Del Taco – Tales From A Foreign Land

25 03 2010

Hey everyone,

My friend Phil was in Los Angeles last week and was able to try a few fast food places we normally don’t have access to here in Baltimore. I am jealous of course, but to tide us over, Phil sent me a review of his experience at Taco Bell’s long lost cousin –

So…. take it away Phil!

Phil: SURPRISE! Jamie is letting me borrow the keys to the blog to take a little trip out west and explore a few fast food joints we east coasters have barely heard of.

Recently I went on vacation in Los Angeles and I was able to eat at a few of the west coast’s more popular fast food chains. This will be a three part series that explores Del Taco, Jack in the Box, and Weinerschnitzel.

Whenever I go on vacation I like to visit a regional fast food chain or local restaurant just to get a feel of the area and the everyday lives of it’s people. Avoiding national chains that I can find in Baltimore is the main priority while on vacation, and besides a late night trip to a Subway after Disneyland the trip was a success.

Ok, all packed up and ready to go? Del Taco is the first stop on the road trip…

Well I went to a Del Taco 6 years ago when I was in Las Vegas and I remember enjoying it, so I had to go back! This is what I had this time… 

–          Macho Taco $1.79: Hard Taco Shell, Ground Beef, Sour Crème, Cheddar Cheese, Spicy Taco Sauce, “salsa” (pico de gallo), and lettuce. My Take: Tasty taco (I’m not a huge sour crème fan, but I didn’t find it offensive on this) that has great ground beef that blows Taco Bell out of the water. This thing is loaded too, lots of meat and other toppings. Next time though I’ll probably just get either a regular Taco or Classic Taco (check my wish list below) since they’re cheaper and you can save room for other items on the menu.

–          Del Beef Burrito $2.69 – Soft Tortilla, Ground Beef, Zesty Red Sauce, Cheddar Cheese. My Take: Again, fantastic ground beef for a fast food joint! Just your basic burrito, but very tasty and filling. Getting a Del Burrito (Beef, Chicken, Bean, or Combo) is required if you’re a Del Taco newbie.

–          Crispy Chicken Taco (around $2) – Soft Gordita-like Tortilla, Crispy Chicken Breast piece, salsa, lettuce, secret sauce. My Take: This must be a special or limited item, because I can’t find it online anywhere. Basically it was a soft taco with a fried chicken breast. The chicken was nice and juicy and was a perfect fit in the tortilla. It wasn’t exactly your traditional Mexican dish, but it worked. The special sauce was a perfect compliment to the chicken. The only negative that I can mention was that the Gordita-like flatbread tortilla wasn’t the best. Taco Bell’s Gordita shell has flavor and is almost good on its own, the Del Taco version was plain and not as fresh.

–          Chicken Soft Taco $1.09 – Soft Tortilla, Grilled Chicken chunks, secret sauce, lettuce, cheddar cheese. My Take: Beats Taco Bell’s. The chicken actually looked and tasted like real chicken, unlike the Grade D chicken you get at the Bell. The secret sauce was a nice touch and if I could remember what it compared to I would do so, but I can’t so you’ll have to take my word for it.

–          World Famous Crinkle Cut Fries $1.49-$2.29 based on size – The name says it all! My Take: Actually the fries were average and sort of tasted like Ore-Ida frozen fries you could get at the grocery store. They were ok and if you order a meal they will come with it. If you’re not ordering a meal, don’t bother.

Wish List for Next Time: Big Fat Taco (Compare to a Taco Bell Chalupa), plain ol’ Taco (meat, cheese, and lettuce) and Classic Taco (same as the Taco, but double meat/cheese and with tomatoes), any of the Burgers or Quesadillas (just to see if they’re any good), and one of my favorite fried foods, the Churro.

Overall Del Taco gets my seal of approval! Not to hate on Taco Bell (because Lord knows I can’t drive by one without drooling over the monthly special plastered on the windows), but Del Taco seems like a step above in terms of quality and ingredients. The pricing was fine and you could certainly get lunch for a couple of bucks, but just like Taco Bell you could end up ordering a bunch of stuff and have a $8-12 check. Del Taco also has a lot of menu options and seems like the perfect place to go with a car full of people wanting different things. Somebody wants tacos, CHECK! Somebody wants a triple stacked burger, YUP! Someone wants a milk shake, OH YEAH! Someone wants a giant bowl of fries with chili and crap dumped on it, YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

I would love some opinions on my opinions and if you’ve been lucky enough to eat at Del Taco, make sure to leave a comment to let us know your take. Thanks again to Jamie for letting me guest blog, maybe we can turn this into periodic column on JCR!

Bust out the sunscreen, fanny packs and visors, because next time on the road trip we’re visiting our buddy Jack (in the Box).




3 responses

26 03 2010

Can you guys name any fast food restaurants you have back East that we don’t have here in the West coast? The only one I can really think of is White Castle! Enlighten me pls! 🙂

21 04 2010

How about Five Guys? Or are there Checkers on the West Coast?

27 03 2010

Great idea! We’ll do some homework and hopefully in the next week or so we can have some good east coast only places for you to check out.

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