Taco Bell Celebrates Return of Nacho Fries and Demolition Man 25th Anniversary With Futuristic Dining Experience at Greystone Prime Steakhouse & Seafood on July 19, 2018 in San Diego, California.
Photo: Araya Diaz (Getty Images for Taco Bell)

As a native Los Angeleno, I recognize that I have grown up with a certain amount of taco privilege. I basically live in northern Mexico, and good, authentic tacos and Mexican food can be found relatively easily with minimal effort. It is one of the perks of living here, and I don’t take it for granted. I eat tacos all the time. I love tacos, and I celebrate “Taco Tuesday” like it’s my own mother’s birthday.

You get my point.

Having said that, I also recognize that there are plenty of people who are taco-challenged. I don’t taco shame, generally. I know there are people who live in a sort of Mexican-food void where they don’t have much access to authentic tacos or burritos, and I pity them because they are missing out on some of life’s simplest pleasures. How dreadful.

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Still, even if you are a person who lives in a place lacking in Mexican food options, that still would not excuse you from declaring Taco Bell as the best Mexican restaurant in the country. Like if that is all you have to contribute to the conversation, say less.

The Harris Poll EquiTrend Study measures brand health over time based on three factors—familiarity, quality and purchase consideration. Based on the ratings they receive, brands are awarded a brand equity rating, and those with the highest ratings receive the “Brand of the Year” award in their respective category.

More than 77,000 people aged 15 and older participated in the surveys that took place between Jan. 3 and Feb. 15. They rated more than 3,000 different brands across more than 300 categories.

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And so it came to pass that this group of people decided Taco Bell is the best Mexican restaurant in the United States of America. Taco. Bell. I am not making this up.

In their defense, they weren’t given much to work with. Their choices in that category included Baja Fresh, Del Taco and Qdoba.

Build a wall around all of these people; they deserve it.

Taco Bell is not Mexican food just like IHOP isn’t suddenly better at burgers than they are at pancakes. Stay in your lane. It’s OK. We will respect you more for it.

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I say that as a person who will eat Taco Bell when it’s late and I have the munchies, but at no time am I telling myself I’m going to eat Mexican food. If Taco Bell is the best anything in the country, it’s the best stoner food. Give them an award for that.

It’s worth noting some other interesting top picks from the list.

Five Guys Burgers & Fries was voted best burger restaurant, which leads me to believe these people have not experienced Jesus Burgers In-N-Out before. Five Guys is overrated. Argue with someone else.

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Chick-Fil-A was voted the best chicken restaurant, and I’m starting to notice a strange pattern here.

The Weather Channel was voted the best news channel, and we have to ask ourselves what is going on in the world of media when that is the case.

You are welcome to leave your unpopular opinions in the comments.

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