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Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Black Taco and the Bad Taco

Black Taco

I’m writing today to praise Taco Bell…and SHAME one of their locations!

First, the praise.

I have absolutely loved the ads for the Black Jack Taco since they first came out. I always state throughout the commercials in my own raspy pseudo-sexy voice, ”Black Taco.” David will confirm that I do this. I just love the ads.

Also, every time I saw the ads, I wanted to try the Black Jack Taco…but not enough to run out and get one and not even enough for it to stick when I was in the car and drove past a Taco Bell. I think I mentioned that often when I saw the TV ad, that the commercials were great, but not enough to make me want to go to Taco Bell. I hadn’t even been to a Taco Bell since the afternoon before our reception when I took the girls because Taco Bell is their favorite fast food place. I even growled “Black Taco,” along with the radio commercials, which never seemed to coincide with being hungry and driving by a Taco Bell. Still, the pepper-jack sauce was appealing.

Finally, the day of Paws Poker benefiting the Paws and Whiskers cat shelter, while I was still baffled by the question, “How on earth did I make it to the finals?” it was the day all the pieces fell into place for me to try a BLACK TACO!

David and I were both in the dozen remaining players from the Sunday morning session that made it to the weekend’s final round that afternoon. We went to shoot a couple of trains before grabbing a fast food lunch. I had a choice between McDonald’s and Burger King. Next to BK was a Taco Bell! We parked at Taco Bell and David ran over to Burger King while I ordered 2 Black Tacos and Cinnamon Twists.

Taco Bell's Black Jack Taco is Taco Heaven!

Oh my! That was the BEST Taco I’d ever tried! I was so right about the Pepper Jack sauce. I loved it! This is something I will make a plan to get! It didn’t keep the fluke that got me to the poker finals going my way, I lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, then had enough time to sit at an empty table and finish reading a chapter of my text book while David finished up, ah, but the memory of that awesome taco lingered. In fact, it lingered enough to make me want to seek out a Taco Bell on Tuesday when Dad and I were up north in Michigan doing some Grandma errands.

Now the Shame!

Driving to the I-75 in West Branch, Michigan, we drove through the Taco Bell/KFC combined restaurant. They offered a Black Jack Taco box meal that came with a Black Jack Taco, a regular taco and a burrito supreme. As we placed our order in the drive-through, Dad asked for me if they could put 2 Black Jack Tacos instead of the regular taco. The voice on the speaker said it would cost extra for the Baja sauce that makes a Black Jack Taco a Black Jack Taco. No problem. The sauce that makes a Black Taco a Black Taco is worth a little extra. We pulled up to the window, paid the box price plus extra for the sauce and were on the way back south. Initially I checked to make sure it was right because the box was a KFC box, but the wrapping inside was all Taco Bell. Just after we were on the freeway, I opened the first taco.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said out loud. After paying extra for the black tacos, the shell I was looking at was a regular taco shell. Add to that, when I picked it up, it was almost empty! I opened the other taco, same thing, regular shell, less than half full and that was WITH the lettuce on top! I could tell that the sauce was correct, but it was the wrong shell and the worst looking excuse for a taco I’d ever seen. I put the taco down and grabbed my cell phone and the receipt. I called and asked for the manager.

Sad excuse for a taco, huh?

He was polite and gave the standard, “Come back and I’ll replace your meal.” I told him I was on the road and I wasn’t local. I said I wanted to make sure he knew his employees were giving sub-standard product to his customers and ripping people off is not a good way to ensure return business. I was angry and I would likely not be back to his restaurant, but I thought he’d prefer to hear this from a dissatisfied customer rather than from the Taco Bell corporate office. He apologized and promised to send me coupons for free food good at any Taco Bell. I gave him my email address and he promised to email coupons to me. Almost a week later and still no email. Maybe he’s out of electronic stamps?

Taco Bell in West Branch, Michigan charges extra for this!

So now, I’m doing the only thing I can do. I can tell you all how great the Back Jack Tacos are, but warn you not to ever buy anything from the Taco Bell/KFC in West Branch, Michigan. Unfortunately, as much as I really liked the Black Jack Tacos, when I tasted them done right, the experience of getting ripped off, getting a half-filled, yellow-shelled taco in place of what I expected to be a black-shelled full taco, has put a bit of a damper on my desire to make a point of going out for Taco Bell again as a first thought for a quick lunch.

I am sending a link to this post to the Taco Bell franchising office too.

1 comment:

seamhead gypsy said...

You go girl! Maybe it's my age, maybe it's because similar events like that happen to me except it affects a 5 year old, or maybe it's because the economy is so crappy & business's would rather lay off employees instead of improve on customer service, but I so totally agree with the way you are handling this Nani!