Fast food focus: A place for all guilt-free eaters to discuss the cheapest, most fatty, salty American treats.
When it comes to fast food suggestions, there is no better source than fat Americans.
Our word carries more, for the lack of a better word, weight, because fast food chains were likely crucial in the process of making us super sized.
We are the reason for such inventions as Wendy’s Baconator, Burger King’s Quad-Stacker, and the ridiculous KFC Double-Down — a bread-less fried chicken sandwich with bacon and cheese.
Early in my journey to becoming a poster child for the world’s most obese country, I came up with an idea to enhance my regular high school senior-year 10-taco runs to the border. That idea was to replace Taco Bell’s standard crunchy corn taco shell with a giant nacho cheese Dorito.
12 years after coming up with the invention, Frito-Lay finally realized their recent partnership with Taco Bell was excluding that can’t-miss menu item.
The first installment of FFF (which may be the only, depending on how many Baconators I consume in the coming weeks), features Taco Bell’s latest creation.
Taco Bell on the inside. Doritos on the outside.
That’s the current slogan for Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos, and it was exactly as advertised.
The 50-year fast-food juggernaut released the newest version of its best-selling item onto its permanent menu of all 5,600 American restaurants on March 8. They even spent $75 million in advertising for it, which is three times the normal budget for new food items.
It is just a more expensive version of the regular 99-cent crunchy taco for $1.49 (supreme version with tomatoes and sour cream for $1.89), but the addition of the fake, powdered Doritos cheese exterior adds that something extra that has been missing for so long.
While the quality of Doritos is comparable to a freshly-opened, top-of-the-bag pull, the boost of cheese is only a little over-powering and offers the perfect compliment to those not satisfied with the small amount of dried-up shredded cheddar.
Best of all, the shell was opening-day fresh.
For those of you crunchy taco enthusiasts, you are well aware that Taco Bell’s regular shells are usually old and stale. It is not uncommon to get an overly chewy or broken apart exterior. With the extra help of a thick paper sleeve, the fresh Doritos shell holds together quite well until the last bite.
That alone is a reason to try the Doritos Locos Taco, but try it soon in order enjoy the freshest product possible.
Sadly, the first part of the new slogan is also true; it has Taco Bell on the inside.
Biting into an earthy tasting lettuce leaf spine and/or vine-end of a diced tomato is still very likely, while the dry cheese and Grade D ground beef, made with many non-beef ingredients, remains tolerable at best.
The sour cream on the supreme DLT enhances the overall experience a lot, so I expect the upcoming Cool Ranch Doritos version, which is rumored to be release in the Fall, to be another tasty alternative.
The DLT revived my faith in cheap dining, but I still have many discontinued favorites I hope will be brought back in the near future.
What are some of your favorite fast food items that are no longer available?
Here are a few of my, and my co-workers former favorites we wish would come back.
1a. KFC’s original recipe chicken strips: Extra crispy strips are the only fried version available now, and the extra breading is just too much. Why can’t they have an original recipe for every item? That famous addictive chemical “that makes you crave it nightly” works so well with everything, especially chicken strips. AND they don’t tear up the roof of your mouth like Cap’n Crunch cereal like the extra crispy does.
1b. The KFC Twister: Chicken strips with shredded lettuce and pepper mayo made for the best wrap in the history of not just fast food, but food in general. KFC phased it out with its value Snack Wrap, but it is hardly an acceptable alternative.
1c. KFC JoJos: Why are potato wedges only available at like two KFC’s in Oregon?
2. Carl’s Jr. Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger: Sourdough bread, beef, bacon and LOTS of cheese and mayonnaise — the best combination of fatty foods. My favorite sandwich ever made its exit more than a year ago, and I’ve been going through withdrawals ever since. Until In-N-Out brings their tasty burgers north of the California border, finding a burger as good as the GCBB will not be achieved.
3. McDonald’s’ Cajun McChicken: The golden arches have come out with about 90 different chicken sandwiches since eliminating this 99-cent favorite about a decade ago, and they have yet to come close. A slightly spicy, fried chicken breast with shredded lettuce and a good amount of mayo made for a treat that was as good as it was cheap.
4. Panda Express’ Sweet & Sour Pork: I find myself going to the lone Chinese-American fast food joint less and less after they took off their delicious sweet and sour pork from the menu. They still have their famous Orange Chicken, however, so I can’t be too mad.
McDonald’s McLean Deluxe: With a third of the fat of a Big Mac, the 17-year Lebanon Express reporter still craves the low-calorie burger that included carrageenan, a seaweed extract that made up 10-percent of the ingredients. Dugan, however, was not aware of the seaweed at the time of purchase/consumption back in the mid-90s.
Taco Bell’s Mexi-Fries: The newest addition to the Express team still misses the Mexi-Fries from Taco Bell. While they were really just tater tots, you can still find a similar version at Taco Time … or in your grocer’s freezer section.
Taco Bell’s Taco Lite: The current Lebanon Express chief editor remembers making the Taco Lite at her first job. The deep fried flour shell filled with taco fillings was only “Lite” because of the crunchy and flaky taste. Mentzer recalls Taco Bell having to eliminate the item do to false advertising.
Burger King’s Rodeo Burger: With barbeque sauce and onion rings, the Mid-Valley Newspaper advertising representative is not satisfied by the 37 other fast food restaurant’s attempts at the same thing.