Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Have a Problem with Burger King

MAN, do i have a problem.
it's not that i see burger king as competition to Taco Bell. it's not that i have been to a burger king in at least five years because i hate it so much. actually, i thought it one of the more benign burger fast food joints--you know, alongside wendy's (even though it doesn't have frosties).

but it has jumped to the top of the list of companies i will boycott. right up there with block "we love family values" buster.

i don't think a commercial as ever infuriated me as much as burger king's I AM MAN commercial.

there are SO many things wrong with it that i had to rewatch it a few times to take it all in.

here are my issues:

1. women don't eat hamburgers? (okay i don't but...)
2. women are not STRONG?
3. only real men eat approximately 10 pounds of meat in a sitting.
4. what is with throwing the van over the bridge?
5. burger king is portraying men as modernistic cavemen (which is not completely untrue but...).
6. the men in this ad have no heart, no seeming intelligence, no concern for their ladyfriends or someone's van.
7. women apparently want to eat at fancy restaurants that serve approx 1 ounce of food in a very modernistic way. oh excuse me, they call this CHICK FOOD.
8. men want to roar know, because they are MEN.
9. if you "eat this meat", you will be able to crush cinder blocks.
10. i am confused at the scene with the cheerleaders. you know, the one where dude takes underwear (from where is unclear) and throws it into a trashcan fire. what?
11. texas double whopper. OF COURSE IT HAS TEXAS IN THE NAME.

i know this ad is supposed to be a satire on the "masculine" persona but i find it insulting. there are men who really believe eating LOTS of meat makes a man a man and that there is such thing as chick food. and the bitch of it is these "men" want women to continue to eat "chick food" while they chide them for it because they want their women skinny. i know sometimes i like to tear about various things all in good fun, but that is not the intent of this post. like cheney's interview on cnn last week, i had to write about this because it is so insulting in that it represents the prevalence of sexism in our society.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What's in a Color?

A lot, my friends.

I have some opinions about the Northeast. I know it's often beautiful and quaint and sometimes trashy and plain, but always...always...i feel like there are a lot of pretentious natures living up there. yes, i have wonderful friends in the northeast who are not pretentious...though i wonder if they secretly frown upon the midwest and south. i am pretty sure most Northeasterners frown upon the rest of the country--possibly California stretches their prejudiced minds because, you know, california is ridiculously cool, like it or not.

Some in Londonberry, NH created quite a stink recently when they learned that a Taco Bell/KFC would come to their lovely little town. No, it's not that they didn't want fast food nation to become a part of their lives, thus reminding them that they are part of this country. Rather, they didn't think the colors and design of the restaurant would "fit" into their New England town. To quote a "palette" commission member: "It sticks out sorely in New England. It fits in perfectly in Arizona."

So you see, the rest of the country, like Arizona, is tacky. Insults! Pretention!

I am going to say a bold statement and might lose some friends in the process: sometimes i think New England acts a little like Texas when it comes to this "we are better than the rest of the country" attitude. Sure, they are more liberal and therefore certainly have a higher standing in my book but, well, there is a "but". In the midwest, we just go about our business: we are not better, we are not worse. we are one--we are americans. haha. okay, well we are better than texas...

Well, maybe i should cut those in londonberry some slack--after all, they don't have crunchwraps and chalupas at their disposal. i guess they are cranky with a cause.

anyway, here's the article.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Bad Trip to Taco Bell

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Am Not Even Going to Play the Segue Game

Usually, when I want to write about something ridiculous someone in the Bush Administration has done or said on this blog, I stay faithful to the topic at hand and attempt a clever connection, however small, between Taco Bell and political topic at hand.


Not today.

Cheney is a piece of work. On the way to work this morning, I read about his interview with Wolf last night. I didn't know if it should prompt rage or laughter. the war in Iraq is, apparently, "an enormous success." There were other equally outrageous statements--bold, incorrect, rude, arrogant, MEAN. he is SO MEAN.

Anyway, here's the transcript.

If the transcript doesn't enrage you properly, watch a few videos and remember the face of evil:

The war is a success.

More bull about the war.

Even more bull about the war.

Cheney loves his gay daughter.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bound to Happen

Nothing goes without condemnation in this country.

