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Culture Fast Food Features

12 Global Taco Bell Items That Will Give You Food Envy

From Asia to Europe, Taco Bell has found its way around the world, serving up their Mexican inspired fare. While a lot of its classic tacos and burritos are in tact, there are several menu items that we simply can’t get here in The States.

You’ve probably seen people make it a point to visit McDonald’s around the world, and chances are the same purpose can apply to Taco Bell, trying unique items such as Chocodillas in El Salvador or Tikka Masala Burritos in India.

This definitely creates food envy, and reminds us that we don’t have it all here in the U.S.

If you ever find yourself in one of these locations, be sure to check out what they have to offer, post a photo, and make everyone jealous.

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Kuwait- Tacones

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Taco Bell Kuwait said hard shell tortillas were too basic, and decided to turn them into cones. They call them Tacones, which funny enough, means high heels in Spanish. Stuffed with crispy chicken and potatoes, these Tacones come in classic, fiery Volcano, or double cheese cone flavors.

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Guatemala – Dulce de Leche Flautas

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Anything containing dulce de leche is an automatic upgrade. Guatemala has sweet dessert taquitos stuffed with the caramel confection.
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Costa Rica – Pinto Mechado


Costa Rica is known for its particular style of rice and beans called gallo pinto. Instead of the rice and beans that we typically see at Taco Bell, Costa Rica has opted to keep things aligned with their own culinary offerings. The main difference is the red bean, instead of black, plus the blackened rice.
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Colombia – Crepadilla


Columbia has a quesadilla using a crepe instead of flour tortilla. It’s definitely a change that while simple, changes the consistency of the entire quesadilla. We’re all for it.
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Spain – Ice Cream Sundaes, Sweet Nachos

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While Taco Bells in the U.S. have very limited dessert options, Taco Bell in Spain goes all out, with not only ice cream options, but sweet nachos as well. Their Crunchy Choco Bell sundaes consist of dulce de leche, topped with hard shell chocolate drizzles. Their sweet nachos consist of cinnamon dusted chips with a dulce de leche dipping sauce.
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Cyprus – Bannurito


Well this is a burrito you don’t see every day. Stufffed with bananas and praline, then drizzle with Nutella, the Banurrito is the dessert burrito we didn’t know we needed.

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U.K. – Chocomarshmelt, Doritos Crunch Burrito

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The Chocomarshmelt is like a sweet Crunchwrap. Stuffed with chocolate and marshmallow, this must-have treat is wrapped just like a Crunchwrap, making it a creative twist on a Taco Bell favorite.

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Taco Bell is no stranger to stuffing its burritos with chips, but the U.K. is the only one that uses Doritos. The Doritos Crunch Burrito was introduced in 2018, and may be a limited time offering, but I’m sure locals are hoping it sticks around.
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Canada – Flamin’ Hot Crunchwrap

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A Crunchwrap stuffed with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos sounds like it should have happened years ago, but it barely made its debut in 2017, in Canada. The Cheetos are the only difference, though, all the other Crunchwrap flavor profiles are the same.
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India – Tikka Masala Burrito


A Chicken Tikka Masala burrito in India makes perfect sense. Any time a fast food chain can adopt an item that’s near and dear to a culture, it’s a good thing. The burrito consists of grilled chicken, tandoori mayo sauce, Mexican rice and cilantro, all wrapped in a flour tortilla.
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El Salvador – Chocodilla


You can atually find the Chocodilla in several countries, including Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain and the U.K., but El Salvador’s has a unique chocolate tortilla, while the others have a traditional flour tortilla. Stuffed with melted chocolate, it’s definitely a treat that complements your Crunchwrap.
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Korea – Kimchi Quesadilla


Here’s another instance where Taco Bell took note of its location and incorporated a local staple. Kimchi consists of fermented veggies that are seasoned with chili powder, garlic, ginger and jeotgal (salted seafood). Combine that with a spicy chicken quesadilla and you’ve got something special in Korea.
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Japan – California Burrito


You’d think if any Taco Bell was going to have a California Burrito, it’d be, well, one in California. This guacamole and French fry-filled burrito can be found in Japan though, for now. It was actually tested in West Virginia in 2017, so there’s a chance the U.S. can get it some day, but until then, Japan’s enjoying these little guys.

