March 7, 2013 will go down in history as the most pivotal moment in the contemporary epoch of Taco Bell history: The TBell Renaissance. Anyone who drove around the Wahsatch and Platte Avenue Taco Bell location before Thursday saw firsthand the insane demand for the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. Why are these beautifully simple works of culinary art the new iPhones of the fast food world? Why are people willing to brave the drafty snow and freezing desert nights for an early taste of the latest Taco Bell menu addition? Last year on March 8, Taco Bell revolutionized the gastronomic industry by releasing the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco. It is truly inconceivable that Taco Bell needed an extra year to release the Cool Ranch flavor, but we need to give them the benefit of the doubt. The company who had the sheer brilliance to put a Dorito and a taco together certainly does not have to answer to us.
This isn’t the first time Taco Bell has collaborated with a popular brand to create a game-changing new taste. In 2004, Mountain Dew gave TB the exclusive right to carry their Baja Blast tropical-lime flavored variety, but sadly, the creation of this irreplaceable beverage was overshadowed in the media by E. coli outbreaks allegedly caused by Taco Bell food. Unfortunately, this is the era most people associate with the restaurant. In the early 2000s, food quality was admittedly lower, and it appeared that Taco Bell would continue to exist in limbo as a mediocre fast food establishment.
By the grace of God, Taco Bell was reborn sometime in the last few years with a revamped menu and a genius social media presence. Recently, they teamed up with celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia, owner of restaurants in the Miami and Atlanta airports and failed contestant on the show “Top Chef Masters”. Tragically, most people continue to see Taco Bell as it was so many years ago. Many Colorado College students refuse to indulge in a bargain taco because they claim they don’t trust the meat or aren’t sure if it’s healthy.
“I choose not to eat at Taco Bell because I genuinely value knowing where my food comes from and whether or not it is quality,” said sophomore Claire Myerscough, self-described flexitarian. Some students never vocalize their support for Taco Bell because they’re frightened to speak up against the CC-Bubble Groupthink and stand up for something they believe in.
Others criticize the Bell because it is not authentic Tex-Mex food. While this may be absolutely true, it is not something that should be criticized in any capacity. With their groundbreaking menu packed full of a variety of unique foods, from the Cheesy Gordita Crunch to the always-classic Crunchwrap Supreme, Taco Bell has effectively created an entirely new cuisine.
Thankfully, in the midst of all these haters, there are a number of people at CC who recognize the strides Taco Bell has made in recent years to improve their food quality. These enlightened beings represent the Michelangelo’s and Galileo’s of the Taco Bell Renaissance, while the people who continue to hate act as the Catholic Church, refusing to accept the true facts. “I love it,” said sophomore Hannah Floom, “It is my guilty pleasure.”
Junior Jack Williamson is eager to taste the Mona Lisa of Taco Bell food. “I’d just like to let the world know that I feel a joy I’ve never felt at the thought of a Cool Ranch Dorito being wrapped around my taco,” he said. “While the Nacho Cheese Dorito taco is good, it can’t compare to the tangy rush of Cool Ranch.”
Since the announcement of the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, critics have speculated if this will be the entrée to finally rival the Crunchwrap Supreme, Taco Bell’s most classic and beloved, Mexican-inspired, grilled super taco/quesadilla hybrid.
According to sophomore Kenyon McFarlane, “Crunchwrap Supremes are the universe’s gift to college students.” If the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco lives up to the hype, which it very well might, the Crunchwrap Supreme will become the older sibling everyone forgets about as they direct their attention to the new addition to the family.