Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where's the Bell Beefer?

Bell Beefer. Two simple, stupid words that a great many a child of the 70s and 80s will remember fondly. For a time, it was Taco Bell's answer to the burger chainsÕ dominance of the meat sandwich market. Those simpler days when we still thought inside the bun and there was no cheesy, crunchy, runny, gummy, "Fourth Meal"

For those who never experienced the Bell Beefer or those who chose to forget it, it was this simple recipe: All the crap on a Taco Bell taco, placed on a plain hamburger bun. It was delicious. For a fair portion of my childhood years, Taco Bell was sonomimus with "I want a Bell Beefer and Pintos and Cheese cup!" I don't think I ever ate anything else until Taco Bell discountinued the Beefer.
So, in a spasm of nostalgia, I decided to try and recreate the fabled Bell Beefer from days of yor. The process is fairly simple. First, buy a package of cheap, plain white hamburger buns (The small ones that are like a package of 8 for $1.25). Second, drive to the nearest Taco Bell and order some regular or soft tacos. Also get some Pintos and Cheese as a side dish. Once you're home scoop the contents of each taco onto a bun and microwave for 10 seconds (just enough to warm the buns). Top with taco sauce and enjoy.







Overall, they taste pretty much like I remember them tasting. Taco Bell's tacos haven't changed much over the years, so the flavor replicates the original Bell Beefer quite nicely. Throw in the Pintos and it's 1986 all over again. They're easy to make, so I know I will try these again. If you're too lazy or on the go, some other taco chains sell similar sandwhiches. I know Taco Johns has sold Taco Burgers for many years. But, if you're going to wallow in the past, you really can't top the original flavor of a Beefer.

So, bust out the NES roms or jump to youtube and play some USA "Night Flight" clips to set the mood and chow down on some mock Bell Beefers.



Anonymous said...

Don't forget to put mild sauce on each of the buns... Otherwise, your recipe is RIGHT ON!!! I miss the Bell beefer, too! And the Bonus Jack from Jack in the Box.

If you want to make a Bonus Jack, buy TWO regular cheeseburgers and order them "plain with lettuce. Then ask for Secret Sauce (it comes in packets like kethups...) Take one of the top buns off on one burger. Add secret sauce to each bun. Put all the lettuce on the bottom bun. Put the second bottom bun and burger on top of that (it acts like the skinny flat middle "BigMac bun...) Then put the top bun and meat on top of the middle bun and there you have it! It;s the 70's all over again!

Excuse me while I go get a life...

Anonymous said...

OMG! Nobody around me remembers the bell beefer. I used to love those and it was the only i ate from taco bell. I'm still hoping for a come back.

Lely said...

A similar idea, that doesn't involve buying buns at a supermarket: go to Jack in the Box, order two or three tacos and ask for two plain buns to go with them. The Jack Beefer, let's call it.

evetteogden said...

They also had chopped onions. I know because I always had to order them WITHOUT (cuz I don't like onions).

Jacko Hell said...

What amazes me is that people actually eat at Taco Bell!

I'd hate to be the janitor in your sh!thouse.

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Daydreamer14 said...

So funny! People around here don't seem to remember them, either. I think it was my favorite thing at Taco Bell, too.
Instead of running to the restaurant everytime we want to make one, I would think we could make them ourself at home.
Simply purchase a packet of Taco Bell mild taco seasoning, 1 lb of ground meat, plain hamburger buns, a bag of shredded lettuce and shredded mild cheddar cheese. If you want the sauce you could buy a jar of Taco Bell mild taco sauce {or use one of the extra packets you KNOW you have in your fridge, lol}. I love onions, but don't recall them being on the bell beefer's I had. Of course we could just dice one up and add if we'd like.

Mmmmmm.....Bell Beefer!!! Wish they would bring 'er back!

Pawslover said...

Just thinking about the Bell Beefer which a co-worker at Taco Bell described as 'a taco on a bun'. I suppose if they brought them back, they would have the cancel their marketing campaigne of 'think outside the bun'

Anonymous said...

I have a minor correction to your recipe. The original Bell Beefer had red sauce on it. So, for an absolutely correct sandwich, you have to order a burrito supreme without beans and sour cream, then spread the ingredients on a steamed bun (10 seconds in the microwave works). One burrito will make two sandwiches.

Funny thing is, I haven't had a Bel Beefer for 20 years, but I started thinking about them the other day. I made mine for lunch today, then tonight found this site! How funny is that?

Btw...i did confirm the "recipe" with a friend who has managed a Taco Bell for many years.

Bashmaster General said...

Very interesting, I'm making this tonight . . as a kid I tended to hit up Del Taco more, sadly don't recall the glorious Beefer. The comment about making a Jack Beefer sounds kinda gross . . but might be brilliant?

justlittleme said...

I have missed those Bell Beefers so much. Why do these place always remove the best item from the menu. I worked at Taco Bell for about a month when I was 16 yrs. old. Those buns were put in a special steamer. They were so light,and fluffy. Yummy!!! I am going to have to try and make my own. Those of us that miss the Bell Beefer need to start a petition to bring it back! The good old days! 70's 80's...well of what I can remember...heeee..

edigoose said...

Taco Bell should bring back the Bell Beefer. I don't see why they got rid of it. It was inexpensive for them to make. If they sold them for $1.00 each, in this economy, they'd make a fortune.

Anonymous said...

Hail to the Bell Beefer. THINK BACK INTO THE BUN!

Unknown said...

From about the mid-1960's through the mid-1970's Taco Bell made a Sloppy Joe like sandwich called the "Bell-Burger". It used the same flavored ground beef mixture as a crunchy taco, along with a sauce similar to Mild Border Sauce and shredded mild cheddar cheese. This was served on a hamburger bun that had been steamed slightly to soften and warm it.

This is not the "Bell Beefer", which came a few years later from the mid-1970's through the mid -1990's.
The regular "Bell Beefer" had seasoned loose meat, sauce, onions and lettuce on a bun; the "Bell Beefer Supreme" also had tomatoes and cheese. The "Bell Burger" was just seasoned loose meat, sauce and shredded cheese on a steamed bun.

-To make a "Bell Burger" add loose meat, grated cheese and mild border sauce.
-To make a "Bell Beefer" add loose meat, diced onions, shredded lettuce and mild border sauce.
-To make a "Bell Beefer Supreme" add loose meat, diced onions, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese and mild border sauce.

Through a Google search, I find the term "Bell Beefer" from 1974 in the Wall Street Journal, through 1994 in various Diet Calorie Guides. So its run may be a year or two on either side of those dates.

I did a search on the Google newspaper archive. The Bell Beefer was described as follows:

The Sun newspaper- Apr 18, 1982
"The regular Bell Beefer (89 cents) is meat, sauce, onions and lettuce on a roll that falls apart when lifted; the Bell Beefer Supreme ($1.09) also has tomatoes and cheese."

Anonymous said...

Keep this forum alive! Viva la beefer!

Anonymous said...

The red sauce was enchilada sauce put on the bun first, then the meat, onions, lettuce and topped off with cheese.