Everybody has their favorite fast food place. It’s where they go when they want to get a meal that is fast, cheap, and most times, also pretty delicious. There are those who like McDonald’s, those who prefer a quick slice of pizza, and also even people who will step into a Chinese place if they can make a to go plate really fast. However, all of these pale in comparison to one of the undisputed kings of fast food (and we’re not talking about the one that sells burgers). We’re talking, of course, about Taco Bell. What is it about this place that makes people keep coming back? It could be the fact that unlike other places that sell fast food, Taco Bell is endlessly innovating and always coming up with new ideas. It could also be the fact that Taco Bell customers can get pretty much anything they want at any time. It could also be that people really are living by Taco Bell’s old slogan and thinking outside the bun. They want something other than the same old burgers they keep getting everywhere else. They want to experience different flavors and really try something new and exciting. They want a taco shell made out of Dorito! They want a gordita! That’s what Taco Bell delivers every day: something for everyone, whether they want nachos, a burrito, or even the humble quesadilla. Sure, there are other places that people can go to get Mexican food, but Taco Bell is the only one that will always be dependable, open, and ready to serve. These are the top ten secrets Taco Bell employees will never tell you.
10. Dip everything in nacho cheese
Nacho cheese is the kind of magical thing that everyone loves (well, as long as they’re not lactose intolerant). It’s gooey, cheesy goodness that perfectly drapes over everything like edible velvet is practically magical. That is doubly true for the nacho cheese that you can get with your meal at Taco Bell. Sure, it may come in a bag that gets poured into the dispenser by the employees, but look past the fact that this cheese is probably very artificial and focus on the fact that it tastes delicious. As it turns out, one of the greatest things people discovered about this sauce is that you can and should dip absolutely everything in it. Yeah, that’s right. Dip anything from Taco Bell in that nacho cheese sauce, and bam! You’ve got yourself a whole new treat on your hands. Burrito? Dip it in cheese. Taco? Dip it in cheese. Quesadilla? You best believe you should be dipping that thing in cheese. If you’re not coating everything you get from Taco Bell in nacho cheese, then you really are not living your best life. Trust us when we tell you that Taco Bell’s nacho cheese is the dram condiment. It is the secret to a great meal for cheap. On top of that, you can just get the cheese sauce and pour it on something else, like McDonald’s fries. Cheese fries, anyone? Boom! Now you’re living the dream, the Taco Bell nacho cheese dream.
9. The cinnamon twists are fried pasta
Taco Bell might not exactly be known for its signature desserts, but rest assured, like any other good fast food restaurant, you can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth at the Bell (that’s what cool people call it right? If not, then we want credit for coining the term!). Sure, you might not be able to get a waffle taco anymore, but you can still get the cinnamon twists. If you’ve never had the cinnamon twists at Taco Bell, then let us describe them to you. They are little, crunchy twists that are tossed with cinnamon and sugar, and they are completely delicious. You might think that making something so good would be a whole complicated process, but you would be wrong. That’s because the secret to the cinnamon twists is that they are just rotini pasta that has been deep fried. That’s right, the dessert that everyone goes crazy for after they’ve finished their encharito (we’ll get to that in a moment) is simply deep fried pasta tossed with cinnamon and sugar. Does that mean you could make the cinnamon twists yourself at home? Absolutely it does! Of course, it might just be better to trust the professionals at Taco Bell to do it for you. After all, deep frying in your home can be messy and time-consuming. Plus, you can always grab some of your other favorites while you’re at it.
