Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!?

Post
brianeno
Junior Burger
2012/06/13 12:42:23
This July, Bell restaurants will be rolling out a new, "upscale" menu created by celebrity chef Lorena Garcia. The new menu will include things like , cilantro rice, citrus-and-herb-marinated chicken. Sound a little familiar? Sound a little bit like....Chipotle?

Here is an article on what they'll be doing exactly, doesnt sound too bad to me!


eruby
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/13 13:13:10
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/13 13:27:15
Nice screen name. Bryan Ferry was taken?
Heartbreaksoup
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/13 15:42:06
I'll give the shill credit for good taste in tunes.  Roxy Music is my favorite band!
FriedClamFanatic
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/14 00:26:11
I'm sorry.............."Gourmet Mexican" as far as I can tell, does not exist north of the Rio Grande.  I have had some imaginatively spiced and presented meals in my travels in Mexico ( a Shrimp dish with a sauce that hinted of caramel comes particularly to mind - in "Rocky Point"), and the town next to me boasts a 35% Hispanic population (due to the mushroom factories) where I have had some memorably wonderful, but inexpensive meals.
 
But Taco Bell?  I think of them as "slop and drop".  Maybe this means they will cut back on the refried beans and guacamole - most likely the two least expensive ingredients - and add something besides a an overwhelming taste of cumin. "Upscale", for them, perhaps.  Gourmet?..not even close. Too much hype!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/14 04:35:05
Probably the closest thing to Gourmet Mexican North of the border would come from Rick Bayless.
Did you know that Skip Bayless of ESPN fame is his goofy brother!!!
michaelcarraher
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/14 09:21:17
First off, anything that calls itself "gourmet" isn't.
The word "gourmet" applies to one who appreciates fine food, not the foot itself. 
Probably it was Orville Redenbacher who started the prostitution of the word "gourmet."  "Gourmet popping corn?"  Really?
I have been to one Mexican restaurant a true gourmet would appreciate.  I loved it.
http://roadfood.com/Resta.../598-598/caf-poca-cosa
 
smokestack lightning
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/14 14:39:40
FriedClamFanatic

I'm sorry.............."Gourmet Mexican" as far as I can tell, does not exist north of the Rio Grande. 
 
Well really?  ave you been to the Frontera Grill or any of Rick Bayless's restaurants in Chicago?
 
Or Nopalito in San Francisco?
 
There is lots of gourmet or upscale Mexican food in the USA.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/14 14:51:30
Don't forget The Two Hot Tamales,  Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.
 
Their restaurant, Border Grill in Santa Monica serves up some wonderful gourmet Mexican food.
syrupmi
Junior Burger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/14 18:13:57
     On Conan he made a joke about the upscale transformation of Taco Bell.  He said it's for people who want classy diarhea.
gostillerz
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/14 22:41:30
I actually like Taco Bell, but I can't stand when fast food joints try "gourmet", or God forbid "artisan". ESPECIALLY for Taco Bell. That place lives and dies on it's cheap stuff.
VuduHippy
Junior Burger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/17 00:32:35
I'm a manager for a corporate owned Taco Bell and the new "Cantina Bell Menu" debuts July 5. Stores have already made the switch to the citrus-marinated chicken, replacing the regular chicken in all menu items, as well as a new guacamole. The guacamole is a new recipe thats more fresher, citrusy tasting. The new menu will also feature a cilantro rice, freshly prepared black beans and salads with fresh romaine lettuce.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/17 01:30:15
Why must they ruin good rice?
 
Taco Bell is cheap eats when I don't feel like cooking.  I hope that they don't dismiss the menu that they already have.
 
I also wish they'd bring back what I called the Bell Burger.  I don't know the actual name, but it was great.
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/17 10:42:23
people complain about tb because they're crummy; they complain because they are attempting to improve that. 
some just like to complain....
michaelcarraher
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/18 06:06:49
1bbqboy

people complain about tb because they're crummy; they complain because they are attempting to improve that. 
some just like to complain....

 
Dude, your post is Exhibit A.
 
That said, I agree.  Don't ruin a good thing.  What Taco Bell is doing is trying to change what they are - not make it better.  This is typical corporate thinking.  Forget the customer you have in order to go after customers you don't have.  What usually happens is the company ends up with neither new customers or old customers.  Anybody remember New Coke?  Some MBA gets hired and has to justify his salary and bonuses.  He sees people going to Chipolte, Qdoba or Baja Fresh (and paying higher prices).  So, since they don't teach creative or original thinking at Wharton, he decides to imitate them.  Well, Taco Bell is not them.  Somebody needs to go back and look at what Taco Bell was 40 years and imitate that.  Back before B-school types at Pepsi and Yum screwed things up.  They also need more locations, locations, locations - and they need to stop sticking Taco Bell in with Pizza Hut or KFC, which makes them look as desperate as they probably are.  If Yum wants to do Mexican Fast Casual, call it something else. 
 
