups. Or the chocolate milk you're sipping spills onto your lap.

Bad as those situations may be, at least you can still enjoy the product of your eventual pain. Now, when I need Mexi Nuggets, they aren't there.

By introducing its "Big Bell Value Meal" last year, Taco Bell created a flurry of new items costing around a buck. Included in the original mix was the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, a bowl of fried spuds covered with liquid cheese.

Now, on any other day, liquid cheese might be a simple pleasure of mine, if not a dietary staple. Not, however, when it's used as a replacement for the easily eatable, spiced-up Tater Tot-like creations, known as Mexi Nuggets.

I gave the new creation a try and, while not bad, the fact that it replaced a favorite took away from its effect.

It's like when Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen or a stream of other blonde actresses took over for Suzanne Sommers on "Three's Company."

It's just not the same.

The cheesy potatoes do have a plain counterpart, called simply "Fiesta Potatoes," that are a little closer to the originals. The problem is, they just never seem to have the crispiness or flavor of their now-deceased brethren.

Maybe I just don't want them to.

To be fair, our local Taco Bell has finally unleashed the Crunch Wrap Supreme. This culinary treat has been in the Portland area for a while and I was worried it would never make the journey south.

Some people worry about disease, unemployment and the homeless. Me? I've been fretting about the Crunch Wrap.

While it can't replace my beloved Mexi Nuggets, I have come to grips with the fact that they're gone. They've entered the fast food graveyard along with other classics like Kentucky Fried Chicken's Chicken Littles and the Arch Deluxe at McDonald's.

At least no one can ever take my ranch dressing away from me.

* You can reach reporter Paul Craig, who considers Double Decker Tacos the best deal in fast food, at 957-4211 or by e-mail at

I love that he mentions Chicken Littles. I used to love those and even though my "ethics" now wouldn't allow for me eating them (really, no pretensiousness intended), I appreciate this Paul Craig all the more including them in this article which depicts a devotion so many of us understand.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Past Was So Rad

From Wikipedia (naturally):

Discontinued Items

Items officially discontinued by Taco Bell. Some may still be obtainable at independent locations.

4-Alarm Taco
7-Layer Nachos
Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito
Bean Burrito Especial
Beef Burrito
Beefy Tostada
Cheesy Gordita Crunch (usually available upon request)
Chili Cheese Burrito (still available in many Midwestern and some Southeastern locations)
BLT Soft Taco
Chalupa Santa Fe
Fire & Ice Taco
Gordita Santa Fe
Mucho Grande Nachos
Seafood Salad
Steak Burrito (excluding other burritos that can be made with steak)
Taco Light
Volcano Burrito
Texas Taco
Cinnamon Crispas

WOW! I haven't even heard of some of these menu items, and yet I am sad that I won't be able to include them in my mid-2006 Eat New Things at Taco Bell Tour. Fire and Ice Taco? What is that? the Volcano Burrito! Bring it, whatever it is. Bean Burrito Especial. Good god, I imagine that was delicious though I can't imagine what made it "Especial" that they don't have in some form on the menu. No difference: I am saddened that I can't try these fabulous sounding things. Opportunity lost.

Luckily, it's Friday so my sadness is bouyed by a weekend of fun and relaxation!

SO: Happy Weekend. Try the Enchirito. It's bound to guarantee you a happy one.

The Enchirito Revisited

Since my discovery of the enchirito, I have been, understandably, obsessed.

Ashley, primo research assistant, did a little digging. She found this website:

Basically, it discusses the history of Tex-Mex (not to be confused with Mexican food) and unfortunately disses Taco Bell a bit in the process:

Many people often think that they can go to a local Taco Bell to enjoy some traditional Mexican food, they are almost unforgivably mistaken. Taco Bell is actually the place one can go to enjoy Mexican-American or Tex-Mex food (or at least an attempt at it). There is a big difference between Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex cuisine, the terms Tex-Mex and Mexican American may be used interchangeably when speaking of food and will later be explained. They are closely related, but Tex-Mex cuisine has been adapted for the Anglo taste while Mexican food has almost no influence from the United States. Proponents of Mexican food take great strides to distinguish their cuisine from what is more popular in the United States, they even put it down. Mexican Cooking For Dummies actually says "Although it's one of the world's most beloved cuisines, Mexican food has been severely misunderstood and sloppily translated north of the border." [1] Mexico has every right to be proud of it's cuisine, but it is probably its own insistence on not being associated with the culinary legacy it has left north of the border that has strengthened the divisions between the two cuisines the most. Just as Mexican food has its defenders so does Tex-Mex cuisine as well. Miller states that "The History of the U.S.-Mexican border area makes it one of the world's great culinary regions, similar to the great feeding grounds of the oceans, where currents of different temperatures meet. Just as this mixture produces waters teeming with all kinds of creatures, so the migrations of different peoples to the border area have created a region of rich cultural exchange, between Indians and Spanish, vaqueros and cowboys, and Hispanics and Anglos." [2] Few could sum it up as precisely and poetically as Miller does.