8. Order the Enchirito
Every fast food place has a secret menu. Sure, there is the front-facing menu that everyone is used to, that has all the familiar favorites on it, but lurking just beneath that menu is an entire world of new possibilities for customers to try. there are plenty of places that will be happy to make secret menu items, and Taco Bell is one of them. There are definitely a lot of secret menu items at the Bell (it is going to catch on, we swear!), ones that anyone can order at any time. However, the most famous of these secret menu items might just be the enchirito. If you’ve never heard of this secret menu item, then allow us to shed some light on it for you. The enchirito, as its name suggests, is a combination of a burrito and an enchilada. As most Taco Bell fans know, the restaurant does not feature a classic enchilada on its menu, so this is basically like having one made for you with all of the ingredients the staff have available to them. It’s a beef, beans, and cheese burrito smothered in that signature Taco Bell red sauce and cheese. Yes, you have to eat with a fork (although some ambitious individuals might go for it with their hands), but it is definitely worth it.
7. You can make any order vegetarian
Fast food hasn’t always been great to vegetarians. Sure, there are the obvious options like fries or the salads, but what about the vegetarians who just want to be able to enjoy the foods they love without meat? Some places have caught on and started offering veggie burgers (there is now also the major trend of burgers that are “plant-based” but greatly resemble actual beef). Taco Bell was way ahead of the curve on this front, though. For years, people have been able to get the Taco Bell food they know and love but with beans substituted for the beef. That means that pretty much anything available at Taco Bell can be made into a vegetarian option. You can get a regular taco filled with beans instead of beef. You can even substitute potatoes for beef if you’re feeling really hungry for carbs. Basically, anything at Taco Bell can satisfy a vegetarian who doesn’t want to give up on tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. That’s sort of the beauty of Taco Bell. The food might not always be pretty, and it certainly received a lot of flack in the past for certain ingredients, but the truth is that Taco Bell, more than any other fast food institution, is trying to serve everyone, and if that is not a major display of food democracy, then we don’t know what is!
6. The spicy ranch is the same as Baja sauce
At any fast food restaurant, there are fan favorites that come and go. McDonald’s has its McRib, Wendy’s has its bacon mushroom melt, and now even the KFC Double Down has been added to the list of constantly disappearing and re-appearing fast food. Of course, some fan favorites stay gone forever. When that happens, it is like a tragedy. It leaves a hole in your life that cannot be filled. It’s the kind of thing that can supremely ruin your day (or, at the very least, your lunch hour). However, sometimes your favorite things will make their way back into your life, even if you don’t realize it. For example, Taco Bell fans must remember the famous Baja sauce: a creamy yet spicy topping that was absolutely perfect on almost anything. And yet, if you try to find it at any Taco Bell now, you will be truly disappointed, as it has been taken off of the menu. Fear not, though! For Baja sauce never really left. Instead, it became what is now known as spicy ranch! That’s right, the Baja sauce you loved all along was really just ranch with a little bit of hot sauce mixed into it, and the spicy ranch that is now available at Taco Bell is exactly the same. As they say, a Baja sauce by any other name is just as sweet.
5. Ask for a specific amount of sauces
As we may have revealed with our point about Baja sauce, it’s the sauces that make everything at Taco Bell extra special. Look, we know the food itself is pretty great, but without those little packets of heaven, nothing tastes quite as good. So what have you got to choose from in the sauce department, anyway? Well, you have the mild and hot sauces, which are obviously great choices on their own. The mild delivers a hint of heat with that signature tanginess, while the hot really amps things up by increasing the spice. Then, you can go even further with the fire sauce, which is so spicy that not many people can handle it. Beyond that, you’re dealing with Diablo sauce, the spiciest packet that the Bell offers. Of course, if you’re really an individual, you can go with something more flavorful like the salsa verde or the breakfast salsa, both of which offer unique flavor without burning off your precious taste buds. Of course, when asking for these sauces with your meal, it can be a little bit disappointing when you don’t end up with enough. So what do you do? Well, instead of asking for “a lot” of sauce of packets, ask for a specific number. Say you want 10, or 15, or 30, and the staff at Taco Bell will be more than happy to cram a whole handful of sauces into your to-go bag. That’s how you get the flavor you’re looking for!
