America’s favorite Mexican restaurant: Taco Bell

Joshua Ortiz and Jacob Markus

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Valley residents pride themselves on their authentic Mexican food. They love their burritos, tacos, quesadillas, menudo, chile verde, and enchiladas, which are all part of their daily diets. However, their preferences on where they buy or eat Mexican food appears to be contrary to that of the nation.

Taco Bell has taken the title as America’s favorite Mexican restaurant. According to a Harris poll, the fast food chain beat out Chipotle and Moe’s Southwest Grill to win “Brand of the Year.” The poll based its study on three questions. It asked consumers about familiarity, quality and future consideration of where they would eat. Taco Bell took the title from Chipotle, mainly because the second restaurant had problems, such as a food borne illness that shut down many of the restaurants.

A survey concluded that many people disliked Taco Bell and felt more local restaurants, such as Antonio’s and Castillo’s, are some of the restaurants in Fresno that they visit frequently. Many seem to quote that Taco Bell is not Mexican food at all, but an ‘American-Mexican’ restaurant, taking Mexican food ideas and turning them into fast food.

We live in Fresno, CA where we have a high Mexican-American population, and family owned, authentic Mexican-style restaurants are common. So, many people here might not have the need to eat something as basic as Taco Bell, who’s recipes come from Texas, rather than Mexico.

According to Yelp, the top Mexican restaurants are Toledo’s and Don Pepe’s. Some Bullard staff favorites are Antonio’s, Casa Corona’s, and Castillo’s, which are also highly rated with all three having 4/5 stars.

The reason Taco Bell has been rated one of the highest can go back to this country’s fast food addiction. More people would rather go in to Taco Bell and get out, rather than go to a sit-down restaurant and wait for food to be cooked properly and in a timely fashion. However, these findings from the survey shouldn’t be met with anger or disgust. Taco Bell being voted Number 1 doesn’t erase other ‘authentic’ Mexican restaurants, nor does it mean that America is becoming less ‘cultured,’  it simply means that Americans want less healthy food in a fast way.

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