One of my all time favorite Taco Bell menu items is the Chili Cheese Burrito (also known as the Chilito for those like me who have a long history with this burrito). The Chili Cheese Burrito is exactly what it sounds like -- a burrito filled with chili and melted cheese. What I really liked most about the CCB was that the Taco Bell chili does not have beans and it is loaded with ground beef. As long as I can remember, this gem was also priced at a very attractive $0.79. No matter what combination of burritos, tacos and mexican pizza's that I'd order from Taco Bell, it was a given that the Chili Cheese Burrito would be part of my meal.
But then one day... something happened. The Chili Cheese Burrito started to disappear from the menus. At first, it was only affecting the "combo stores" like the Taco Bell/KFC and the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut stores. But soon after, the Chili Cheese Burrito was no longer offered at stand-alone Taco Bell's either. I wasn't the first to notice this. A group called the "Culinary Crisis Coalition" launched a site called "chilicheese.org", which hosted a petition to bring back the Chilito as well as sightings where you can still find the Chili Cheese Burrito. Even today, FaceBook has a group for "Bring back the Chili Cheese Burrito!". A few years back, I journeyed with a friend up to a Taco Bell in Pasadena. The chilicheese.org website had intel that this was one of the last remaining vestiges of the Chili Cheese Burrito in California. But alas, we were too late, and our prize was not to be found. As of now, the chilicheese.org site only lives in the internet archive.
On a recent trip to Texas, I stopped in at a Taco Bell. Out of habit, I scanned the menu for the Chili Cheese Burrito -- as expected, it was not to be found. Knowing the answer, I asked anyway if they had the Chili Cheese Burrito, only to my surprise the response was (in a comforting southern drawl), "We suure doo!" Could this be the prophecy that the Oracle had foretold about the second coming of the Chilito? No probably not. But it was perhaps the best news I had ever received in a Taco Bell.
In all likelihood, the Taco Bell I visited in Texas will also be phasing out the Chili Cheese Burrito one day. But as of today, it means that the Chili Cheese Burrito still lives on. Its elusiveness makes it all the more special when you do find it. So don't cry over lost burritos, but rejoice in knowing that your last Chili Cheese Burrito may still be ahead of you.