4. Every menu item must be an exact weight
Have you ever looked at the tacos you got from Taco Bell and wondered how every single one comes out the exact same as all of the others? Well, there is a very simple reason for that. Even though it seems like Taco Bell is a fun, loose, do what you want kind of atmosphere, the truth is actually far different. As it turns out, every item at Taco Bell is made on a scale, with each ingredient needing to be weighed out in exact measurements. That means that every taco, every quesadilla, and every burrito, is built according to very strict weight guidelines. The staff is rigorously trained in how to do this. What makes everything even more exact is the strict weight standard imposed on each item. According to a former manager from Taco Bell, if a food item is off by more than .3 ounces, it has to be thrown away and rebuilt. This means that all of the ingredients must be added in exact increments. So the next time you think to yourself that working at Taco Bell must be so easy, just remember that the staff members go through a lot to get every item on the menu exactly right for their customers. This means that they have to make a lot of mistakes and really learn the technique before they are able to do it without thinking.
3. You can substitute Doritos in your nachos
We’ve written about Doritos before on this site because as we all know, Doritos are basically the best snack food that money can buy. They are crunchy, coated in flavor powder, and are pretty much the perfect chip for any occasion. Fill a bowl with them at any party and they will always be gone before anyone has to go home. So how can anyone possibly make Doritos better? Well, let’s first talk about the flawed logic of that question. You see, You don’t make Doritos better, Doritos make everything else better. This is doubly true for one of the signature dishes at Taco Bell: their nachos. There is a secret to making them better that is so obvious you might kick yourself if you haven’t thought of it yet. You can substitute Doritos for the regular corn chips in your Taco Bell nachos. Yes, it’s true. You can take out the plain, old tortilla chips that normally get smothered in cheese and other toppings and instead have the staff fill your dish with nacho cheese Doritos, and then cover those delicious chips with all of the good stuff that goes along with nachos. Some places have actually already done this (there is even a name for this particular type of culinary mix-up: “Dorachos”), but at Taco Bell, it’s up to you, the customer, to make sure the staff knows that this is what you want. And trust us, it is definitely something that you will want to try.
2. The staff make their own crazy items
While Taco Bell customers certainly enjoy eating the food, it’s really the staff who get the most out of the standard ingredients found behind the counter of any location. Sure, when they go on their lunch break, they could go somewhere else for a change of pace. After all, how many tacos could you possibly want to eat after making them all day? However, the staff have figured out something that only a handful of customers have come to realize: there is so much that you can do with Taco Bell ingredients. According to a former Taco Bell manager, when the staff members make themselves something to eat on their break, it is pretty much never something that is a regular menu item. The staff will take a ton of liberties with what the ingredients are meant for. They might make a Mexican pizza on a flatbread so that it resembles an actual pizza. Or, they might take some Doritos Locos shells, crush them up, and make a delicious nacho/burrito bowl with them. They might even just start layering a bunch of shells on top of one another. The point is that with taco ingredients and an endless supply of imagination, anything can be possible. The staff members have proven this time and time again by coming up with some truly insane ideas. some of them are so good, they should be on the menu for real! Of course, you don’t even need them to be menu items, because…
1. You can customize anything and everything
Burger King may tell it’s customers to have it their way, and subway may let people convince themselves that they are making their sandwich themselves because they’re telling an “artist” how to put it together, but out of all of the fast food restaurants out there, Taco Bell is the king of customization. It may not seem like it, but Taco Bell is the kind of place that encourages its customers to get creative. There are plenty of secret menu items that have sprung forth from the creativity of Taco Bell patrons, but even if something isn’t on the secret menu, it can still be yours to have. All you have to do is imagine it. According to a former Taco Bell manager, the restaurant is one of those places where the customers really do feel free to mix and match all kinds of things on the menu, and due to the unique POS (point of sale) system, it’s really easy for Taco Bell employees to figure out what is going on every item and how much to charge. Yes, you do get upcharged sometimes, but at the end of the day, isn’t paying a little more to get exactly what you want always worth it? After all, you’ll walk out of the Bell (It’s going to happen!) with a smile on your face and a bag full of delicious goodness that will fill your stomach and your soul.