Friday, September 29, 2006

Bowling Green, OH: Where NOT to move

at least til Mid-December.

The residents have a crisis on their hands: NO Taco Bell.

However, as you'll read, the new "BOLD CHOICE" Taco Bell which will replace this old, smaller one. So soon people from all over Ohio will probably be hopping in their cars to drive to the new, not closest, Taco Bell. Good thing gas prices have dropped.

I know people don't really like reading news articles on this blog, but I really am fascinated with the two I've posted today.

Phasing out Taco Bell

By: Nathan Robson

Issue date: 9/27/06

The BG News

With the close of Taco Bell last week, students are left finding new restaurants to eat at after a night at the bars.

Students like senior Megan Grandstaff are now eating at places such as Big Boy, Qdoba or Skyline Chili as they wait for the grand re-opening of Taco Bell.

But Skyline Chili could never replace Taco Bell, Grandstaff said. "Its not open on the nights we need it to be open," she said. "I go to '80s night a lot. And chili just doesn't sit well after a night of drinking."

While some students miss the late night service, others say they will miss the food.

"I will be sad when they close because I won't be able to get my French Wrap Quesadilla," said freshman Alisha Griffin. (what is that??)

A spokeswoman for Taco Bell, Monica Hawks, said the restaurant will reopen some time in mid-December. The new design, called "Bold Choice" will be the newest version that Taco Bell has to offer. This new version will have a Southwestern look with an orange and green stone work exterior. The new architecture style and interior design are supposed to give the restaurant a dramatic and modern look, Hawks said. And most importantly to Grandstaff and Griffin, it will be bigger at 3,124 square feet.

"The line gets so long you're literally in the back of the store infringing on people's space," Grandstaff said.

Griffin would prefer to see a larger dining area because the "old one was just too cramped."

The new Taco Bell will have 117 seats compared to the old version, which seated 65.

When the new Taco Bell opens it will have a staff of 50 employees, Hawks said.

All older style Taco Bell restaurants have slowly been phased out and remodeled all over the country, according to restaurant's Web site. Taco Bell officials say the new restaurant version is critical to improving the customers' experience and satisfaction by offering them superior facilities.

Good Things Happen in East Lansing

Cab service now delivers late-night Taco Bell fix to students

The State News

The midnight walk for munchies is a thing of the past now that Taco Bell food is available for delivery.

Earlier this month, Holt-based Cab Cuisine became the new middleman for Taco Bell and MSU students. The delivery service, which contracts with 67 other eateries and fast food restaurants, added Taco Bell to its list.

A Taco Bell representative said thus far, coupling with the delivery service has been a success.
"This is definitely a great option for us," said California-based Taco Bell Corp. spokesman Rob Poetsch. "Being able to participate does have a benefit to our customers and to their business as well."

Poetsch declined to say if sales have increased because of the new service.

Customer convenience is the reason Taco Bell turned to Cab Cuisine for delivery.

"That location does not have a drive-through," Poetsch said.

Bill Zerba, owner of Cab Cuisine, started the company from his home last June. He said already students are gravitating toward the fast food delivery. On the first Friday Taco Bell delivery was possible, more than half of his customers requested it, Zerba said.

Zerba's business receives about 500 calls each week.

In the early '90s, Zerba worked as a manager for Take Out Taxi. After it went out of business, Zerba started his own delivery service.

Zerba said MSU students mostly call after returning from the late-night bar scene or on Sunday when the residence halls' cafeterias are closed.

The brightly colored fliers advertising the new Taco Bell delivery service excited Nicole Bauman and some of her friends.

With "Laguna Beach" on their television, they were hesitant to walk away from the show.

"It's a very serious time," the preveterinary freshman joked.

So Bauman ordered Taco Bell, saying it was convenient, although perhaps pricey for students because of the added $3.75 delivery charge.

Lansing Community College student Andrew Izzo liked the idea.

"It's pizza delivery — only tacos," Izzo said.

(Izzo is brilliant, clearly).
So this is a good reason to move to East Lansing, isn't it? Sure the MSU students might grate on my nerves, but I could just wash that irritation down with a bean burrito and cleanse the ole slate.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Grey's Anatomy was dumb last week. I can't validate it with a synopsis.
Anne did, though, if you missed it and are interested in the big bang start to a new year of episodes.

It best pick itself up by its britches asap if it's going to try to stay on the same blog as Taco Bell.

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment IX

Think carefully on this question. I'm talking post-Chris Wallace interview.

