Someone posted a picture of an old Taco Bell menu board on Reddit, and hoo boy, it's stirring up some feelings.
The menu is from 2003, which brings up the first reaction: That was 20 years ago?! It doesn't feel right to us, either, but sure enough, 20 years ago was two-thousand-freakin'-three.
When you're over that speed bump, take a moment to gaze at how colorful and completely different it is from today's fast food menus. "Companies back then were so much more expressive than today," observed u/HavenElric. "Look at any modern Taco Bell, Wendy's, BK, McDonalds, all these gray minimalist styled buildings. Boring."
"Maybe it's the nostalgia speaking, but I feel as if this menu has more personality and perfectly embodies Taco Bell," agreed u/ForukusuwagenMasuta. "Now everything is bland and minimalist." Sure enough, all those decorative serif fonts, bright colorful backgrounds, and pictures of the burritos and nachos are a sight for sore eyes.
Lots of Taco Bell superfans noticed that the format is completely different, too. "I liked when the ENTIRE menu was in front of you, not just a large monitor with constantly changing items," said u/heyknauw before explaining what the fast food industry should do with the new monitor menus in language almost as colorful as the 2003 menu.
Of course, lots of people are waxing poetic over their long-gone favorite items again. "Never thought I’d almost cry over nostalgia for ... Taco Bell," said u/DiciannovesimudiMaiu. "But here we are."
"This was Peak Taco Bell," said u/Zeenotes22. "The way they switch up the menu every other week now is ridiculous and annoying."
Then there's the real painful realization: the prices. Both crunchy and soft beef tacos were only 79 cents, and they were still just under a buck if you wanted to make them supreme. Right now, they're $1.79, or a whopping $2.59 for supreme style, which is highway robbery for a squirt of sour cream and a couple sad tomato cubes.
"Oh man, the good old days when Taco Bell was still reasonably priced," said u/sharadp123. "Crazy how the Nachos Belgrande are like $7 now and the Mexican Pizza is about $6."
"The Mexican pizza, adjusting for inflation, was $4.08. It is now $5.69. What a joke," chimed in u/JJYellowShorts. "These companies have massively jacked up prices and claimed it was because of inflation or covid."
Thinking about corporate greed and inflated prices puts a bit of a damper on the sheer feel-good nostalgia we get from this blast-from-the-past Taco Bell menu, but that seems par for the course in this day and age. As u/M_is_for_Mmmichael said, "We didn't realize how good we had it."
Looking for more fast food news and nostalgia? Sign up for our free newsletters.