Wistah
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/18 11:59:13
Taco Bell's menu is soooo complicated as it is...this will only make it worse. By complicated I mean my local TB has about 50 items on the menu...many variations of tacos, burritos, chalupas, gorditas, and whatever else. If you are not a regular customer there is no way of knowing what the differences are between all of the various items like one burrito compared to another etc. Or what is a chalupa, what is a gordita? They almost need a guide book to describe each product.
 
Yesterday I got the XXL grilled stuffed burrito. It was expensive like $4.99. I thought for that price it would be huge, but really it did not seem to be any bigger than the burrito supreme. I have ordered other burrito variations but they all seem about the same.
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/18 12:07:54
michaelcarraher

1bbqboy

people complain about tb because they're crummy; they complain because they are attempting to improve that. 
some just like to complain....


Dude, your post is Exhibit A.

That said, I agree.  Don't ruin a good thing.  What Taco Bell is doing is trying to change what they are - not make it better.  This is typical corporate thinking.  Forget the customer you have in order to go after customers you don't have.  What usually happens is the company ends up with neither new customers or old customers.  Anybody remember New Coke?  Some MBA gets hired and has to justify his salary and bonuses.  He sees people going to Chipolte, Qdoba or Baja Fresh (and paying higher prices).  So, since they don't teach creative or original thinking at Wharton, he decides to imitate them.  Well, Taco Bell is not them.  Somebody needs to go back and look at what Taco Bell was 40 years and imitate that.  Back before B-school types at Pepsi and Yum screwed things up.  They also need more locations, locations, locations - and they need to stop sticking Taco Bell in with Pizza Hut or KFC, which makes them look as desperate as they probably are.  If Yum wants to do Mexican Fast Casual, call it something else. 
 
 
 



Nope. I'm not complaining, just observing. I don't go there. We've got real Mexicans and Mexican  joints out West. Cheaper AND better...
 
michaelcarraher
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/18 16:38:15
1bbqboy
Nope. I'm not complaining, just observing. I don't go there. We've got real Mexicans and Mexican  joints out West. Cheaper AND better...
 

 
In all fairness, some people complain about how Taco Bell is.  Some complain about how they are trying to change (and apparently prefer TB the way it is).  It's not the same people complaining both ways.  
 
Taco Bell doesn't seem to do that well anyplace that wasn't once part of Mexico.  Maybe their problem was trying to go national.  Fast food has to be cheap, quick and familiar.  When a type of food is "something different," then people either want a nicer place or a place that is itself both different and sort of "roadfoody."  
 
I still don't understand why hamburgers dominate fast food, not hot dogs.  But that's another thread.
 
VuduHippy
Junior Burger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/18 20:08:04
Wistah

Taco Bell's menu is soooo complicated as it is...this will only make it worse. By complicated I mean my local TB has about 50 items on the menu...many variations of tacos, burritos, chalupas, gorditas, and whatever else. If you are not a regular customer there is no way of knowing what the differences are between all of the various items like one burrito compared to another etc. Or what is a chalupa, what is a gordita? They almost need a guide book to describe each product.

Yesterday I got the XXL grilled stuffed burrito. It was expensive like $4.99. I thought for that price it would be huge, but really it did not seem to be any bigger than the burrito supreme. I have ordered other burrito variations but they all seem about the same.


Wishtah: Taco Bell goes by weight of their final product. The XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito should have a final weight of 15.9 oz (just under a pound). A Burrito Supreme only weighs 8.9 oz. If you feel your XXL Grilled Stuft was unusually small, call their 1-800-TACOBELL number with the store info, they'll take care of it. If it's a corporate owned store, trust me, heads will roll because Taco Bell Corp does not tolerate anything below standards. Unfortunately, franchises feel they're exempt from the standards, but will still be notified and must rectify the problem.
VuduHippy
Junior Burger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/18 20:18:19
For those who think Taco Bell is replacing their regular menu with the new Cantina Bell Menu, they are not. It's an addition to the regular menu. Also look for the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco in mid to late August!
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/18 22:47:48
The thing to remember when it comes to Taco Bell is that it's not Mexican food being served. If you can keep that in mind then you can enjoy it for what it is -- pretty darned tasty fast food.
HollyDolly
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/19 12:17:40
That's funny about Taco Bell.Check out  the website for Taco Cabana which started in San Antonio and I think their headquarters are still here. They are advertising some new chipolte beef street tacos,with corn on them.I haven't tried them yet,so don't know if they are any good.There's a restaurant in la Gloria in San Antonio that does mexican street food. It seems mexican street food like elote,corn with mayo on top, various small tacos like carnitas, etc. are the latest food craze in the US.
Guess that's because of all the taco trucks all over the country.
The City of San Antonio just here recently said they would allow food trucks downtown. And there is a place on Bulverde Road where a bunch of different food trucks have set up shop in one locations.
I don't need to go to Taco Bell  when I want mexican food.Got plenty of places to choose from right here, and it's pretty tasty too. Taco Bell's meat bothers my stomach.
Adjudicator
Sirloin
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/19 18:22:14
I didn't see where they opted for fresh vs. dehydrated ground beef.  Did I miss it?
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/25 16:43:36
VuduHippy