The KFed Commercial we are all eagerly awaiting has offended the National Restaurant Association.

Apparently some people who work at fast food restaurants are in it for the big bucks.

Delicious as an Enchirito? Installment XIII

The State of the Union: Delicious? Decidedly Not.

Yes, I am just using this enchirito installment as a segue to writing about Bush's State of the Union address.

Confession: I did not watch it. There are things that are not healthy for my body and mind. Crunchwrap with extra cheese and sour cream: healthy.
Looking at Bush's smug expression (i.e. smirk) as he continues to explain the necessity of a U.S. "victory" in Iraq: not healthy.

I did watch Jim Webb's response on YouTube this morning: very well done.

SO let's take a look at this picture since it's all I have to go on from the speech (okay, i read the transcript because i am SICK but still--this is better):

What is going on here?

1. Is Nancy falling asleep or giving Bush the slanted evil eyes? Where is Nancy's flag pin? (Oh wait, of course she isn't wearing the flag because SHE HATES PEOPLE and OUR SOLDIERS and FETUSES and FAMILIES and GOD. right?).

2. Is Cheney plotting his lies for the Libby trial? Trying not to give Nancy a left-handed, backhanded slap in the face? Pondering the latest task Satan has given him? (nah...that'll be a piece of cake).

3. Is Bush using his "THIS [insert issue--war, oil, war, education, war, terrorism] IS SO OBVIOUS, SO SIMPLE" tone which is directed at anyone who has EVER questioned one of his policies?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Disturbing Reports

I've heard disturbing reports about Taco Bell visits from two friends in the last 24 hours. I feel it is my duty, as the unofficial mascot/critic/employee of Taco Bell, to relay negative stories about Taco Bell not in order to give it a bad name, of course, but for a mostly supportive reasons:

1. in hopes that someone out there--perhaps an official spokesperson/researchers/mailroom clerk for Taco Bell reads this blog and will report to the higher-ups. i'm pretty sure the folks at Taco Bell are reading this blog and finding a way to use it to their creative and financial gain but haven't alerted me so as to keep their money to themselves. (this thinking is why i had to insert "mostly" before the aforementioned "supportive").
2. so the TB headquarters can send a memo to managers, nationwide, calling on them to be on the lookout for persisting problems and customer complaints.
3. to remind Taco Bell, that it has yet to completely weather the effects of the E-Coli mess. Some people have smartly chosen not to allow that scare to prevent them from future visits to the border. You MUST keep these folks returning. They may not care about E-Coli but they care about sauce and service.

With that introduction, the incidents at hand:

1. Whipcreamy ordered two bean burritoes sans onions from the drive-thru. she drove away with her order correct but only TWO mild sauce packets. TWO!!! some people would riot at such a discovery. Luckily, Whipcreamy is completely rational.
2. James sat in a Taco Bell drive-thru for 5 minutes without service. Remaining patient for a bean and rice burrito and nachos, he assumed there was just some backlog inside. UNTIL he realized the car behind him had been served. While it's unknown how this seemingly impossible incident took place, it did. He said nicely to the woman at the window, Hey, what about ME? (or something like that). She walked away. He went inside and ordered. He did not request or receive a free meal.

So for them and others who have been shown the door, in some fashion--be it through service, sauce, cheese, or otherwise insult, please let Taco Bell know your experience.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy Friday from the Boys!

This Friday's workload will not allow me to write a sufficiently insightful and thought-provoking post so I must leave it to my cats to greet you.

They don't really like writing about Taco Bell but they would like eating it if I were nice enough to share it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Only Reason I Will Watch the Superbowl

My blogging ability has been limited this week so this news may strike you as "old" (24 hours old), but it's KFed and therefore needs attention.

Kevin Federline (who likes to think himself "The Gangsta Formerly Known As KFed) is in an insurance ad which will premier during the Superbowl.

As you will read, he goes from riches to rags in the commercial. This is what he calls "all in good fun." He is a comic. He is HILARIOUSLY smart and outrageous. We are laughing WITH him, not AT him. We are laughing AT Britney and her new Federline look-alike boyfriend, not WITH her.

