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Taco Bell Launching A New Upscale Mexican Chain Restaurant

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The company that brought us Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut—Yum! Brands—is launching a new chain restaurant targeted towards a different demographic; higher-income foodies. U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Taproom will be a brand new chain that starts out by opening in a shopping center called “The Strand,” in Huntington Beach, California later this summer. It is then expected to spread nationwide.

The restaurant will be different from Taco Bell in that its menu items will be inspired by American food classics rather than by Mexican cuisine. They will also serve specialty drinks, and there will be no burritos, beans, rice, or tortilla chips. Instead, there will only be specialty tacos which are non-customizable.

Some example items from their menu which is centered around 10 specialty tacos are:

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Winner Winner—a Southern & Mexican fusion. Southern-style fried chicken breast, roasted corn, pico de gallo, jalapeño peppers, and cilantro served on a flour tortilla, drizzled with a south of the border-inspired gravy.

Brotherly Love—a reinterpretation of the Philly Cheesesteak. Carne asada, salty cotija cheese, and grilled peppers & onions served on a flour tortilla and smothered in savory roasted poblano queso.

The One-Percenter—Maine meets Mexican. Lobster, red cabbage slaw, and pico de gallo served on crispy fry bread and covered in warm garlic butter.

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The Italian Stallion Combo Plate is served with habanero dusted thick-cut fries and a specialty “Mexican Car Bomb” spiked milk shake. The shake has vanilla ice cream, Guinness, tequila-caramel sauce, and chocolate chunks. Mexican meets Irish?

The typical side of fries comes with a special ghost chile ketchup and a roasted poblano crema.

Others ingredients to land on other specialty tacos are Texas smoked brisket and Southern pulled pork.

The new fast-casual chain will have customers ordering at a counter like at a Chipotle, and their food will be prepared in a glass kitchen where diners can watch their food being made.

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Restaurants are also expected to have outdoor patios.

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It’s definitely somewhere in the realm of being a Chipotle competitor, but it’s got enough unique quirks about it to be less of one than Taco Bell’s own Cantina Bell menu addition. In contrast to Taco Bell’s average check of $7.20, their new chain is expected to have an average bill of $12. Hungry yet?



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