Del Taco Chicken Soft Taco Menu Picture Vs Reality

And now we pause for a moment to bring you a photograph from our “Unacceptable Food Files.” Reader David asks, “How hard is a chicken soft taco to make? Really.”

Apparently, David, it’s really, really, hard. Personally, I can’t even imagine doing it without some sort of certification. Maybe Del Taco needs to follow Starbucks’ lead and hold a “unique in-store education event” that will give Del Taco’s taco baristas “an opportunity to connect and deepen their passion for [tacos] with the ultimate goal of transforming the customer experience.”

Or whatever.

Howard Schultz Transformation Agenda Communication #6 [Starbucks]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ElizabethD says:

    Cat food?

  2. Black Bellamy says:

    I understand it’s going to look nothing like the ad. I know that. But at least give us some wilted lettuce and rotten cheese!

    That picture on the left, that stuff inside the ‘taco’, that’s literally the same exact stuff my cat throws up.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Fail taco.

  4. dirtleg says:

    I see what could be construed as “chicken”, but where the hell is the lettuce, cheese, sour cream and whatever else is supposed to be in the darn thing? Appearance aside, doesn’t it at least have to contain all the ingredients of a “taco”?


  5. snoop-blog says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but in spanish, doesn’t “del” me “of the”? If so the name of this place is “of the taco”

  6. snoop-blog says:

    *me = mean, sorry.

  7. wattznext says:

    @snoop-blog: you are correct sir, in much the same way that Au Bon Pain literally means “Of Good Bread.”
    I think the intended definition, something along the lines of “characterized by or pertaining to quality and taste in the relevant food group.” Isnt quite as catchy. Sometimes imperfect literal translations are the better option.

  8. MikeGrenade says:

    @snoop-blog: @wattznext: Remember, grammar doesn’t always translate into English. It may be correct in the original language and come out stupid in our’s.

  9. brother9 says:

    So if I read this correctly, because Del Taco employees don’t include lettuce in the taco, Starbucks stinks.


  10. snoop-blog says:

    @MikeGrenade: Well either way, it looks like Del Taco gives you nada! Except for pollo.

  11. ekthesy says:


    Actually, the company used to be known as the Delta Company (Delta Co.) back when they were manufacturing milkshake machines, but when the taco business exploded, they simply rearranged the capitals to Del Taco.

    /The more you know?

  12. mike says:

    There is a website somewhere that takes pictures of fastfood items.

    I’m too lazy to look it up but shows you how much work they actually put in to the pictures.

  13. Elaida says:

    If you would like to see more of these advertising versus reality, check out :) You can see a really sad cheeseburger from Mcdonalds!

  14. axiomatic says:

    El pollo del mar?

    Or those tacos looked like they came out of the sea at least.

  15. MikeGrenade says:

    @snoop-blog: If you can even call that chicken…

  16. mk3 says:

    Come on. If it was 5 bucks I would care, but at 99 cents. They still taste good. Looks aren’t everything.

  17. alannaface says:

    They kind of look like the “tacos del carbon” that Del Taco serves instead of the chicken soft tacos! Maybe they just got the order wrong and didn’t totally fail.

  18. JN2 says:

    “Del Taco”
    We Save Your Digestive System All the Trouble!”

  19. gnubian says:

    Being a Del Taco regular, every chicken taco I have ordered has looked closer to the menu pic .. I think whoever made those musta just come back from a serious bender weekend .. lol

  20. bohemian says:

    That looks like tortilla and “chicken”, no lettuce, cheese or anything else. I put chicken in quotations because it looks more like partially digested catfood and impacted hairballs.

    When I lived in CA I was always afraid to eat at Del Taco. Everyone I knew said it was worse than Jack in the Box and that was literally not edible.

  21. Meg Marco says:

    @brother9: You read this incorrectly.

  22. macinjosh says:

    Apparently the one in the picture also has the magical property of staying erect (tee-hee) without any visible means of support.

