Taste Test: Black Jack Taco

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A newish commercial I saw repeatedly during sporting events this weekend starts off like a fetishist's dream.

Over propulsive, electro-beat runway music, a man's deeply resonant voice suggestively coos "black boots" as the camera shows us a pair of shiny leather boots with dangerous-looking stiletto heels against a blank, all-white background. Then the roving camera scales up those knee-highs to show us that the otherwise bare long legs belong to a dark and sexy lady scrunched up in a black egg chair.

Next, as the voice alerts us to "black pants," we see more smoldering femininity in the form of a black-clad lady with bedroom eyes and black leather pants swerving to show us the contours of her well-toned backside.

But just then, from the far right of the all-white set, we see comic relief arriving in a "one of these things just doesn't belong" scruffy T-shirt-and-jeans-wearing dude trying to crash this apparent high-fashion shoot while waving his "black taco."

The commercial goes on this way, spoofing a ridiculous and pretentious "I'm too sexy for my burrito" kind of sensibility with the black-colored tropes of alleged hipness veering into the absurd as a bored looking, girl-candy male model whips off his black shades to show off his new badge of edginess - a black eye.

The send-up continues with a silly-looking "black sheep" treated like a glamorous hot property, and that persistent average Joe insisting on the inclusion of his black taco into this pretend world of black-and-au-courant coolness.

What I tried: Taco Bell Black Jack Taco ($.89)

Black is the new yellow: So what flavor is black? If you're Taco Bell, it's semi-dull corn chip. Close your eyes while crunching into one of these "new" Black Jack Tacos, and you'd never know you weren't biting into a regulation "hard shell" - the gimmick has a color but no new flavor.

They don't know jack: Inside the Black Jack Taco is the standard salty and greasy but - let's face it - not altogether bad-tasting TB-seasoned hamburger meat. There's also some sad strands of iceberg lettuce, curls of mild yellow and white cheese and what they're calling a "pepper jack sauce."

The latter was a viscous, slightly tangy mayo-like condiment with a modicum of zing but no discernable pepper jack flavor. It would be much better replaced with actual pepper jack cheese.

Would I eat it again?: The Black Jack Taco is damn cheap and not horrible, but since it's the exact same price as a regular TB taco made without the "pepper jack" sauce (which I found to be cloying and unnecessary), I'd just opt for the regular.

Spot a new menu item you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail gbenton@columbusalive.com