The "rags" part of the commercial features working at a fast-food restaurant. It's not Taco Bell, though. It's at a fryer. I guess since he said he wants his kids to learn a good work ethic by working at Taco Bell, he didn't want to associate this fast-food restaurant with "rags". right? I am not crediting him with too much intellectual power, am i?

Today, he explained that 2007 is going to be a GREAT year for him.

Note the end of this article wherein he notes that he has "to go through the Dora, the Explorer stuff, I do that in the morning." He then explains: "I do that with the kids."

No, really? A gangsta can't let his potential ladyfriends think for a second that he might be going through the Dora the Explorer process (whatever that is) alone.

An Overdue Report

Last spring, I reported that my friend Ganga, while in Tanzania, had enjoyed a bite of a Taco Bell enchilada care of a kit sent to one of her friends. I think she wept from its goodness, knowing a long time would follow before she had "real" Taco Bell.

However, Whipcreamy and I took to the streets of our respective cities to find this Taco Bell "kit". What was it? Where could we get it? We must find it, eat it, and report on it. The search was eventually called off. Or so I thought. Safeways, K-Marts, Giants, authentic Mexican grocery stores all did not carry this item. Though we had Taco Bell restaurants at hand, we still empathized with Ganga.

Many long months passed. I forgot my purpose. Thankfully, Whipcreamy received a one month free trial membership to BJs. BJs is a Sams Club, a Costco, etc. A Buy Large Quanities of Food and Toothpaste and Try to Eat/Use It All Before It Goes Bad sorta place.

So on New Year's Eve, Whipcreamy shows up with a Taco Bell Taco Kit complete with: refried beans, 12 hard taco shells, 10 taco tortillas, nacho chips, nacho cheese, and two huge sauce packets. on the box it says: "just add onions, cheese, beef, sour cream, guacamole, and tomatoes!"--not quite the usual "just add water" label. but whateves! it was a box full of intrigue and expectations and i am forever indepted to whip for this.

There were too many people with which to share this treasure at the New Year's gathering so I busted it out the day of my return to D.C.

We added onions, tomatoes, and cheese. We made double decker tacos. soft tacos. hard tacos. it was DELICIOUS. part of me has a hard time crediting Taco Bell with the deliciousness, though, because the cheese and onions and tomatoes are a big part of the experience. If i opened the box and hadn't had cheese...can you imagine??

I did come to a couple possibly life-changing realizations:

Realization #1. Taco Bell is STINGY. check out the amount of refried beans included in the kit:

Yes, that is right, the gray can above is the amount of refried beans (a cheap ingredient, yes) included in a kit with 12 TACO SHELLS and 10 TORTILLAS!! I know it said to add ground beef but seriously, shouldn't we expect the beans to fill at least half of the shells? Look at it--practically as big as a can of tuna (no, tuna was not included in the kit, thankfully).

which brings me to realization #2:
Is Taco Bell so cheap because they are so stingy in other markets? If so, I suppose I can deal with sufficient amount of beans lacking. And for the record, these beans look different than the beans at the restaurants. they don't look like the "just add water" type. so that's good. maybe that is also why they felt the need to skimp. who knows, maybe it's the e-coli scandal. Also, the nacho chips are different: circles, not triangles. And the sauce included inthe kit is different from the sauce in the little packets served at Taco Bells. Why the difference? Stinginess is the only option. ANd you know, i say i can accept stinginess if it brings a deal around the corner in a different format but i think that is a lie. stinginess is never acceptable.

realization #3: eating nachos not as an appetizer but along side the main menu items is brilliant. i know this realization is past due, to say the least, but it if neither my realizations 1 ro 2 strike you as life changing, this one should. I have to credit my friend James for this technique. He's been hiding it from me for awhile but I shall give kudos nonetheless. The remarkable thing it does is prolong the meal. You don't want that cheese gordita crunch ever to fully disappear into your body, do you? well, it'll last longer if you eat some chips--a break if you will.

Here is a picture just to give you a better idea of the kit's contents:

(yes, that is my kitchen. quaint, eh?)

And another example of the stinginess--look at these little shells!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fantastic News out of Montreal

The first ever Taco Bell has just opened in Montreal.
Congrats, Canada. The reasons to move to your country continue to unfold.