Ah, poetic ramblings on food. I hear you, Miller.

But more importantly, here is the article's definition of the enchirito (oh excuse, enchurito):

An Enchurito is the combination of a burrito and enchilada. It is a burrito covered with chile sauce and eaten with a fork and knife.

Now, how does this differ from the enchilada?

Enchiladas are corn tortillas that are made soft in hot oil and then cooked in chile sauce.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wikipedia Knows Everything

I read a fascinating article on Wikipedia in last week's New Yorker. Previously, I didn't know how the website worked. I just knew it did. Now I know that some of the facts on Wikipedia are false and that there are constant factcheckers and fact-taker-ers roaming the ins and outs of the website.

However, I like to trust the website because it is so thorough. Anyone making up crap can be commended for at least having an immagination. Or maybe it's more a desire to lie to the entire world, leaving us spurting out wrong information to all who cross our paths. Well, I am a sucker for information, true or not.

So in the comment section of the last post, Ash asked if the enchrito was similar to the enchilada. I did not know but it seems possible. Sometimes the line between different Mexican foods is very thin.

I wikipedia-d "enchirito" and found this definition:

The most commonly served style of the burrito in the United States is thought to be indigenous and is not as common in Mexico. One very common enhancement is the Wet Burrito (known as an Enchirito when served at a Taco Bell restaurant), which is a burrito smothered in a red chile sauce similar to an enchilada sauce, with shredded cheese added on top so that the cheese melts. In Mexican-American cuisine, crispy fried burritos are called chimichangas.

I am so glad that Taco Bell calls it an enchirito instead of a "wet burrito".

Exhibit 8,964: Texas is Slow

Isn't the introduction of the "Fourthmeal" so two months ago?

Local Texas news is just reporting on it now. Or maybe the Taco Bell is Tyler is just getting into this ridiculous campaign now. Either way, slow pick-up, Tyler Texas. I would have guessed that fast food, if not civil rights, education, and religious tolerance, was your "thing".


Taco Bell Institutes A "Fourthmeal"

Ask people to name the three meals in a day, and they can do it without any problem. But ask them about the 'fourthmeal', and very few of them know what you're talking about. (who are these people?)

Signs are popping up on Taco Bells across the country advertising late night hours where Americans can pop in for a 'Fourthmeal,' a meal the company says comes between dinner and breakfast. They hope it will eventually be as popular as brunch. (Easter fourthmeal for the whole family?)

Health care workers we spoke with were alarmed by Taco Bells 'Fourthmeal' campaign. They say with one-half of adult Americans overweight, and one-third of children overweight, the last thing Americans need is a 'Fourthmeal.'

Registered dietician Monica Penkilo with UT Health Center says a healthy diet consists of three balanced meals a day plus a couple of low calorie snacks. She says if you're eating at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, like Taco Bell is promoting, you should try finding a healthier alternative.
"The lowest calorie value meal item I could find was 180 calories, and it was small, spicy chicken taco. Make yourself a small bowl of cereal. That'll carry you through the morning. Have a sandwich. Pop a bag of popcorn. These are some things that would be a lot healthier," says Penkilo. (newsflash)

Rob Poetsch is the Director of Public Relations for Taco Bell. He says the 'Fourthmeal' campaign is simply a way to stand out in the sea of other late night fast food options.

"The 'Fourthmeal' campaign is not encouraging people to eat a literal fourth meal. It is actually branding a meal that people are already eating," says Poetsch.

Only time will tell if Americans will adopt the 'Fourthmeal.' If they do, it may add to their rapidly expanding waist lines.

Dieticians define low calorie snacks as anything less than 150 calories. Only one item on the Taco Bell menu meets that requirement. That's the crunchy beef taco without the cheese. (who eats tacos without cheese?)

For more nutritional information, go to the Know More On 7 section of our website and look for the Taco Bell link.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Love at First Bite

So, as planned, I went to Taco Bell last night. It was terribly romantic, also as planned, but managed still to exceed expectations. Reason: I might have fallen head over heals in love.

I ordered the enchirito as my new thing. I didn't know what an enchirito was and had never even noticed it on the menu. I did recall from an earlier finding that it was on the Taco Bell menu in 1977 and then had asked myself, when seeing that, "what the hell is an enchirito?"

Well, folks, now I can tell you: it is DELICIOUS. Seriously, I was SHOCKED by the taste of this bean-filled item. It was like the crunchwrap experience. It's rare that I come across surprisingly wonderful things and even rarer when these things have been around awhile.

