I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Casa Grande, Arizona.
If you sail the Interstates for a living, eating fast food is an inevitability. Eventually you will be tired enough or hungry enough or it will be the only thing available or whatever. It’s going to happen. While I avoid fast food as much as possible, sometimes there are actually good things to be had, occasionally at a reasonable price.
Here are two more examples (though one of them is not necessarily very good):
The crew of the SS Me So Hungry was wanting tacos. But not just any tacos: Cheap Tacos. And we found them here in Big House, Arizona.
First we went to Jack in the Box® and bought four of its weird ass versions of Cheap Tacos (Two for $1). And these things are weird. Frankly, I’m of the opinion that, with the exception of Seasoned Curly Fries, the only things remotely edible from Chez Jacque dans la Boîte are the Tacos.
The meat is the consistency of pablum, and any part of the taco shell that isn’t touching the filling is harder than quartz; fossils are softer. I always end up tearing off this part of the shell, usually tossing it out the window to consternate any Seagulls, Crows or Great-tailed Grackles that may happen by with a desire to break their beaks. I was once tempted to whack one of the throwaway portions of the shell with my hammer but I didn’t want to shatter a perfectly good metal tool. Still, I like these curious little things occasionally, yet I have no idea why.
For years I’d been repeating an urban legend, swearing up and down that there was no meat in a Jack in the Box taco. Judging by the taste, look and texture I was convinced that the mystery paste in the tacos was merely another miracle soy product.
The official description says the tacos contain: beef, American cheese (they neglected to put in the generous half-slice of this time), lettuce and taco sauce. However the meat does contain soy and/or wheat filler. But there you have it, straight from the overly large globe-head of Jack himself: It is beef … kinda.
So now you can forget about this little gem that I thought might explain the unique
taste of the Jack in the Box Taco (from Wikipedia): “In 1981, horse meat labeled as beef was discovered at a Foodmaker plant that supplied hamburger and taco meat to Jack in the Box. The meat was originally from Profreeze of Australia, and during their checks on location, the food inspectors discovered other shipments destined for the United States which included kangaroo meat.”
Because the whole world has (no doubt) been waiting with bated breath since the company’s founding in 1951, Jack in the Box has now introduced its first ever Munchie Mobile™ food truck in Southern California. The boxy, brightly painted run-of-the-mill catering truck with “My other truck is a restaurant” emblazoned on its side will never give the ultra-cool Oscar Mayer Weinermobile™ any competition in a design contest. But now Jack can bring its inimitable versions of incredibly crappy food right to your door. Hallelujah!
Next we purchased four tacos (49¢ each) from Del Taco, another chain located mostly in the west.
Del Taco is very similar Taco Bell with two major differences: Del Taco is not grossly overpriced — at many Del Tacos regular tacos are only 39¢ — and the food is actually pretty good.
Whenever I go to a Del Taco I have a routine: I order the tacos with onion (which they add for free) and then — and this is important — I have them put the cheese on first. This accomplishes a couple of things.
First, you get a lot more cheese on the taco and, with the meat laid on top of it, the cheese melts a little bit. But you really have to make a point of it to get this done. You see, the taco-building station is set up exactly the opposite of this order and the poor Taco Assemblers run largely on autopilot. Sometimes they’ll be so confused by my request that I have to dictate how to build the taco: cheese, meat, onion and lettuce, in that order.
You’ve really got to make it clear to them what you want — I’ve even had to explain it to them in Spanish — but they’ll do it. The end result is that you end up with a pretty good taco for four bits (or less).
Del Taco also has some other pretty good, reasonably priced stuff. Its Breakfast Burritos and the Spicy Grilled Chicken Burritos are both pretty good. But to be honest, I usually get the tacos because, well, they’re cheap tacos.
And so we roll.
Jack in the Box, 2,200 locations in 21 (mostly western) states
Del Taco, 526+ locations in 17 (mostly western) states
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.