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Taco Takedown: Taco Bell Dorito Locos Tacos vs. El Super Taco Deliciousness

Taco Takedown: Taco Bell Dorito Locos Tacos vs. El Super Taco Deliciousness

One place certainly has an edge in the "risk of homicide" category


Presumably everybody who’s read this site knows of my long-time love affair with Taco Bell.  In fact, lore (ie the historically inaccurate recollections of my mom) has it that I never ate any real food until I had my first taco.  (This probably means I was actually already enjoying hearty servings of osso buco and sweetbreads, but whatever.) Anyway, despite working at Taco Bell (including starting up a store from scratch, including picking styrofoam out of a ditch for about six straight hours – turns out there are a lot of packing peanuts in industrial kitchenware) for about three years, I still love the food, the atmosphere, the experience.  So what kind of unfair fight would it be for me to pit The Bell against a relative newcomer, the local chain El Super Taco?  Allow me to level the playing field by saying that El Super Taco is awesome, too.  Now it’s completely fair.  And, with the hype surrounding the launch of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos tacos (the shell is made of nacho cheese Doritos – yes, it’s a f*cking great idea, wish I’d though of it) it seemed like writing a comparison would be a great way to justify eating a bunch of tacos in a short period of time.

Just to give you some contextual flavor, El Super Taco has been my happy place throughout a lot of my recent family medical drama (sounds like something you’d find on ABC Thursdays); it’s ostensibly a sit-down restaurant because they hook you up with chips and salsa, but it does more to-go business than anything.  No alcohol, thus no margaritas, thus to-go looks like a pretty good option.  I also just learned that the original El Super Taco is in the town where I currently reside, approximately one mile from where I sit with my dad almost every day.  That one is just a Southern California-esque take-out window.  I just tried it, and it sucks compared to the one (seedy-looking parking lot shown above) that I frequent.  So I will continue to burn extra time/gas to enjoy the iPad-friendly, semi-air conditioned ambience of the sit-down El Super Taco.

So how do the offerings of both joyous places match up?  Let’s consider a few categories:


Visual Appeal

Would you rather have three of these (four if you want to be completely comparable given the tip at EST):

That little sleeve can't really fend off the orange residue monster


To give you a better sense of scale, these tacos are roughly the size of a jumbo pack of Magic: The Gathering cards

Verdict:  Despite the tastiness of the DL tacos that we will get to in a minute, the visual appeal of the grilled steak and pork at El Super Taco dominates the from-another-world orangeness of the Doritos Locos.  El Super Taco wins the swimsuit category with conviction.



Verdict: Okay, there should probably be some more pictures, but this isn’t a food blog and people look at you weird around here for taking photos of your food.  In fact, people look at you weird here whenever you aren’t eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet.  But this is a very tough call; I am a huge fan of just plain crunchy tacos at TB, I could probably knock back 22 or so before starting to feel kind of full.  And the Dorito Loco version is arguably an improvement on an already-strong product.  That artificial cheese powder/sodium bomb experience at the end of each bite is an unexpected taste sensation.  (Note: I avoided the word “salty” in the previous extremely descriptive sentence to avoid any “yeah, you like that salty stuff don’t you – so does your mom” commentary from TDiddy.  I see the chessboard three moves in advance.)  I will definitely eat them periodically.  But – if my sh*tty photography permits it – take a look at those tacos from EST – they are f*cking delicious.  And you get chips and two kinds of salsa (the red one of which changes consistency daily – sometimes watery, sometimes dense enough to stand a chip up in – but is excellent regardless) plus a quiet place to sit and read the NFL chats on (I read every division, not just the NFC West, perhaps I have a problem?)  El Super Taco wins again.


Fire Sauce

This is about how much I need for four tacos

Verdict: Okay, that was kind of unfair, because you can only get Fire Sauce at Taco Bell.  But I didn’t want you to think that you knew how this was gonna end up.  Taco Bell by a mile in this category.



Handwritten signs and non-functional gas pump islands correlate highly to value


Verdict:  They cost the same.  So for $6 you can leave a 30% tip and get two phenomenal grilled meat tacos with guacamole and a basket of chips and salsa.  At Taco Bell, $6.06 gets you 4 Doritos Locos tacos, plus as much Fire Sauce as you can reasonably/responsibly grab.  I could probably eat about 19 Doritos Locos tacos without feeling too full, but after eating the aforepictured meal at EST, I’m mostly full.  Therefore, El Super Taco must be the better value.


