Love At First Bite (An Interview with my Future Best Friends)

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Friendships are created when people share a common interest. For some, it may be a favorite band. For others, an interest in art. However, nothing brings together life-long partners and creates everlasting bonds like the love for Taco Bell. Just ask the guys from TB Gyde.

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(Thanks to Reddit user IxKilledxKenny for referring me to their Youtube)

The group, consisting of four men, Ryan, Dave, Erwin, and Chris, have blessed the Internet with creative, life-changing videos filled with debauchery based on, featuring, and sometimes on location in Taco Bell. From ridiculous “nutshots” to informational “how-to” videos, the hilarity has no end.

They describe themselves as “everything Taco Bell” and to “prepare to have your face rawked off and smothered in hawt sawce… not fire sawce… Hawt Sawce.” Believe me, they definitely deliver.

I had the pleasure of interviewing three-fourths of the group, and just when I thought I knew everything about Taco Bell, they clearly proved me wrong.

I dub thee, Knights of TB Gyde, official “Taco Ballers”

Please be quiet and courteous to others and silence your cell phones now. Your feature presentation will begin after the following preview:

First off, how did you guys meet?

Ryan: It all goes back to the year 2006. Ryan and Dave met when they pledged a fraternity at the University of Miami; an unlikely pair became the best of friends, friends forged by their love of Taco Bell and the cool, refreshing bite of Baja Blast. Taco Bell was host to many early outings, included in scavenger hunts, and was the birthing of the “Insane 65 mph Taco Hand-off.”

Ryan graduated, Chris joined the fraternity and became friends with Dave… and then in a soda-fountain-suicide-chain-of-events, they all ended up in Los Angeles where they could rekindle their love for Taco Bell together. Erwin, Chris’ roommate in Los Angeles, and Taco Bell aficionado, was an obvious addition to the team Summer 2013.

Erwin: By saying hi to each other and finding things to talk about, like Jello.

Chris: It was truly, love at first sight all around.

What is your first memory of Taco Bell?

Ryan: Growing up, I remember this commercial for when the Nacho Bell Grande first came out where this guy would jump off a high dive, belly flop into a pool, SCREAM in the water with bubbles floating all around him, and then eat a chip. Just one. Then he would do it all over again. Yeah, Nacho Bell Grande’s were THAT good back then. When I was in high school, I used to sell leftover cookies from my job for $.25 a piece, keeping a tray full of coins in my car for the “Burrito Fund.” That was when the Grilled Stuft Burrito first came out; I can still remember the sweet, sweet smell of the flaky tortilla.

Erwin: I would rather tell the first experience that I don’t remember. It was dark.

Chris: As strange as it may sound, I honestly loathed Taco Bell growing up. I thought it was gross, and I wondered why anyone would want Mexican fast food. But then I saw the light when I met Dave in college. He brought me on an eye-opening quest, also known as the “chime,” rightly named as homage to the bell. It was in that evening, sitting in a McDonald’s parking lot eating Taco Bell and contemplating my existence as a boy, becoming a man, that I saw things clearly. Taco Bell was a gift.

What made you want to start making videos about Taco Bell?

Ryan: Chris, Ryan, and Dave spent a weekend hiking in the San Mateo Mountains in 2012. During their journey, Chris lost most of his food rations due to a zipper malfunction (aka he didn’t zip his pack) and subsequently, the guys went pretty hungry over the course of the weekend after sharing the remaining rations (Dave didn’t share anything, not one bite). Ryan and Chris spent the whole 3 days on about 400 calories/day and conversations consisted of what Taco Bell items everyone would order when back to civilization. Sitting in a Taco Bell and having some food in their bellies, the guys laughed about dino-biting each other’s food… one thing lead to another and Dave is running around the Taco Bell like a dinosaur. And thus, TBGYDE was forged and we were inspired to create a later video “Dinosaurs Attack Taco Bell!”

Erwin: It was either this or earn millions of dollars to eat sushi on a yacht. I chose the most rewarding path.

Chris: There was no real starting point for this, aside from the fact that we all enjoyed making funny videos, and we always tended to congregate and come up with ideas while eating at Taco Bell. One thing lead to another, and we were making videos at and about Taco Bell.

One of the biggest viral videos last year was “What Does The Fox Say?” What, in your opinion, goes into making a viral Youtube video?

Ryan: Simple story, short attention span, and just be funny. We take it up a notch by incorporating our film and production backgrounds into our work, using professional video and audio equipment, graphics, and animation – we’re a fully functioning film crew and design house.

Erwin: A lot of people watching a video on lime. I meant to type online, but my phone auto corrected and I think lime is a better answer.

Chris: I think one key is unpredictability. A video doesn’t get shared until it has something worth sharing, and for that to spark in someone’s mind, they need to be surprised. So I’d say, the key is making something fun, quick, and surprising.

Have you heard of the Taco Bell “secret menu”? What kind of masterpieces would you create to have your own secret menu?

