What DC needs is a good Taco Bell. Fellow We Love DC Author Max addressed this pressing issue in May of 2008 and somehow I find that our beloved District is still plagued by a lack of cheap taco-y goodness.
Monday night, I figured this out for myself. It was the cosmic forces that really brought this one together. I kid you not. You see — my friend’s car needed a good jumping and I chose (out of the kindness of my heart) to stand outside in the bitter cold of night for an hour. The hour passed. The man with the jumper cables showed up. He told us, “Now you gotta drive around for AT LEAST 25 minutes to make sure that battery doesn’t fail ya,” so we did.
Instead of driving aimlessly, we plugged in the good old GPS to find somewhere less random to go. But of course fate chose to get involved. We passed Cactus Cantina (on Massachusetts NW and Wisconsin NW) when thoughts of gluttony suddenly possessed me, “I want tacos,” I said.
And — ALAS — the dream to find a Taco Bell was born.
We entered “Taco Bell” into the GPS and picked the “third closest” one near Court House. Why so far? As NW-natives, my partner on this magic carpet ride and I knew that the Taco Bell near the Van Ness-UDC metro station closed a few months back. So on to Court House we pressed.
Now I know what some of you readers are thinking, “That location has been closed for years.” Well that may be so, but my friend and I had no idea that this was true until we pulled up to an empty lot full of gravel with a couple of broken hearts and a Wendy’s staring us in the face. I have no idea how long ago this Taco Bell was more than a vacant lot but I have a feeling it was sometime before the Taco Bell Truck stormed into town.
That failure led to a short period of frustration followed by a jump start in our adventure.
The night pushed forward as 107.3 blasted in the background (Side Note: Since when is Nickleback still putting out records that get actual airplay?) Next stop — Alexandria. The next 3 stops are a blur. It was a mixture of Taco Bells inside of malls that were closed for the night or locations that no longer exist due to Burger King’s being built in their place.
We. Were. Devastated. And I mean DEEEEVAASTATED. That’s when I decided to use my brain.
The universe came together on this one. How do I know that? Because we ended up 10 minutes from Kingstowne shopping center … and it just so happens a friend of mine lives out there. So we dropped him a line to tell him about our adventures and he led us to the Chalupas!
So what started as a 25 minute quickie-adventure turned in to an epic odyssey to find a meal for under $3 (mine only came out to about $2.60 — how sweet is that?!?!?).
Here’s the real kicker. DC has a couple Taco Bell opportunities if you’re willing to bare the grunt of dealing with the patented KFC/Taco Bell joint-venture. 14th and U St. offer up some of the meaty, cheesy, sour cream-filled heart attack in a hard shell, in addition to the finest fried chicken out of “Kentucky”.
That’s the problem with finding a good Taco Bell in (and around) DC — they’re either closed down stores, vacant lots, inside a mall, or attached to a KFC.
All the Taco Bell “store locators” found via Google say the same thing too. There are “two” stores “in DC”, one on 14th St. (with a KFC) and one at UDC (which is no longer in operation as of August 2009).
Dear reader, I have but one request — do you know if there is a GOOD Taco Bell in DC? And I mean a REAL Taco Bell. None of this “I’m attached to a KFC or inside a mall” shenanigans. I mean a “sit-down, shut-up, and eat your penny saving, artery clogging meal” Taco Bell. If so, I’d love to hear about it. Pay it forward. Thanks.