I’ve had a slight Taco Bell obsession since I watched Demolition Man as a kid and found out that every restaurant in America would soon be a branch of Taco Bell (franchise wars winners, natch!)…
Thankfully we no longer have to wait until 2032 to eat Taco Bell, because a restaurant just opened here in sunny Southampton – launching 23 November 2016! My husband and I were invited along to the launch this evening, and I’ve rushed home to write up my report about it, because I was pretty blown away!
The restaurant has a great central location, just opposite the Bargate – around the corner from where the old McDonald’s used to be, if you can remember back that far. It also boasts charging stations and free wifi, which I’m sure means it’ll be a hit with any cruise crew and travellers stopping by at the port – or people like me, who are usually running out of data and have plenty to do online…
The menu is on par with other fast food places in as far as choice and price goes – you can get most of the dishes under or just over a fiver. However, I don’t think we have many other Tex-Mex fast food places in the centre of town – the nearest is probably Mexigo on London Road, which is a fair walk if you have a sudden craving for a burrito…
There was a great atmosphere at the launch, and the drinks and food were getting everyone in a mood for a proper Mexican-style fiesta! It was interesting to learn that this branch is the only one south of London – I’m sure it won’t be for long. I have no idea why it’s taken so long for Taco Bell to get a foothold in the UK, because even with a handful of branches, it still has pretty good brand name recognisability here. If there’s one thing every Brit is prepared to concede about America, it’s that they do fast food reaaaaally well.
Speaking of which, I got to try a few of the dishes on offer, including the beef tacos, chicken burritos, and pulled pork quesadillas. They were all so delicious – I was expecting good things but I was surprised as just how tasty and addictive the food was. My absolute favourite was the pulled pork quesadillas – salty, juicy shredded pork inside a cheesy soft grilled tortilla; what a perfect combination! That’ll be my regular, please, Mr. Bell.
The burritos come with rice, too, making them a great, filling meal! And the tacos – crunchy, crispy, with great seasoning and a lovely blend of sour cream and cheese. Let’s face it, fast food doesn’t need to be fancy or difficult to be delicious and filling – Taco Bell is cheap and cheerful at its finest. And did I mention they serve beer too?!
I’m definitely going to make many more stops at Taco Bell – there’s nothing like it on the high street in Southampton right now, and the prices are half what you’d pay in Tex-Mex restaurants for the same food (dare I say, actually a little nicer here?!)
Taco Bell Southampton opens 23 November at 1/2 Hanover Buildings, Southampton, SO14 1JU. See the menu at www.tacobelluk.co.uk.
Style note: T-shirt dress by ASOS, glasses by London Retro, jacket by Atmosphere, lipstick (The Queen) by Charlotte Tilbury.
Food and drink at the launch was on the house – my photos and opinions are my own.