Ryan: The great thing about Taco Bell is that everything is technically a “secret menu” you can make anything you want. Some of our favorites include substituting the shells of the Crunchwrap Supreme and the Cheesy Gordita Crunch with a Cool Ranch DLT shell.

Erwin: The Mexican Lasagna. Lovingly place every ingredient in your arsenal in between tender pieces of Chalupa shells.

Chris: Have we heard of the secret menu? Have Christians heard of the bible? Has Nicolas Cage heard of Nicolas Cage? Of course we have! One of my favorite things to do on the secret menu is to play with the Doritos Locos taco shells. My personal favorite is throwing one a Cool Ranch shell into a Cheesy Gordita Crunch, or a Fiery shell into a crunch wrap supreme.

“The Crazy Burrito Funeral” is one of my favorite videos. What item would you be devastated about if Taco Bell were to take it off the menu?

Ryan: I’d have a hard time saying goodbye to the Crunch Wrap Supreme. It is a staple of a properly balanced meal at Taco Bell; the thing is perfect.

Erwin: I’d hate to see the prices removed. I’m not being facetious. You’re too affordable, and I love knowing that.

Chris: That [Beefy Crunch Burrito] is the item I’m the most devastated about. Why do you play with our hearts, Taco Bae? Aside from that, I would be pretty upset if the crunch wrap supreme were removed. It’s the perfect to-go meal!

*FYI: They have a sequel ready once the Beefy Crunch Burrito comes back. Your move, Taco Bell*

Last year, a young man tattooed a Beefy Crunch Burrito on his forearm. Would you ever get a Taco Bell tattoo?

Ryan: No. HAHA I don’t have any tattoos, so I wouldn’t get one, but if I had tons of tattoos, like full sleeves, then it’d be a different story. We’ve seen some badddd Taco Bell ink but that man is a legend.

Erwin: Who said I don’t already have one? I don’t, but that dude sounds gnarly.

Chris: I would gladly get the Bell logo as a tramp stamp.

Churros are a delicious treat to share with someone on Valentine’s Day. What would be the ultimate three-course meal for a date at Taco Bell?

Ryan: I’d set the scene with some soothing Cheryl Crow music on the intercom, Baja Blast on the rocks, poured ever so gently in the glass, napkins, and finely placed sporks. For an appetizer: the lady’s choice of Doritos Locos Tacos. For the main course, we would move onto the Crunch Wrap Supreme. Lastly, for dessert, the gentle, cream filled, Cinnabon Delights, warmed to the perfect temperature where the frosting drizzles just right.

Erwin: Appetizers: Nacho Supreme. First Course: Mexican Pizza. Second Course: Two Grillers. Main Course: Cheesy Gordita Crunch in a Fiery DLT shell. Dessert: Churros. Post-Dinner Treat: Napkins to wipe the tears from my face for eating alone at Taco Bell on Valentines.

Chris: I would start things off with a fine aged, vintage if available, Baja Blast. For an app, why not split an XXL Steak Nacho? The main course, if I were ordering for both, would be a Fiery shell Cheesy Gordita Crunch with a Crunchwrap Supreme to split. Desert, don’t skimp on the Baja Freeze and a round of Cinnabon Delights.

How do you feel about Taco Bell now selling breakfast?

Ryan: I’d give the AM Crunchwrap a shot but that’s probably it. If they made a zesty breakfast burrito, then maybe we’ll talk.

Chris: Despite it’s poor reception on the inter webs, I for one am quite a fan. I have yet to get the chance to try a Waffle Taco, but I’m excited for the occasion. I have tried the AM Crunchwrap, and was pleasantly surprised with it! They stay true to themselves by kicking it up with a bit of southwestern spice, while keeping the staples of breakfast involved with eggs, meat and cheese.

Create a love poem about Taco Bell.

Ryan: B… C… B…
Come back to me
Get in my bell-y

Erwin: Taco bell
You put a spell
On my shell
Before I fell
On a cactus
Ouch

Chris: Taco, Taco Bell
You make my heart, simply swell
My sweet, my muse, Taco Bell

What’s better: A rave or a Taco Bell Rave?

Ryan: As long as the rave is in an elevator, I’m down… or up… depending on which direction the elevator just happens to be going.

Erwin: Every Rave is a Taco Bell rave, unless Chris is too drunk to go for a run.

Chris: Anything is better with Taco Bell, especially a rave!

What’s next for TB Gyde?

Erwin: A world tour discovering the different items sold at different Taco Bells in other countries; Like the Bourdain Show with more pomp.

While they plan to keep making Taco Bell-related videos, the guys are currently working on independent work for their new Youtube channel, “Bros”, debuting this summer.

Check out the rest of TB Gyde’s videos on their YouTube Channel and keep up to date with what they’re doing by following them on Twitter.

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One Comment

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  1. This was a real fun story! Keep it up!

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