As Taco Bell's preferred test market, Toledoans have the occasional duty to abandon vascular health and sit down to “Fourth Meal”—Taco Bell’s fabricated, late-night eating event designed to appeal to hungry working folk and discerning late-night stoners. Toledo previously anointed the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco to nationwide menus after serving as its trial audience.
World: meet Taco Bell’s latest scientific creation, the Quesalupa. It's like a Chalupa—a meat and cheese taco with a deep-fried, soft shell—except the Quesalupa's shell is filled with melted pepper jack cheese. Eating one is like witnessing a well-rehearsed magic trick.
With each bite, you can feel the inner cheese move beneath the shell with the familiar give of sitting on a waterbed. I could not taste the cheese beyond its gooey warmth. The traditional shredded cheese inside the Quesalupa seemed like a shoulder shrug saying, “Why not?” The diced tomato was the only force of freshness to keep my taste buds alert. The more-than-generous dose of sour cream made the experience too wet and messy to eat while driving with one hand, even in the slow lane.
Cheese should be celebrated in the open for all to see, not concealed inside a deep-fried blanket. Toledoans, like all people who enjoy an occasional trip to Taco Bell, have nothing to hide.
In the post-recession years, Toledo endorsed the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco when few cities were taking risks on big ideas. Toledo was right then—the Cool Ranch taco has been so popular as to inspire Canadian video games. Toledo will be right again when it tells Taco Bell to throw the Quesalupa back into the lab experiment locker with the talking Chihuahua.