Sting voter

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I'm G.A. Benton and I approve this message (cue scary music).

Are you tired of the same-old drab-tasting fast food masquerading as something new? Don't be fooled by corporate claims that promise flavor reform while only raising prices and serving more of the same fare, just given another name (cue uplifting music).

Well, G.A. Benton has the experience and judgment necessary to lead your taste buds through these tough times. Recently, G.A. took on another fat-cat greasebroker promising truly hot and spicy grub.

Read on to explore the following possibly explosive proposition: You can put volcano sauce on a taco, but it's still a taco.

What I tried: Taco Bell's Volcano Taco (89 cents) and Jalapeno Chicken Melt ($2.69)

Singe we can believe in: Well, the Volcano Taco is still a taco, but it's one hell of a burnin'-ass, freakin'-hot, nacho-cheese-sauced taco. I'm talking about a molar-melting, throat-flaming and sweat-igniting spiciness.

The evil cheesy heat came on a cautionary, red-tinged hard corn shell stuffed with greasy, cuminy and highly spiced Taco Bell ground beef, iceberg lettuce and shredded cheese.

As for the nefarious, gooey orange volcano sauce, think of it as Cracker Barrel cheese spread meets Satan; it was phony-tangy and single-minded in its chili overload - it was hot just for the sake of being hot.

Thrill, baby, thrill: OMFG, the jalapeno melt was even spicier! Yikes!

As I chewed, my cheeks began to tingle, then the heart palpitations kicked in, which led to a 10-minute psychoactive episode that had me wondering if I was secretly on YouTube and some demon had sneaked salvia into my burrito.

The source of all this was a big floppy and sloppy flour tortilla layered with spicy rice, some melted jack cheese, a few chunks of cayenne-peppered chicken and about a peck of pickled peppers - jalapeno peppers, that is.

Would I eat them again?: I'm actually going to vote "yes." Twice. Because even though the Jalapeno Chicken Melt was only a "Burrito to Nowhere" with its pointless chili terrorizing, and the Volcano Taco delivered a similarly reckless brain-rattling capsaicin bludgeoning - for a mindless oral jolt, I sort of liked them both. They certainly weren't boring.

WE TRIED IT! Spot a new menu item you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail