Though I’ve dined at such great Southwestern restaurants as Hugo’s, La Mexicana, Sadie’s, and even the unlikely-named Sanitary Tortilla Factory, high standards don’t rule out an occasional trip to Taco Bell. It’s easily available Mexican-style food with a predictable satisfying taste. Even in Albuquerque, which has plenty of legendary New Mexican green and red chile dishes, I”d occasionally visit the Taco Bell on Route 66 across from the city’s Old Town tourist destination. Unfortunately, the tourists didn’t feel the same way, and the Taco Bell was bulldozed a year after it opened.
Still, no matter the quality of Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood, the taste of Taco Bell is hard to resist. I was excited to try the new Quesalupa, which is a chalupa wrapped in a flour shell that’s been stuffed and cooked with a thin layer of melted Pepper Jack cheese.
When I unwrapped my spicy-beef Quesalupa, I was put off by the look of the chalupa shell, which seemed too brown, like it had been slightly overcooked. However, the toasted pastry-like flavor of the shell puts the Quesalupa into a higher level than the standard Taco Bell taste.. I would be very pleased to have this served as a dish in a more authentic Mexican restaurant. The toasted flour cheesy chalupa shell is just that good.
The Quesalupa is my all-time favorite item at Taco Bell, and I am looking forward to trying all of the options, with chicken or steak, and mild, hot, or green sauce. The Quesalupa is a fast-food classic.