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fast food vegan

Fast Food Vegan: Taco Bell (Updated)

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Taco Bell has been, and will continue to be, one of my favorite fast food spots. The price is right, the variety is great, I love Mexicana and it’s is just a comfort food for me. I go there at LEAST once a week, and every time when I go out to the movies. I actually look forward to my Taco Bell more than the movie itself on movie nights. When I switch to vegetarian and later vegan, I was afraid of cutting Taco Bell out of my life.

I always knew Taco Bell had bean burritos which tasted “pretty ok.” I knew this because I had several vegetarian friends in high school. I never cared much about how good they tasted or what else was available for vegetarians at the time. But now, I really hoped they tasted better than just ok. So I went to Taco Bell, as a vegetarian, to explore my options.

Taco Bell Burritos
Taco bell sides

I spoke to my regular server, Danny. Me and Danny go way back. I show up at his Taco Bell at 10:30pm most friday nights. I started asking him some questions about substituting other things for meat in tacos and burritos. It turns out there are many things you can sub for meat! The classic refried beans are there but there are also black beans, guacamole, fiesta potatoes and rice. I found that fiesta potatoes offered the best element of heartiness and saltiness that I have grown accustomed to with beef and chicken. However, if you plan on replacing protein with protein then beans are probably the best choice. Or you can mix and match!

Taco Bell also has a magic phrase “Fresco Style.” Saying Fresco Style will replace all cheeses, creams, and guacamole with pico. Usually I tell them to leave the guac on when it’s relevant. Here are go-to items to order after years of experience.

  • Mexican Pizza, fresco style, sub beef for rice, add guac (or side of guac)
  • Cheese quesadilla, sub refried beans for cheese, add rice, add red sauce
  • Bean burrito, fresco style, add rice, add potatoes, add guac

The bean burrito is especially amazing because you can refrigerate and then reheat it later (if this is your plan I suggest keeping the guac off). I often order 4 of these at a time and keep 2 for later, or the next day. Let me know what you come up with!

Taco Bell Finally Upset Me

Taco Bell is my favorite place to eat. I even wrote a whole article on my blog about how awesome Taco Bell’s vegetarian options are. However this particular Taco Ball, the one I go to most often, has been truly letting me down. I am a reasonable person who has worked in the food industry a considerable amount of time. I have a good feel for when I am being annoying or crazy and when I am not. This situation should have been handled differently.

Update!

Looks like Taco Bell ended up seeing this video and wanted to make it right. I really appreciate that. Today when I checked the mail I received a pleasant surprise! They gave me (and Shane) four “two free item” certificates, three $5 gift certificates, four little hot sauce pins, and a hand-written card. Very well done.

taco-bell-makes-up

Summer

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