Fast Food

First/Last Bite: Taco Bell's New "Authentic-Style" Mexican Street Tacos

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Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge (Left to right) Carnitas, Carne Asada, and Flame-Grilled Chicken Cantina Tacos from Taco Bell - N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten
  • (Left to right) Carnitas, Carne Asada, and Flame-Grilled Chicken Cantina Tacos from Taco Bell

Sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes $1.49 is a total rip-off. When we heard that Taco Bell was launching their "authentic-style" Cantina Taco, we were struck with a masochistic urge to see what they were really like. As it turned out, they were even worse than we thought. The carnitas had the consistency of overcooked refried beans, the chicken was laboratory-tender (yet still oddly dry), and the steak had all the texture of canned Alpo dog food, circa 1996. Each one comes with a lime wedge, and if you don't bother using it, your body might actually reject the tacos as food. Put another way: the Cantina Tacos made their hard shell, ground beef tacos sound pretty darn good.

Fortunately, the world (and the city) is filled with better, faster, and cheaper tacos. So in case anyone from the Taco Bell test kitchen happens to be reading this, let's take a look at some photos of a few different "street tacos:"

The Cantina Tacos from Taco Bell's website, doctored to look as appealing as possible:

click to enlarge TACOBELL.COM
  • TacoBell.com

The actual carne asada tacos from Taco Bell ($1.49):

click to enlarge N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten

A carne asada, and an al pastor taco from El Chato, the night-time taco truck on La Brea and Olympic ($1 each):

click to enlarge N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten

A carne asada taco from Tacos El Poblano in Tijuana (less than $1):

click to enlarge N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten

We wonder if they can tell the difference.

Noah Galuten can also be followed on Twitter via @ManBitesWorld.

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