Last year, Taco Bell made one of the more disappointing, heart-breaking announcements I’ve heard since my dad told me wrestling was fake all those years ago when they announced that they would be removing their iconic Mexican Pizza from the menu. Even as a grown man, I got a little teary-eyed as I read the original news story.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time they ripped the rug out from under me. In fairness, some of the items that I loved that got pulled from their menu were limited-time offerings anyway and would have vanished whether they were adored or not. But here are the menu items I miss the most from Taco Bell.
The Mexican Pizza
The Mexican Pizza was a staple in my life for a long time. There were the early days as a kid when we first got a Taco Bell around here and I was expecting some kind of actual pizza but was pleasantly surprised by what I got instead. There were the times when I was in high school going on dates and it somehow seemed more sophisticated than just ordering tacos. There were the nights later on when a Mexican Pizza was all I wanted after a long night of consuming adult beverages. There were the years I spent traveling and enjoying a hot Mexican Pizza while sitting on a hotel bed made me feel not so homesick. And there is today when I can still taste the nostalgia as I yearn for those little “pies” of perfection. Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza is comfort food, and I eagerly await the day I get to taste its simplistic deliciousness once again.
The Double Decker Taco
Just look at that image, and gaze upon the beauty that was created by melding two different tacos together with some beans. Other than the Mexican Pizza, the Double Decker Taco may have been Taco Bell’s most perfect creation. No longer did you have to decide between hard or soft tacos…you could have both. At least until they ripped that away from me too back in 2020. The real sticking point with me is that they always have all the items on hand to put this together. Why would they not?!?
The Mexican Pizza was my first love at Taco Bell, but the Chilito was the mistress that stole my heart for a while. What’s not to love about the chili sauce they had partnered with shredded cheddar cheese and wrapped securely in a warm flour tortilla? That’s a rhetorical question by the way.
Back in the ’90s, the Chilito was a nice option on a late night when you didn’t have a lot of money to spare. My friends and I capped numerous of our evenings off by downing bags of these things, regardless of the consequences we were sure to face the next morning because of it.
The Meximelt became a solid choice for me to order after one of my brother’s friends introduced me to it. I had wanted soft tacos brought to me, but he screwed up and ate them on the way home, so he gave me his MexiMelts instead. What a wonderful mistake that was. I quickly became a fan of the beef, tomato, onion, and melted cheese combination. Even though it was a great discovery brought on by circumstance, to this day I’m still not convinced that my soft tacos weren’t eaten on purpose.
The Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito
The Bacon Cheeseburger Burrito from the mid-90s was my obsession until I completely burned myself out on them. The thing was loaded with beef, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and a cheese sauce. It was wonderful. Even though I got burned out on them long ago, I now crave them once more, and would probably burn myself out on them again if given the opportunity.
The Texas Taco Sandwich
The Texas Taco Sandwich hit the market in 1995 with a fun commercial starring Jack Palance. Palance was coming off a resurgence thanks to the movies City Slickers and City Slickers II, so he lent credibility to Taco Bell’s latest offering with a Texas flair. I was driving by the time this came out, so as soon as I saw the first commercials, I was making my run for the border to try one.
The Texas Taco Sandwich was a change from the norm due to its thicker and breadier shell. We know now that this was just the forerunner to the Gordita that was to come in 1998, but at the time it was a unique item that captured my attention, as well as my taste buds while it was on the menu. I do seem to remember it being larger than the later Gordita, but it probably had to be since it was marketed as being associated with Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas I hear.
So there are the extinct Taco Bell menu items I miss the most, but what about you? What do you miss? Hit us up in the comments and we’ll grieve together.
If you’ve got a junk food question, junk food memory, or just want to share an observation of your own, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]. And you can always find me on Twitter posting about both old and new junk food, as well as other random geeky stuff. Stop by there and say hello as well.