Taco Bell is still crowded, several months after it opened. We walked in during lunch hour on a weekday and there were office workers, students, parents with their kids, tourists. In short, a wide demographic slice of the city was in representation. Field researchers take note, this might be a great place to carry out that next survey.
One weird thing they do when you order, the first thing they ask for is your phone number. I'm like, excuse me, why do you need my phone number? And the guy behind the counter said they wanted to send me news about their promotions. I politely declined. But I'm guessing lots of people simply think that this is somehow a pre-requisite to place your order. PSA: Don't just give out your phone number to random people guys, especially corporations.
Look, let's face it, Taco Bell is fast food. You're not going here looking for something healthy. Things here have a preserved sort of feel that reminds me vaguely of scenes from Super Size Me. If you want Mexican food that's closer to fresh and healthy, check out a place like Let's Taco or Tacocat.
The Quesadilla (Rs. 530) was decent, there was lots of stringy, pully cheese and the Fajita Chicken had a flavor vaguely reminiscent of curry. The Crispy Fish Taco (Rs.330) was quite good, the fish was crunchy and had a tang that reminded me of dried fish or karawala. This is a good thing. I like karawala. A lot. The cheese sauce on it was pretty good too.
We tried the Cheesy Nachos (Rs. 360) and liked them. The cheese was flavorful and the onions and tomatoes made a nice tangy addition. But the toppings were dismally insufficient for the amount of nachos on the plate, leaving us to use them to scoop up drippings from the other food we ate (not as satisfying).
The Mexical Chicken Chalupa (Rs. 390) would be best described with a meh (that's a verbal shrug for you language prudes). The dough was too fluffy. The salad took up too much space. Everything tasted like flour.
The Cheesy Double Decker Taco (Rs.530) received applause for its smart construction. Here was a crispy taco covered in a tortilla, so it wouldn't break apart and spill its contents all over the place.
The Chocodilla (Rs.200) tastes basically like a chocolate rotti, you must have had them at Pillawoos or down South at some point. It's also rather sugary, and you're not going to be able to eat the whole thing unless you have a strong taste for sugary, cheap chocolate, and complete lack of fear of getting diabetes, putting on weight, getting pimples, losing all your friends etc. JK. Your friends will still like you (hopefully).
The Irish Coffee Ice Cream Shake (Rs. 350) was syrupy sweet, not my thing but maybe you'd like it. The Lemon Mojito (Rs. 250) was a little too strong, and tasted as if whatever they put in there to mimic the lemon (Sprite?) was overdosed, or maybe it just had too much mint. Anyway, the drinks weren't anything to get too excited about.
The service is smiley and welcoming. There is a clearly evident, thick facade of very strong training. Interestingly, we didn't spot any women on the staff the time we were there. No idea if this is normal for Taco Bell Colombo. Let us know what you think.
Taco Bell has a big and spacious interior with enough room for privacy around a table with a few friends. Bigger tables will accomodate larger groups, and families welcome. The color scheme is nice and warm. There's graffiti and street art giving a bit of an edgy feel. But not too edgy, this is after all a mass market enterprise.
The food here is really nothing to write in your diary about, much of it is mediocre, with a few moments of slightly-better-than-mediocre. Most of it seems to be made on the premise that if you smother something in cheese, people will eat it.
It's got room to hang out in, is easily accessed and has lots of parking, so it's got all these things going for it. But in the end it's a fast food chain, and just like you wouldn't go to KFC for the 'best fried chicken', you wouldn't be going to Taco Bell for the 'best Tex-Mex'. Fortunately for you, Colombo now has better options.