*Featured photo courtesy of Taco Bell.
**Disclaimer: While Taco Bell is a frequent branded/advertising campaign partner with Foodbeast, this piece is an independent editorial and was not written in partnership with them.**
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#foodbeast Features FOODBEAST

Instagram’s Hottest Mexican-Lebanese Fusion Restaurant Was Conceived In Prison

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Looking through the menu at Fatima’s Grill in Downey, California, you’d never guess it was mostly designed and envisioned within the walls of a prison cell. No, they don’t serve Ja Rule’s “Prison Casserole” or makeshift chocolate cakes, but its owner, Ali Elreda, spent almost eight years in The Federal Correctional Institution, Safford, working the kitchen, and dreaming of a day he could let his passion for food shine.

Fatima’s Grill beautifully marries Elreda’s Lebanese roots, with an appreciation for Mexican food that he gained during his time behind bars. He chose to work in the prison’s kitchen where he spent most of his days learning about cooking food (which he knew nothing about), Mexican culture from his fellow inmates, and how to be efficient under the pressure of having to cook for over 1,000 inmates.

“I was in the kitchen five days a week, from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m,” Elreda said. “I would write down certain things that I came up with or would invent, and I had 1,500 inmates that I had to feed, so if I could please them, I knew I could please anybody.”

Elreda is very much open about his incarceration, because it is a chapter of his life he has comfortably put in the past. In the early 2000s, he was young, made some mistakes with bad company, and slipped up to the tune of 7-plus years of imprisonment for intent to distribute methamphetamines and cocaine.

Not an ideal path, but he regrets nothing, as his experiences led to his current success as a restaurant owner.

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Without his checkered past, there would be no Shawarma Quesarritos, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-topped carne asada fries, or tacos crowned with his hot sauce — which was inspired by ingredients straight from the Federal Correctional Institution, Safford commissary.

“I learned everything inside,” Elreda said. “My hot sauce came from the prison commissary…I had to go back to the place where I did time, just to get a copy of the commissary items. You can’t find those out here on the street.”

Without his past he also would have never met Jorge, the savvy cook who mans the kitchen at Fatima’s Grill, and has been by Elreda’s side from day one, helping him make these tasty and photo-friendly dishes.

One look at the Fatima’s Grill Instagram account, and you can tell Elreda is quite an eccentric character who’s having a blast feeding the city of Downey, CA. With every video of him cooking, bumping Cardi B and dancing around in the limited space within his kitchen, you get a glimpse of not only his infectious attitude, but his extensive and  mouthwatering menu.

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The menu itself can look a little intimidating, but at its core, the restaurant consists of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, wraps, and fries. From there, you can top or stuff anything with his halal-based meats, and even Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, if you’d like. All in all, he’s found a formula tailor-made for Instagram success, not only getting the Foodbeast seal of approval when we paid a visit, but getting rave reviews on Yelp, Google, and EZ Cater.

Elreda admits he’ll draw you in with his giant burritos, and Hot Cheeto mixtures, but he’ll keep you with the quality of ingredient and simple halal dishes such as the restaurant’s chicken kabobs and shawarma wraps.

All Elreda needed was an opportunity, and with help from family, lessons through a rough past, and a vision of blending two cultures together, the final result was a pretty special experience for customers.

“I said, ‘I’m gonna take the best of both worlds when I get out… let me see if I can put this together. Tacos, gyros, shawarma, quesadillas, let’s put it together,'” Elreda said. “And it worked.”

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Packaged Food

We Tried These Vegan Frozen Burritos And They Were Surprisingly Delicious

My diet throughout high school consisted of frozen burritos and Cactus Cooler. While frozen burritos are still very much part of my adult diet, going in on all that meat and cheese more than once a week really weighs down on a person.

At ExpoWest, we discovered Alpha Foods‘ vegan burritos.

The burritos are made with 100 percent plant-based proteins that’s completely vegan. Available in four flavors (Mexicali, Philly Sandwich, Chick’n Fajita, and Pizza), each burrito is high in plant protein, cholesterol free, and non-GMO.

A completely vegan alternative for the meaty burritos we once would dig out of the freezer aisle, Alpha burritos piqued our curiosity, as some of us are now trying to stick to more plant-based consumption.

We tried some at the Foodbeast office and here’s what some of the team had to say about the Alpha burritos.

Constantine:

I was genuinely surprised, I didn’t expect the flavors to get that close to real pizza and Philly cheesesteak. When it came to the Philly cheesesteaks, the flavors were spot on but I could kinda tell it was vegan.

