If I've said it once, I've said it a million times--people who really love food, love Taco Bell. In fact, of the people who's palates, food enthusiasm, and culinary sensibilities I truly trust (chefs, food writers, recipe developers, other foodish and restauranty people, etc.), I can't think of anyone who doesn't have a sacred place in their stomach for the Bell. I count myself in that.
There's a lot to love about TB--far more than what I can enunciate here. But to put it simply, the food part of me loves how literally nothing else in this world tastes quite like Taco Bell, the only accurate way to describe the flavor of their ground beef is as Taco Bell flavored... it is a unique eating experience that cannot be mimicked, but can and will be craved. And the media part of me loves their genius advertising ploys and menu gimmicks--they are the highest quality gimmicks (real talk, I sure as shit was in that drive-thru the morning they started serving a breakfast menu with a waffle taco).
One thing to note about Taco Bell-loving fools in the food media industry, we all have our own way of doing this--all of which are ritualistic orders I am confidently advising you to trust if you:
A. Believe yourself to be above Taco Bell.
B. Are under the impression that you love food, but do not like Taco Bell.
C. Haven't been to Taco Bell since the last time you smoked dope in high school.
D. Straight up have never been to a Taco Bell.
- Side note--this spiel is happening because none of our current interns had ever eaten Taco Bell... which is a bizarre phenomenon that had to be reversed immediately because it was freaking me out. So an educational Taco Bell field trip was arranged for them and after crowd sourcing so much collective wisdom to help train them on forming a proper Taco Bell order, I felt it was duty as a journalist to share this information with the public.
Without further delay, here's the inspired advice and orders lovingly passed from our staff family to yours to guide you on all future Taco Bell endeavors--live más. Here's what ordering like a pro looks like:
"My old school order is a bean burrito with no (raw!) onions. Sometimes I add one Doritos Locos (nacho) supreme if feeling hungover. A new thing I've been doing: Cantina Power(!) steak burrito and I add black beans. It's big, has protein, fiber, a little fat from guac without a ton of heavy cheese, and can keep me full for a long time. TB is the only fast food place I let myself frequent, and I unashamedly love it." --Cindy Hatcher, Cooking Light Senior Editor
"I don't really have any menu hacks, but my thing has always been to order cinnamon twist. That's my Taco Bell guideline, always always always get the cinnamon twists. You can't find those anywhere else!" --Jessica Colyer, MyRecipes Production Assistant
"I probably eat from Taco Bell once every week (don't judge me). I usually order the same thing: chicken quesadilla with a soft shell taco (chicken or beef) and a 4-pack Cinnabon. I tried their Doublezilla two weeks ago and was not impressed. For that reason, I try not to deviate from my go-to meal because most Taco Bells can be hit or miss with the grill. I guess my only tip or trick is to order from the mobile app. You save a lot of wait time because you can let them know when you're close, and they save all your previous orders (if you're a creature of habit like myself). You can customize your order better from the app as well. But what I love most about the app is they always have some sort of promotional offer or special discount available via the app only, which explains why I eat there so much. Also, they've recently started a BOGO free taco special for Taco Tuesday." --Michelle Darrisaw, Cooking Light Editorial Assistant"Grilled steak soft taco. It's like a classier version of the plain soft taco, and the crema on it is divine. Also, ask for the quesadilla sauce on any of your tacos for a spicy-creamy kick. That's really it. I'm not much of a rebel." --Kimberly Holland, Cooking Light Digital Editor
"I get a Nacho Bellgrande, add jalapenos. I use 2 packets of fire sauce--one at the beginning and one halfway through, but you have to open both packets before you start eating because your hands will be messy. Start with the dry chips at the bottom and dip them in the toppings. Otherwise, if you just eat off of the top, you end up with a bunch of chips with no toppings (P.S. this is a good general nacho strategy). I used to get 2 Baja steak chalupas as well--one for dinner and one to put in the fridge for breakfast the next morning with some Sriracha. The shell of this takes on a nice texture when chilled (think cold pizza in the AM). They don't make Baja chalupas anymore, but I suppose a steak chalupa would do, as the shell/tortilla is really the key to the chalupa--be it hot or cold. Also, their chicken is disgusting. Also also, Mountain Dew is the only pairing for Taco Bell." --Robin Bashinsky, Time Inc. Food Studios Recipe Developer
"CRUNCHWRAP SUPREME BEEF NO TOMATOES LARGE PEPSI
(ONLY WHEN DRUNK) <-- USUALLY"--Nicole Gerrity, Cooking Light Graphic Designer
"Beefy Fritos Burrito: better and cheaper than the Beefy Crunchy Burrito." --Colter Levi Longshore, husband of MyRecipes Multimedia Editor (speaking on behalf of his household)
"It depends on how much of a buzz I have. I usually opt for max calories--Double Decker Taco Supreme, chicken quesadilla, soft taco supreme, burrito supreme... WITH STEAK, Dorito Loco Taco, cinnamon twists, and a water. I go hard at the Bell." --Matthew Moore, Cooking Light Digital Project Manager
"I LOVE a good Cheesy Gordita Crunch. Also that blue drink (What's it called? Blue Crush or something?) is a popular choice among my friend group." --Emma Crist, MyRecipes Assistant Editor"Two Doritos Locos Tacos--one Cool Ranch and one Nacho Cheese (because dietary variety is important)--and one plain soft taco with fire sauce, which I will typically eat about one hour after eating my Doritos Locos Tacos. It's like my dessert taco." --Darcy Lenz, MyRecipes Editor