December 21, 2008

Taco Review #4 - Taco Bell's Volcano Taco

OK, I know - even Taco Bells BEST taco does not even qualify as a REAL taco, but hear me out. I was driving to Silver City in southern New Mexico, for work. Down I-25 to Las Cruces to I-10 then to Silver City. From this route you can actually SEE Mexico - yes, the taco Mothership. All of those mountains you see to the south of I-10 - that's Mexico baby. So I'm thinking, "I'm so close to frickin' Mexico time for another taco review - there's GOTTA be a decent taco around here". Driving south out of Soccorro, it's a long an lonely stretch of desert, especially when you're Jonesn' for tacos. My mouth was watering and the next town of any decent size is Truth or Consequences - so I set my sights on doing some serious taco eating there. Good thing, because I was frickin' starving!

I roll into T or C and the first "Mexican" place I see is called "Hot Stuff" - for one thing that's a REALLY stupid name for a restaurant but the worst part was the words "Hot Stuff" on their big-ass sign are spelled out in some sort of gay chili pepper font. There is NO way I'm eating there - I don't care if they have the best tacos in the world (which, I KNOW they would not) - it just ain't gonna happen. So I drive through town.....twice... and I don't see a single taco place, not one. OK, so now I'm pretty pissed, and still starving and right as I'm getting ready to get back on the freeway - there's Taco Bell. What the hell, it's my only option, so I pull in. In the window there is a big sign pushing their new "Volcano Taco". Being a geologist I thought anything that has to do with molten lava and spewing pyroclastic material can't be THAT bad. I go drive through the window and order two tacos smothered in volcanic goodness. I park and open the paper wrapper and there they are just sitting there, viscous bright orange volcanic "lava" dripping from the ends, a molten core of pureed Taco Bell taco meat and a red taco shell of solidified earthen crust.

So they were OK. About as good as I expected from Taco Bell ......however I was expecting at least a little spiciness from something called a "Volcano Taco" but there was nothing. There was none of that "fire coming out of your mouth" business like you see on the TV commercials. A couple of packets of the "Fire" sauce helped matters a bit, but not much. The Review:
Taco authenticity: 2.0/5.0
Volcanic Simulation 3.5/5.0 (orange cheese lava and wilted vegetation - a nice try)
Taco value: 3.0/5.0 (at $1.49 each it's still a little high for a taco)
Taste: 2.0/5.0 (does not even come close to the taste of a REAL taco, but hey it's Taco Bell!)

Overall Rating: 2.625/5.0

Taco Alert: DO NOT stop in Truth or Consequences for a taco - That town is some sort of taco-free vortex, there ain't shit there. If you're heading south, suck it up and wait another 50 miles or so until the Dona Ana exit. There is a really crazy looking taco stand right there off the freeway, yet to be reviewed.

Taco Review #3 - The "Alpo" Taco

A taco stand inside of a Mexican Supermarket? Si Senior - estoy bajo! A supermarket that has a taco stand AND a carneceria? Palabra! This is the El Paisano Supermarket in Espanola, NM - English not spoken.
OK - so I've had tacos here before and they were actually pretty decent. But dude, what happened? - the tacos they are serving up now, totally suck. I mean that shit is like dog food. The lack of cars in the parking lot should have been a clue.

OK, so I show up thinking: "this is gonna be the Taco Review to end all Taco Reviews", I mean I gotta order in Spanish, and the nice ladies even walk back to the beat market and hand-select the meat for my carne asada. No Holmes, it don't get better than that!
The first sign of scariness is they are frying my hand-selected peice of meat in lard oil. OK, thats cool, but I usually like my "asada" grilled and not fried, so whatever. Second bad sign, the place is empty except for two trolls that stumbled in after I ordered - both ordered menudo (they KNEW something). Third bad sign, it took FOREVER to get my food - I mean what the hell are they doing to it - I'm the only one there that ordered real food that does not have to be ladelled into a bowl?
So I FINALLY get the goods and lather it up with whatever salsa concoction that is sitting there on the sticky, un-bussed table from the previous troll. I add some cilanto and chomp.......what the....? Ya, it's frickin' dog food. It was truely nasty. Chewy meat that was fried and ground and pulverized to a point of unrecognition. After chewing on just one taco, my jaw muscles were already bonking - I'm serious, they were BEAT and I had to rest. Choking down the first taco I looked at the remaining horror that remained on my plate and noticed that they had cooled to a point that the grease had started to solidfy into a nice orangish-brown color, coating every frightening morsel. I ate one more and that was it - 2 down and 2 more for the trash.
The Review:
Meat: 1.0/5.0
Veggies: 3.0/5.0 (cilantro only - I was scared to ask for anything else)
Value: 2.0/5.0 (4 bucks for 4 tacos would be a good deal - if they were real tacos)
Condenments: NA
Overall 1.3/5.0 (and that's pretty generous)
Taco Alert: Don't eat there - even if it's 2:30 am, and you're really high and have the munchies - don't do it.

December Random 10

John Spencer Blues Explosion - Get Over here
Nirvana - Come As You Are
Sufjan Stevens - They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black
Marcal E Caetano - Peco A Dues
Mosquito - The Legend of Seven Skulls
These New Puritans - 4
Augustus Pablo - Natural Way
Hank Williams - Dear John
The National - Patterns of Fairytales
Minutemen - Nothing Indeed

December 01, 2008

Sweet Rides

Not sure what this bike has been dipped in - fleece? fur? pubes?

Party Bike - room for all of your drunken friends. I don't see anyway to steer the damn thing

Party bike in action

....another party bike - different kind of party