Nearly one year ago Piet and I were in the U.K. and he indulged me on a little detour so I could visit a British Taco Bell. You can see my U.K. vs. U.S. comparison here. This month, something extraordinary happened…Taco Bell opened its very first restaurant here in the Netherlands! I really never saw that coming as “Mexican Food” is not much of a thing here…I mean, I had to buy my own tortilla press just to have corn tortillas. I will take this moment to lament the loss of our favorite taco stand in Portland, El Coyote. The best damn fish tacos you will ever have.For Mexican food newbies, Taco Bell is the fast food version of something like El Coyote. So you will not find anything as delicious and amazing looking as the above there. OK, on to the review.
Eindhoven is supposedly the first of twenty Taco Bell’s opening in the country. I haven’t heard anything regarding timelines or locations for the remaining 19, so we decided to plan a day trip with Piet’s cousin Cynthia to check it out. It also so happened that my sister Hollie came for a surprise visit so she was able to tag along as well! We took the train a little over 2 hours each way to the south of the Netherlands. We arrived to find a line of customers out in the street. I think it had been open for a few weeks already at this point, so apparently it’s already a huge success! I have never seen a T-Bell in such a grand setting, have you?
So we waited…I think for about 20 minutes before reaching the counter. My guess is they had to do their best to stagger the customers otherwise the kitchen could not keep up and there wouldn’t be anywhere for people to sit.
There was a list of rules posted on their entry door, one being that we were not allowed to take photos of staff or any other customers – so that really limited the shots I could get of the inside of the restaurant sadly. But hopefully you can see from what I did manage to get how fancy it is compared to the U.S. locations.
I mean seriously…check out the chairs and the lighting! Nothing like the Bell I grew up with. Remember 1990’s Taco Bell?
Our food didn’t take as long as I imaged given the long line of people still trailing outside. We ordered a variety of items to try, and Piet had a meal basket which included the European side of fries and mayo. You can also upgrade your meal drink to a beer if you really feel like starting a party.
I have to admit, I was really expecting the food to taste a little more like the U.K. version which was fresher and seemed like the ingredients were higher quality. Even my bean and cheese burrito in England was grilled on both sides! Alas, my Dutch bean burrito was not grilled, and only seemed to have beans and onions present. No cheese or sauce. Piet did like to remind me that with such a large crowd and only weeks after their grand opening, it’s highly possible that they were just not on their game. I will give them that and if we find ourselves in Eindhoven, we will give it a second chance. My Crunchwrap Supreme however was spot on. Tasted just like the U.S. and U.K. version. I guess you just can’t mess with perfection.
Piet and Cynthia say “good mouthfeel”, and I say: it was good, but not worth four hours on the train when I can make a crunchwrap at home! Check it out!