Is there a better way to spend your first week of married life than on a taco adventure? Probably. The truth is though that my hubs is more than willing to make sacrifices for this blog and for that I love him. There are a million more reasons that I love him, but for the purposes of this post it’s the sacrifices he makes in order to help me make these posts possible.
What was the goal of the taco quest?
The goal was to determine which fast food establishment had the best tasting basic crunchy taco. These are the kinds of tacos that are generally less than $1 per taco. The kind of taco that every college kid can scrounge up the money for on any given Friday night. I’ll admit to having done this a few times throughout my college career. This wasn’t because I didn’t have money though, but it was due to my shoe obsession. Shhh, we don’t talk about it.
Now let’s get to the tacos.
We tried tacos from the following: Taco Bell, Del Taco, Jack in the Box, Carl’s Jr aka the Green Burrito, and El Pollo Loco. In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that that the El Pollo Loco taco is a crunchy chicken taco while the others are beef. El Pollo Loco oddly doesn’t do beef, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. We’re going to start from worst taco in my opinion and go to the best taco.
5. El Pollo Loco
I hated this taco. It was greasy and the shell fell apart way too easily. The upsides were that the chicken was delicious and the ingredients were fresh. I also appreciated the fact that the ingredients were spread throughout the entire taco. Aside from how greasy my fingers were when I put it down, the ingredients also fell out in large chunks onto my patio. I like the Cuban sandwich for the reason that unlike other sandwiches the ingredients don’t fall off as you eat it. You have to eat a taco a certain way to keep everything on it anyway when it’s crunchy, but I shouldn’t be losing the contents faster than I can move my hand. The shell has a very Asian flavor to it. I could also tell that it was freshly fried when ordered so there are a few upsides to this taco, but they don’t outweigh the negatives. Save your $1.99 for a taco higher on this list.
4. Jack In The Box
I had high hopes for this one as I’ve heard nothing but positive things about it. Everyone I knew practically told me that they go to Jack in the Box specifically to order this item, but I was disappointed. It was greasy. The ingredients were all in the center of the taco and the ingredients were NOT fresh. It was basically a mess. There was basically no meat inside the taco either. I could not in good conscience advise you to buy this taco when there are better ones on the market for not that much more in cost. The plus side to these tacos is that they are $.50/each. For $.09 more you can buy a taco further up on this list, and your stomach will thank me.
3. Carl’s Jr/The Green Burrito
This taco is when things started to get better. This taco was still slightly greasy. The shell was more flavorful than the other tacos on this list. The shell still fell apart pretty quickly as you were trying to eat it though. The meat was well seasoned. The major downside was the fact that it was mostly meat and cheese with very little lettuce. The lettuce adds a nice alternate crunch flavor in most of these tacos, and it was missing here. Plus, it was still a little greasy to the touch. This taco was $1.29 so I feel like it should have stepped up it’s game some.
2. Del Taco
This is where things got tough. We were down to the two places that cater entirely to a Mexican fast food menu, and I expected a lot from them. I definitely got what I asked for on that front. My main problem with the Del Taco taco was the fact that the toppings were all clumped together in the center of the taco versus being spread across it. Your first bite is basically all meat and shell. The shell was smaller in size than Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, and El Pollo Loco, but I give it a pass on that front. It was stuffed with more flavor and meat than the Jack in the Box taco, and it was way less greasy than El Pollo Loco. The ingredients were fresh. The shell was slightly less crunchy than Taco Bell, but it was better than the others. I will say that this taco gives you the most bang for your buck at $.59/each you should scrounge for more money and buy this one over the Jack in the Box taco.
1. Taco Bell
Love it or hate it, I believe that this was the best tasting basic taco. The meat was well seasoned. The ingredients were spread over the entire taco and they were fresh. The shell was crunchy and there was no grease left on my hands, but it can fall apart fairly easily if you’re not careful. I figure if the only real downside was the potential for the taco to break into pieces then it was definitely at the top of my list. I can just make taco salad with that after all. It was larger in size than the Del Taco taco, and the “meat” was a little less spicy. All in all this taco would be my go to. It costs $1.19 so I won’t hold it against you if you go buy 2 from Del Taco instead as I’d say all in all they’re a comparable taco.
What’s your favorite fast food taco?