Taco Bell, again?

Right off the bat, let me state the following. Yes, I realize this is pretty much the 3rd Taco Bell-related post I've made in a row. The difference here is that, while the past two have been shit-slinging tirades about how much new stuff sucks, this one will have significantly less shit-slinging. In fact, I'm mostly going to be saying nice things. Mostly. Won't you please join me in Taco-land?

Taco Bell Border Salsas

Not to be confused with the standard Border Sauces (Mild, Hot and Fire), the new Border Salsas are a slightly 'chunkier' sauce (similar consistency to Fire sauce) available in Salsa Verde and Fire-Roasted Salsa. I will cover them individually, to avoid confusion.

WARNING: This is going to be a few paragraphs just talking about sauce. I understand that not everyone shares my passion for the concept of sauces. I understand that I'm a big loser for caring this much. If you don't give a crap, feel free to skip to the next section. But don't you even think about skipping that section too, because I'll know man... I'll know.

Salsa Verde - If there's one thing I love most when it comes to mexican food, it's a really nice Salsa Verde. Unfortunately, this is not one. Don't get me wrong, it's actually pretty good. In fact, by Border Sauce/Salsa standards, it's probably second place as far as taste goes (Fire sauce is still my #1 guy). But salsa verde is pretty tasty too. In fact, I think more fast food places should take up this idea (for things like breakfast burritos and the like).

Fire-Roasted Salsa - Sucks out loud. I just want to get that out there from the start. This Salsa sucks. So. Bad. (Just my opinion, of course). The downfall for this alleged salsa (hereafter known as 'sauce') is that it lacks any form of peppers. I understand the desire to make a sauce that would appeal to people who don't like spicier sauces, but this sauce is almost ridiculously tame. It is almost all tomato (Fire Roasted tomato puree, Tomato Paste, and a bit of garlic and onion powder), so it ends up tasting like kind of sweet ketchup or barbecue sauce. Awful, awful stuff. Enough talk about sauces, let's dig into the real food now! (Ooh, did you see that pun I did there "dig in". Man, I'm a natural!)

Crispy Potato Soft Taco - I don't know if this is actually new or not, but this is the first time I've ever noticed it on the menu. Essentially it is Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes in a taco shell. However instead of nacho cheese and sour cream, the potato chunks are topped with pepper jack sauce (the same as was on the short-lived Black Jack Taco), lettuce, and shredded cheese. It's surprisingly tasty. I love those potatoes, and all the ingredients go well together. I tried a few bites with Fire sauce, but it kind of overpowered everything else. Salsa Verde was not bad on it, either, but I think with something like this, it's best as is. Also, it's filling and super cheap ($0.89). Not something I want to eat all the time, but it's something I'll be going for again when I'm low on cash. The only downside I noticed was that the big chunks of potato make the taco fall apart more easily.

XXL Chalupa - This is pretty much the perfect Taco Bell chalupa, as far as toppings go. Nacho cheese sauce, Fiesta salsa, even the sour cream (which I'm normally not a fan of) is great on this. It all goes well together and did I mention there's a buttload of beef in there? It's a bit unwieldy to eat without spilling out the other end, but could be tackled with a fork like a taco-salad. The chalupa shell is also very good and crispy. The big downside is that the red tortilla strips get placed between the beef and the nacho cheese, so they end up getting soggy before you even start eating it. They are pretty much undetectable. If they were layered in differently they'd add much more interesting texture.

All in all, Taco Bell has really been getting back in the game when it comes to delicious bad-for-you food.

Salsa Verde - "it's actually pretty good"
Fire Roasted Salsa - "This Salsa sucks. So. Bad. (Just my opinion, of course)"
Crispy Potato Soft Taco - "surprisingly tasty... filling and super cheap"
XXL Chalupa - "pretty much the perfect Taco Bell chalupa"


Even more taco-related posting

Not to beat a dead-horse taco (coming soon from Taco Bell). But I just bought a box of Jose Ole frozen mini-tacos. I microwaved them for 2 minutes, and they have more flavor than a Taco Bell Cantina Taco.

I'm just saying.


Update time!

What? You say I totally lied before about deciding to post to this blog more? You say I haven't updated in months and months? Yeah, so what? I've been busy!

But, I've decided that, in an effort to push myself back into the habit of writing more, it's time to expand the focus of this blog. For a long time it was all comics, all the time (with a handful of movie reviews and random food stuff). That said, I've got some new interests in my life that I want to discuss when I feel the need. For starters, I've rediscovered that I like to cook. I went to culinary school for a few years to become a chef, but dropped out because I don't like cooking for mass amounts of other people. Now that me and food have started to smooth things back out, I'll be using this to share random recipes I come up with or enjoy, as well as to talk about anything involving food that I feel the need to share (see the review of Taco Bell's butt tacos below). I am also very involved in pro-wrestling as of late. I'll probably talk about that alot as well. Whether you like it or not. So, in addition to all the noise from before, get ready for more shit you probably don't really care about reading.

