“Out with the old, in with the new” is a mindset that remains steadfast in the fast-food world. We see the discontinuation of menu items all the time only for new ones to be released shortly after.
However, just because fast-food chains get rid of certain menu offerings doesnt necessarily mean that customers didnt like them. In fact, a Reddit user recently posted a photo of a Taco Bell menu circa 2003, attracting 160 comments, with many users waxing poetic about the old menu items.
So, for old-times sake, lets take a trip down memory lane to see which obsolete Taco Bell menu items still hold a special place in peoples hearts.
Gracing the menu for 36 years, Taco Bells Fiesta Taco Salad, commonly referred to as the “Taco Salad” got eighty-sixed in 2020. The beloved menu item featured a crispy taco shell bowl filled with ground beef, rice, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, crunchy red tortilla strips, and sour cream.
According to The Cold Wire, the Mexican chain got rid of the bowl due to the “difficulty of maintaining the taco shell bowls,” as well as low demand. However, its fair to say that theres still some demand—a fan even started a petition for the salads return.
One user commented on the Reddit thread, “Gimme back my taco salad!!!!,” while another one added, “Ugh, I miss the taco salad so much. The shell was perfect. Ive tried getting them other places, including at authentic Mexican restaurants, and they just arent the same.”
The Fiesta Taco Salad wasnt the only bowl to get axed from the menu. Launched in 2003 only to be nixed around eight years later, Taco Bells Zesty Chicken Bowl consisted of slices of grilled chicken, seasoned rice, three cheeses, lettuce, and the chains Fiesta Salsa. But the element that took the menu item to the next level for one Reddit user was the Zesty dressing, which they described as being “so good that it was the first time [they] actually tried to find a way to buy boxes of the stuff to use with other things at home…”6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
Another Redditor said, “That zesty chicken bowl was underrated. It was like 37 million calories, but no one cared in 2003. I was working at a Taco Bell/Back Yard Burger at the time and that bowl and the zesty steak bowl were always go to items for a free meal.”
This burrito made its first appearance in 2001. Although it was discontinued, it eventually evolved into the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito, which, after a 10-year stint on the menu, left Taco Bell in 2019.
The original Grilled Stuft Burrito, which was made with a grill press, featured a flour tortilla packed with ground beef, beans, rice, cheddar, Pepper Jack, mozzarella, creamy Pepper Jack sauce, and Fiesta Salsa. Additionally, since its initial debut, the Grilled Stuft Burrito expanded into several other limited-time varieties, including the Chipotle Grilled Stuft Burrito, Chicken Enchilada Grilled Stuft Burrito, Fajita Grilled Stuft Burrito, Chicken Caesar Grilled Stuft Burrito, and Nacho Crunch Grilled Stuft Burrito.
While Taco Bell still has potato items on the menu—thanks to many vocal customers who asked for their return after they were given the boot in 2020— the 1/2 -Pound Beef & Potato Burrito is very much a thing of the past. Made with a double portion of beef, the burrito was stuffed with potatoes, nacho cheese, and sour cream—and it certainly left an impression on customers, with one writing, “The beef and potato burrito is the best item to have existed.”
Another Redditor echoed a similar sentiment: “What I wouldnt give to have that 1/2 pound beef and potato burrito back. Especially at that price. That was pretty much all I ordered for years.”
Now just a sweet memory, Taco Bells Caramel Apple Empanada was quietly pulled from the chains menu in 2019. Initially introduced in 2004 (which leads us to believe the original Reddit posters photo was actually from 2004), the beloved one-dollar dessert consisted of a deep-fried crispy shell filled with diced apples and caramel sauce. Taco Bell fans didnt take this discontinuation lightly, resulting in yet another change.org petition.
And the sentiment still stands three years later, with Reddit users continuing to mourn the loss of the iconic treat.
“Seeing the empanada just hurts,” one user commented. “PLEASE I JUST WANT THE APPLE EMPANADA BACK,” another one added. Brianna Ruback Brianna is the Editorial Assistant at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies.
Why Did Taco Bell Discontinue The Taco Salad?
Taco Bell’s taco fiesta salad was a crunchy tortilla bowl made of ground beef with refried beans, served with tortilla strips and topped with tomato, lettuce, onions, cheese, and sour cream that everyone loved. It stopped selling in the market because it was not exactly an ideal healthy dish to be called a salad. It contained a lot of calories and the tortilla shells prepared early in the morning turned stale by the nighttime, which led to stopping Taco Salad. The workers also found that the shells could not be used for any other item either. Hence, they believed stopping the taco salad would be the best idea to save money, effort, and resources. Taco Bell also removed further items during the start of the pandemic to bring an evolution in their menu and bring creative changes in consumers’ liking by making more space for new items.
Can you still get taco salad in any other way?
Yes! Luckily, they made slight changes in their menu to keep up with a yummy dish that everybody preferred. So, instead of selling the taco salad in the tortilla shells, they started to sell the dish in a bowl in the name of Power Super Bowl. If you prefer to have the fresh salad from the tortilla shells, you can go and buy a pack of 4 taco shells at Krogers for $5 or a pack of 4 shells for $2.80 at Walmart.
How to make a perfect Fiesta Taco Salad like Taco Bell?
All you need to make a perfect taco salad is,
Once you have thoroughly cooked the meat (or any vegan item of your choice) on medium flame, add the seasonal mixes and all the veggies of your choice. Stir well and let them cook before you arrange them in the shell. You can add extra vegetable dressings topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and some tabasco sauce.
Although Taco Bell focused on simplifying its menu and having plant-based components to most of its dishes, many fans could not feel bad about the tastiest and most exotic dishes getting canceled. Despite many of the items going off of the menu, there is still room for innovation and space to allow new dishes to move up at their own pace. There is still an option for customizing a certain ad-on to make it seem like the dishes that are no longer selling, but you can give it your best shot.
Yes, you heard that right. Taco Bell offers a Build Your Own Cravings Box for $5 that includes all the favorite items that you love in a box. You can choose anything from their signature items like Crunchwrap, Chalupa Supreme, or Cheesy Gordita Crunch. For starters, you can choose Crunchy Taco, Cheese Burrito, or Nachos Fries, with your favorite dip along with a medium-sized drink of your choice. All of this comes for $5 packed in a cravings box, specially made for Taco Bell Reward Beta members on their app.
What Was The Fiesta Taco Salad?
The Fiesta Taco Salad, known by fans as the taco salad, was a breakfast item offered by Taco Bell. It was a round, crispy taco shell that customers can fill with ground beef, onions, lettuce, and other toppings of their choice.
Then the pandemic began, and the Fiesta Taco Salad was removed along with about a dozen other items. This move saw great controversy and customers weren’t shy to express their dissatisfaction through petitions and social media.
Why did Taco Bell get rid of so many items?
Does Wendy’s sell taco salads?
Is Taco Bell bringing back the Mexican Pizza in 2022?