TACO BELL was great pre-90's formerly on ChowHound

We just ate at De Nada, a pretty sophisticated Mexican place in Austin. One of their most popular menu items is a crispy taco, which is very reminiscent of Taco Bell.

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Understood, and I’m thinking maybe we don’t have much “Tex-Mex” where I am in California either. Not so much lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and big portions when it comes to local taquerias.

BTW, I grew up in Queens, spent a lot of time in Hempstead, and got married in Long Island in one of those towns with “Port” in the name!


It was either port Washington or port Jefferson I believe. I live between the two in Suffolk County. See you have some of the same problem in CA. The portions are stingy. My guess is the common denominator of high taxes. I feel your pain. I only realized the portions were tiny where I am by watching the Food Network and shows like with GUY FIERI who travels across the country showing mom&pop shops where food is plentiful and generous with minimal costs. I live where there is nothing but corporate greed franchised cookie cutter joints with crappy fake food, high costs, and tiny portions no bigger than an appetizer. It is dismal.

Just be clear, I don’t think it’s a problem. I love the food at almost all the taqurias in town. I think i must eat at one at least once a week. My favorite is carnitas tacos, and lengua tacos.

Especially these.
Mexico Meat Market

Mexico Meat Market
(707) 452-0580


Tacos Jalisco
(707) 446-9206


Burrito Express
(707) 446-2469



If you Google
Long Island taco trucks
You’ll find there are quite a few.


There is no true substitute for deep frying - not for wings, not for chips, and definitely not for the Taco Bell MP! :slight_smile:

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Actually, there is. I make wonderful chips and taco shells and never deep fry anything.

I certainly agree ! What most do not know is the only problem with deep frying is everyone is using the WRONG oils. Back in the 1980’s a man named Phil Sokolof lied to everyone using junk science and fabricated stats. He was responsible for businesses removing the natural saturated fats that are essential to the body for proper brain function, cellular repair, metabolism, vitamin, mineral and nutrient absorption by the body. The human body needs fats. It’s not an option but a requirement for good health. That is what happened. McDonald’s was the first casualty. It was all to do with money$$ by big corporate goliaths who own the canola, soybean, and vegetable oils industries. That’s the real reason. And the effects of this change has had negative results for all. There are more obese people and cardiovascular disease now than ever before. One of the main culprits is man-made toxic vegetable oils. Not only for cooking, but everything you buy in the store contains them if needed. It’s a disgrace what happened. The only fats we should consume are all the natural ones. Beef tallow, Lard, Olive oil, Coconut oil, etc. Those rendered from animals or cold pressed without any high temp. processing, extraction or adding chemical toxic solvents to remove the rancid tastes or so they are flowable at room temp. as is done with ALL vegetable oils. Canola is not a plant. It is an acronym for CANadian Oil Low Acid. It comes from the RAPESEED plant. A toxic to humans plant, YES it does. So they have to add solvents like acetone to cleanse the bitterness and make it palatable. Not only that, but heat it under pressure which changes the molecular structure and creates free radicals that cause cancer. It is very diabolical. You can learn all about what I am saying from articles below: It is common sense that we came from nature and nature knows what’s better. In fact I just got my deep fryer for Christmas and will be using beef tallow to make wings, chicken, fries, etc.

Agree, I avoid “vegetable” oil in my own cooking. Peanut is my preferred oil for deep frying, with lard a close second (mostly because I render my own rather than the grocery store crap, and it’s a bit difficult to obtain the quantity needed for deep frying).

My apologies. This should be to @Hungryman8 .

My “only” problem is messy spatter and filtering and storing used oil in a way that I can re-use in a variety of ways. Is that covered in the above post? I will re-read.

I keep an empty oil bottle for this purpose - I strain used oil through a fine mesh strainer into a large pyrex measuring cup (2 qt) with a pouring spout, then funnel into the empty oil bottle. I typically get 5-6 uses out of it, depending on what I fry. Lard I strain and freeze.

The local wings we make in the air-fryer are damn near indistinguishable from their fried counterparts. And I’m pretty finicky about my wings.


Thank you! I usually strain through cheese cloth or a coffee filter in a mesh strainer, and keep it at room temperature.

I go for months between frying between frying, and it’s often salt fish fritters. Do you think I can use that for other things like chicken or potatoes?

Fish is the thing that usually makes me toss and start over, tbh. Not sure if salt fish will have the same effect on oil as fresh, but IME fresh fish leaves a distinct flavor behind that I don’t want in other foods.


From what I heard beef tallow does not impart fish flavors onto other foods when frying different foods in the same oil. It also can be re-used many times over and stores for a long time. This is why restaurants used it. There is a burger joint mom & pop shop in Memphis that uses the same grease since 1912. They just keep adding to it. So there are molecules of grease from over 100 years ago.

That is why everything tastes better if you keep the solution the same. No different than dirty water hot dogs. So my plan is to start with beef tallow, filter regularly and re-use. You can’t do this with man-made toxic vegetable oils because they are artificial and break down with oxidation since they are not made by nature. The dirty little secret is the big lie about vegetable oils and good health. Think MIRROR.

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Strange thing. I went to Toxic Hell last night for some Mexican Pizzas. I noticed they do have a Chalupa. So I got one of those Chalupa Supremes. It was decent. I also tried one of those Chicken Chipolte melts. Nice taste BUT very tiny ! Not worth the almost $2.00. Most could eat that thing in one bite - that is how tiny they are. It is ridiculous.

I heard they changed the tortillas on the new Mexican pizzas… did you notice that?

That happened many years ago with the frying oils. They used to use coconut, but now it is canola or some other poisonous vegetable oil. But there was no difference in the latest revival of those pizza wafers that I noticed. Just that same rancid aftertaste like the nacho chips. While in the 1980’s the wafers and chips had a pleasant almost sweet aftertaste. OH as I write this… Something just popped into my head, an epiphany ! I just figured out WHY they got rid of their cinnamon crispas ! The reason is because by using these toxic vegetable oils that have a rancid back taste… the people would notice it THE MOST in the cinnamon crispas ! It would be the most pronounced and would reveal to the tongues how bad their change in cooking is. And they would not want that secret getting out. That is my guess. You see they can hide rancid in a spicy, salty, sour tasting item but NOT in a sweet dessert food void of sour salty or spicy !

I barely remember pre-1990 Taco Bell, not because I was too young, but because where I live, Taco Time was always a better choice for corporate/industrial fast Mex.

The few times post-1990 I’ve eaten at TB have been in line with your critique.

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I was under the impression, at least in Canada, that the Taco Bell ingredients now arrive pre-cooked in sealed pouches, so beef and chicken are reheated on site, and tacos /chalupas are prepared on site from pre-cooked ingredients. I guess I’ve had one or 2 soft tacos and a bean burrito over the past 2 years. It still hits the spot at a food court or drive-thru, sometimes.

Most of our Taco Bells in suburbia are twinned with Kentucky Fried Chicken. I don’t think most employees running them have mastered KFC prep or TB prep.

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