Mar 21, 2012

Photo Gallery: Taco Bell's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Taco Bell celebrated their 50th Anniversary today at their Irvine headquarters and living as I do in the next county over, I was invited to partake of the festivities. Click on to see what was going on at the event.

Retro was the theme of the party. Here, we have a retro take on the original Taco Bell signage to replace the normal signage for a bit.

A burro, some cactus, and sombreros... is it getting hot out here?

In case the 800 or so guest were jealous of the cactus and their sombreros, they were all given the opportunity to grab and decorate one of their own.

If they wanted a bigger two-dimensional hat, this one was also available for photo-ops.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Taco Bell party without the Taco Bell Truck in retro chic. It wasn't giving out free tacos though but free retro Taco Bell ringer T-shirts instead.

For entertainment, a mariachi band was provided just like back in the earlier days of the company when each new opening came complete with a fiesta and mariachi band.

Also in attendance for entertainment was one of Taco Bell's Feed the Beat musical acts, Fake Problems. And onto the food!
Taco Bell promised "Original Menu Items" in the invite but these are not one of them.

Not it either but these were quite popular; a little cup of layered dip with a fried tortilla strip.

Ah! Here we go! It's the Bell Beefer, Taco Bell's answer to the sloppy joe. Think hamburger bun with seasoned ground beef and shredded cheddar cheese.

These Bell Beefers seem to have shrunk through the years though. Kidding! all the original menu items served were in miniature. Perfect for sampling!

Tostadas were also available...

...With freshly fried Tostada shells!

There were mini crunchy tacos too! I really liked the freshly fried shells.

For dessert there were cake pops. The frosting was more like candy and pretty thick and a little bit too sweet for cake but the cake was moist. The guy with the sombrero is actually the original Taco Bell mascot way before any chihuahua appeared on the scene.

More cake pops. But behind them were screens playing a reel of Taco Bell commercials throughout the year. I swear I saw Patrick Duffy playing a Taco Bell employee in one of them.

Neat, huh?


  1. I am older than Taco Bell!!!!

    I have written about pre-opening food prep  for an early 1980s Taco Bell when different more labor-intensive methods were in place.

    Different meat sources and preparation method.

    Frying soft taco shells to make hard taco shells.

    Cutting whole tomatoes into slices and diced  tomatoes manually in the AM for daily use.

    Much different than the methods of today and, in my opinion, a better end product back then.

    BIG pans over gas flames to cook the meat. Add BIG bags of seasoning and stir until blended.

    I don't remember all we did but it took several hours of daily prep before the doors opened for business.

    No drive-through, no headphones needed.

    Walk-in only with a relatively small inside eating area.

    It was California and the outside eating area was used for much of the year.

    Menu smaller back then.

    The "good old days."

  2. They should bring back that Bell Beefer on the value menu, it sounds like a way better version of a Sloppy Joe.

    Cool post, looks like it was pretty fun and interesting.

  3. There's actually a fair amount of Taco Bell fans pressing for the return of the Bell Beefer. I don't know that the logistics work out though with the bun requirement.


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