Rishu:

Didn’t taste like a Philly cheesteak, but the flavors and the texture were good enough to make me want more. Lighter than what I expected, and had a good fresh kick to it.

Isai:

I’d fuck with this if I were vegan. It didn’t exactly scream ‘Philly Cheesesteak’ to me, but the flavor was still good.

Evan:

It was good, surprised it was vegan. It was also heartier than I anticipated. I only ate half of one and I’m pretty content.

As far as frozen burritos go, the consensus seemed to be that they tasted pretty good. Sure, some of us were able to tell they were vegan, but if you’re trying to stick to a plant-based lifestyle, Alpha Foods might just be what you need to recapture the flavor of regular meat and cheese-based burritos.

You can find the nearest grocery retailer that carries the Alpha burritos here.

Categories
Fast Food

Chipotle Plans To Lure You Back By Adding Quinoa To Its Burritos

At its core, Chipotle has always attempted to be a healthier alternative to street Mexican food that typically comes greased up to the nines. As it tries to repair its shaky image, the Mexican-ish grill is going back to its healthy roots by testing out quinoa in New York.

Of all the grains that exist on this earth, none are as trendy as quinoa, and it is somewhat surprising that Chipotle didn’t already have it on the menu from the get-go.

But here we are, and the Chipotle New York test kitchen is giving customers another grain option besides the usual white and brown rice offerings.


According to Business Insider, the red and gold quinoa is mixed with citrus juice, cumin, and chopped cilantro.

If you missed the big news last week, Steve Ells was replaced as Chipotle CEO, and the new guy in charge is Brian Niccol, who used to be the CEO of Taco Bell. No, seriously.

With that said, quinoa seems to be Niccol’s first major order of business, and with the abuse that Chipotle has taken over the last few years, they can only go up from here.

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Tastemade/Snapchat

9 Foods You Wouldn’t Expect To Find In A Vending Machine

When you think of vending machines, you think of gifts of gloriously cheap and convenient snacks and beverages to keep you going throughout the day. However, the world is beginning to spin these contraptions in brand new directions, and you can find all sorts of crazy things in vending machines that nobody would have dreamed of putting in there just a few years ago.

Read on to see nine things you would never expect to find in a vending machine.

Pet Food

It sounds really weird for pet food to be coming out of a machine, right? Well, it turns out this one is actually for a great cause, as the machine, created by Turkish company Pugedon, is designed to feed stray pets in urban areas. All you have to do is drop off a recyclable bottle, and the bottom tray of the vending machine will dispense some food for the strays to eat. It’s an odd but awesome way to take care of pets on the streets, that’s for sure.

Italian Pasta

The Barilla vending machine shown in this Bicom clip will actually cook pasta for you, with sauce, in a short amount of time. While you can make pasta at home for much cheaper than what this machine charges you, it’s an interesting remedy for anyone who forgot to bring their lunch one day.

Live Minnows

We’ve seen live crabs in vending machines before that you can take home, but minnows? You can buy small cans of them to use as fishing bait from this particular vending machine shown in YouTuber’s Village Tackle vid. The longer they’re alive, the more likely fish are to catch them, I guess…

Fried Foods

I don’t think anybody expects to get their lunch out of a vending machine. If you have a hankering for fast-food items like chicken nuggets, you’d rather just go to the restaurant and get them yourself. Of course, convenience and unique Japanese vending machines say otherwise, and so, here we have YouTuber Venus Angelic ordering fried chicken out of a machine. Yes, fried chicken.

Cupcakes

MyCupcakeAddiction got to check out this crazy cupcake ATM at Sprinkles cupcakes in Los Angeles, CA, that lets you customize your dessert and delivers it to you in a sleek box. Upon watching, I’m just baffled at how they make this happen. It’s attached to the cupcake shop, so maybe they just make it super fast and put it on a conveyor to the machine? Or maybe the machine just knows how to custom-build cupcakes? It’s a mystery that needs solving.

Burritos

If you’re in extreme need of on-the-go, speedy burritos, this vending machine may be your choice. ETC Show checked it out and found it to be pretty interesting. The machine lets you pick your burrito, additional toppings, and then plays catchy music while you wait. Sounds super cool, but honestly, I can get a custom-made fresh burrito in the same amount of time from a fast-casual spot. Is it really worth that extra convenience for this burrito vending machine to exist? We say yes.

