Oh, that wonderful feeling after eating a Jack in the Box taco, that punch to the stomach that makes you tap your feet like a telegraph, that creates rumblings from depths in your bowels that had remained dormant since you were in the womb. Their tacos, a superfluous nipple from its shared heritage with Del Taco, have long inspired otherwise-sane eaters to wax purple about them, including your humble scribe.
But I can no longer do that in good faith. Like the Carl's Jr. cheeseburger and the Taquería de Anda chain before it, Jack in the Box's taco is no longer as disgustingly good as it used to be. Now, it's just plain disgusting.
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I've eaten them on and off over the past couple of years, drawn to its curious mixture of ketchup, imitation beef extract, a greasy-yet-crispy shell, processed cheese and limp shredded cabbage, drawn to its combo of gooey and greasy, salty and crunchy, mushy and grainy. But I noticed a drop in quality over the years--gradual, then sped up.
Yesterday, it hit rock-bottom. The taco before you didn't even have the cheese melted--look at that massive slab sticking out. It wasn't greasy enough, far too salty; the imitation beef extract tasted like mud pebbles. I could barely eat one, and threw away the other. And then, the rumbles...
I'm not a food snob. I still like Jack in the Box's hamburgers--not the best, but better than Wendy's. But I never visited Jack in the Box for burgers--it was the taco that drew me in. Not any more...oy, does someone have Peptot?