This is a great article. This is the second time this week, I've posted a newspaper column I've enjoyed. It has begun to renew my faith in journalism.

I've attached the link but feel it necessary to highlight the best passages because there are some good ones! As you'll see, Erik Leijon utilizes his descriptive skills, most likely drawn out by his admiration of the Taco Bell franchise and some of its menu items.

Thinking outside the bun

Junk food gourmands rejoice as Taco Bell arrives in Montreal


In highly secretive fashion, the first-ever Taco Bell crossed the border to our belle province on December 18, 2006. Finally, the days of disrupting one’s bowel movements solely on poutine are over, even if Quebec’s identity is further distorted by this American born-and-bred franchise’s arrival. Strange that after years of speculation and Mirror Best of Montreal polls suggesting a strong desire for greasy Tex-Mex, Taco Bell’s grand entrance would be anything but.

Not only is the Taco Bell Canada Web site’s French section still under construction, but the postal code restaurant locator search engine will yield no results (FYI, the inaugural purple shack is on the corner of Pierrefonds and Hymus in the West Island). Annik Labrosse, the Quebec marketing manager of Priszm, the company with exclusive licence on opening Taco Bell franchises in the province, says the official opening will occur in March, and currently they’re getting the kinks out.

“We’ve been discussing it for a year, maybe more,” she says. “Also, we’ve been busy opening Taco Bells in the rest of Canada. We opened in the rest of Canada first since we could advertise in the same language.”

Easy to swallow

Another pressing problem is that Montreal’s Taco Bell, which is also a PFK (both are served at the same counter), closes at 11 p.m. on weekends, and therefore the proud American tradition of filling up on chalupas after a night on the town hasn’t arrived yet.

Indeed, most Americans can’t imagine living without a Taco Bell (the first one opened in California in 1962) and cannot fathom someone never having tasted the sweet tang of TB’s artificial cheese. As a half-Mexican, I’ve consumed enough tacos to fill a casket, and to its credit, Taco Bell really does taste different from the standard fare.

Taco Bell’s primary cholesterol (35-60 mg) packed weapon is the “Gordita” (loosely translated into “chubby”), a taco featuring either steak, chicken or beef. The extra squeamish should avoid the beef, which, although usually blocked by huge pieces of iceberg lettuce, looks like an unappealing brown paste. The “Cheesy Gordita Crunch” (500 calories) is a hard shell taco, wrapped in a thin film of cheese and a soft shell.

Every fast food place has a signature taste or texture to foster familiarity, and Taco Bell’s is the contrast between the warmish meat and the cool sour cream, cheese and lettuce. The tightly-packed meat has a velvety consistency that makes for easy swallowing, and the yellow topping on the “Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes” is oddly translucent. Although ultimately the food is no more or less digestible than a Big Mac, the Taco Bell cheese and bread are filling enough that the average person will likely only need two tacos in a lunch sitting, and the price is on par with burger places.

Fat and fiesta

As a supposedly health-conscious fast food chain, Taco Bell has introduced the Fresco Style menu, which involves replacing the fatty sauce/cheese of any taco with fiesta sauce, “a zesty mix of diced tomatoes, diced white onions and cilantro.” Judy Campbell-Gordon, a registered dietician and Food Lab coordinator at McGill University School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, would prefer Taco Bell acolytes to cut the extras, citing that “things they add on, like sauces and mayonnaise, are usually what contribute [to excess calories], since they’re pretty generous with how much they put. Often the fat will come mostly from the meat or how they cook the meat, if it’s fried or deep-fried.” She does say it is possible to consume fast food occasionally as part of a sensible diet. Vegetarians can also replace any meat with non-fried beans (Taco Bell is known for its malleable menu).

Fat content was the last thing on the minds of Taco Bell’s dedicated first batch of guinea pigs. On three separate visits by this reporter, the line-up extended to the door and the drive-thru line of cars coiled around the building and extended into the parking lot. The general consensus from customers was that Québécois have been deprived for too long, while still being subjected to those Chihuahua commercials of yesteryear (the dog is no longer with the company).

