Shrimp tacos at Taco Bell

I love Mexican food and I love shrimp. Now, one wouldn’t consider Taco Bell to have authentic Mexican food, and I agree, but it sure does the trick when all you have time for is the drive-thru, or it’s all that’s nearby on a late night.

So when the taco chain announced their new Pacific Shrimp taco offerings, I had to try. Their site describes them as: “A warm, soft flour tortilla filled with six succulent shrimp marinated in a mix of spices, then topped with crisp shredded lettuce, Fiesta Salsa, and Avocado Ranch Sauce.”

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They were the size of any other soft tacos but still not much filling. There were six shrimp (I had to check), decent size, not huge but also not cup o’noodles-soup-size either.

The sauce absorbed the spices, probably from the shrimp, and it did have a little kick. All in all, it was a tasty shrimp taco, tasted as fresh as possible, considering it was from Taco Bell.

At 180 calories, these tacos aren’t bad, but I don’t know if I would have priced them at $2.49 each, (you can get a combo of two shrimp tacos with a very large drink for $5.99). I mean it is Taco Bell. But seafood isn’t the cheapest thing on any other menu either.

I would get the tacos again, whenever I’m craving shrimp and don’t have much time for a sit-down seafood joint. Or I could make a stop to Baja Fresh for their Diablo Shrimp Burrito - spicy and filling.  

Celebrating with a green feast

I have always liked St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s the fun activities we did in school or the fascination with rainbows and pots o’ gold, but I do enjoy the day somehow.

As I became of age, I loved the idea of enjoying “green” beer or drinks to celebrate the occasion. More recently though, I get really excited when the day draws near because I look forward to a great feast.

My fiance’s mom began a tradition in her family many years ago of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish meal – corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Whether it is really a traditional Irish meal served on this day or not, she serves it proudly in honor of the saint – St. Patrick – more than the day.

Whatever the reason, it’s a feast of tasty, juicy corned beef, red potatoes and cabbage, and rye bread. I try not to miss it, I’ll go as far as having my fiance bring me leftovers if I can’t make it for dinner time. My mouth is watering just thinking of the beef.

Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions? How do you celebrate?

It’s cookie time!

If you haven’t spotted your favorite girl scout troop tempting you with boxes of their delicious cookies outside the local grocery store, don’t despair, just visit the cookie locator at www.girlscoutsLA.org to find a cookie booth near you.

I recently picked up a few boxes of my favorites – Samoas, Tagalongs – and some of my fiance and family favorites – Thin Mints, Do Si Do’s.

But I couldn’t help but wonder about the most recent flavor – Thank U Berry Munch, made with real cranberries and white fudge chips. I am tempted by the white fudge chips but I’m wary of the cranberries. It’s an ingredient that needs a good balance as it can easily make a dessert either too tart or too sweet.

They should have samples available.

Anyone try the new flavor? If yes, what do you think?

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Weekday special in West L.A.

I humbly admit this food blog may not always be the ultimate source for diners seeking somewhere new to eat or something new to try, but still I receive plenty of emails from restaurants near and far, offering me to come in and enjoy their new offerings so I can include them in the blog.

And although I am all for trying something new, most of the time I am not able to make it to these places for various reasons – the restaurant’s in New York, they are not in my price range or such as the recent one I was tempted by, their specials are midweek and are located farther than my 20-mile radius of cities I frequent. 

I don’t always have the time or energy to drive far for dinner after work, let alone in traffic to go to West Los Angeles. So even though I may not be heading here any time soon, maybe some of you out there are more adventurous than I, and are willing to go try Taco Tuesday at The Spanish Kitchen.

The special taco menu on Tuesdays sounds amazing, with tacos such as the Mexican BBQ Pork with chipotle cabbage and cotija cheese, or the Beer Battered Halibut with corn avocado salsa – YUM! There’s also some vegetarian selections. 

Let me know if you go and if the tacos are as tasty as they sound.

Carl’s Jr’s “grilled sandwich” burger

Even though I knew it may disappoint, I gave Carl’s Jr’s new Grilled Cheese Burger a try anyway.

There are four ways to get the sandwich – single burger, double burger, six-dollar burger size or vegetarian with no burger or bacon – starting at $2.49 and up.

I thought I would try it the way they advertised it – with a single burger patty. It was exactly what I thought it would be – see my rant here.

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It wasn’t horrible but it was definitely not a grilled cheese sandwich. Carl’s Jr. burger patties are generally good and the bacon is tasty, the cheese was plenty and tasty, but the sourdough bread was not the buttered and grilled toast we love about having a grill cheese sandwich. It didn’t even taste freshly grilled.

Again, it wasn’t a terrible burger or sandwich, but I don’t think it was anything spectacular and I definitely wouldn’t call it a grilled cheese.

HAVE YOU TRIED THE CARL’S GRILLED CHEESE BURGER?

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FAVORITE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH?

Restaurant critics wanted

Zagat Survey, the most recognizable and trusted name in reviews, is looking for your opinion. The group is currently conducting its online survey of restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Diners can go onto www.zagat.com and share their opinions on food, decor, service and cost on L.A. area eateries they visited in the past year.

And as a thank you for your honesty and time, diners who vote by April 11 will receive one of three free rewards: a copy of Zagat’s 2011 Los Angeles/So. California Restaurants guide, a 90-day subscription to ZAGAT.com, or an entry into the “Night on the Town” sweepstakes valued at $500.

Diners can easily submit feedback at their convenience on the Zagat website, save reviews to finish at a later time and even make revisions if a second visit to a restaurant causes a change of heart, or stomach for that matter. The survey can be found at http://www.zagat.com/votela.