I LOVE a good whinge as much as the next American, and I have to thank the dearth of quality Mexican food in Perth for ensuring material is never in short supply.
Then, on September 29, who should roll into Mildland but el caballero de mis sueños, who from his steed extends a white-gloved hand which, lo!, opens gently to reveal that most coveted of bean pillows, that quencher of private cheesy desire, the Crunchwrap Supreme. My dreamy caballero proffers his treasured offering.
The sun glitters on its tinfoil nest, resplendent as diamonds and more precious.
“For you, my princesa,” says my caballero, and the breeze that ruffles his flowing hair carries with it the smell of cheese I already know will be inexplicably orange. I lean forward in anticipation.
The best part of having a Taco Bell here is that I don’t have to stop complaining about the lack of quality Mexican food.
Taco Bell is not really Mexican food and never has been (that would be like trying to sum up Asian cuisine as two-minute noodles).
But it is delicious. And, for me, it scratched a certain itch.
Two fellow Americans accompanied me on the outing. We all drank a lot of water in anticipation of the sore throats we’d likely develop moaning about how it just wasn’t the same as back home.
After an hour in line amid a crowd of eager first-timers, we tried valiantly to run up the food review spending allocation, and in the end came nowhere close.
My go-to for years back home was the Crunchwrap Supreme ($8.95), with beans instead of cheese. My home franchise (shoutout to the Taco Bell on 35th Ave in Oakland!) always used refried beans automatically, so I didn’t think to specify.
I’m not sure if this is true across the States, but here I received black beans and it definitely wasn’t as good. The only other noticeable difference was the lack of sour cream, so be sure to order some on the side!
I was happy to find that the same weird, delicious, plasticky cheese that is arguably America’s most important cultural export featured everywhere liberally, but for my friend Peter who is allergic to dairy, there wasn’t much to get excited about on the menu.
We all got Mountain Dew Freezes ($1 each) and they tasted exactly as I remembered they had when, as a misguided youth, I filled them with booze and smuggled them into movie theatres. Ah, the taste of home.
Finally, there are the sauces.
Perhaps the primary focus of America’s Taco Bell fervour is the hot sauce. In the States, we have four (Mild, Hot, Fire, and Diablo), and they’re all insanely good. They’re sold by the bottle now, but I can’t imagine anyone buys them because the packets are free and everyone I know back home has at least one kitchen drawer full of “extras”.
The Midland location only had Mild and Fire, which is almost forgivable because Fire is the best one anyway. I was happy to see they’d adopted the policy of handing them out for free, and I’ve now started on my drawer collection.
Basically, we agreed that the Taco Bell at Midland is pretty faithful to the itch it’s designed to scratch. You probably have the itch, too–you just don’t know it yet.
Taco Bell Midland
226 Great Eastern Hwy
7 days, 10am-10pm