My first thought when I learned that Taco Bell was releasing a taco made inside Doritos shells was monosyllabic: “Want.”
And it was quite wonderful. Make whatever snide comment you want about Taco Bell’s meat — or any large American fast food chain’s for that matter — but there’s a time and place (especially 2 AM) where it’s just exquisite. You know you’ve felt those feelings.
But still. Imagine a Dorito shell taco with freshly-cut marinated steak, salsa verde, shredded muenster cheese, onions, cilantro, and rich avocado. The kind of taco that Guy Fieri would take a gigantic bite out of and pause for several seconds as he struggle to find the right adjectives before fist-bumping the chef. Taco Bell can’t accomplish that on its massive scale and get it to you for less than two bucks. Nobody can — that’d be a failing business model.
So if you have sophisticated tastes in unsophisticated foods, you’re left wondering just what it’d be like to sample some of the cholesteralically creative fast food items at a really great restaurant or bar. What bold flavors are getting left on the table?
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KFC Double Down – Envision a hand-battered fried chicken sandwich with pork belly bacon and spicy pepper jack
McDonald’s McGriddle: Think of buttermilk pancakes, fresh maple syrup, fennel breakfast sausage, and Vermont cheddar
Jack in the Box Bacon Milkshake – Think about a collaboration between your local butcher shop and the best ice cream parlor in town
Pizza Hut 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza – mozzarella, cheddar, and provolone inside the crust topped with sausage, pepperoni, and fresh basil
Sonic Chili Cheese Tots – These are certainly attainable, and would be great with twice-fried potatoes, angus beef chili, and Wisconsin cheddar.
Wendy’s Baconator – Also probably attainable, with bison meat and applewood smoked bacon
Burger King Stuffed Burger – If you look hard enough, you should be able to find angus beef stuffed with cheddar and fresh-grown jalapeños
Chipotle Quesarito – Chipotle does have great ingredients, and this slide is more of a PSA that they’ll melt a layer of cheese between your burrito and another tortilla shell if you ask nicely
In-N-Out Animal Style Fries – Also pretty good on their own, but would be wonderful with small-batch ingredients
Domino’s Bread Bowl Pasta – These no longer exist, and must’ve contained at least a stick of butter
McDonald’s McRib – Imagine getting this at a farm-to-table gastropub and washing it down with a microbrew
Friendly’s Grilled Cheese Burger Melt – There are some real restaurants that serve a similar burger, and you should seek it out