  23. moeman1024 says:

    Is it False Advertising in having a picture advertisement look nothing like the product??

  24. joel. says:

    It’s always looked like that… but they are oh-so-tasty

  25. redwall_hp says:

    Taco Bell FTW! They’re tacos are pretty good…for fast food.

  26. gliscameria says:

    Del Taco has the best cheeseburgers! Mmmm… 5 cheeseburghers after a long night at the bars for 5 bucks… mmmm….

    … and the best 3AM fights.

  27. JayDeEm says:

    This never would have happened at Naugles…

  28. drjayphd says:

    @snoop-blog: If so, I’m holding my breath for the inevitable merger with Pink Taco…

  29. HogwartsAlum says:


    Yes, but since McDonald’s food is made of plastic, they look the same!!!! ;)

  30. Sudonum says:

    Mmmmmmmmm Naugles, God I ended more drunken binges in the drive through at Naugles at 3am than I can count. What the hell was the name of that HUGE ASS burrito they used to serve?

  31. blue_duck says:

    I ordered some steak tacos there a few weeks ago~ I got “steak” and lettuce rolled up in a tortilla, all wrapped in a foil ball.

  32. blue_duck says:

    Steak balls not too appealing..

  33. spikespeigel says:

    So happy I stopped eating meat :)

  34. Rippleeffect says:

    Not all Del Tacos are this bad at making a taco. Best one is obviously the original in Barstow. I eat at the local ones here and I’ve yet to receive a bad taco.

    Oh Yeah, and Double Dels are the bomb.

  35. thelushie says:

    @moeman1024: I doubt it unless there was alot of tacos without the fixings…this is just one incident. And I thought that some of the stuff from taco bell looked bad (except the .89 cheesy beefy things though…mmmmm.)

  36. thelushie says:

    @thelushie: I need serious grammer help. *sigh* Can I use the excuse “My car died last night” as a reason to use “was” where “were” should be?

  37. ringo00 says:

    @bohemian: I went to Del Taco once. The food, decor, and overall experience pretty much screamed “We are Taco Bell’s Retarded Cousin! The bastard love child of Taco John’s and Wendy’s”

  38. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @linus: The only page I know of is this one, but it hasn’t been updated in quite a while. :(

  39. JayDeEm says:

    @Sudonum: I was only about 12 years old when Naugles disappeared so I don’t remember the menu all that well. Red Burrito seems to stick out in my mind for some reason though. I’m just glad that someone else remembered Naugles :)

    What I really miss is the pre Carl’s Jr. Green Burrito… Big Ed FTW.

  40. kathyl says:

    What’s odd is that I’ve found that Del Taco is the only “fast food” stuff (the stuff I order anyway…I’ve never ordered the chicken soft taco) that I think looks remotely like the menu pictures. Del Taco and Subway are really the only fast food places I can tolerate, actually. Makes me sad to see a picture of fail from one of them.

  41. The_Gas_Man says:

    I’m assuming this person ordered the tacos without lettuce and cheese, since they’re not on there. So… not quite a fair comparison here. I really wouldn’t expect it to look anything like the picture in the first place — no fast food ever has, and no fast food ever will.

  42. tenners says:


  43. oldheathen says:

    Oh, you haven’t heard about the USDA-ordered recall of tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and zesty taco sauce?

  44. dangermike says:

    They look pretty tasty to me. They just need a little cheese and a nice chunky chipotle salsa and they’ll be good to go. They look way better than the menu IMHO anyway.

  45. drftjgoj says:

    why people in los angeles choose to get tacos here instead of any one of the amazing taco trucks throughout the city is beyond me.

  46. Sekai says:

    @The_Gas_Man: That’s the first sensible comment of the thread.

    Of course, there’s something to be said about the photograph on the right being wholly unrealistic. No ‘soft shell’ will ever hold its shape in a perfect semicircle with any amount of filling. So really there are two things wrong with the article. The customer is silly for complaining that his ‘grilled chicken and nothing else’ taco doesn’t look like a semicircle — a clear sign that he’s never had a proper taco from a real mexican restaurant or taco truck (where they’re often served flat piled on small corn tortillas), and Del Taco is silly for promising physics-defying food shapes.

