A post on r/TacoBell from an alleged insider prompted frantic speculation online earlier this week that Taco Bell would be cutting some of its most beloved items. The chain planned to ax "all potato items, Quesaritos, Loaded Grillers, Triple Layer Nacho, Beefy Frito Burrito, Spicy Tostada, 7-Layer Burrito," the user wrote in a post that was picked up by Business Insider. Taco Bell fans on Twitter (myself included) promptly freaked out, though the claims were still unconfirmed. Alas, we now know for sure—but the prognosis, my Taco Bell brethren, is bad. Hope you're not going to Taco Bell for the potatoes.
As Taco Bell officially announced today, it will be "clearing space on our menu to create a more efficient Taco Bell experience." Instead of living más, we will be living menos, as the fast food chain says goodbye to the following: Grilled Steak Soft Taco, 7-Layer Burrito, Quesarito (still available via web/app for order ahead), Nachos Supreme, Beefy Fritos Burrito®, Spicy Tostada, Triple Layer Nachos, Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, Loaded Grillers (Cheesy Potato, Beefy Nacho), Chips & Dips, Mini Skillet Bowl. This attempt to "streamline operations" will begin on August 13, the company wrote, so if your favorite item is on the list, you still have time to eat a few and to pour out one large Baja Blast in its honor.
While fans will surely miss the steak tacos, burritos, and nachos, perhaps the most egregious casualty, in this writer's biased estimation, is the loss of the perfectly flavored, crispy-yet-soft Taco Bell potato, which seems to no longer appear in any option on the chain's upcoming menu board. As I've written in the past, the Quesarito with potatoes substituted for meat has long been my go-to Taco Bell order, with the cheesy potato loaded griller being my second choice; this sudden loss of all Taco Bell items I hold dear is indeed a blow. And I'm likely not alone in this feeling: as writer Gabe Bergado extolled in Eater in February, "Taco Bell’s Secret Weapon Has Always Been the Humble Potato," due to their ability to serve as "building blocks to a number of scrumptious, underrated concoctions."
Swapping in beans for meat always seemed easy. Swapping potatoes in for meat seemed genius, like a secret you only knew if a stoner friend passed it along to you, and a potato-filled Quesarito is a delight of carb overload that I can only hope you experience before the sad day of August 13, 2020. In their most simple and inexpensive form as Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, Taco Bell potatoes satisfy, but those glorious days of scraping salty cheese sauce and sour cream from a styrofoam cup with a spork are numbered.
2020, by all accounts, has been a pretty terrible year—the kind of year that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a burrito full of cheese, rice, and potatoes, that's then wrapped inside a quesadilla. It's only fitting then that this simple joy will soon be gone too, just like all the free office food.