Liz Foster ’22 and Hunter Savery ’20
Four score and seven tacos ago, our forefathers set out to discover the most grotesque and obscure offerings within the greater Trinity bubble. The coastal elites are going to hate this, but for all the good, vest-wearing, taco-eating folk, this one is for you. We thank you for your service and expect you to thank us for ours.
Liz’s Crunchwrap Supreme:
Taco Bell is arguably one of my dietary staples. Consequently when the idea came to me to scrap a proposed Cave review in favor of an article about Taco Bell, I realized Hunter Savery ’20 and I were tasked with no small feat. Having ordered the exact same meal from Taco Bell for the better half of the past decade, I knew I had to switch it up for this review. I could describe Taco Bell’s objectively best products, the Crunchwrap Supreme and Doritos Locos Tacos, five hundred times over in my sleep and probably in other languages. Oui, oui, les tacos!
Scrolling through the DoorDash menu, I repeatedly attempted to shaft the responsibility onto Hunter, but he failed to provide adequate assistance. Eventually, we settled on the ominous “Mexican Pizza” and a “Quesarito,” which I imagined would be a burrito and quesadilla combo. The Mexican pizza seemed like it would be an insult to both Mexican and Italian cuisine, and for that reason alone, it was quickly thrown into the cart.
Though Hunter and I initially set out to review the cave this fine Friday evening, we assumed these interesting, albeit potentially disgusting, dishes were sure to make for fascinating content for our dedicated readers.
A key feature of Taco Bell’s combo orders is that each combo features multiple dishes and a drink. As the word combo implies, it is a combination of food. Our order of a Mexican Pizza combo and a Quesarito combo were missing at least once taco each and there was not a Mountain Dew Baja Blast to be seen anywhere despite our ordering not one, but two of the delicious blue beverages. With only a Mexican Pizza, a Quesarito, and allegedly a taco according to one of two A&E editors, a measly order of chips and guacamole, and two packets of mild sauce to work with, we knew that this was no easy task.
Visually, the food was disgusting, but to expect anything more from Taco Bell would be to ask too much. Sorry Brendan Clark, this is not Max Downtown. The Mexican Pizza was essentially an order of nachos on steroids. The pizza was comprised of four “slices” that were more like nacho sandwiches. Two chips sandwiched together a gross layer of refried beans as a layer of salsa and cheese sat atop the upper chip. Needless to say, I was confused, upset, and a bit scared. Were it not for the beans, this pseudo-pizza might have been alright, but the texture of the chips was soon destroyed by the overwhelming combination of sort-of wet ingredients. The quesarito was significantly more satisfying, but it would have been a more pleasant experience had there been more sauces to choose from. When it comes to Taco Bell sauces, I know exactly what I need: hot and fire. The diablo sauce is a bit too much for my precious taste buds, but the mild doesn’t quite satiate on its own. Drizzling hot and fire sauces all over my half of our shared quesarito would certainly have improved the tortilla heavy dish’s taste. However, the Mexican pizza’s shortcomings were enough to allow the quesarito to shine. The chips and guacamole were a mere one dollar and sixty nine (1.69) cents, so it feels unfair to complain too much given the amount I paid for the product. Regardless, the guacamole was just a bit wrong. I couldn’t identify exactly what element was stopping the guacamole from being guac-amazing, but I’m inclined to think the texture and unneeded sweetness were the main offenders. However, like a toxic relationship, I kept getting pulled in by the brief moments of satisfaction the avocado mush brought me. Unfortunately, Chipotle’s guac really is worth those extra few dollars.
Overall, this Taco Bell experience was one for the ages. Despite the inclement weather that terrorized Vernon Street, Hunter and I were able to acquire a meal that was just as confusing and disappointing as a meal from the Cave would have been. Tune in next week to see what food our laziness brings us to. 1.5/5.
Hunter’s Firey Chalupa:
In the wake of our Steve’s Bagels review, Liz Foster ’22 and I have been inundated with emails, phone calls, letters, Venmo requests, etc. clamoring for more high caliber Trinity culinary reviews. Thus, we set our sights on one of the two great hubs of gastronomic acceptability on campus: The Cave. It was a dark frigid November afternoon and the wind was howling across the grassy knoll between Vernon and North as I stood before the imposing concrete monolith known as High Rise. Making it across campus in this weather would be a Herculean feat, but for you dear readers, we would have no choice but to seriously consider it. Recalling the terror of being asked what kind of bagel we wanted at Steve’s, we were wary of the dangers presented by going to restaurants. We quickly came to the realization that we wouldn’t make it out of the building. Not in this climate. For this I apologize, it was our sincerest desire to bring you a Cave review and one is on the way, however this is something entirely different.
Brace yourself, this is a Taco Bell review.
I’m a lot of things, but decisive when ordering on DoorDash isn’t one of them. So after much deliberation we ordered a veritable smorgasbord of Taco Bell offerings. Taco Bell is a strange beast. It is vaguely Mexican inspired, but makes no genuine attempts to imitate Mexican cuisine. Cultural appropriation?Maybe. Culinary abomination? Certainly. Taco Bell is consistently gross and I feel gross after eating it, yet I still want it. Maybe there’s nicotine in the Baja Blast because though I may go months without eating Taco Bell, I always come back. It seemed like eons before our “food” arrived and in the meantime I gathered information for an upcoming exposé on life in High Rise 604. As our driver approached, Liz and I excitedly made our way to the parking lot. As with ordering bagels, we soon realized we were entirely out of our element. In the Siberian parking lot, there were three cars idling, none of which had our food, though we spent a great deal of time zigzagging through the parking lot peering into the vehicles of innocent bystanders. Finally, our driver pulled up alongside the curb in a Honda with windows tinted so dark I suspect they might have been painted black. Having secured the proverbial bag, we returned to the safety of High Rise.
Surveying our harvest, it became clear that a significant portion of our order was missing. Whether lost in transit or never made in the first place, we would be doing without the large spread we had ordered. What did survive the voyage was a Quesarito, chips and guac, a lone taco, and the coup de grâce: a “Mexican Pizza.” We divided the haul and dug in, noting our impressions and discussing the idiosyncrasies that make Taco Bell so unique. The Mexican Pizza is the most conversation worthy, so let’s dive right in. Have you ever had a pizza and thought to yourself: what if the sauce were beans? Someone at Taco Bell did, because the sauce here is indeed refried beans. The taste is not the offender here, not nearly as much as the triad of appearance, concept, and form.
A war crime by any other name, we ate the whole thing. The chips were perfectly good, but ordering guacamole from Taco Bell was not the brightest idea. There was hardly any flavor and the texture made it seem that this guac had spent some time in a freezer. The Quesarito was the tastiest offering, but it was chewier than I expected, I found myself fixated on the act of chewing, the yin to the Steve’s MPD yang.
This was no Michelin star meal. Gordon Ramsey would have obliterated us for engaging in this kind of behavior, and yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. Taco Bell is always the wrong idea, but that’s the point. If we ate good food all of the time, it would lose all meaning. There are enough yuppie foodie snobs shaming the proletariat for our Taco Bell pleasures. No I don’t want to eat a Beyond Burger, I want to eat a taco with a shell made of Doritos and meat that came out of a hose. My rating? 4/20.