Steppin’ Out – Taco Bell, Double Stacked Tacos (Plus)

Russ Salazar called me on a Monday, a couple of weeks ago, to tell me that his usual Monday bowling event was “flooded out” and to ask me if I wanted to meet for lunch.

I had spent the weekend with my daughter and two of my grandchildren and we had eaten way too well, so I told him, “How about tomorrow instead?”

He agreed and we decided to try something different, the three new (limited time) Double Stacked Tacos at Taco Bell.

We met at the Taco Bell on Broadway in Placerville, where we decided to each order one of each and compare comments. Three tacos and a drink came to $5, a pretty good lunch deal.

The three Double Stacked Tacos are the Nacho Crunch, Cool Habanero and Spicy Sweet, although the wrappers they were put in said, Nacho Crunch, Cool Ranch and Fiery. Apparently we had ordered them without paying a lot of attention to their actual names on the order board, because we couldn’t figure out why they did not taste like they were labeled.

It wasn’t until I started writing this and went to their webpage that I figured out why we were so confused. Two old guys at a restaurant. What do you expect.

These tacos are called Double Stacked because each of them is a crisp corn tortilla in a soft flour one. They each also appear to intentionally have two distinct different flavors.

I have to preface all our comments with the fact that Russ does not like crunchy taco shells and prefers soft tortillas. Thus, the tacos lost points with him before we even started.

The first one we tried was the Nacho Crunch. It had “cheese sauce” between the flour and corn tortillas and was filled with the bright red chips, which I think are crushed Doritos.

I use the words “cheese sauce,” since “cheese” comes in a large number of different forms, from real milk cheese to processed imitation cheese made without any dairy products. At fast food restaurants, I never know what is being served.

By itself it didn’t have a lot of flavor, but it was a good “test bed” for their many packaged sauces (the little packages with the cute sayings on them). By the way, I haven’t seen their green (verde) sauce in some time. Did they do away with it?

Russ tried several sauces and still thought it was just okay. I like their regular mild sauce for it’s flavor, but went so far as to try their “Diablo” sauce. With it, it was hotter, but easily bearable.

The next one we tested was the Cool Habanero, which was labeled as “Cool Ranch.”

With his first bite Russ said, “That’s not ranch dressing, I am sure it is sour cream.” I agreed, which maybe explains why it is actually called the Cool Habanero and not the Cool Ranch. I wonder where they got the wrappers with the wrong information on them.

It was a bit better than the first one, we both thought. It did have a little bite, but also needed some sauce to raise the “temperature.”

Our third, and last, taco was the Spicy Sweet, which was labeled “Fiery.”

It was kind of a shock. It did have a bit more bite to it that the other two, but tasted like it had been doused with some kind of sweet, thick Chinese hot sauce. Now, that is not bad, it is just a comment.

Once I had taken a couple of bites, it sort of grew on me. Of the three, I liked it best.

Russ continued to comment that is was actually a good lunch for five dollars. I’m still not sure about him and crunchy taco shells.

The menu at Taco Bell is huge, I mean HUGE. They have lots of tacos, burritos, chalupas, nachos, gorditas, grillers, rollups, combos, quesadilla, tostadas, gorditas and lots of things they have give Spanish sounding names to. And, they often add something new. Yes, I remember when they only had tacos and burritos, along with drinks. I also remember one in southern California that made “hamburgers” with taco meat.

I still like the Meal Deals, which cost around three dollars. Depending on the Taco Bell you visit, you get a special taco, burrito or something else, with a drink and a bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips. Sometimes I add a taco.

Oh, they warned me that the Double Stacked Tacos may disappear shortly, but, most assuredly, they will be replaced with something else new.

The hours of the Taco Bell 1240 Broadway in Placerville are Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until Midnight and on Friday and Saturday until 1 a.m. For more information give them a call at (530) 303-9101.

Join them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and what they call, the “4th Meal,” which I am pretty sure none of us really need if we eat the other three.

Last minute addition:

Due to a series of circumstances, Russ Salazar and I ended up at the Taco Bell in Pollock Pines for lunch last Monday.

I had met him at the Knotty Pine Lanes bowling alley to drop off some dishes I had bought for him at the Diamond Springs Flea Market and we planned on catching the Senior Lunch (meatloaf and mashed potatoes) at the Community Center across the parking lot. Unfortunately, they only had 25 servings of meatloaf and we were diners 26 and 27.

Disappointed, we tried to grab a burger at the Burger Barn, but it is closed on Mondays. So, we ended up at Taco Bell, which was unusually crowded for some reason.

I had the $5 box meal which included their new Naked Chicken Chalupa, a regular taco and a Nacho Cheese Doritos taco, along with a medium drink. The Naked Chicken Chalupa was the star of the meal and I and I loved it. Russ, who had to get back to the bowling alley, ate his later and emailed me that he really liked it too.

The unique “shell” is made from crispy, marinated all-white meat chicken, and it is filled with crisp lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese and avocado ranch sauce.

It is probably the best thing I have had at Taco Bell in a long time. Grab one, they are only available for a limited time.

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