Interest has been further piqued by Montrealers trying it elsewhere, an action that oddly felt like eating a forbidden fruit. Labrosse believes Mexican food itself was something of an enigma in the province until recently. “Ten years ago, there would only be a few items like taco shells in grocery stores, but now you’ll find an aisle full of Mexican food, and it’s becoming more prevalent to cook Mexican food at home.”

E.coli be damned

It won’t be called la Cloche, but the typical French language hurdles needed to be jumped during Priszm’s year of market research. The French slogan is already up on the Web site (“Sauve un pain à hamburger. Mange un Taco”) and there were some minor menu name changes. For instance, the popular Crunchwrap Supreme is now the “Wrap croquant suprême,” but burrito and taco slid past the trigger-happy correction pen at the language police offices.

Last December, just before the Montreal branch opened, an E.coli outbreak attributed to Taco Bell got 63 Americans sick and caused the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to report that Taco Bell Canada had removed green onions from its menu. That didn’t result in Taco Bell’s muted inauguration here.

“Right away, there were measures taken in the States and Canada to make sure the food was safe to eat,” says Labrosse, “and the news (of the outbreak) didn’t last very long in Quebec.”

Next time, maybe la nation will take greater personal interest. But by then, we’ll be complaining that there are no chipotles.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Carmen Electra

Whipcreamy tried to comment recently on this blog but apparently blogspot has taken up with former issues and is not allowing comments. I haven't even talked smack about the e-coli scandal recently. okay, i just did this morning, but other than that...

so apparently carmen electra is now doing taco bell ads. I haven't seen them. Nothing is posted on YouTube (if it's not on YouTube, does it really exist?).

First, I do not like Carmen Electra. She is better than Paris Hilton, certainly, so I don't expect something as horrendous as the Paris Hilton/Carl's Jr carwash ad but I am worried.

Whipcreamy also noted the similarity (reverse similarity) in carmen's name/initials and e-coli. it's deep. go with it.

You've Got to Fight For Your Right...

A Barberton, Ohio man went to court to fight for his right to order a bean burrito from Taco Bell.

OKay, he didn't choose to go to court. The court ordered him to come hither because he displayed some public intoxication outside the Taco Bell drive through.

Here's the thing: the dining room was closed and he didn't have a car so he thought he'd walk through the drive through. He was unrulely and disruptive after Taco Bell denied him his order because he wasn't in a car.

I have some opinions on the matter:

1. shouldn't society reward not driving? not serving someone because he isn't in a car?!?!?!?!
2. especially, shouldn't society reward not driving DRUNK?
3. in the best Taco Bell in the country--in Santa Barbara--they have a walk-up window. why don't other TBs follow suit?
4. doesn't Taco Bell want to sell as many bean burritoes as possible after the E-Coli business?

While I defend this man's right to walk through the drive through, I must comment on his "revenge" on Taco Bell. Telling other customers, lucky enough to have cars, that the restaurant was closed, sending them away heartbroken is cruel. But I don't think he learned his lesson in the end. Next time he is going to drive drunk through the drive through and Taco Bell will gladly serve him. I guess walkers must unite on a petition. I can't head up that protest, though. Most Taco Bells in D.C. don't have drive thru's but do have a host of other problems that need fixing (later hours, cleaner restaurants, sauce packet free-for-all).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I Know I Have Talked Smack about Journalists...

But here's one I can support. He is heartbroken about the loss of his local Taco Bell. Nuff said, probably, but read on if you like. Surely it will elicit sympathy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

There's Only One Way to Introduce This Blog to 2007

Happy New Years, dear readers. I've probably wished most of you that greeting in person by now but nonetheless, there it is. again. I've had a hard time adjusting to the calls of the blog this year. This is only my third day working this year and so time has been limited. I have a lot to share, though--namely, some very interesting relevants about Taco Bell.

But until I get the time to sit down and really delve deep into those stories and thoughts and feelings, I am going to give you a few grand stories on our favorite celebrity Taco Bell lovers.

We've got KFed texting LiLo. Even he is too terribly for her sluttiness.

We've got Britney having a heart to heart with the media and her fans. This statement was issued after Britney fell asleep from "exhaustion" at a club at 1 a.m. on the early morning of January 1, 2007.

how are these two ever going to find love again, that is, outside of a grill stuft burrito?