“What did you say this place was called again?” Luka asked, looking around curiously at the restaurant’s decor, which seemed like it had been ripped straight out of the 90’s. He shifted his legs uncomfortably in the too-small plastic booth, then decided to prop them up on the seat opposite him for maximum comfort.
“Taco Bell,” Dwight Powell replied. “It’s like my tradition at this point. When we win at home, I always hit up the Bell. Sometimes when we lose too. Or on the road, if it’s in walking distance from our hotel.”
“Oh, I think I’ve heard of it on TV,” Luka said. “When does the waiter come to take our order?”
Dwight laughed at his foreign rookie teammate’s naivete. “No waiters here, man. I delegated Dorian the task of ordering for all three of us. He knows what’s good here.”
“Damn right I do,” Dorian Finney-Smith agreed, walking up from behind Luka holding two trays piled high with various types of food items in different styles of boxes and wrappers. “Yo, did you know they brought back the nacho fries? You know I’m gonna order ten of those. My bank account can handle it.”
Luka’s eyes grew wide as the food was set on the table. “Wow, extravagant,” he said, in awe at the variety that was in front of him. “What’s mine?”
“Whatever you want, dude, you’re the All-Star here, you get first pick,” Dorian said. “Just make sure to leave some of them nacho fries for me,” he added, pointing at the stack of boxes containing crispy, spice-dusted french fries.
Luka picked an item off the tray at random and investigated the wrapper. “Crunch…wrap…supreme,” he read. “Interesting. I am sure we do not have such a thing in Slovenia.”
“Crunchwraps are the BOMB!” Dwight exclaimed, startling the one other customer who was eating in the restaurant at that late hour. Noticing that he was being glared at, he lowered his voice sheepishly. “An excellent choice, Luka. The Crunchwrap Supreme is the perfect Taco Bell menu item for a first-time Taco Bell consumer. It’s got a bit of everything in it, except, like, the churros.”
“Churros…” Luka mused, repeating the unfamiliar term as he unwrapped the crunchy, meat-filled, quesadilla-esque food. He took a sniff of it and the small amount of wariness he had been feeling immediately dissipated. “Smells good!” Throwing caution to the wind, he took a large bite out of it and chewed thoughtfully. A verdict was reached before that first bite was even swallowed. “Tastes good, too!” he announced through a full mouth.
Dwight and Dorian nodded happily, both of them having started on their own selections. Dorian already had cheese-flavored dipping sauce splashed onto his face from his reckless eating style.
“Kinda greasy though,” Luka said. “The team dieticians probably hate you for taking me here.”
“They don’t have to know,” Dwight said, a conspiratorial smile spreading across his face. “Especially if you don’t tell them.”
Luka nodded. He deserved a treat every once in a while, especially after a big game. In no time, the crunchwrap was finished; a taco, a quesadilla, and a burrito were consumed in short order. All of them were delicious, if slightly too salty. He was finding it hard to moderate his intake; his stomach felt like it could hold unlimited quantities of the stuff, and there was still so much more food left. “This must have been pretty expensive, Dorian,” he commented.
Dorian shook his head. “Only, like, forty bucks,” he said, nacho fries sticking out of his mouth comically as he talked. “And I didn’t even use the coupons on my app. You can feed yourself here for under eight bucks, no problem.”
“Eight bucks…” Luka repeated, again in awe at such a low price could be paid for such delicious food. “I think I am in love with this Taco Bell place. You say they have these everywhere in America?”
“Everywhere,” Dwight confirmed. “Isn’t America great?”
Luka smiled, took a large sip of Baja Blast Mountain Dew, and sighed contentedly. “It is.”