Adiós, potato — Taco Bell is droping everything tater-based like it’s hot

by Nick Gonzales

There’s nothing is quite as jarring as pulling up to a Taco Bell drive-thru microphone after a long day at work, reciting by rote the order you’ve given hundreds of times over your lifetime, and being told, “Actually, we’ve discontinued that item.”

“But I’ve gotten a taco salad at this chain at least ten times a year for a couple decades,” you think as you squint at the menu sign to figure out what the heck else they even sell here and what the item you wanted got replaced with. As you scramble to re-decide what you want, a line of cars grows behind you (a big problem at, say, the Durango location, where lines almost immediately leave the parking lot, wrap down East 29th Street, and make it impossible to turn off of Main Avenue). You can feel the negative psychic energy streaming your way across the astral plane. To those behind you, you look exactly like the old person you were glaring at not 5 minutes earlier, when they too were taking forever to order.

To prevent this from happening to you in the near future, we’re letting you know that if you make a “run for the border” after Aug. 13 (we don’t blame you; it is one of the few eateries open late during non-COVID times), you won’t be getting anything made with potatoes. This includes vegetarian items such as the 7-layer burrito, cheesy fiesta potatoes, mini skillet bowl, quesarito, spicy potato soft taco, spicy tostada, and loaded grillers.

Why is the fast-food chain getting rid of potatoes? To make more room for meat. Vegan meat, that is. Eventually. According to plant-based diet site The Beet, Taco Bell is in talks with both the Beyond and Impossible Meat people about adding new menu items and doesn’t plan to roll out whatever those end up being until next year.

“While change is hard, a simplified menu and innovation process will leave room for new fan favorites, continued progress in categories such as plant-based diets, and even opportunities for the return of some classics on a limited-time basis,” the chain wrote in a press release.

So if you’re one of the local vegetarians or vegans that relies on potato-items for your fourth-meal fix, we feel for you. We’d pour out a Baja Blast for you, if we didn’t think it might contaminate the ground water and get us in trouble with the Enivronmental Protection agency. Maybe a place that sells healthier food will consider staying open late at night (*hint, hint to noone in particular*) when the coronavirus era comes to an end.

In the meantime, maybe look up the menu on your phone before you get to the microphone. The rest of us aren’t in the drive-thru for a fast-food restaurant at 12:15 a.m. because there isn’t somewhere else we’d rather be.

Nick Gonzales

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