Taco Bell fans may be sad about the Mexican Pizza, but looking back on old history is helping them smile.
Like many classic fast food chains that have been around for decades, there comes a time when regular patrons like to look back on the history of the place they get their favorite drive-through meal.
Some of those histories are longer than others (with White Castle being the oldest still running), but regardless, it’s often fun to look back at the humble beginnings of the chains many of us grew up with.
For me, Taco Bell (YUM) – Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report was an early favorite in the ’90s. With its weird mish-mash of ’80s-flavored modern art touches and that turquoise and salmon color palette, I felt comforted when I went there after a tough day at school or a bad date and settled into a booth with my Mexican Pizza (or, maybe a Chili Cheese Burrito if I felt like changing it up a bit).
I also frequently enjoyed a now-defunct dessert called a Border Ice which was like a push-up popsicle in a triangular package, and remember exactly how heartbroken I was when Taco Bell announced they would be no more.
It turns out that I wasn’t the only tortured teen hiding in a booth, seeking a tiny bit of solace from a comfort meal. Now that sharing such memories is as easy as hopping on Twitter and typing, I see that not only was I far from alone back then, but there were probably folks everywhere having the same experience I was (maybe as close as the next booth over, in fact)– and they really miss those days too.
And now that the Mexican Pizza is gone again, I’ve noticed an interesting rise in posts all over the internet of people looking back at Taco Bell in the ’90s and 2000s and feeling those very same fond memories.
Why Old Menus Make People Happy
People in the Taco Bell Reddit flocked to a recent thread discussing whether the ’90s Taco Bell look was superior to the current one, with many preferring the old look more. Others hung out in another thread talking about how much they missed the ’90s menu.
On Twitter, people expressed love for everything from the restaurant’s old aesthetic in different decades to its drive-through menu.
This is part of why folks like me responded so strongly when the Mexican Pizza was removed from the menu in 2020. Many people who weren’t longtime fans said “Who cares? This isn’t even good.”
And if you’re gazing into the box of a newly-opened Mexican Pizza (especially some of the really messy ones that popped up last month) hoping to understand what the big deal is about, you won’t.
But for those of us who had a memory in time that food happened to be a part of, it meant more than just a meal. And those aren’t about the quality of the food so much as they are about the food itself being part of a memory that matters.