Among the many cascading travesties that have defined the year 2020, Taco Bell’s inexplicable culling of many of its most popular items from its menu rates up there at — well, not very high actually, but it is still a solid and unnecessary kick in the balls during an already awful year.
The news broke back in July that America’s favorite house of varying amalgamations of cheese, meat, sour cream, beans and tortilla would be removing some of the more novel forms those five ingredients take from its menu “in an effort to streamline operations,” while eliminating all of its potato options outright.
Among the casualties of the bloodbath are the Grilled Steak Soft Taco, Loaded Grillers (Cheesy Potato, Beefy Nacho), the 7-Layer Burrito, the Quesarito, the Beefy Fritos Burrito, the Spicy Tostada, Triple Layer Nachos, the Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, Nachos Supreme, Chips & Dips, and the Mini Skillet Bowls. The massacre even includes the fast-food chain’s beloved Mexican Pizza, leading to an online petition to save the famed flat foodstuff that has garnered more than 100,000 signatures.
In all, people took the news pretty hard:
Breaking: Taco Bell has removed their entire menu and replaced it with kicking you in the dick and putting a DUI checkpoint in their drive-thru lane.
— Meetwood Flac (@synthandlasers) September 4, 2020
So, against this backdrop, we at RFT were excited to see that one local visionary had the forethought to secure and freeze three now-discontinued Potato Soft Tacos and list them for sale on Facebook Marketplace for the low low price of only $200. According to the listing, the tacos are in “mint condition” and were brought straight “from drive through to freezer.”
“These babies are rare!” the ad reads. “Never been eaten!”
We reached out to the seller, Bryant Hoban of O’Fallon, Missouri, and learned that the entrepreneurial scheme is part of a larger frozen-fast-food business idea for which the Potato Soft Tacos are simply a trial run.
“I’ve had this idea of ‘investment sandwiches’ where, like, you’d buy a limited-offer sandwich in bulk, freeze it, and then sell it later for a profit,” Hoban explains. “You know, like the McRib — McDonald’s only offers it once a year, but the demand doesn’t go away. So then when I heard Taco Bell was discontinuing the Potato Soft, I decided it’d be a good opportunity to test this idea out before McRib season.”
So far, things are going according to plan. Hoban says he’s already sold two of the frozen tacos — he explains that he couldn’t find a buyer for the full set of three, but he was able to sell two to individual buyers — at a tidy profit.
“I sold them for $70 apiece,” he says. “I recouped my investment.”
As it turns out, though, Hoban is having second thoughts about selling the third. When he purchased the tacos, he explains, he ordered a few for himself to freeze and eat as well, which have since been consumed. As it happens, the Potato Soft Taco was Hoban’s favorite item on the menu, and seeing as how he may well be in possession of the last one in the world, he’s hoping to find a way to replicate it and ensure that its potato-y goodness lives on.
“Once I got down to the last one I realized that we need to preserve this for future generations to experience this delicious being,” he says. “So I’m holding onto it right now, and I’m hoping someone comes along and wants to maybe help me with preserving this — conserving the Potato Soft.”
Hoban says he’s open to donating his last Potato Soft Taco to science, with fingers crossed that they could “retrieve the taco DNA for cloning” a la Jurassic Park. Though he concedes “everything has its price,” he’s now more interested in conservation than compensation.
“I mean, if you had the last panda, you wouldn’t sell that on Facebook, right?”
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