Friday, October 31, 2008

Taco Bell Torture

I have a love hate relationship with Taco Bell. I love it because I can get full off the value menu while staying under my self imposed $2 a day lunch limit. And that’s why I hate it. The value menu items are in general pretty disgusting and really mess you up. But I just can’t resist.

In Grad school I would get a Double Decker taco and a hard shell taco for under 2 bucks and it tasted pretty good. Or sometimes I would replace one of the items with a Chili Cheese burrito (The Chili Cheese burrito is not offered at all Taco Bells which is a real shame. I’ve only seen it in Indiana). I ate that meal 3 or 4 times a week because the Taco Bell was only a block from school. I figured that once I was done with Grad school and had a job I could get off the Taco Bell lunch. But while working at Dell, Taco Bell came out with a half pound Beef Combo burrito for 1.29 which was a fabulous deal and just too good to pass up. And it tasted pretty good too once you added 3 packets of Fire sauce. I would usually get this and a hard shell taco which put me a little over 2 bucks but since I was employed I justified it. Then in May of this year Taco Bell introduced a new value menu that was even cheaper…and more disgusting. I didn’t think they could get any cheaper but they managed.

Initially I was pretty excited by this new menu and was especially intrigued by the 89 cent Cheesy Double Beef burrito. I figured it would be small but it turned out to be pretty hefty and was filled with rice, beef, and a Cheese Whiz like sauce. I quickly realized that this was far and away the best value on the menu. It weighed more than the other items and was cheaper. So now I could get two Cheesy Double Beef burritos for less than 2 bucks and the combined weight would be more than the half pound Beef Combo burrito and hard shell taco I had been eating. Once I realized I could get more food for less money I was hooked and I haven’t been able to stop since. Sure I’d like to have a Triple Steak burrito or any other number of items but I just can’t do it. That 89 cent Cheesy Double Beef burrito draws me in like the Siren’s song. Every day I stand in line scanning the menu looking for a better deal and trying to convince myself that I should order something different. And yet as soon as I get to the cashier my cheap skate instincts take over and I robotically say, “I’ll have two Cheesy Double Beef burritos.” I’m powerless in the face of such a great value.

I eat this same meal every day I’m down at BYU which is four days a week. I get 4 packets of fire sauce for each burrito and then open up the burrito, add the fire sauce and mix everything together since they have a tendency to put all the beef, rice, and cheese in separate sections. Once the burrito is open it looks like someone barfed inside a tortilla. I’m always self conscious that everyone walking by in the Cougar Eat is looking at me thinking “How could someone eat that garbage.” Anyway, I don’t see this pattern changing any time soon since I won’t be gainfully employed for at least another 4 ½ years. My only hope is that Taco Bell revamps their value menu. Or maybe wherever I go to dental school won’t have a Taco Bell close enough for lunch. But I sure hope there is one close because it’s awfully nice to fill up for under 2 bucks.