  47. Sudonum says:

    The “red burrito” was an early Taco Bell creation, they had the red burrito and the green burrito, one was mild the other was hot, can’t remember which was which. But Naugles had this ginormus thing we used to call the “aircraft carrier” but that wasn’t how it appeared on the menu. Found it, the Macho Burrito! Those things were a total gut bomb.

  48. HClay says:

    Looks like the aftermath of a diaper change performed on one very sick baby.

  49. 00447447 says:

    I had Del Taco last night, and my chicken tacos came with lettuce and cheese. They were, in fact, pretty tasty.
    I’m calling bullshit.

  50. redkamel says:

    del taco is about 30x better than taco bell. I dont know what the other guys are talking about.

  51. TVGenius says:

    I’ve never seen plain tacos unless they were ordered that way. And I’m sorry your cell phone’s AWB makes the meat look red. Guess I could go order a plain big mac and post a pic of how sad the meat looks without the other ingredients.

    This post is a waste.

  52. Danj3ris says:

    Ah well. This makes me think of this:

  53. opsomath says:

    el pollo del alley

  54. shufflemoomin says:

    I don’t expect fast food to look like the photos on the menu. It’s never going to happen. I would, however, expect the food I get to look like food period. Fast food is usually disgusting enough, but I couldn’t eat that thing in any way, shape or form.

  55. thepassenger says:

    “taco baristas” = “tacoristas”


  56. Edge231 says:

    To the OP, if you actually want to be believable and people to support you – how about you honestly show the tacos?

    (1) You got no toppings, like lettuce and cheese?
    (2) You opened the taco carelessly
    (3) You took the pictures without flash on or in a dark setting

    Yes, the food you order is not going to be exactly as it is shown in promotions.

    That’s cuz the ads don’t show the food wrapped. Duh!

  57. Haltingpoint says:

    Hmmm…poorly photographed food ordered by whiny activist consumer without more than half of the regular ingredients looks nothing like the professionally styled/photographed/retouched/color-corrected photo used in an ad.

    Wow, thanks for this insightful nugget of news. I love Consumerist, and being in advertising (and indeed having worked on Blimpie at one point) known all too well the smoke and mirrors that goes into these productions, but come on…seriously?!

    What the hell did you expect from a minimum wage worker at a dirt-cheap fast food establishment? Perhaps the OP needs to realign their expectations next time they go to a place like this. And if that is too much to ask, either go to mexico and see that *gasp* they make them the same damn way, or make it at home and spend an hour getting it to look just like the ad. Oh, and don’t forget adjusting the lighting before you eat it, otherwise it will never have that “bright fresh look” you are looking for.

  58. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I like Del Taco. But they lack consistency. I blame it on poorly trained employees. I avoid certain Del Taco locations or avoid going at certain times because I know some employees do a pretty half ass job at preparing the food. One time I ordered the fish tacos and looked inside. Instead of crispy battered fish, I get little two bits/pieces of burnt batter. Weak.

  59. Dansc29625 says:

    No Del Taco here, but the Taco bell is pretty terrible. I usually don’t send food back for little things. Too many times the Taco bell has half-filled chalupas and steak quesadillas with lettuce (nasty.)

  60. theblackdog says:

    Did the OP order said tacos with everything on them, or did he order them without the lettuce, cheese, and sour cream? I want to see a receipt showing what he ordered.

  61. trujunglist says:


    Actually, red burrito and green burrito can’t be attributed to Taco Bell, they just started using those terms because a whole lot of real mexican restaurants do the same.
    Red burrito = hot, green burrito = mild
    P.S. Like many comments above, I agree that it is basically a waste of time to get subpar food at very good prices when you can get excellent food at pretty good prices from the truck across the street, but sometimes the best laid plans… blah blah blah