I do not know what makes the enchirito so spectacular. It generally comes filled with beans and beef (I went for beans only), topped with a tangy red sauce and cheese. the filling is not like a bean burrito, lacking the onions, sauce, and cheese, and the tortilla is smaller (I suppose the size of the soft taco tortilla). It sounds so simple! I think the key to its success is the way the tangy sauce combines with the cheese. And the staff is heavy handed on both items! It was a remarkable experience. Afterwards, I immediately texted Whipcreamy "the enchirito is AMAZING", and I am sparse in my usage of caps. Yet they are peppered throughout this post which is clearly a sign of love and instant devotation.

Last I spoke to Whipcreamy, she was on her way to Taco Bell for an enchirito--a first for her as well. I haven't heard the feedback, but I know that the enchirito has, already, earned a special place in my stomach...and heart.

Oh, I should add: Hope tried my enchirito and was also very pleased: so much so that she bought one to bring to her mom. Yep, the enchirito is the new black. or green. or whatever color is currently so in, it's almost out.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Trip of Firsts to Taco Bell

This past weekend, I went to Taco Bell in Warrenton, VA. This trip was my first since my declaration some 1.5 weeks earlier that I would order, for the first time, the gordita on my next trip to Taco Bell. I like making these committments and telling them to the world because then I am forced to keep them and change makes the world go around, right? Or maybe just Taco Bell makes the world go round, and everything else is simply a distraction or interruption or a lead-in to the end of the world which, seemingly, is quickly approaching. World War III as Newt would say. Ah, but before I digress any further, I'll return to the Sunday outting.

And SO I finally ordered the gordita. My friends Becca and Patrick, in the spirit of fun and Taco Bell enjoyment and things to put on the blog, also decided to try something new. Becca ordered the gordita as well. (Has anyone tried this thing?). Patrick ordered the chicken crunchwrap, having never even had the original crunchwrap. Imagine! Thankfully, we all were very happy with our adventurous choices.

I don't think the gordita will begun a staple in my ventures to TB. It was good. I enjoyed the thick yet fluffy tortilla, apparently signiture of the Taco Bell gordita for it marked the main (only?) difference between a gordita and a soft taco. However, I was expecting a corn tortilla, fried, as James had made (which, of course, prompted this decision in the first place). But since I didn't have expectations of the Taco Bell gordita matching the excellence of the crunchwrap and experiencing that sensation of something so surprisingly wonderful as I did way back in February, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was pleased.

So tonight Hope and I have a romantic date with the Taco Bell in Arlington, a.k.a. the cleanest and nicest (sauce packet-wise) Taco Bell in the D.C. area (hence the romantic part. well, that and all the beans).

And I am going to try something new again. Is this a sign that my life is spinning out of control? Well, devil may care but I don't! If my life and everything I've worked for so diligently goes down the tubes with beans, how bad could it be?

On the list of useless things I really want...

Taco Holders and kids! (in that order.) Look how happy these kids are. They aren't dumb. They don't take their tacos and all its toppings for granted. And they love their taco holders. And who wouldn't? What fun.

a more detailed description, as shown on, follows:

These patent pending taco holders are designed to hold 3 tacos upright for easy building and eating. They are dishwasher safe, microwave able and stack easily for storage. Best of all, they are unbreakable so they will last a lifetime! They work great with any size taco shell, even soft shells! They fit right on your plate so there is no mess spilled all over your table like the old metal racks do.

Have you tried the little paper holders? What a pain, always falling over while you're filling your taco. Plus, they get soggy and unattractive before the meal is over. Not any more! The Taco Tender has a wide stable base. No more spilled tacos.

Great for children too. They help little hands as they make their own taco masterpiece. Or, Mom can build all the tacos she needs at one time. You'll never eat Mexican food any easier.

The Taco Tender is a unique item. You won't find them in any store. They are only available right here. Shipping and handling has been locked at just $2.99 for any size order. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not happy with your purchase for any reason, simply return them for a full refund less shipping and handling.

Now, I have some issues/questions:

1. foremost, "Mom" can make all the tacos she wants? Oh, "Dad"s don't make tacos, uh, LCT products? And why does mom need to make so many tacos? For the entire family and all the neighborhood kids because that's what moms do? Or, more poignantly, that's what moms who have happy kids like those pictured above do. I love the taco "tender" idea but I am calling for a boycott!

2. even if i weren't boycotting LCT, I refuse to pay more for s and h than i do for the actual product. especially when whether you buy one or 50 taco tenders, s and h is only going to be $2.99. in other words, if you are a sad single sap with no family for which to make all the tacos you want, you'll seriously lose out on the s and h deal and end up overpaying. as if we single saps aren't already made to feel the financial pinch of our status from tax relief for the married. well, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

3. microwaveable taco shells are gross. they don't come out crispy. i guess, though, these tenders are oven-proof which is the only way to cook a taco shell.

So, before this deep analysis, i was quite taken with the taco tenders. I am glad I thought it out. I still sorta want one because tacos look cool in them and wouldn't three crunchwraps lined up in a taco tender look even cooler. I would take mine to Taco Bell and then not have to deal with the microwaveable but not ovenable problem. Maybe after the boycott of sexism ends...