Still undecided?

Check out this essay on Slate:

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fergie Digs Taco Bell

Again, Taco Bell has given me another similarity with a celebrity. And again, this celebrity, while not hitting the lows of Brit and KFed, is not the most charming, intelligent, admirable person.

Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas released a solo album last week. I am sure it's terrible.

To quote a line from one of the gems off this album:

"I still go to Taco Bell / Drive-through, raw as hell"

Raw as hell? I don't understand. The Washington Post, my resource of this quote, used this line as an example of her hip-hop tendencies.

So Taco Bell is raw as hell in the hip-hop world.

That should give us all some pause on this Monday.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Grey's Anatomy: TONIGHT

That's right, folks, the other part of the puzzle to this blog (i.e. there exists only two universal loves: that for Taco Bell and Grey's Anatomy) has its season premier tonight.

Watch, love it, and prepare yourself for extensive commentary tomorrow.

I've not bothered to learn that oh so easy way to link a website or previous post to the current post or i would be able to immediately direct you to my analysis on the two-part season finale. Alas, it was it May. And it was a doozy of an episode. And a synopsis.

Til tomorrow...happy watching and Taco Bell consumption.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Have to Comment

I know Hugo Chavez is a bit "out there". I know his humanity is rightfully questioned. I am not a fan. Etc...

But today at the U.N.:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took his verbal battle with the United States to the floor of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, calling President Bush "the devil."

"The devil came here yesterday," Chavez said. "He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world."

He's spunky, alright.
And makes a valid point: Bush does talk/act like he is the owner of the world.

unfortunately, those who believe that Chavez's lack of respect for Bush (putting it mildly, i know) is warrented probably also wish Chavez wasn't nuts. He gives "leftist" a bad name. So where are the intelligent, civil rights-supporting world leaders who have the guts to call Bush the devil? Please, come out. Make yourself known and understood to Americans who get all their news from Katie Couric.

This Never Happens From Taco Bell

For the second time in a month, I've gotten what can only be called food poisoning from a Mexican restaurant. The first time, I had a veggie enchiladas. Delicious. I blamed the refried beans. The second time, I had veggie burrito, and I blame the black beans. Why blame the beans? Simply by process of elimination, I guess. It's probably not the veggies (didn't eat spinach). Certainly not the tortilla! Gauc? Nah. Sour cream? Unlikely. Chips? No. Salsa. Well...maybe.

In any case, here are the symptons: okay, i will just tell you about the serious cramps for two days symptons. You can deduce the rest.

But seriously--for all people talk about "problems" arising after a hearty Taco Bell meal, I've never encountered that. I have a sturdy stomach.

So perhaps I have to think about this in relation to my last post. Survival of the fittest. I'll survive, I think. I mean, I can still go to work. I just can't eat my heart out. I've limited my intake to crackers, sprite, veg broth, and chocolate. Yes, chocolate. My current situation isn't pleasant or comfortable but I still must take a little joy in life.

In any case, if this pain brings me nothing else, it will at least allow me to have a stance when people declare Taco Bell subpar. Better than "nice" Mexican.

On another note, I know I've been slacking in the blogging department. I'm in a lull. Nothing Taco Bell should take personally. Nothing my faithful readers should take personally. The blog will not die. I just can't force euthanism.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Allergies Are Lame

I have issues with allergies--not in that "i have allergy" issues way but in that "allergies can really crimp a person's--not my--style" way. I apologize if I offend anyone with the following question but do you think Darwin includes allergies in his survival of the fittest theory? I am inclinded to think that since the 1800s did have the medical knowledge to address/realize allergies, allergies couldn't be pampered and acknowledged as they are today. Without techniques and meds and restrictions to treat the ailments, the allergies were ultimately not determental/instrumental/anymental to one's life. Either that or people died. In any case, allergies would certainly have folded into "survival of the fittest" terms, yes?

So in carrying on Darwin's legacy, as I am wont to do, I want to talk about how people who are allergic to common foods survive.

Common foods such as wheat.
Imagine not being able to eat wheat! I know: you might immediately think, so what, i'll get white bread. Big deal. Then the matter sits a little longer.

