Let me offer a life-changing suggestion: Walk into your favorite Taco Bell and order an Enchirito.
The cashier may hesitate. They may ask you to repeat yourself. "A what?" the cashier may ask.
Don't be deterred. State your order again, clearly. A more senior burrito artist may come forward to assist, showing the cashier which computer buttons to poke to access the forgotten items of Taco Bell Past. The Enchirito is there, hidden in the depths of the menu, waiting for some hero to come and call its name. Enchirito, the best fucking thing at Taco Bell.
Trust me, I know. I'm a T-Bell scholar.
You can no longer find the Enchirito — a combination of beans, ground beef, and tiny onions hugged by a warm flour tortilla and blanketed in melted cheese — on Taco Bell's brightly colored website. But that doesn't mean this is a secret menu item. I repeat, this is not a secret. Secret menu items are exclusive. Only cool people know about them, clinging to the knowledge like a badge of honor. The Enchirito is for the people. It's not about being hip, unique, cool. It's about flavor. It's about the motherfucking sauce.
The life blood of Taco Bell is the restaurant's signature "red sauce." The classic bean burrito, for example, is just five ingredients: beans, onions, cheese, tortilla, and sweet-tangy-spicy-delicious red sauce. Unless you get a wack burrito artist who doesn't put enough sauce on it, the bean burrito is near perfect.
Well, the Enchirito takes that perfection to a whole other level, because it is literally covered — slathered, lathered, bathed — in red sauce. And, again, topped with melted cheese.
The glory doesn't stop there. Actual food is only part of the appeal. The Enchirito is served in a plastic boat. It's not quite a bowl, but its raised edges serve to contain the excess of sauce and cheese. If you eat your other items first, your Double Decker Supreme, your 7-Layer Burrito, whatever, things will fall into the boat. A dollop of guacamole, eight or nine tomato cubes, a sprinkle of shredded cheese and iceberg lettuce, a delicious blob of sour cream — these become the dressings of your Enchirito. Your Enchirito can become "supreme" (Taco Bell lingo for including tomatoes and sour cream in an item). This is the secret to a complete, balanced meal. These are the little things that make life livable.
Wait, there's more. Like a boat needs water to float, the Enchirito boat too has its rightful place in the universe. You're not going to take this gooey mess of cheese and sauce home in a bag. Yes, there's a plastic cover over the container. It is, technically, portable. But that shit is going to swish and slide and spill and destroy its own natural, layered beauty. The Enchirito should be eaten in a Taco Bell, before the cheese cools and solidifies.
So the next time you hit the Bell, take your time. Sit down on a creaky swivel chair, in the warm embrace of the Bell's signature pink, purple, and golden walls, and pay no attention to the onlookers gazing lustily at the strings of cheese rappelling from your spork into your tray, wondering at the strange item before you. You've earned this special Baja moment. Grab your spork and dig in.