Also, I still curse alot. So, if you don't want to read dirty wordies, you should probably go somewhere else for your bullshit blog purposes. See everybody again soon. Or not. Really depends on if I actually do another update after tonight.

The worst thing Taco Bell ever concieved.

So, today I was on my way to a writers meeting for a TV pilot I'm working on (coming soon?), and decided to stop off for a bite to eat at a nearby Taco Bell. The reason being that I had heard about TB's recent addition of "Cantina Tacos" to the menu.

You may or may not have seen the commercials for these bad boys, so allow me to explain for those who haven't. Essentially, the Cantina Taco is meant to be the equivalent to what one might find at any locally owned taqueria. They come in 3 varieties of Chicken, Steak, and Carnitas (a.k.a. pork), each served on a soft corn tortilla with onion and cilantro, and a wedge of fresh lime for garnish. Since there was a combo for all three and a large drink (also available individually or as a two-pack with no drink), I went with the combo. And guess what, they are balls nasty. Straight up suck city. Let's break it down piece by piece.

Starting with the outside, we have a double layer of soft corn tortillas. Now, I make no secret to the fact that I generally hate them no matter where they are from. Soft corn tortillas have a particular thickness and graininess that I've just never cared for. Not to mention the fact that they tend to get soggy in seconds flat from the various taco juices. I'd say the ones at TB are probably about on-par with any other soft-corn. So, if you like that kind of stuff this probably wouldn't be an issue for you. But, really, that was possibly the best tasting part of the whole taco. And, again, this is coming from someone who would generally rather shoot himself in the ass than eat a corn tortilla that isn't crunchy.

Moving inside we get to the meat and onion/cilantro mix. This is where the real problem comes in. Now, as mentioned before, these things come in three varieties. But, honestly, you could have fooled me. I opened the first one up, saw what appeared to be pork inside, and took a bite. Instead of delicious piggy goodness, I found myself with a mouthful of flavorless mush. The onion was there, and the cilantro was there, but the meat itself had absolutely zero flavor to it. I worked my way through it and to the next one. Opening that one up, I saw what I figured to be chicken. Again, no taste what so ever. The third one turned out to actually be the pork one (making the first one actually steak). The pork had a bit of actual flavor to it. Not good flavor, mind you, but enough to the point where you could at least tell it was pork. This is what I just don't understand. I really enjoy Taco Bell's normal steak soft tacos, and their chicken tacos are pretty good as well (though, I'm not a big chicken eater). How did they manage to make both usually tasty meats into this flavorless flesh-paste? It totally baffles me.

This brings me to the lime wedge. As I told the guys at the writes meeting that night, I'm pretty sure this is only included to disguise the fact that none of the main ingredients have a real taste. I figure they assume that if customers drown it in lime, they'll assume the lack of other flavors is just from too much citrus.

So, why would Taco Bell put such an ungodly selection of shit-filled tacos on their menu? Allow me to pose my conspiracy theory. They put the tacos on the menu and claim that they are of the equivalent to what one would find from a real taco joint. Customers order them, see how shitty they are, and assume that this must mean that real tacos taste like dick simmered in assjuice, and decide Taco Bell's normal tacos must be the pinnacle of flavor. It's brilliant, really. Until of course you realize that TB is promoting these things as better than their standard taco. So really, they are saying that normal tacos taste worse that ass.

Yum fucking yum. Way to go, champ.


COMING SOON: Nova City Stories

Written by Ryan Eldridge (that's me!) with art provided by Lyle Pollard (pencils), Peter Palmiotti (inks) and Mike Watkins (colors). Coming soon from Highburn Studios.


Searching for my lost love

A 23-year-old computer technician who loves to read comics, sleep in the nude, and wear a hat.


Where are you, McRib? I love you.


The day Chris Sims shat himself in awe. That day is today, ladies and gents.

Some of you may recall my brief stint as a staff writer over at ProjectFanboy.com. In my time there, I managed to get myself signed up on man mailing lists for publishers, etc when they promote new books. Usually it's stuff that's not of much interest to me, but today was a big exception to that rule. Today I learned about the greatest comic since Ayre Force.

Sucka, you'd better believe I'm talking about:


That's right, folks. This comic seems to be about Triple-H, Undertaker, and some guy in a hat* (Sorry, I haven't watched wrestling since the 90's. Wolfpac 4-Life) fighting zombies and a bunch of pissed Talky Tawny knock-offs. I assume they're pissed because the best gig they could get was appearing in WWE HEROES.

Anyway, I hear Mr. Sims is going to be covering this later tonight at Comics Alliance, so I'll let him fill in the real details, but I'll leave you with this actual description from the press release:

Issue #1 reveals an eternal rivalry set against the backdrop of the history of WWE. Why is the ruthless Shadow King so obsessed with WWE? What is the reason for his eternal and supernatural war with the Firstborn? And could his ancient opponent really be a member of the WWE roster?

*UPDATE 02/19/2010 : Further research has led me to know that this man in a hat is John Cena, and that I still totally like wrestling.