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Taco Bell starts border-hopping

November 1, 2007

America is the greatest country in the world.

Of course, I’ve always believed this—everyone knows we have the best everything in America. And that includes Mexican food.

How do I know this? Well, last week, Taco Bell announced that it was opening a chain of almost 800 Taco Bell stores in Mexico. This nefarious and tasty plot will undoubtedly entice our Hispanic friends to spend their hard-earned pesos on the kind of zesty Mexican fare that only Taco Bell can provide.

Our amigos south of the border will be impressed—nay, shocked—by the superior food quality of the Taco Bell menu. Hearty choices like the Nachos BellGrande dish—which resembles a yummy plate of pureed squirrels and old cheese—will keep customers coming back for more.

On many occasions I’ve been tempted by the wares of Taco Bell: heaps of ground raccoon meat piled on cardboard tortillas and drizzled with the finest melted toenail cheese available. Throw in a 900 oz. fountain drink that’s jacked with caffeine and sugar, but somehow still tastes watered down and you’ve got a menu to die for.

But what about those damn traditionalists? There are those that will stubbornly resist fun little trends like globalization.

Some might be worried that the little guys—the holes in the wall and open-air Mexican cafés—will be ruthlessly rubbed out by the hot sauce-soaked fingers of American consumerism. McDonald’s is already there with their wildly successful “a la Mexicana” menu.

Can Taco Bell copy the genius success of that catchy slogan? Who knows?

But I do think that with enough pounds of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, even the most willful of challengers will back down and begin to think outside the bun.

Mexico will not only experience the fine quality of Taco Bell food, but also the quality of their excellent customer service.

The drive-through service in these restaurants will, of course, probably be outsourced to India. But the in-store employees will offer food with the brightest of smiles and the deftest of touches.
And thankfully, in-store menus will be bilingual, in case locals aren’t sure how to say “I want a side of Cinnamon Twists with my Gordida Supreme.”

Yes, I predict great things from Taco Bell’s Mexican venture.

And as a patriotic American, I am deeply proud of my country’s imperial courage to make such a move.

Relentless, delicious and addictive. Could Taco Bell be the future of American and Mexican cuisine?

I know that the next time I’m in Mexico I’m heading straight for the neighborhood Taco Bell.

And our Hispanic friends must face it: a taco from Taco Bell may taste like salty plywood, and Taco Bell nachos may resemble belly-button goo and war crimes, but these foods are American.

And American stuff is always—always the best.

Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.