Taco Bell Isn't What It Used to Be - And They Don't Care

In recent years, Taco Bell has removed several tried-and-true items from their menu that I have ordered for decades, and they have replaced those menu items with - crap.

Taco-Hell

Believe it or not, I sent Taco Bell a letter asking if they bother checking with their customer base before making unilateral decisions that impact millions of loyal customers. And believe it or not, Taco Bell replied back - with the exact sort of dismissive, marketing rhetoric that one would expect. ("We test all of our menu items ... blah, blah, blah.")

In the end, I think Taco Bell has someone at the helm who is trying to shake things up and attract new customers, which is a good thing - but only so long as you don't piss off your original customer base. With that in mind, it's pretty obvious to most people who used to love Taco Bell that they suck now; but what's worse is - they really do not appear to care.

 

Sniff, sniff... I miss the Enchirito...

(... and Steak Baja Gorditas... and Volcano Burritos... and Double-Decker Tacos... and Pintos & Cheese... and Caramel Apple Empanadas... etc.)

Crying face

An Ode to SOS

I belong to a few different Veteran's forums, and recently someone mentioned that they had completed their tour of service without ever having tried the military's infamous SOS, which is an "affectionate" name for creamed ground beef over biscuits. The name is an acronym for (ahem) "Stuff on a Shingle," (although in Army parlance it's a different four-letter word instead of "stuff.")

SOS

Nevertheless, I thought that it might be fun to write a few words as an homage to one of the most-hated and yet most-loved dishes in the military cookbook. SOS may have tasted awful, but it was better than starving, and it taught me to be truly thankful for what I had.

I do not mean to sound so rude
By poking fun at Army food
But I have had their SOS
And can attest it's not the best
I've also had green eggs and ham
And a dozen types of mangled spam
I did not think those things existed
Until such time as I enlisted

My stomach now is ironclad
And can withstand when food is bad
If I sit back and reminisce
Those tasteless morsels I dismiss
Time, it seems, has helped to heal
My memories of horrid meals
Of MREs and old C-RATs
Which tasted more like stale, dried cat

The Army cooks, they tried their best
To create something we could digest
Suffice to say, we still survived
The food was bad, but we're alive
To bring my story to a close
I'd like to say before I go
That SOS may taste like crap
But it's better than a long, dirt nap

Smile

I Love a Good Salsa

I can be somewhat adventurous when it comes to food; I've been to lots of places around the world, and I'm generally willing to try the local cuisine - even though I've sometimes wound up sick from doing so. But that being said, anyone who knows me well should know that my favorite fare is Mexican food; this is due in large part to growing up in Arizona. As a direct result of my southwest-inspired cultural and environmental surroundings during my formative years, most people who know me are also aware that when it comes to salsa, I can be quite picky. I have been known to leave a restaurant because of bad salsa, and I have brought my own salsa to other restaurants.

It is also common knowledge that I like my salsa hot - somewhere between Habanero Peppers and Ghost Peppers is my ideal temperature range. If my sinuses haven't been cleared up by the time I'm done eating, it wasn't hot enough. That being said, a good salsa is not just about scalding what is left of my taste buds; anyone can make a sweltering salsa, but it has to have enough flavor to make the heat worth the pain. It takes skill to make a salsa hot and delicious at the same time.

One of the many reasons why I loved to have lunch with my friends and co-workers Keith Moore and Wade Hilmo in Seattle was that they shared my affection for a good salsa; any two or three of us would drive around to all of the Mexican restaurants in the Seattle area and judge their salsa. It was kind of amusing to watch us, because we would discuss the merits of various salsas like wine connoisseurs contemplating a rare vintage: "Hmm... I detect cilantro, a touch of garlic, minced onions, with just a hint of pineapple..." (Seriously - one restaurant used pineapple to counter the heat in one of their salsas, which was better than it might sound.)

Needless to say, I was quite happy when the Salsa Fairy arrived with a box of Mrs. Renfro's salsas earlier today... which you can plainly see in the following image. A second box of salsas arrived at the same time, and between the two boxes I had several jars of Mrs. Renfro's Habanero Salsa, Tequila Salsa, Chipotle Salsa, Pomegranate Salsa, and Mexican Hot Sauce.

Because I live in Arizona, I celebrated this momentous occasion with a half-dozen or so tacos - each with a different salsa.

Yup, life is good and all is well in the world…