I don’t think I’ll ever understand Taco Bell. It occupies a peculiar spot on the spectrum of fast food chains because there’s such a contradictory attitude toward it.
On one hand, its revered offerings are, on the whole, considered slightly greater than or equal to ass blood. I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out headquarters buys the beaver-tranquilized animals Chipotle is too pontifical to use, grinds them up in a wood chipper, mushes them into a pudding of butylated hydroxyanisole, and delivers frozen bags of it to a Taco Bell near you. Oh, your meat is 88 percent ACTUAL beef? Did they have mad cow disease? That’s a pretty generous number for what I taste.
But on the other hand, people absolutely love it. We want it BECAUSE the ingredients are heinously inorganic, and we see it as some sort of perverse indulgence in self-deprecation. We specifically eat Taco Bell so we can feel like a trash bag full of mayonnaise afterward. Taco Bell is Big Food’s prized pupil — it’s the only one to master the endlessly profitable art of reverse psychology.
Regardless, I still make a conscious effort to try their new items. The day they released the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos my junior year of college, me and three of my friends piled into a car and drove through five inches of snow to get one. That was back when I ate Taco Bell two to three times a week – a dark era of my life when I wantonly disregarded how horrible it was that I was putting nuclear dog food in my body on a near-regular basis.
So I knew I had to try the Sriracha Quesarito immediately. I wanted it because it combines so many great things. A quesadilla inside a burrito is baller enough already. But SRIRACHA, TOO? Our Loving Creator must’ve sent down the Sriracha Quesarito to end all wars and save us from eternal damnation.
After work last Wednesday, I traveled to the T-Bell closest to my house. Our Loving Creator wasn’t so gracious the night before and decided to crap rain and ice all over the Baltimore metropolitan area. It took me an an hour and a half to drive 11 miles through icy rush hour traffic for Taco Bell. My high hopes for the Sriracha Quesarito couldn’t be crushed by the masses of mindless drivers.
I had finally arrived home with it. Marvin Gaye played in my head as I unwrapped it. I started saying some of the things that are said here. The first bite had been taken, and a number of thoughts immediately crossed my mind.
My first thought was that it tasted a lot like a microwaveable taquito, which is not a very good look, even for Taco Bell standards.
The Sriracha combined with the beef gave the filling a very acidic taste. The cheese from the supposed “Quesa” component seemed more like the cheese slop typically served with chips than real melted cheese. I felt slighted.
Then I thought about how it also tasted similar to the Volcano Burrito, which uses Lava Sauce. Do both the Sriracha Quesarito and Volcano Burrito use the same hot sauce? Has the Volcano Burrito, in fact, been using Sriracha throughout its entire existence? Or does the Sriracha Quesarito actually use Lava Sauce, thus rendering its entire existence a lie? Is the company that owns Sriracha even getting any money from this promotion?
Does Sriracha even exist? Do I even exist?
This seems like the right time to say Sriracha is wildly overrated. Texas Pete and Frank’s taste so much better and are widely more applicable. Sriracha is just another inexplicable white-person phenomenon that people lose their fucking minds over. The only real thing Sriracha has going for it is that it’s marginally better than Crazy Jerry’s Mustard Gas.
But yeah, besides the extra cheese, the Sriracha Quesarito and the Volcano Burrito taste eerily similar. They’re about the same size and both make me feel undignified after finishing them. I regret not treating myself to a consistently delicious Baja Blast to wash it all down. That soda is the nectar of the gods.
Overall, the Sriracha Quesarito was subpar at best. It was exactly what I expected and exactly what I knew I was facing hellish traffic for. Hundreds of years from now, when we’re looking back into the annals of fast food history and contemplate Taco Bell’s most iconic offerings, I doubt it will be recognized.
But then again, it’s your typically gross Taco Bell food, so I LOVED IT.