The first Taco Bell in Wales opened its doors on March 2, bringing a taste of the American franchise’s Mexican food to Cardiff.
I was invited to the official launch party last Thursday, February 27 where I was able to take a peek at the new restaurant on St Mary Street and try a sample of the food which will be on the menu.
The new restaurant, which seats 49 people, is open for both delivery and to dine-in and I had the pleasure of trying it after being invited with the newspaper I work for.
The design of the restaurant is open and bright, what you’d hope for from a modern fast food restaurant – happily social with an array of seating.
A highlight of my experience, food aside, was probably the staff as once I had made them aware that I am a vegetarian, they took great care in bringing me vegetarian samples and explaining in detail what was in each dish.
The many samples, which staff took around the restaurant to everyone for them to pick and choose from, were generous half portions of selected dishes from the menu.
I tried a hard taco, a soft taco, the Crunchwrap Supreme, the Volcano Burrito, the fajitas quesadilla, loaded fries, a Lemon Quench Freeze and churros with caramel sauce.
Guests arrived at Taco Bell on that evening to loaded nachos ready to be shared and an abundance of hot sauce – all of varying spice levels.
On a personal level, either the hard taco or the Crunchwrap Supreme was my favourite as both boasted crispy textures, cheese, fresh salad, pleasantly spicy sauce and pico de gallo.
Fellow vegetarians, rejoice! as there is not only the vegetarian option of black beans, but they can be subsituted for the meat in any of the dishes – or removed if you’re not a bean lover.
Unexpectedly, the Lemon Quench Freeze was a very welcome addition to the evening as it was the perfect palate cleanser and mouth cooler before the churros – cooked fresh in store.
Unlike other fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, which is only across the road, there are alcoholic options such as Sol lager or a Freeze containing rum or tequila for adults.
The one piece of advice for any food-lover looking to try the new Taco Bell would be to make sure you grab a good handful of napkins at the beginning – as there is no clean way of eating items like hard tacos or loaded nachos.
Hundreds of people queued for five hours to enter the American chain restaurant on its first day when it officially opened to the public with the promise that the first 100 customers would receive free tee shirts.
Let’s be honest for a moment – there are a other great Mexican food places in Cardiff, such as Barburrito however it’s whether you want a gourmet or a fast convenience experience.
Taco Bell is like the McDonalds of Mexican Food – if I want a fancy burger I’ll go to the Grazing Shed, but for fast food I’ll always go to Maccies, or Burger King at an absolute push.