"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Impeccable Timing of Taco Bell

Perhaps you have children with discriminating palettes (picky eaters). Ours aren't too bad, but there are a few food complications we've had over the years.

One of those was specific to Taco Bell. Fact 1: Taco Bell has very affordable food. Fact 2: Our children didn't particularly care for anything on the menu. We all know that there are really only a handful of things you can get at Taco Bell.
1. Flour or corn tortilla
2. Meat (chicken or beef)
3. Cheese
4. Beans
5. Various veggies (tomato, lettuce)
6. Salsa, sour cream and guacamole

I think that about covers it. From these ingredients, they can make a minimum of 12,874 different items...tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chalupas, gorditas, tostadas, Erica Estrada, etc.

For a while, the only things on the list my kids would want were the flour tortillas and cheese. So EVERY time we went, we specifically asked for a flour tortilla with cheese on it and thrown in the steamer to melt the cheese. It took no fewer than 17 minutes to describe this recipe the first dozen times we ordered the delicacy. I was sure that everyone in line behind us was muttering under their breaths, "Why doesn't he just order tacos? Who doesn't like tacos?"

Workers would sometimes ask, "So you want a Big Beef Meximelt with no beef?" or "a chili-cheese burrito without the chili?" or "You want a cheese quesadilla?"

No, no, and no.
We actually tried their various suggested concoctions to try to be more accommodating, but invariably, they ended up with sauce, onions, paint chips and whatnot. Flour tortillas and cheese. That's IT.

Eventually, one Taco Bell worker said, "OH! So you want a side of flour and a side of cheese?"
"Yes, sir, as long as they're put together and heated to get all melty."

After that, it became a little easier to order. Making the cheesy flour tortillas wasn't the problem, it was figuring out what buttons to push on the cash register that was causing consternation, and I'm all about consternation-less living. So I'd order, "a flour tortilla with cheese on it and thrown in the steamer to melt the cheese. They always ring it up as a side of flour and a side of cheese."

They'd thank me for telling them how to do their job, and ask if I wanted the big tortilla or the small. Still in some cities while traveling, we've encountered trouble. Maybe their registers are different, but we eventually get what we want. Then, as our girls have grown older, they ventured into bean burritos, chili-cheese burritos and steak taquitos.

Jenna, being the youngest, was the last hold out. Last week, though, she surprised me by ordering a chili-cheese burrito for the first time. An item that is actually on the menu. An item that doesn't have to be explained or special ordered. I was ready to call work and take a couple of days off to celebrate this new era.

Then I looked over at the cardboard stand-up menu advertisement for their newest items.

First one?

The "Cheesy Roll-up" which is a flour tortilla with cheese on it and thrown in the steamer to melt the cheese.

It has it's own button on the register and everything now that I don't need it.



Emily said...

mmmm. cheesy roll-ups? That's a perfect kid treat. you must not have been the only dad doing it. (in my family it's hold the...(fill in any yummy veggie).

WTG Jenna for ordering the Chili cheese thing. wow, talk about a step up from tortillas and cheese.

Duckygirl said...

Oooooh! My kids hate taco bell for all the reasons listed, maybe now they'd go for it!! Haha my daughter just peeked over my shoulder and said, "except for cinnamon twists." Gotta love kids :)

Big Doofus said...

So, it's kind of like they created a new item on their menu just for you and named it after you: Scott "Cheesy Rollup" Newland.

Or, it could be the result of your expansive traveling and their computer system that monitors special orders. First this "melted cheese on a flour tortilla" thing was an isolated phenomenon exclusive to Bloomington and then suddenly it popped up in different locations (i.e. when you were traveling) so the marketing geniuses decided to give it a name and cash register button before those jerks at Burger King beat them to it.

That's just my two cents.

THEhooahwife said...

I had no idea you could special order them. My life just got easier... or harder... depending on how you look at it!

Jenny said...

We avoid Taco Bell. After our Family Food Poisoning incident, we haven't been able to go back. I have to admit that sometimes their commercials make the food look deeelicious, but I just can't do it. It was THAT bad.

I think your kids should all have a cheesy roll-up in honor of the new button next time you go though. Too bad it took Taco Bell so long to figure that one out!

EEEEMommy said...

I think they should pay you royalties!

Jody said...

Being the mother and wife of picky eaters, I can so relate. My kids will eat the chicken quesadilla without sauce. We usually do the drive-thru. I always double check my order because our Taco Bell always forgets something or forgets to leave the sauce off the quesadilla. On one particular visit they forgot a taco. I said to the man at the window, "I am missing a taco." To which he replied, "Did you look in the bag?" Really?

javamamma said...

My order at Taco Bell goes like this:
I need a bean burrito with only beans. No cheese, no sauce, no onions. And I need an order of those cheesy potato squares. No cheese sauce or sour cream. Just potatoes. And I need a cheese quesadilla. Just cheese. No sauce, onions or anything else you put on it. Thank you!

Oh and we've have been making 'cheesies' around here forever. Glad to know they're finally getting a clue!

Tammy said...

Oh how I pray my son will one day venture out beyond the cheese quesedilla.

We've got a place here called Taco Casa...fast food but better than the Bell...but the son gets the nachos....chips and liquid cheese. A thousand things on the menu and we could have eaten that at home. *sigh*

Christy said...

Another laugh out loud post. Look on the bright side - they are probably charging more for their "Cheesy Roll-Ups".

Kari said...

Our Taco Bell is notorious for ALWAYS screwing up our order. My kiddos order tacos with no lettuce - seriously, how hard is that? When my daughter Shelby was little, the only thing she would eat at McDonald's was a cheeseburger - minus the burger. She's still our pickiest eater.

Ronnica said...

I never liked fast food Mexican as a kid either. Still don't. But the cheese roll-up or whatever sounds edible.

Kim said...

Your posts crack me up! I'm new to reading your blog and must say..you are the male equivillent of BooMama. And that is saying a LOT.

Anonymous said...

This makes me laugh because whenever we do go to the golden arches my 2 daughters only want cheese and a bun, you got it no meat no ketchup no mustard no pickles. I wish that I had a dime for every time this simple??? order has been wrong, one time I got just meat and cheese no bun. This is exactly what my girls would order at Taco bell. Thanks for the laugh

Chris said...

1) Ha! I must admit, we've been blessed with kids that eat most anything. One of their favorites is to go to Jason's Deli, get a hot dog or small cheese pizza, and then get to choose between fresh fruit or steamed veggies as their side. It wasn't until Belle was able to READ the menu that she learned there were other options.

2) Your dearth of blogging since the 27th can only mean one thing. So, what kind of dog did you get?

MLW said...

We always order "chips and cheese" (aka nachos) which is very similar to what you describe except the flour tortilla is made of corn and deep fried.

mrshoppes said...

Where are you? I am going though withdrawals. Did you get a new dog and take him to Taco Bell in honor of their new menu?

I need distraction in my life!

J mom said...

The funny things we do for our kids. I loved this post - so funny!

Anonymous said...

tell me about it!! I too, spent year describing the melty cheese thing. And now that my daughter loves tacos, they "invent" the cheesy roll up!