Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Taco Conundrum

Last night on the way home from class I pulled off I-15 at 2600 South and arrived at a moment of decision:

Del Taco or Taco Time?

Rarely has such a minor decision felt so weighted.  On the one hand, Del Taco offered the luxury of economic feasibility, since on Tuesday nights one can purchase three traditional hard shell tacos for a mere 99 cents.  Taco Time tacos, while certainly boasting a higher quality level, come in at $1.25 each.  I would probably opt for six Del Taco tacos and only three at Taco Time, but even with the adjusted quantities I would still be spending more than twice by opting for door #2.

Then there's the Fry Question.  Both venues offer generous portions around the $2.00 range, so the economic matter is a draw.  But while the accordion-style fries at Del Taco have proven to be enticing in recent weeks, they still pale next to the Mexi Fries of Taco Time, not to mention the fond memories of my senior year at Viewmont High School they evoke.  (I spent a lot of high school lunch breaks at the Centerville Taco Time back in the day).

The Mortality Factor is another important item to consider.  While I'm sure Taco Time is just as bad for me, there has always been a lingering feeling that every time I eat at Del Taco, I am reducing my total lifespan by several hours.  Probably more when said tacos are consumed after 10pm.

And what of the Total Value?  Sure, the Del Taco option might cap out around $4.00, but is it better to spend the extra money if the end product is more satisfying?  Or is it better to sacrifice and look to the future with hope for a day when one will no longer need to mull the lesser of two evils?

If I'd been able to follow my original plan, I wouldn't even have been in this spot.  Originally I'd planned on ducking out of the community college well before 9:00pm, in plenty of time to swing by Barbacoa and grab a Burrito Bowl with spicy pork, pinto beans, two scoops of pico de gallo, and a single scoop of the hot sauce, all under the mirage of made-fresh relative healthiness.  But several of my students stayed after class last night, consumed by a last-minute final-day-before-the-last-day-of-class panic that demanded my valued attention, and by the time I pulled out of the Library Square parking lot, Barbacoa was no longer an option.

Instead I found myself in the cold aftermath of one of the season's first major snowstorms, debating which kind of mass-produced pseudo-Mexican fast food would be the best match for a late night viewing of a rented copy of the latest Harry Potter movie.  Not exactly where I expected to be when I dreamed my 12-year-old dreams of Super Bowl championships and mega-mansions, but my lot is my lot.

The day will come that I will set aside my poor nutritional habits, eat healthy food at healthy times of the day, and maybe even get to bed before several late viewings of DVR sitcoms take me into the wee hours of the next morning.

Yesterday was not that day.