Last week, 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. They announced that they will be removing their iconic Mexican Pizza from their menu. Even as a grown man, I got a little teary eyed as I read the original news story.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time they’ve ripped the rug out from under me. But this time, it’s different. A lot 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.
I even got over the pain of losing some other longtime favorites earlier this year when they “adjusted” their menu. But this time they’ve gone too far.
The Mexican Pizza has long been a staple in my life. There was 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 a enjoying hot Mexican Pizza while sitting on a hotel bed made me feel not so homesick. And there is today when I can taste as much nostalgia as I can cheap beef in those little “pies” of perfection. Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza is a comfort food.
But now, the Mexican Pizza is just another casualty of 2020. We’ve lost a lot this year. I don’t want to actually compare this to all of the important things we’ve lost, but c’mon, a brief moment of silence is needed here. This is some people’s childhoods going away…some lonely person’s sense of home disappearing…some man’s means of a moment of sanity in a crazy world.
Whether anyone else will or not, I stand and put my hat over my heart for the loss of a dear friend. May you enjoy the company of other lost greats in that big Taco Bell in the sky.
Speaking of other lost greats…let’s rundown the Taco Bell items I miss most!
The Double Decker Taco
Just look at that. Gaze upon it’s beauty! 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 earlier in the year. The real sticking point with me is that they always have all the items in house to slap 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.
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 and onion, and melted cheese combination.
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.
That’s going to do it for this week, but before I get out of here, let me point you in the direction of some really great other stuff here on The Retro Network that you may have missed this past week…
Wax Pack Flashback: WCW Wrestling (1991)
Way Back Wednesday: The Top Music of Sept. 2, 1983
Check Out Those Ads! Ghost Rider #15
Girl Meets (Game)Boy
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure Turns 35
The Greatest Summer of Movies 2: Electric Boogaloo
You can enjoy past Retro Ramblings columns at your leisure, hear me every Tuesday on The Retro Network Podcast, watch me open old packs of cards on Wax Pack Flashback, or you can hit me up on both Twitter and Facebook and we’ll talk about whatever you like.