Taco Bell has announced that in July they will begin selling items from a new “Cantina” menu, which will offer fancier fare than its patrons are accustomed to.  New items are said to be an introduction of “Gourmet Mexican” food to the fast-food market, and will contain ingredients such as black beans, cilantro rice, citrus and herb-marinated chicken and cilantro dressing.


Taco Bell

I’d like to know who thought that this would be a good idea.  I think it’s safe to say that the company’s demographic consists of drunken college students, and that weird subset of people who have never ventured south of the border and think that a Gordita is an example of authentic Mexican cuisine (it isn’t).

Apparently the company believes that this menu will offer items that are more appealing to the masses, than their usual combination of meat-bean-cheese wrapped in some kind of edible envelope. Don’t get me wrong I love Taco Bell, but it doesn’t need to be appealing.  Since when is food from Taco Bell something that people put any thought into before ordering?  You eat it because you’re drunk, and it’s cheap.  This leads me to my two biggest concerns with the whole ordeal:

Taco Bell is not something I can eat in the harsh light of day.  It’s best consumed at night while driving home from the bar when it’s weird mixture of maybe-it’s-meat-maybe-it-isn’t, goes down better sight unseen.  And now, they want to get all fancy with special sauces, and especially designed containers?  I know it’s said that people “eat with their eyes”, but this might be the only eatery where that is not true.

My biggest beef (or beef-like protein in this case) with the new menu is that its items are predicted to cost in the range of $5 to $7.  Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a problem, but the beauty of Taco Bell is that with only $3 to your name you can purchase a bag stuffed with tortilla wrapped meats; the contents of which taste like nothing you’ve had before in your life.  If a college student can afford to pay $7 dollars for fast food, they’re going to skip the Bell and head on over to Raising Cane’s.

Of course I say all of this knowing that I will eventually order one of these items.  I had originally said “no” to the company’s Locos Taco (a taco with a shell made of Doritos), though I’ve eaten at least a round dozen of those since their inception.