June 29, 2008

A Better Burrito

Don't panic, but Taco Bell changed the value menu.

Well, a few seconds of panic might be allowed. The value menu was just about divine, after all. But take a moment to study the new value menu, and that intense pressure sitting on your lungs will evaporate. There are only nine items on it, and they're priced at 79 cents, 89 cents or 99 cents. It's cheap and simple.

Feel free to grumble about sacrificing the larger variety and better name of the old "Big Bell" value menu for the fake excitement of the newly named "Why Pay More!" offering. But there is one gem that makes the change worthwhile: The 89 Cent Cheesy Double Beef Burrito.

Normally Taco Bell beef is cause for an abundance of stomach cramps. For whatever reason, the double beef burrito is immune to the problem. Maybe the slathering of Velveeta cheese coats the abrasive molecules in the beef and passes them safely through the small intestine.

And it tastes great. There is just enough zest in the beef, cheese and seasoned rice that it doesn't taste like a ground-up cheeseburger. And it's not so much that you think it's been drizzled in hot sauce, either.

At 89 cents, these beg to be bought in pairs or even sets of three. One burrito makes a good cheap snack and two or three can be an economical and filling dinner.

There is one piece of beef where the beef is concerned, however. While the burrito has a pretty good amount of meat in it, I don't know that there is enough to justify a "double" designation. Double means two hamburger patties in one bun. Double means so much caffeine you can barely handle your espresso. This burrito is long and skinny. It's more of a "Cheesy Extra Beef Burrito" than a double.

It's still worth swinging by The Bell to try out the new menu. The 89 Cent Double Beef Burrito gets four sporks out of five -- just don't panic if you have to wait in line.

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