Final Verdict:  In what at a glance appears to be a shocking upset, El Super Taco is the clear winner.  But the real winner here is me: I’ve finally found one cultural (food is in culture, right? or is that a bad word choice?) advantage to being in northwest Arkansas.  So to all you people reading this in your cool cities, with your ivory towers and your delicious Indian food – take a good long look at that adovado taco up there.  It’s pretty f*cking good.  (And, to be clear, this ain’t no dis of the DL tacos – they are legit.  Try them, you will enjoy them.  Warning: your fingers will be orange when finished, despite that cardboard sleeve thing – nobody uses that.  Also – if they ever launched a Doritos Locos Fiery Habanero taco, good god.  Now THAT would be redonk.)




The Top Five Songs That Give A Shout-out to Taco Bell

The Top Five Songs That Give A Shout-out to Taco Bell

Wordpress, you are seriously killing me with the spacing issues.


Am I working on a real post?  Yes.  Is it taking longer than I expected?  Yes.  Am I still f*cking pissed about the NFC Championship Game?  Yes.  Am I very pleased about the return of the beefy crunch burrito, despite the fact that I promised myself that in 2012 I would refrain from eating anything with nacho cheese as an ingredient (other than nachos, of course)?  Yes – I have long been an advocate of chips inside a burrito, but choosing Fritos over Doritos was beyond brilliant.  Let’s celebrate the return of the BCB with a look at the best some songs that reference The Bell (as I also contemplate a side-by-side comparison of the caloric/deliciousness/nauseau-avoidance characteristics of the current titans of the local dollar menu – the Beefy Crunch Burrito and the McDouble at McDonalds.)


The Top Five Songs That Happen To Mention Taco Bell (One of Which Is Beyond Terrible, so Like the Top Four (Really Three))



5.  “Cry Just A Little” – Bingo Players


Okay, technically they never mention Taco Bell, but there is some reference to Ibiza, which I think has a bunch of Taco Bells.  (What’s the deal with Ibiza anyway?  It’s mentioned in like every rap song these days.)  So instead of an Eminem song about murder subtly titled “Murder” I went with a video of a hot chick doing hot chick stuff after she decides that her job sucks.  Also, the song is cool and I need to get some benefit out of my exposure to Sirius channel 51.  I briefly considered Penguin Prison, then went to look at the video and – I swear to God – it was a f*cking Occupy Wall Street thing!  F*ck that sh*t, I was probably close to being effigied in that video (don’t know if effigy can be used as a verb, spellcheck does not like).


4.  “Gone” – Kanye West


This one is a little problematic in that Kanye drops what seems like a nice T-Bell reference in a pretty sweet song, but then immediately fouls it up by referencing his friend getting fired for stealing churros.  In my fairly extensive personal history with The Bell, I’ve never known them to serve churros – and I was there during the shredded beef enchilada rollout of 1985 (caution: boiling bags of beef may be warm to the touch.)


3.  “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” – Das Racist

The YUM Brands double shout-out!  Unfortunately for the splendidly-named Das Racist, this may be the worst song anyone has ever heard.  Ever.  (I read a story about a prop bet in poker where the loser had to listen to this song on repeat for a month; seems like chemical castration might’ve been more humane.)



2.  “Glamorous” – Fergie

Fergie spares us the meth and keeps it real with that raw-as-hell drive through experience.  Bonus props for also using spelling in this song!  I love educational songs.  Props for the sweet Mustang, but negative props for failing to bring “flossy” into the general lexicon.  (General Lexicon sounds like the possible villain in the Superman reboot.)



1.  “My Posse’s On Broadway” – Sir Mixalot

Before he became kind of a novelty rapper, Sir Mix-A-Lot was pretty well-respected MC, purveyor of mink coats and f*cking liar for making Seattle look anything other than dreadful.  Extra credit here for actually going to a real Taco Bell, even though it was closed.  The most impressive part of this video and song?  That Kid Sensation dropped a twenty, and didn’t even miss it.


Back to work on that other post,