The dinner was at the Ritz Carlton peering below at downtown L.A. Not exactly the first, second, nor seventh place that makes you think of Taco Bell, but perhaps that's the point. Now I can finally say, "I went to the Ritz Carlton to eat Taco Bell." I'll just check that off the bucket list.
So basically, the new Cantina Bell menu is geared at people who wouldn't normally get something at Taco Bell. Specifically, it's what Chef Garcia would eat at Taco Bell at an affordable price point (under $5) while providing a good value (550 calories and a little less than a pound of food).
So even though it hasn't even arrived yet, what's in the future for the Cantina Bell menu? Nothing set in stone, but it is here to stay, so look for Taco Bell to try different proteins and different forms of the current ingredients (tacos and quesadillas are my guess). Taco Bell was a bit mum of what they've tested before arriving at the final menu (because those items might make it onto the menu later on), but they did say they tried various corn tortillas including a whole grain version. They ended up not going in that direction as there seems to be a significant difference in regional preference and palates across the U.S. for corn tortillas with some areas finding the tortillas tested as "raw."
When the Cantina Bell menu arrives, it will mean 8 new ingredients at your local Taco Bell. And, as Taco Bell fans know, as long as they have the ingredients on hand, your local Taco Bell will make whatever the heck you want as long as you're clear on what you want (I do wonder if Beefy Crunch fans can bring a bag of Flaming Hot Fritos in and have them make that though).
As the launch approaches, be on the look out for a Taco Bell Facebook promotion where they'll be offering a "buy, one, get one bowl free" coupon. Taco Bell is also launching the menu with a guarantee that if you don't like it, they'll replace it with something else on the menu of equal value.
For more details on the Cantina Bell menu, you can check out my previous post.