Taco Bell Cantina New Haven

Originally Posted on The Yale Herald - Medium via UWIRE

Taco Bell Cantina — New Haven

By Marc Shkurovich, BK ’19, and CC Crews, ES ’19

We’ll start with the bad news: Marc has a minor case of ringworm on his arm. (Don’t worry, he picked up some Lotrimin and is no longer contagious.) And now for the good news: the Elm City’s hottest club is…Taco Bell Cantina!!!

Downtown NHV’s newest Tex-Mex value joint is also its most chic — this is the SOM of fast food, people. We’re talking pristine (we wouldn’t blame ya if you wanted to eat straight off the floors), hi-tech (they have a big-ass screen that shows you the status of every order), and, you could say, cavernous — though it’s only one story, this Taco Bell feels like it sprawls all the way from Chapel Street to Crown. According to the good folks at the New Haven Independent, this is the second-largest of all U.S. franchises!

Founded in 1962 by Glen Bell, a Southern Californian hot dog vendor-cum-restaurateur inspired by a nearby taqueria to start selling his own “Tay-Kohs,” the chain has finally lodged itself deep in the left ventricle of the Chapel Street Shopping District. Word of the new location had been circulating the street, and we were ready — but not as ready as Kevin Koste, ES ’19, who’d been closely monitoring Taco Bell Cantina’s progress since plans were announced in July.

“Last week, I visited the site and talked to the contractors and management every day to find out when the grand opening was. A few friends and I got there at 9 a.m. to make sure we were the first in line for the 10 a.m. opening. As it turns out, nobody else showed up until 9:55, but it was worth it. The manager, Jim, took a photo of us and gave us free Baja Blast freezes. I ordered a Cheesy Gordita Crunch combo meal and a Corona. It was a really rewarding experience.”

The Herald’s view? We. Stand. With. Kevin.

These two jocund journalists were mired in yet another Saturday stupor when revelation struck: the Crunchwrap Supreme™ — the savory confection that’s launched a thousand UberEats — was within reach. Though both of us opted to go with Taco Bell’s thoughtful vegetarian substitute — did somebody say PINTO? — we were beyond satiated.

Marc wants the reader to know that he’s never felt more goddamn American than he did while nursing his hangover with a $4 draft beer — dispensed from a SICK reverse tap that pumps beer through the bottom of the cup?! — and chomping down on a hard-shell taco that came in his Triple Double Crunchwrap box. (That’s one of the menu items containing more sodium than the daily recommended limit, but hey, who’s counting?) CC, meanwhile, wants to shout out the staff, who had the patience of ANGELS and basically nursed her back to health. She appreciated the strength of her tequila-twisted Mango Freeze, though not the accompanying brain freeze. It all comes with the territory, we suppose.

Suffice it to say that this Taco Bell would be a fantastic place to throw your 26th birthday party: pull up with your friends, split a sangria or two, a Doritos Locos Taco™ or three, and don’t you dare skimp out on the Cinnabon Delights. Those lil nuggets of joy are only, like, 400 calories and totally look like testicles. The folks at Yum! Brands (you can’t fight Big Fast Food) have finally lived up to their legendary deeds of the past.

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