Update: thanks to Rakesh for sending in a billboard sighting! It’s posted below…
I remember exactly where I was when I first heard that Taco Bell was coming to India. I was sitting with my coworkers in our DLF Cyber City office, describing one of the seven wonders of American culture: two AM taco runs. “It’s not exactly Mexican food,” I told them, my eyes watering with nostalgia. “In fact, it’s not exactly food. But I miss it intensely.”
One of my coworkers piped up. “I heard they were opening a Taco Bell in India soon!”
A dash to the internet confirmed it. I pledged right then and there that I would be the very first person to eat at India’s very first Taco Bell. Unfortunately, although Taco Bell announced their plans to open way back in 2006, it still hadn’t arrived by the time I left the country.
But now, ladies and gentlemen, the greatest day in India’s history has finally arrived, albeit too late for me: Taco Bell has opened in Bangalore.
If you’re unsure about what Taco Bell holds in store for you, I published an essay in The Caravan magazine last year explaining the joy and glory of hyper-manufactured carbohydrates. Give it a read.
“Taco Bell is to Mexican food, however, what Starbucks is to a Paris coffeehouse: a uniquely American derivative that has evolved to resemble its inspiration in name only. You can trace its pedigree back to Mexico, sure, but what Taco Bell serves today is a mutt: Mexican food crossbred with generations of focus groups, cost-cutting innovation, and manufacturing techniques to breed a beast far removed from the original. A Taco Bell taco, with its crispy corn shell containing ground beef, lettuce, tomato, and cheese, is a remarkable feat of American engineering: the product of decades of research that have squeezed every spare cent of material and every extra second of labor out of creating it.” Read more…
I can’t find any pictures or reviews of the new Mantri Square franchise. If you’re in Bangalore, I implore you: take some pictures! Try a taco! Tell us what you think!
UPDATE 24 MARCH: Twitterer Rakesh spotted this ad above the streets of Bangalore:
Am I crazy, or is that a reference to illegal immigration in America? This might not be totally politically correct…