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- Grand Forks Herald, N.D., Marilyn Hagerty column: THE EATBEAT: Think outside the bun for fourth meal in Taco Bell.(Column)
- Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, ND) | June 27, 2007
- Byline: Marilyn Hagerty
- Jun. 27--Their motto is, "Think outside the bun."
- And two Taco Bell shops in Grand Forks have a steady business from people who want a quick, inexpensive food with a Mexican theme. Sometimes, they call Taco Bell a place for the fourth meal between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.
- With my granddaughter, Carrie Sandstrom (CS), I have made three stops for Taco Bell food this June. Since the new Extreme Cheese and Beef Quesadilla was featured, I asked for that on the first Taco Bell outing. It is a large half-circle serving, cut in pie-shaped wedges. The big soft shell at first glance reminded me of lefse, although it is a warm, pillowy flatbread. It was good with the cheese, ground beef and salsa. It was $1.29 and was filling. I drank water that time, but Mexican food for me really needs a carbonated drink to go with it.
- CS had a taco and a small drink. A creative 13-year-old, she mixed Baja Blast, Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist something I really don't encourage. Something, I am sure, she has seen older kids do.
- We noticed on the menu board, you can get a combo meal of a drink, an Extreme Quesadilla and a Crunchy Taco for $3.49. We studied the three different packets of hot sauce: mild, hot and fire. Quick tastes convinced me mild would be acceptable to most people.
- The South Washington shop is bright and colorful. There is easy access when you turn off Washington onto 13th Avenue South, and it has seating inside for 72.
- The second Taco Bell stop is on 32nd Avenue Street, where Rich Kelsey, the manager, said the Extreme Quesadilla was to be followed with a feature of Chicken Taquito. The best-selling items are tacos, and the preference is for the soft shells. Here, we tried a gordita and crunchy tacos and watched a stream of customers come and go during the noon hour.
- Taco Bell on 32nd is close to WalMart and Red Lobster. It is inviting with its big windows and bright colors and seats 96. Customers line up at the counter and are given a number for their order. The design of Taco Bell shops is open, and customers can see their food being prepared. There also are drive-through windows.
- Our last Taco Bell stop in the interest of the Eatbeat was the shop on 13th Avenue South, where CS ordered the Extreme Beef and Cheese Quesadilla, and I ordered a Taco Salad. The salad was good with the taste of beef, beans, tomato and fairly healthful if you don't eat the whole shell. The quesadilla was not as good as the first time because the meat and cheese were not blended as well. We tried an order of cinnamon twists. CS liked them. They were certainly crunchy. I could do without them.
- You learn the drill after a few times in Taco Bell. For instance, if you say "Fresco," your order will come with Fiesta Salsa rather than cheese and will be 25 percent less fat on most menu items. Taco Bell also is now offering more signature menu items with zero grams of transfat because of preparation with canola oil.
- Taco Bell in its literature claims to serve more than 35 million customers each week in 6,500 restaurants in the United States. The Taco Bell chain continues to grow and is based in Irvine, Calif.
- Most Taco Bells are independently owned franchises. Information online says they were founded by Glen Bell, when he was discharged from the Marines. After starting the chain in 1962, he sold it to PepsiCo in 1975.
- Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.
- 1301 S. Washington St., 2515 32nd Ave. S.
- Managers: Don Sawley, South Washington Street, (701) 772-6196; Rich Kelsey, 32nd Avenue South, (701) 795-9001.
- Hours: 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, except for midnight closing Sundays.
- Pay: Major credit cards accepted.
- Report card: Quick and convenient, fairly inexpensive Mexican fast food. Both shops are brightly decorated and inviting. Servers seem well organized, and kitchens are in full view of customers.
- To see more of the Grand Forks Herald, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.grandforks.com.
- Copyright (c) 2007, Grand Forks Herald, N.D.
- Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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