Forget Chipotle, Taco Bell is heavenWednesday, May 30, 2012 By abby seitz
Warrenton does a good job of offering a variety of restaurants within a 20 mile radius, including three delightful Mexican eateries: Chipotle, Qdoba and Taco Bell. While I do enjoy an oversized stuffed burrito and a lousy soft drink for nearly $10 from time to time, if I have a choice, Taco Bell always wins. Taco Bell has a reputation among scoffers (most of whom have never even been there) for being dirty and serving low quality, unhealthy dog food. However, a stroll into the restaurant proves such blasphemy wrong. Friendly and engaging staff greet customers as they walk in and order. Managers are also knowledgeable of the menu– any allergies or special diets can be easily accommodated upon request. The restaurant itself is kept clean beyond expectations, and the dining area is perfect for anything, from lunch to dinner before a school dance. The menu is incredibly diverse, offering items such as burritos, tacos, chalupas, nachos, wraps and gorditas. Taco Bell is always revolutionizing its menu, introducing new items every few months, such as the life-altering Doritos taco or a pomegranate Fruitista Freeze. The restaurant also caters to a range of taste buds by offering fruity drinks, sweet empanadas, spicy Volcano tacos and cheesy burritos. At Chipotle and Qdoba, you can get a burrito, or you can get a burrito…in a bowl. There is also a stigma surrounding Taco Bell that skeptics will forever hold over the glorious institution- nutritional value. While I’m not going to argue that Taco Bell is healthy, the food is comparably better for you than Chipotle or Qdoba. If you order a burrito from Chipotle and add chicken, white rice, pinto beans, salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole and lettuce, you’re ingesting 1165 calories from your burrito alone. Most items from Taco Bell are under 500 calories, allowing you to mix and match different items from the menu for your meal without gaining five pounds. Perhaps Taco Bell’s best attribute lies in the price. While a family of four can easily drop $40 or more at Chipotle, a Taco Bell run costs less than half of that. The Why Pay More! menu offers tacos, cinnamon twists and nachos for under a dollar. Most items at the restaurant are under $2. Convenience is also a major reason Taco Bell wins. In Warrenton, the restaurant stays open until 1 a.m. – in D.C., some Taco Bells stay open 24/7. The restaurant also has a drive-thru – something Qdoba and Chipotle do not. Ordering Chipotle can be an all day affair – the lines can be lengthy, service can take forever and having to go in and order is so much more time consuming. While Taco Bell has a tasty menu, proportional servings, a handy drive-thru and more variety than the competition, there is one aspect of the Taco Bell experience that blows rivals out of the water – the Mountain Dew Baja Blast. Only offered at Taco Bell, Baja Blast is a tropical lime explosion in your mouth. The beauty that comes with the first sip of a Baja Blast is unexplainable. Just taste it. It will keep you coming back.