Which leads one to wondering what a person banned from wheat and/or gluton could eat at Taco Bell. Here are the answers, according to its website:

Fiesta Taco Salad (order Chicken instead of Beef; order without the shell and without the Red Strips)
Express Taco Salad (order Chicken instead of Beef)
Zesty Chicken BORDER BOWL® (order without the Zesty Dressing and without the Red Strips)
Southwest Steak Bowl (order without the Creamy Jalapeno Sauce)

That list, my friends, depicts a sad state of affairs for those with "sensivities" to wheat and gluton. And doesn't it make you wonder how these people survive? And yet they, for the most part, do. Who knows--maybe that calls into question my firm belief in Darwin. FOr if even people with these said allergies can survive, then where is one to see the truth in the "survival of the fittest" theory? eeek.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Despite History Showing Otherwise, Brit Has Her Priorities Straight

Keep appointment to have baby OR go to Taco Bell.

My girl Brit...keeping it real, per usual.

Britney Spears Baby has to Wait for Taco Bell

By Jennifer Cox
Sep 9, 2006

Britney Spears baby rumors hit a fever pitch at the end of the week. The gist was that Britney Spears would soon again be a mom as she was to check into the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center on Thursday and was scheduled to have a baby girl via C-section on Friday.

Unfortunately for the very pregnant Britney - that turned out to be false.
The former pop star was spotted in LA, but she was at Taco bell, not at the hospital.
X17 Photo Agency tailed mom to the drive through window of the popular fast food resteraunt and reports that "while everyone and their cousin was distracted by all the buzz about Britney being spirited away to the hospital to deliver Jailynn, Britney took the opportunity to slip out of the house for a Taco Bell run instead!"

Revisiting Ben Harper

So, in the first installment of "Delicious as an Enchirito?", it was decided that Ben Harper is, surprise surprise, delicious as an enchirito.

And since I saw him last night, I thought I'd just reiterate the information. He's awesome and wonderful--and wasn't wearing his wedding ring last night. But that's probably just for the show. I think he and Laura Dern and their cute kids are probably doing just fine. I've given up hope. Laura is a nice lady--though she could use a few enchiritos--and I am glad she snagged Ben after horrible Billy Bob skipped out on her for...

Some trivia:

1. for whom did Billy Bob leave Laura?
2. And in what dramatic fashion did he do it?
3. who introduced Laura and Ben?
4. what does Laura have that i don't?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment VIII

For those of you outside the DC area, this man is Adrian Fenty. He is running in the Democratic Primary for mayor on September 12. So if he wins, he's pretty much mayor. He's pegged as the "outsider", but polls so far show him leading the "insider" by a relatively large margin. I'm pleased about the way things are looking. Up until this past weekend, I'd planned to vote for him. Then a few fellow DC voters and friends told me they planned to write ME in for DC Mayor. Well, that is quite flattering and I let it go to my head. You know, thoughts like "I AM WONDERFUL. FENTY MIGHT BE COOL AND SMART AND CUTE BUT I AM BETTER. EVERYONE SHOULD VOTE FOR ME." You know--those not so humbling thoughts.

So now I am in a quandry. Do I vote for myself because I know I'd do a better job then him and to support my friends' support of me even though, by doing so, I am taking votes away from the better of the two leading canidates? It's that whole Nadar 2000 coming back to haunt us once more. I thought I learned my lesson after 2000 and didn't even think about voting for Nadar in 2004. But...shoot. idealism is so much better than reality. And I need a "career". Why can't it be mayor? Screw the boring "councilwoman" or "superintendant" roles often needed to lead up to a mayoral campaign.

Which brings us to these heartwrenching questions:

1. Do I vote for myself?

2. Is Adrian Fenty as Delicious as an Enchirito?

3. If he is, then I must vote for him?...unless I, too, am as delicious as an enchirito...which I am. oh shoot! what will september 12 bring?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

They're Just Like US!

Hands down, my favorite part of US Weekly is the section: "They're just like US!" Celebs multi-task, talk on the phone, go shopping, eat ice cream, litter, walk their dogs, and ride their bikes--just like us normal people who LOVE to read about what they are doing.

Well, as long suspected, Britany Spears is just like us! (with the exception that we wouldn't walk in a gas station bathroom barefoot).

Ashley, my trusty research assistant, clearly has it in her genes. Her little sister alerted us to these pictures.

Look how happy Britany is. Who can blame her? The border is a wonderful place to forget all your troubles (i.e. your loser husband who's currently filming for a small stint in CSI...a small stint that will certainly allow us to scratch off "actor" as a possible career for a man who clearly had professional ambition on the mind when he married Brit).

