#76 The Double Chalupa

New adventures in fourth meal

The chalupa, according to the less than 60 seconds of research I just did on Google, is a staple of South-Central Mexican cuisine. This deep-fried tortilla, lightly dusted with dried cheese, is fast and cheap. It’s street food, to be enjoyed between cantinas and on the way to work.

Or, if you’re a Taco Bell enthusiast, a chalupa is to be enjoyed on those nights when it’s too damn hot, and the last thing on your mind is firing up the oven.

Look, I hang with Taco Bell. It’s obvious to me that their product department is run by a bunch of millennial stoners with the attention span of a hamster because they seem to come out with a new product every month. Some of it is bang on — the Doubledilla, besides being a juvenile reference to large breasts, is a meal in and of itself. And taco shells that taste like Doritos? Genius. Give those magnificent bastards whatever the fast food equivalent of the James Beard Award is. A Jimmy Moustache? I don’t know.

But being as this is bottom rung fast food, prepared by people whose general apathy toward food service and the amount of money they’re being paid to render it make the whole “expectation vs. reality” meme possible, sometimes there are misses.

Case in point: the Double Chalupa. Imagine a thick tortilla fried until it tastes like neither tortilla nor oil — a chewy, flavorless mass of lard and lab cheese. Then, fold that bad boy up, slap an ice cream scoop full of greasy beef on there, and finish it in what Taco Bell calls “pico de gallo.” A more apt title would be “tomato-colored condiment bukkake.”

It looks ghastly, and tastes, somehow, even worse. I managed to get about a third of the way through it before I threw in the towel and turned to the two Fiery Doritos Locos Taco Supremes I bought as backup. Those, by the way, are the bomb. If there’s any solace in the aftermath of tonight’s dinner, it’s that I’m only out about $3, and the Double Chalupa will probably be gone in a few weeks, to be replaced by another cannabis-inspired creation.

And whatever the hell that product may be, I’m going to eat it.

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