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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taco Bell - Pacific Shrimp Taco

  Are you old?  Do you like to dance?  Taco Bell has something for you!  That's right, now Taco Bell is offering a free glass of pop to all seniors.  (I'm assuming that high school and college seniors need not apply)  Yep, nothing better than sugar water (essentially cotton candy in a cup) to put some pep in your step, and get you off your feet and dancing!

  Ok, in all seriousness, it is nice that they are offering something free to the older folks, but couldn't it have been an actual food item off the value menu?

  I paid a visit to one of the many local Taco Bell locations a few days ago, since I had a coupon for a free crunchy seasoned beef taco with any purchase.  Unfortunately, the coupon said no photocopies, so I can't provide a printable scan here.  The coupon itself was interesting because of how it seemed to stress the fact that it was 100% beef with seasonings.  Of course, you can't be 100% beef if part of the mixture is seasonings.  I'm guessing that the coupon was damage control to help shape public perception after the recent lawsuit filed by some folks who believe they can prove that Taco Bell is only using about 50% beef in their beef tacos.

  Hey, free is free in any case, and I hadn't eaten at a Taco Bell in some months, so I gave them a try.  In addition to the crunchy beef taco, I ordered a Beefy 5 layer burrito, as well as a new addition to the menu - the Pacific Shrimp Taco.  The latter is an interesting mix - seafood and Mexican.

  The beef taco was crunchy and beefy, with loads of lettuce, tomato and cheese that elevate it a bit above the unremarkable.  Adding some sauce makes it a decent choice for a buck.  The Beefy 5 Layer Burrito, also a buck, is a fantastic deal, however.  I think it has become my new favorite on their value section of the menu.  It has loads and loads of cheese, and I think it is about twice as hefty as the taco as far as filling you up.

  I had mixed feelings about the Pacific Shrimp Taco.  That's it in the right rear section of the food photo.  Although the advertising seems to show a crunchy taco, and my receipt definitely shows that I purchased what I wanted, I received something with a soft wrap.  I'm thinking now that I probably got the Pacific Shrimp Burrito put on my tray by mistake.  Unlike the marketing photo, the shrimp were buried so deeply that I thought perhaps I had been given a completely different item, but I finally found them.  The taste was excellent, with ranch sauce and quite a bit of tomato bits.  However, I felt it was perhaps a bit overpriced at $2.80, because it was not very filling.

  One of the more interesting discoveries I made while visiting was in the sauce department.  For about the last decade, I've never used any of the sauces when I ate at Taco Bell.  I guess I already think of the food as spicy, and evidently I was thinking that there wasn't any reason to add more spices.  However, this time I was looking at the sauces and decided to try Salsa Verde and Fire Roasted.  Surprisingly, I very much liked both!  Neither was hot at all, but they had excellent flavor.  The Verde has a tangy sweet taste, while the Fire Roasted has an appropriate smoky tomato flavor.  Good job to these guys for coming up with a couple of sauces I would like to have at home.

Copyright 2011 Dayton Dining

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