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September 27, 2022 5:08 pm

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I just visited Del Taco for the first time and now I understand why Jack in the Box scooped up the chain for nearly $600 million last year

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Del Taco

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • I visited Del Taco for the first time to taste test the food.
  • It was affordable and delicious, with a huge menu.
  • I was most surprised by how good the burger was, especially compared to more popular ones.
On my recent West coast trip, I got to try Del Taco for the first time, along with some other California staples.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Del Taco sells “Mexican-inspired” fast food at 600 US locations in 16 states.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The chain was just acquired by another franchise, Jack in the Box, for $585 million, so I was excited to see what made the chain so valuable.Jack in the Box

Getty Images/David McNew

Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

The decor inside the restaurant I visited definitely had a Southwestern feel.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Words and images across the design emphasized fresh ingredients prepared on-site.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

All the decor promised bold flavors and made-to-order food.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

There was a toppings bar that looks like it might typically have salsa, cheese, or other typical taco additions, but it was empty when I was there.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The menu was almost overwhelming with how large it was, but luckily I’d already ordered on my phone, so I could take my time.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Through the glass next to the counter I could see the refrigerator with ingredients including tomatoes, cheese, and limes, another acknowledgment of fresh ingredients.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I wanted to sample almost the entire menu, so I ended up with two large bags of food.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I started with the Nachotada Crunchtada, a new addition to the menu.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It was a crunchy tortilla shell topped with beans, beef, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, and jalapeños.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It reminded me a lot of Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza, and it was absolutely delicious.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Next up, I tried the Beyond guacamole taco, with plant-based meat.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The taco was pretty standard, but the guacamole definitely took it over the top.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It’s a solid plant-based option, and swapping guacamole for sour cream makes it easy to go vegan without feeling like you’re missing out.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Next up was a bean and cheese burrito, a classic cheap fast-food meal.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

For just $1.49, it was tasty and exactly what I wanted from a small burrito.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It comes with “zesty red” or “tangy green” sauce. I went with the red and was very happy with my decision.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I had to try the namesake Del Taco, with all the fixings.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It comes in crunchy and soft options.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It was a basic fast food taco with beef, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce, but it hit the mark perfectly.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I was really excited to try the beer battered crispy fish taco, which I can’t remember having anything like at a fast food chain before.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It comes with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and secret sauce in a soft tortilla.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I loved the touch of a lime wedge, which I squeezed onto my taco.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It was smaller than the other dishes I ordered, but it was crispy and light, a perfect break in the middle of my giant fast food meal.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The stuffed quesadilla taco was one of my favorites, thanks to the queso blanco between the two tortillas.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The crispy chicken and all the cheese went together perfectly, and it was exactly what you want out of a fast food taco.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The crispy chicken taco was especially good and filling for just $1.49.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The crispy chicken adds a nice texture to each bite, and I’d definitely order again.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The only item I didn’t completely love was also the most expensive.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The chili cheddar fries weren’t bad, but they weren’t as impressive as everything else I ordered.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The toppings were great, but the fries were middling.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The Del cheeseburger was shockingly good, the biggest surprise of my meal.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Before I visited, I didn’t even know Del Taco sold burgers, but my Uber driver told me I had to try it.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It was juicy and cheesy, with the right amount of crunch from the vegetables. Somehow, Del Taco sold one of the best fast food burgers I’ve ever had.Del Taco

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

My huge order came out to $26.09 and was easily enough food for several people, so it felt like a very good deal.Del Taco receipt

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

I only visited Del Taco because it was convenient, but I’m so glad I did because it was one of the best West coast chains I tried.Del Taco

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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