For those who think Taco Bell is replacing their regular menu with the new Cantina Bell Menu, they are not. It's an addition to the regular menu. Also look for the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco in mid to late August!

Vudu,  You just made some Cool Ranch Doritos lovers where I work very happy! I tried the Doritos Locos Taco for the first time last week. Definitely a keeper!! Sometimes I just feel like some fast food!
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/25 17:28:38
VuduHippy 

For those who think Taco Bell is replacing their regular menu with the new Cantina Bell Menu, they are not. It's an addition to the regular menu. Also look for the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco in mid to late August! 
 
That's not what you said earlier...
VuduHippy

I'm a manager for a corporate owned Taco Bell and the new "Cantina Bell Menu" debuts July 5. Stores have already made the switch to the citrus-marinated chicken, replacing the regular chicken in all menu items, as well as a new guacamole. The guacamole is a new recipe thats more fresher, citrusy tasting. The new menu will also feature a cilantro rice, freshly prepared black beans and salads with fresh romaine lettuce.

Well, that's unfortunate. What if your customers do not WANT citrus-marinated chicken? What if they want regular chicken that hasn't been marinated in anything? Also, what about the huge portion of the population that cannot stomach cilantro? Turns out we won't be able to eat the rice any more, either...which comes in EVERYTHING at Taco Bell. And then there's the "fresher, cistrusy tasting" guacamole. BLECH! What about those of us who want our guacamole to taste like avocados? Turns out we're SOL with the new menu, especially if it completely replaces existing menu items with flavours we don't want. You'd be better off adding the new flavours to the existing menu than replacing the ones people already spend money on purposefully.
 
michaelcarraher 

 Taco Bell doesn't seem to do that well anyplace that wasn't once part of Mexico.  Maybe their problem was trying to go national.  Fast food has to be cheap, quick and familiar.  When a type of food is "something different," then people either want a nicer place or a place that is itself both different and sort of "roadfoody."   

 
Really? They do quite well in Michigan, which to the best of my knowledge has never been a part of Mexico.
post edited by felix4067 - 2012/06/25 17:30:19
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/25 17:32:46
felix4067

VuduHippy 

For those who think Taco Bell is replacing their regular menu with the new Cantina Bell Menu, they are not. It's an addition to the regular menu. Also look for the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco in mid to late August! 
 
That's not what you said earlier...
VuduHippy

I'm a manager for a corporate owned Taco Bell and the new "Cantina Bell Menu" debuts July 5. Stores have already made the switch to the citrus-marinated chicken, replacing the regular chicken in all menu items, as well as a new guacamole. The guacamole is a new recipe thats more fresher, citrusy tasting. The new menu will also feature a cilantro rice, freshly prepared black beans and salads with fresh romaine lettuce.

Well, that's unfortunate. What if your customers do not WANT citrus-marinated chicken? What if they want regular chicken that hasn't been marinated in anything? Also, what about the huge portion of the population that cannot stomach cilantro? Turns out we won't be able to eat the rice any more, either...which comes in EVERYTHING at Taco Bell. And then there's the "fresher, cistrusy tasting" guacamole. BLECH! What about those of us who want our guacamole to taste like avocados? Turns out we're SOL with the new menu, especially if it completely replaces existing menu items with flavours we don't want. You'd be better off adding the new flavours to the existing menu than replacing the ones people already spend money on purposefully.

michaelcarraher 

Taco Bell doesn't seem to do that well anyplace that wasn't once part of Mexico.  Maybe their problem was trying to go national.  Fast food has to be cheap, quick and familiar.  When a type of food is "something different," then people either want a nicer place or a place that is itself both different and sort of "roadfoody."   

 
Really? They do quite well in Michigan, which to the best of my knowledge has never been a part of Mexico.

 
Exactly!  
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/25 17:39:10
The Taco Bells around Ohio seem to be pretty busy for places that aren't doing well because Ohio wasn't once a part of Mexico.
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/25 19:04:26
You know, the more I think about it, the slowest Taco Bell locations I have ever seen have been in locations that used to be part of Mexico. It's in the Midwest where people tend to think they actually serve Mexican food that they do the most business.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/25 19:46:22
felix4067

It's in the Midwest where people tend to think they actually serve Mexican food that they do the most business.

