Whatever Happened To Taco Bell's Enchirito?

Part enchilada, part burrito — Taco Bell's Enchirito offered the best of both worlds. That is, until it was dropped from the taco titan's menu. First introduced to five establishments on a trial run in the 1960s, Taco Bell's enchilada-burrito swept the nation by 1970 (via HuffPost). One of its unique selling points: The Enchirito was advertised as a reheatable meal and came in oven-safe packaging.

People came to love this hybrid take on two Mexican food traditions. Similar to a burrito, the dish encased ground beef, frijoles (aka beans), and onions in a soft tortilla. Like an enchilada, it was smothered in sauce and cheese. 

When it disappeared from Taco Bell's menu in 1993, it was sorely missed. So much so, in fact, that many fans were still ordering it — operating under the presumption that Taco Bell had all the ingredients on hand (which they did). The underground Enchirito zealots factored into Taco Bell's decision to resurrect the dish in 2000. Company spokeswoman Laurie Gannon told Los Angeles Times, "It was so popular among our core users that we decided to bring it back."

How to hack Taco Bell's menu to eat an Enchirito today

The return of the Enchirito should have been a cause for celebration. However, disappointed fans took note that it was a rebooted recipe rather than the original. Taco Bell's 2000-era Enchirito came with an option for an upgraded filling of chicken or steak. Also, nostalgic Enchirito eaters pined for the three olives that used to garnish the enchilada-burrito of old, as well as the signature reheatable tin.

Alas, the Enchirito comeback didn't last. Once again, Taco Bell had its sights on making way for new menu items — like the somewhat similar Smothered Burrito. The Enchirito fell into relative obscurity when Taco Bell removed the dish from its menu again in 2013. Unless, of course, you know how to order off of Taco Bell's secret menu. 

Thrillist outlines how to hack Taco Bell's menu for Enchirito enthusiasts. Order a Smothered Burrito with extra beef and extra cheese. Then ask for a side of red sauce, nacho sauce, and sour cream, as well as two sides of the three-cheese blend. For a real deal Enchirito approximation, you'll either need to politely ask your server to pile those sides on top and heat it up for you or, if you're a more modest diner, take it home to reheat yourself — like the good old times.