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Inside Column: Thinking outside the bun

Marty Schroeder | Monday, September 11, 2006

Snickers has run an ad campaign over the past years that asks consumers if they are hungry – and if they are, “Why wait? Grab a Snickers.”

They seemed to have forgotten about the greatness that is the Tex-Mex, southwest burrito-slinging fast food giant that fulfills the needs of college students craving tacos everywhere – Taco Bell.

Go south of the border while thinking outside the bun and find the brilliance that is an amalgamation of American fast food, southwest style-goodness and late-night availability.

Imagine the papers are piling up and the Huddle is closed. The panic is rising and the hunger pangs are rolling over your consciousness like thunderstorms over the central plains of America.

Only a hop, skip and a jump away, Taco Bell can answer all the needs that any growing body could have. The beef and potato burrito is an excellent choice providing a whole half of a pound of nourishment – sustenance akin to the lembas bread that the elves gave the hobbits for their long journey across Middle-Earth in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic “The Lord of the Rings.”

But the hobbits never had the Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme.

This brilliant dish combines chicken marinated (or so the commercials say) in a spicy sauce and combines it with the finest sour cream, nacho cheese and mix of crunchy and soft tortillas. For only five dollars, you -yes even you – can have a large drink, a hard or soft taco and the delicious Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap Supreme.

They do not call it supreme for nothing. Whenever I eat one, I believe that I would be able to divine the muses and write something akin to a Shakespearian sonnet about this meal I have just had – but then I am so full I usually fall asleep and forget about it only to wake up and want more.

Now, I know many naysayers are going to tell me that Taco Bell is the complete and utter commodification of Mexican food and Taco Bell turns it into a marketing tool to appeal to Americans who don’t know any better. I would agree with you – if Taco Bell wasn’t so good. Whenever you go into a Taco Bell, know that you are not getting real Mexican food. La Esperanza, a Mexican restaurant in South Bend, provides an amazing array of food that matches Mexican cuisine with more verisimilitude. However, you have to wait, you have to pay more and it’s probably healthier.

Taco Bell is fast, delicious and perfect for those late-night cravings. If you ever have a craving, let me know. We can call the muses together and revel in the best that American fast food has to offer.