Hello, foodies! For those of you who do not know who I am, and I’m certain there are few of you, my name is Nibbly Nathaniel. Nibbly as in I love to nibble on the most refined nibbles and Nathaniel as in … Well, Nathaniel is what the commoners have grown to call me. As I recently turned 21, I thought to myself, “What a better time to share my travels with the world than now?” Not only do I eat the finest foods, but I also imbibe now! So here we are. I am going to impart onto you my knowledge gained from some of my most worldly dining experiences in a series of articles that the On The Menu team has so graciously allowed me to publish. For this first article, I feel the need to critique a restaurant I found on my most recent trip to the grand Las Vegas. It may be helpful to the common folk attempting to find scrumptious sustenance in the most glamorous of cities.
My troupe and I took a road trip out to Sin City to do anything but sin. We were solely there to eat. This was my first trip to the party hot spot, so I was a tad bit nervous. We scanned the landscape of the strip from our first-story studio apartment rented to us by an elderly person and her cat through Airbnb (fabulous, right?). Sights included five-star restaurants by the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Emeril Lagasse. None of these restaurants spoke to my standard, so we lathered up our sunscreen for the evening and made our way out to find the epitome of fine cuisine. Within about half a mile, my troupe and I found where we would be spending most of our lavish trip: Taco Bell Cantina.
Yes, the sumptuously saucy hallmark of Mexican cuisine has made it to Vegas. With stars in our eyes, we entered the shiny building. I’m accustomed to receiving the grandest treatment from the staff of all Taco Bells, so I was not surprised to find the same standard upheld at the Cantina. I was shocked to find that most of the people inside were not dressed up to the standard of Taco Bell. I looked around shocked at my surroundings, but I pushed through to find the front menu. Taco Bell Cantina not only has the original Taco Bell menu, but they included newer, even more upscale additions along with serving alcohol. I decided to stick with my typical order of a Beefy Fritos burrito and a Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze — with a pinch of vodka (my first drink).
The person behind the counter was nothing but gracious in the way that they handed me my order. There was so much care in the way that they yelled “ORDER NUMBER #98 WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU??” It was a true five-star treatment. My troupe and I walked up to the second floor (yes, the second floor! Ugh, the glamor!!) to find a seat. The flickering and fading lights bounced off the checkered walls to give the effect of being in a roller disco in the 1970s. As the commoners would say, I was “shook.” I sat down with my troupe and we feasted, talked about old times and discussed the prospects of investing in the Cantina’s stock. I bit into my Beefy Frito burrito to experience absolute ecstasy. Notes of watery iceberg lettuce tickled at my senses. Processed meats spiced with sand tickled my taste buds. The crunch of the staling tortilla tore at the roof of my mouth, providing an unexpected iron flavor. The Frito crunch contrasted with the melted Velveeta-esque cheese to provide an unparalleled dining experience.
So as to not get too tipsy at this event, I sipped slowly on my Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze with a half a shot of vodka. The icy chill of the Baja sent shivers down my fedora with a mild bite of vodka that would leave my liver pickled for the evening. By the time I was done with the meal, I looked around at the extravagance of the Cantina. I’m still not sure if it was the half shot of vodka or the cheesy queso, but I felt like an absolute star under the dying fluorescent lights. I thought to myself, “What a time.”
So, if you ever find yourself in the diamond of the desert, Las Vegas, I would highly recommend making it a point to find the Taco Bell Cantina. Like I mentioned, it is unparalleled in terms of food quality. It is beautifully decorated. It is, safe to say, everything. Until next time, my dear common foodies. Keep glamorously gorging!