I’m 22 and I just tried Taco Bell for the first time, and it definitely lived up to the hype

My first Taco Bell experience. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

I wouldn’t call myself a big fast food eater, but I do enjoy McDonald’s fries or a Chick-fil-A sandwich now and then.

So with National Fast Food Day coming up on November 16, I decided to try a fan-favourite among fast food connoisseurs:Taco Bell. Yes, you read that right, I’ve never tried Taco Bell before.

Keep reading to learn about my first experience at the famous fast food chain.

For my first-ever Taco Bell experience, I headed to a location in New Jersey.

I went in nervous but hungry. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

Sadly, the one in my home-town closed down a few years ago but I didn’t have to travel too far to find the next-closest one. Taco Bell has more than 6,500 restaurants across the US, and 300 locations in 24 countries around the world.

When I walked in, the restaurant was pretty crowded for 2:30 p.m. on a Saturday.

The restaurant was crowded for 2:30 p.m. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

I was expecting the restaurant to be empty since I thought I went at an off time and figured most people would use the drive-thru, which also had a long line.

I waited in line and browsed the menu above me. Taco Bell has over 16 different varieties of tacos.

The menu was easy to navigate. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

I was surprised at the menu’s variety: apparently, it features over 52 different items.

When the cashier went to take my order, her mouth dropped in shock that I had never tried Taco Bell before. (Is it really that uncommon?)

Nayelin was super helpful and friendly! Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

The cashier, Nayelin, was extremely nice and helpful and told me that her favourite menu item is the chicken burrito, so naturally I ordered one.

As I waited for my food, I browsed their hot sauce collection. They had four flavours at my location: Mild, Hot, Fire, and Diablo.

Taco Bell hot sauces. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

My favourite hot sauce was the mild, as I don’t much like spicy things. The sauce was slightly sweet, and the perfect addition to my meal.

The table next to mine had filled their entire tray with hot sauce, compared to my four, so maybe I was doing the whole hot sauce thing wrong?

Is Taco Bell really considered fast food? From the time I walked into the restaurant and the time I got my order, 25 minutes had passed.

Everything I ordered. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

There was a long line at the drive-thru, so I’m going to attribute my long wait to that.

It’s cheap at least: My total only came out to $US18.06, and I ordered a lot.

My bill. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

I ordered a Double Chalupa Box, a Crunchwrap Supreme, a chicken burrito, two Doritos Locos Tacos, and a medium drink, and it all came out to only $US18.06.

I started with the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos, which tasted just like a Dorito topped with classic taco ingredients, which I guess is the point.

Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

When I asked my friends what to eat at Taco Bell, they all told me to go for the Doritos Locos Tacos.

I was surprised by how much I liked them. The shell tasted like a real Dorito chip, and the beef inside tasted creamy and homemade. Despite a lot of the cheese falling out, it and the lettuce tasted fresh and delicious.

The next thing I tried was the Double Chalupa Box, which consists of a Double Chalupa, a crunchy taco, and Cinnamon Twists.

Double Chalupa Box. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

The Double Chalupa Box also came with a medium drink, and only cost $US5.99, which is a great deal in my opinion.

I was expecting the Double Chalupa to be crunchy, but it was chewy and a little soggy.

Double Chalupa. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

The Chalupa was not my favourite. Despite the flatbread-like shell being fried, it was a little soggy and tasted like a taco bowl you would get a salad in. In fact, it tasted like a handheld taco salad.

When I asked the cashier what she recommended, she said the chicken burrito. To me, however, the rice-to-chicken ratio was off.

Chicken Burrito. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

There was a lot more rice in the burrito than chicken. But the cheese was melty and the avocado ranch sauce inside was creamy and delicious.

Next up: the Crunchwrap Supreme. At first glance, the Crunchwrap Supreme looks underwhelming.

The Crunchwrap Supreme. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

On the outside, it just looks like a dry, misshapen quesadilla.

But it totally lived up to the hype. It had the perfect balance of crunchy and soft and was packed with flavour.

The Crunchwrap Supreme. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

The Crunchwrap Supreme is another fan-favourite that I’ve heard many good things about. I liked how it was both crunchy and soft, thanks to a crispy tostada shell and a flour tortilla. The nacho cheese tasted a little artificial to me, but I’ll say that the cheese-to-sour-cream-to-meat ratio was perfectly balanced.

Lastly, I tried the Cinnamon Twists, which didn’t taste much like cinnamon, but more like puffs of air.

Cinnamon Twists. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

I was expecting a churro-like texture, but they had the consistency of a cheese puff, and only a hint of cinnamon. While they didn’t satisfy my sweet tooth, they’re a great option for those looking to indulge without feeling too guilty.

All in all, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my meal! I would certainly eat at Taco Bell again.

Me and my first Taco Bell. Lindsay DeMunno/INSIDER

I was surprised that Taco Bell did, in fact, live up to the hype.

Considering all the food on my tray was gone by the end (with a little help from my dad), I would say we got a good bang for our buck.

Although I wouldn’t go back as a weekly dining option, I wouldn’t be opposed to a Doritos Locos Tacos or Crunchwrap Supreme every now and then.

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