Ugly truth time: there are days when I actually crave Taco Bell.
Not just want it. Crave it. This often involves texting BrightSide at 5:30 with a plaintive “Taco Bell?!?” followed by multiple emoticons. Usually the taco. Often the googly eye face, too.
This is mortifying for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I’m in my forties. I mean, college students making a run for the Border is totally legit. But a middle aged mom of two? Yeah. That’s a little embarrassing.
I have absolutely no idea what that company puts in their food (which, admittedly, is a term I use loosely), but there are days when nothing else will do. PMS days in particular, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.
I’m a smart lady. Intellectually, I understand this food is terrible for me, and yet I still crave it. Body overrules brain every time, and the next thing I know I’ve got tacos and beer in front of me. It’s kind of hard to argue with tacos and beer.
The roller coaster of the taco alone is enough to bring tears to my eyes. A perfect crunchy taco is a piece of art. Crispy shell, filled to overflowing, melty cheese, and fresh lettuce. Add some mild sauce and mmmmm…delicious. But the bitter disappointment of a taco gone wrong? Oh, the sorrow of a cracked shell. Soggy bottoms that stick to the wrapper. Chintzy fillings and stale taco shells. Unwrapping those surprises makes for a sad day.
The ratio of sauce to taco is a crucial component as well. Both BrightSide and I feel strongly that each taco requires two sauce packets to be properly, well, sauced. The fact that BrightSide uses hot and I use mild make for some interesting drive through orders, though. Ever seen the look on a bored employee’s face when your response to “Any sauce?” is “Yes, we need eight mild and six hot sauces, please.” No? Sometimes you get an exact count on packets; the rest of the time they’ll just dump enormous handfuls in the bag.
The Taco Bell menu itself holds some secrets as well. One crucial thing to understand is that an order of “nachos” from the Border will actually only get you some tortilla chips and cheese sauce. (Again, using the term “cheese” loosely.) If you want, you know, actual nachos then you have to order one of the upgrades of Nachos Supreme or Nachos Bellgrande (AKA a honking big plate of chips drowned in refried beans, ground beef, and melted orange cheese). Even then you’re usually dealing with a significant sogginess factor by the time you dig in.
Clearly Taco Bell is the devil. I know it’s no good for me, and I know there’s a better than 50% chance that my meal will disappoint me in some way.
But are we still making a run for the Border? Sí.
And yes, that makes me feel just a little bit ashamed.