“Out with the old, in with the new” is a mentality that remains constant in the fast-food world. We see menu items being discontinued all the time just for new ones to be released shortly after.
However, just because fast food chains are getting rid of certain menu offerings doesn’t necessarily mean customers didn’t 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.
One Reddit user said, “Loved this spread! So descriptive and over the top Taco Bell,” while another wrote, “How come you never realize it’s the good old days until they’re gone?”
So, for old time’s sake, let’s take a trip down memory lane to see which obsolete Taco Bell menu items still hold a special place in people’s hearts.
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Gracing the menu for 36 years, Taco Bell’s Fiesta Taco Salad, commonly referred to as “Taco Salad” reached eighty-six in 2020. The menu favorite featured a crispy taco shell bowl filled with ground beef, rice, refried beans , lettuce, tomatoes, grated cheese, crispy 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 taco shell bowls,” as well as low demand. However, it is fair to say that it still exists some demand — one fan even started a petition to get the salad back.
One user commented on the Reddit thread, “Give back my taco salad!!!!’, while another added, ‘Ugh I miss taco salad so much. The shell was perfect. I’ve tried to take them to other places, including authentic Mexican restaurants, and they’re just not the same.”
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Hot bowl of chicken
The Fiesta Taco Salad wasn’t the only bowl removed from the menu. Launched in 2003, Taco Bell’s Zesty Chicken Bowl was released just eight years later and consisted of grilled chicken slices, seasoned rice, three cheeses, lettuce and the chain’s Fiesta Salsa. But the item that took the menu item to the next level for one Reddit user was the Zesty dressing, which they described as “so good it was the first time [they] actually tried to find a way to buy boxes of the stuff to use with other things around the house…”
Another Redditor said, “This juicy 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 this bowl and the hot steak bowl it was always go to items for a free meal.’
Grilled Stuft Burrito
This burrito made its debut in 2001. Although it was discontinued, it eventually evolved into the XXL Grilled Stuff Burrito, which, after 10 years 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 original debut, the Grilled Stuft Burrito has 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 Stuft Burrito Grill.
“Grilled Sweets for $1.99. Unreal,” said one Reddit user.Wow what I would give to have a $2 grilled burrito again,” commented another.
1/2 pound beef and potato burrito
While Taco Bell still has potato items on the menu—thanks to several vocal customers who demanded their return after being given the boot in 2020—the 1/2-Pound Beef&Potato Burrito is largely a thing of the past. Made with a double portion of beef, the burrito was stuffed with fries, nacho cheese and sour cream – and it certainly left an impression on customers, with one writing, “The beef and potato burrito is the best ever.”
Another Redditor echoed a similar sentiment: “What I wouldn’t give to have my 1/2 pound beef and potato burrito back. Especially at this price. That’s pretty much all I’ve ordered in years.”
Caramel Apple Empanada
Now just a sweet memory, Taco Bell’s Caramel Apple Empanada was quietly pulled from the chain’s menu in 2019. It was originally introduced in 2004 (which leads us to believe that the original Reddit poster photo was actually from 2004), his favorite one-dollar dessert consisted of a deep-fried crispy shell filled with diced apples and caramel sauce. Taco Bell fans didn’t take this outage lightly, resulting in yet another change.org petition.
And the sentiment still lingers 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,” added another.