Category Archives: Food

OffTopicTim Presents: FOOD FIGHT!!!! (Mexican Food Edition)

(Courtesy of a late Saturday and lazy Sunday…)

Whenever you do a night in Hollywood and have a craving on the way home, you HAVE to cater to it. Thus began my 16 hour Mexican fast-food binge that started with a ride home from Hollywood last night, top down, wind in my hair, and the rising hunger that could only be satisfied with a trip to Taco Bell!

Today, I followed it up with a trip up to Century City to see “Safety Not Guaranteed,” a delightfully fun(ny) movie with some great understated performances by Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) and Mark Duplass (“The New Girl”), after which I had the craziest urge to swing by Del Taco.

Apparently I am carrying an anchor baby…

So, I thought (yes, sometimes I DO think), “What an interesting idea for a blog.” So, today we have a head to head match up for Mexican fast food. (sorry for those of you who don’t have access to Del Taco. You don’t know what you are missing…)

To be fair to each, I ordered the same thing and ate both at home (although, I did go through the drive through at Taco Bell early Saturday morning): a grilled chicken burrito and a chicken soft taco.

(Appetizer!) The Chicken Soft Taco

Handcrafted by Del Taco artisans!

The ingredients of both the Classic Soft Taco (Del Taco) and Chicken Soft Taco (Taco Bell) are the same: a tortilla, lettuce, cheese, chicken and “secret sauce.” At 180 and 150 calories respectively, they are essential the same – although, if you are counting calories while eating at a fast food restaurant, you’re missing the point of eating at either establishment… But, that is where the similarities end. Taco Bell’s Chicken Soft Taco is sparsely populated with chicken, but chock full of lettuce, making it seem bigger, which led me to ask, “Where’s the beef?” which elicited questioning looks from the drones behind the counter to young to understand my allusion to classic TV advertising. On the other hand, Del Taco’s Classic Soft Taco had at least 50% more chicken inside and their meet seasoning has always been far and away, head and shoulders above that of the bland meat of Taco Bell.

The winner: Del Taco’s Classic Soft Taco!

(“The Entree”) The Grilled Chicken Burrito

Oh my god! Yummy!

No fast food Mexican establishment is complete without this half-decade old entry into the “portable menu item” landscape (Taco Bell wiki). Del Taco’s formerly named Grilled Stuffed Burrito (now the Classic Grilled Chicken Burrito) once again overpowers the paltry Taco Bell entry, the Grilled Chicken Burrito. They only share a few ingredients: a tortilla, seasoned rice, cheese and chicken. While Taco Bell adds only a creamy avocado ranch sauce, Del Taco stuffs its burrito with fresh tomatoes and lettuce. Plus, again, the chicken is so much spicier and better tasting on every level.

The winner (again): Del Taco’s Classic Grilled Chicken Burrito

Drinks

Del Taco serves Coke products which always trumps Pepsi, which they serve at Taco Bell. A flat Diet Coke is better than the perfectly carbonated Diet Pepsi, although Larry Barley would beg to differ…

Sauce Packets

Fun for the whole family!

Here is where Taco Bell DOES exceed Del Taco. While Del Taco has two main sauce packets, including their Del Scorcho, Taco Bell has five (5!!!) different types of sauces for everyone’s varying constitution. Plus, Taco Bell’s packets have entertaining things written on them for you to read while your order is being painstakingly crafted behind the cashier…

The winner: Taco Bell, for creative use of  “packet entertainment.”

The Verdict

Whether that craving hits you on the ride home from your shift at the bar, slinging drinks to the “wannabes,” pretenders and posers at 3 A.M., you’re hung over, or if you are just plain old lazy, then I would suggest that you take your dollars and hustle on over to Del Taco. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Next up on Off Topic Tim’s FOOD FIGHT: Gourmet burgers in the South Bay.

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