By David Trinko

FINDLAY, Ohio_ Leave it to Taco Bell, the totally unauthentic Mexican restaurant, to bring on the cheese with Doritos, the totally unauthentic tortilla chip, to create something totally unauthentic yet completely crave-worthy.

The Doritos Locos Taco tastes like I threw all of my favorite foods from college into my mouth at the same time. I stumbled into this Franken-taco in the test market of Findlay, Ohio, which might be considered a suburb of Toledo if the people of Findlay didn’t have such disdain for Toledo.

Imagine a gigantic nacho cheese Doritos chip. Every man has after a long night of drinking. Taco Bell tells you it’s OK to fantasize about it. That chip magically wrapped itself into the familiar U-shape of a taco shell. Inside that neon-orange speckled shell are all the things you’d come to expect out of a Taco Bell taco.

Don’t mistake the Doritos Locos Taco for any other taco, though. It arrives on your plate with its own cool cardboard mold to help the shell keep its form. Naturally, I assumed that meant this hard shell was brittle. Naturally, I was wrong. It was sturdier than any other shell there. It seemed like the kind of shell the other shells might load their extra toppings into when they’re forced to relocate across town.

The first bite into this taco was an explosion of flavor. They didn’t skimp on that legendary nacho cheese Doritos dust. Then you notice that mild beefy-ish flavor from the androgynous taco meat. Don’t forget the lettuce, whatever that tastes like, along with tomatoes and sour cream.

There’s even that orange shredded cheese. It seemed like overkill, because the whole taco is a cheese-like substance. It’s like The Office with both Steve Carell and Will Ferrell. Maybe it’s too much cheese. Never mind; that’s not possible.

I purchased mine as part of the “$5 Buck Box,” a trick Taco Bell uses to make you try new things. Given my Midwestern thriftiness, I fall for it every time. In this case, the rest of the box fell short of the Doritos Locos Taco. The regular taco is there for comparison’s sake alone, for you to say, “Yeah, the bright orange one tasted better.”

Like any other culinary treat named Doritos, there’s an after-dinner treat left behind, that tasty golden dust on your fingers the rest of the day. It indeed was a Loco, likeable lunch.

(David Trinko is a journalist in Lima, Ohio. He writes the blog Trinko Thinks So.)