Canned Bread

Okay, bread is fine enough when properly packaged in a vending machine. But what is the point of sticking bread into a can? Not sure if it does anything to help the bread out orrrr…? So many odd questions, so few answers. Watch as japanesestuffchannel takes one home in this video, and tbh, it actually looks pretty delicious once pulled apart.

Mashed Potatoes

The reaction of the HLN newscasters in this video says it all for this mashed potato vending machine. You get some liquid mashed potatoes out of this vending machine that then gets topped off with brown gravy. They’re definitely using instant potatoes to make this product, which makes sense since it’s a vending machine.

Crepes

Japan really loves its wacky vending machines, and this sweet crepe-filled contraption shown in this Only in Japan video is one of the special ones out there. Found in Kagoshima, you can pick from a variety of crepe flavors for a portable treat — including custard, caramel, Hershey’s chocolate and even potato. It looks like there are dozens and dozens of flavors to choose from and I now know where my next vacation is going to be.

 

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Fast Food FOODBEAST Restaurants

Here’s Your Chance To Win Free Chipotle BOOritos For A Year

Chipotle’s Halloween “BOOrito” deal is back, giving us a legit reason to start getting our costumes ready.

Stop by any Chipotle on Halloween in a costume after 3 p.m. to receive a burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos for only $3. But before you decide to try and fool the system by putting in minimal effort and state yourself as a “businessman” or “school girl,” determination of whether a costume qualifies lies at the sole discretion of Chipotle restaurant personnel. So you better arrive tricked out.

If you can’t take advantage of the deal, don’t fret. Chipotle has a way you can get your claws on an even bigger deal: a chance at free burritos for one year. No costume is necessary and it can be done at the comfort of your own home. To enter to win, just text “BOORITO” to 888222 by 10/31.

Happy haunting and good luck!

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Fast Food News

Chipotle Is Testing A Drive-Thru, So No More Standing In Ridiculous Lines

Chipotle is finally testing a drive-thru window in one of its locations, adding convenience to the Mexican-ish fast-casual restaurant that is going through a PR nightmare at the moment.

The drive-thru is going to begin testing at a currently undisclosed Ohio location, according to Food and Wine.

Of course, since Chipotle considers itself above the typical fast-food restaurant concept, it wouldn’t dare call this a drive-thru, but is instead going with “vehicular pickup window.” (Your food gives people the shits, Chipotle. Stop acting like you’re special, and just call it a drive-thru.)

Upon first glance, a Chipotle drive-thru sounds like a godsend, as you wouldn’t have to stand in those lines, and you can order your favorite burrito in the comfort of your own car. On second thought, we’re not sure how the hell a drive-thru would work for a restaurant that requires to build your own food. It just sounds like it’s going to be hell for the employees, unless the drive-thru consists of pre-made burritos.

Of course, since this is the first test run, there aren’t talks about expanding the drive-thru, but if successful, you might see them more often. Let’s not forget that Ohio was where Chipotle has been testing its underwhelming burger concept, that has yet to expand.

Chipotle is obviously interested in jumping into the fast food realm, though it should focus on no longer getting hundreds of people sick.

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Fast Food Hacks Hit-Or-Miss

This Chipotle Hack Will Make Employees Hate Your Guts, But It’s Great

Anyone who has ever ordered a burrito to-go, knows the problem of getting home and opening up a soggy mess.

Thankfully a genius Chipotle customer found a solution to this, as he ordered every single ingredient individually packaged so he can just build the burrito at home. If you’re wondering what that looks like, Josh Williams tweeted out a photo below.

This is a great idea, as it preserves the burrito, avoids leakage, and keeps the ingredients fresh for you to enjoy when you get home.

While a lot of you see a gold mine in this idea, there’s also the other side of the spectrum that thinks this is dick move that just adds unnecessary work for the Chipotle employees.

When people responded negatively, Williams tried explaining that he lived 45 minutes away from the Chipotle, and the burrito would be almost inedible by the time he got home, but people still hated the idea, especially employees.

I feel like ordering a burrito bowl with tortillas on the side would yield similar results, but any time you can be an asshole, I have to approve of it.

It might inconvenience the employees a bit, and they will definitely hate you for the five minutes you’re there, but it’ll all be worth it when you assemble that burrito and it doesn’t implode in your hands.