taco cabana for femme fatales and taco bell for the girl next door

When Riverdale first came out, I became totally engrossed in the odd teen drama. I had read the comics growing up and assumed an adaptation would be lovely. But as we all know, CW adaptations are always frothy teen dramas with odd writing and strange plot points. There’s almost always an exceptionally attractive cast, underage romances, an older woman messing with a teenage stud, and parents who were former lovers with their child’s significant other’s parent. Always.

Over time, the show quickly spiraled into a fever dream, much like other teen dramas. However, the one thing that the show nailed is the foils between Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. One is easily palatable as it is the girl next door–liked by pretty much everyone, widely popular, pretty freaking basic. The other is more sophisticated, complex, and comes at a total surprise.

My adventures with Taco Bell started when I was in elementary school. My father would pick me up from school and I’d always always have two plain spicy shredded chicken tacos and a side of fiesta potatoes. That love of Taco Bell grew more and more until I went to college and would subside on spicy tostadas and shredded chicken quesadillas. But something strange happened a couple months ago.

I picked up Taco Bell, purely on whim, for my friend Krystal and I, and came to the conclusion that Taco Bell honestly, is kind of gross. The meat is mysterious and kind of strange, the cheese is purely artificial, and the food just didn’t taste delicious and gratifying like it used to. It was a very strange feeling, I was admittedly disappointed. It’s like when you find out your boyfriend is cheating on you and you want nothing to do with him and are grossed out, but also for some sad inexplicable reason feel the need to defend him.

Honestly, Taco Ball is on the same level as my least favorite Riverdale character, Archie Andrews, who I think should gracefully disappear and let Betty and Veronica take lead.

I was traipsing around without a fast food taco joint to satiate my cravings, as sad as Jughead would be without his beanie, until I came upon Taco Cabana. Now, I’m not saying that Taco Cabana serves the best tacos I’ve ever had, but I am saying that they are the best casual/fast Mexican joint.

(The worst is Taco Casa, which I think is gross but continue to eat because my Texan friends insist it is good).

Taco Cabana doesn’t have mystery meat, the cheese and queso are delicious and actually taste like they’re made of real cheese, the tacos taste relatively fresh, AND the flour tortillas are soft and pillowy, and do not taste like they came from a plastic bag. There is even a salsa bar where you can pick salsas based on your whims, AND they serve margaritas.

Admittedly, the addition of mixed drinks and the salsa bar initially confused me, because it seemed like Taco Cabana was trying to be an upscale fast food joint, but I’ve learned to let go of the confusion and to embrace it. Especially since I really like their queso.

And the queso. It is silky, smooth, flavorful and tasty. It’s not a globby cheese blob, or grainy and gross like Chipotle’s queso. It is silky magic.

And I’ll tell you what–I swear fountain drinks at Taco Cabana taste better than other restaurants. It’s very intriguing and interesting.

Taco Cabana is if fast food taco joints wore pearls and stilettos every day, while Taco Bell wore gym shoes and had ponytails. I’m telling you–Taco Cabana is Veronica and Taco Bell is Betty.

ps, my favorite thing to get is their crispy shredded chicken tacos with a side of queso and chips.

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