An Oft-Hush Hush Issue

So Taco Bell is FINALLY addressing the "is Taco Bell real Mexican food" issue. I think the answer is obvious (YES YES YES), but apparently the Hispanic community is not buying it (the marketing ploy or the food) and I guess they know a little more about "real" Mexican food than I do.

I had some REAL non Taco Bell Mexican food last week that gave me a bit of a stomach virus for three days so be careful what you wish for. Taco Bell has never done that to me. Perhaps unfortunately this food was really good and cheap and around the corner from my apartment so despite the painful recourse of the meal, i will return. I only learn lessons I choose to learn.

But I digress.

Taco Bell's earnings have been down a bit the last two months. Like politicians, they've decided the key to revival is in the Hispanic community.

Again I am posting a long article from the website "The Advertising Age". It's really interesting...and i don't even like advertising or marketing or business. All it takes is an interest in Taco Bell because, as you'll read, it is going to introduce some menu items it considers more authentically Mexican. That probably isn't awesome news for non-meat eaters but on. Per usual I will highlight the most important parts for those lacking leisurely blog reading time.

Taco Bell Grapples With Its Hispanic Conundrum

Chain Struggles to Attract Latino Demographic; Analysts Claim the Problem Is the Product

By Kate MacArthur

Published: September 04, 2006 CHICAGO (

Taco Bell's fast-food version of Mexican food isn't playing very well with Hispanics, who contributed just a half-percent to the company's same-store-sales gain of 7% in 2005, despite making up 20% of Taco Bell's core 18-to-34-year-old target market. Now, as the definition of the average American increasingly includes Spanish-speaking consumers, the Yum Brands chain plans to boost its Spanish-language marketing.

Taco Bell has not been a hit with U.S. Hispanic consumers. Ads or product? But experts aren't sure whether Taco Bell's problem is the advertising -- or the product. With same-store sales declining for two consecutive months after a 43-month streak of gains, the fast-feeder shared with analysts its plans to prevent a full-out sales swoon.

Among them, Taco Bell is considering adding carnitas, a braised pork dish, to the menu and doing more Spanish-language advertising. Management said Taco Bell's English-language TV ads tended to underdeliver to Hispanic consumers, according to John Ivankoe, a JPMorgan Chase restaurant analyst who attended the chain's investor meeting.

'Not really Mexican'

"It's not really Mexican food or food that unacculturated Hispanics know from their home country," said Everett Hernandez, senior VP-general manager, diversity for market-research firm Synovate. "It's a new offering to them." Taco Bell tends to rely on food-oriented advertising and uses the same positioning regardless of language.

A Taco Bell Spanish-language print ad. "Food looks like food whether you're Spanish-dominant or Anglo-Saxon," said Debbie Myers, VP-media services for Taco Bell. Because its tagline "Think Outside the Bun," designed to lure consumers from their burger routines, doesn't translate well into Spanish, the chain uses "No solo de pan vive el hombre" ("man does not live by bread alone") in Spanish-language ads.

Taco Bell Hispanic ads

Taco Bell does ads for 10 different marketing periods throughout the year, with a Hispanic version for each, Ms. Myers said. The "food-heavy" spots are adapted from general-market footage, and the company also did two live-action original Hispanic spots last year with its Hispanic agency, Dieste Harmel & Partners, Dallas, a Taco Bell spokesman said. A Dieste executive declined to comment, saying it is too early to discuss the work. Sonya Suarez-Hammond, director-multicultural marketing insights at Yankelovich, recommends using both Spanish and English to reach Hispanics. "If you think about extended family where you have grandparents, uncles, in-laws and cousins living in one home, there are varying levels of acculturation and language proficiencies," she said. "Oftentimes marketers have to get past the question of: Is it English or Spanish? It's really both. We're seeing the important thing is marketers have to reach out to Hispanic consumers in a culturally relevant way." For instance, mealtime is more important to Hispanic families and creates a different opportunity from general-market consumers hooked on dashboard dining. That opens up a host of operational issues, from point-of-sale materials to dining-room cleanliness.

'Their issue is authenticity'

"If they want to broaden their Hispanic market ... their issue is authenticity, and they have a lot of years of not being perceived as authentic to break through," said Carl Kravetz, chairman-chief strategic officer of Cruz/Kravetz: Ideas, Los Angeles, which handles advertising for fast-casual chain El Pollo Loco. He also questioned whether adding more traditional Mexican food would help the situation. "If they say they deliver good Mexican food to [Hispanics] they won't be believed. If they say they have good, filling, cheap American food, they may have a chance."