BULLSYE!

VuduHippy
Junior Burger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/27 01:26:59
Yes, they did replace their regular chicken with the new citrus marinated chicken and that was a corp decision, talk to them. The cilantro rice is a NEW 2 nd rice that only comes in the new cantina menu items. The regular Mexican Rice will still be available. I've already tasted some of the new items and the cilantro rice and the creamy cilantro dressing are very mild and the cilantro taste is almost non-existent.

The new cantina menu will feature the following items: a cantina bowl (steak, chicken or vegetarian), a cantina burrito (a burrito version of the bowl). These items are mad up of the cilantro rice, black beans, choice of chicken, steak, or no meat at all, romaine lettuce, cilantro dressing, guacamole, pico de gallo & roasted corn salsa, a black bean burrito, and a side of black beans & cilantro rice ( in one container).

The REGULAR Taco Bell menu will also be available and is not going anywhere. The only difference with that menu is the change of the chicken, and the recipe change of the guacamole and fiesta salsa which will be re-named pico de gallo.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/27 09:14:15
and the cilantro taste is almost non-existent

 
Almost?  ANY cilantro taste says to me...
 
DO NOT ORDER!
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/27 11:19:51
mar52

and the cilantro taste is almost non-existent


Almost?  ANY cilantro taste says to me...

DO NOT ORDER!

I had one last night...trust me, the taste is NOT REMOTELY NONEXISTENT. And the citrus chicken is...meh. Fake citrus.
 
By the way, my nephew is a manager at a corporate-owned Taco Bell. I am completely aware that the change in ingredients is a corporate decision, and that the manager has no choice what to serve. I was in no way implying differently. But that doesn't mean I have to like it, or that I don't think the decisions corporate has made don't suck.
post edited by felix4067 - 2012/06/27 11:25:23
iluvcfood
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/28 01:53:45
Cilantro is the essence of good Mexican food.  
 
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/28 02:10:32
iluvcfood

Cilantro is the essence of good Mexican food.  


And to a rather large number of human beings, it tastes like soap.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/28 10:32:05
iluvcfood

Cilantro is the essence of good Mexican food.  


 
You may like cilantro but many do not.  For us that can't stand the taste, it ruins ALL food.
 
Mexican food can be just as good without it as can Chinese food, Indian food, Thai food...
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/28 11:20:22
Thai uses a lot of cilantro. I love it in Tom Yum soup which I could eat everyday!
FriedClamFanatic
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/28 17:37:39
To those who assume Cilantro and cumin are "essences" of Mexican cuisine..............again, a trip south of the BORDER may open your eyes to some really nice alternatives.  Here in the US, we assume that they are indispensible, but only in the sense that they do pervade a lot of "cheapo" food..............I'm not big on either, so my US choices are seldom Mexican......but when in Mexico, I delight in the savoury and imaginative dishes folks come up with.......even in small Mom&Pop places
SeamusD
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/06/28 19:27:46
I like to be beaten over the head with cilantro, personally. Love it. But, I can't eat rice, so I'll never know how the cilantro rice tastes. Can't remember the last time I went to a TB anyhow, just too many better alternatives around here.
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/07/10 13:42:35
My partner and I each had a Cantina Bell Bowl for lunch today and we thought it was pretty good. Mine was steak which had a generous amount of good sized pieces that had been marinated. It does have a pretty strong cilantro flavor and a little spicy kick that must come from the marinade because the veggie version didn't have that. We'd order it again. And yes we have many mom and pop local Mexican places and some that even put out very bland over salted and over priced food. 
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/07/13 21:19:02
My nephew just sent me this. It makes me giggle.
 

Lindseyup67
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/07/22 09:21:35
Taco Bell has blown it for me with this new menu. I LOATHE cilantro, and equally hate citrus anything...especiallty meat!! I do like their tacos, but for the love of god, could they possibly put more than a teaspoon of meat on them??
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/07/22 13:21:34
That's meat?
 
I thought I had it figured out when they were owned by Purina.
 
I actually like their cheap tacos for what they are. 
 
A friend tried the new menu yesterday and reported back to me.  She lives in Malone, Texas... population less than 100 I think.  Biggest towns near her are Waco and Hillsboro.
 
It was a big deal for her as her choices are quite limited.  She loved the corn but the rest of it just didn't do it for her.
iluvcfood
Cheeseburger
Re:Taco Bell is launching a "gourmet" menu!? 2012/07/22 15:13:49
Taco Bell is good but Del Taco is better!
I wish however that Taco Bell would offer the Bell Burger they used to have.