A close up of a plate of food

When you have a taste for Mexican food and your pallet wants “good” Mexican food, Taco Bell usually doesn’t make the top of too many lists. In actuality Taco Bell offers a diverse array of so-called Mexican dishes that is sure to please any Mexican food enthusiast and hey, it’s cheaper and faster than the La Mexican place down the street. It’s not as fancy and don’t make as much of an impression on your date as the real thing but hey, did I mention it was cheaper!

Upon first impressions, the Taco Bell of Middlesboro looks like your average fast food place, the outside is nice and recently been painted and done-over. Once on the inside though, your thoughts will change. The place is a mess, there is trash in the floor from trash cans that are only emptied once a day, dirty tables everywhere and one of the nastiest drink stations I have even been witness to. To top it all off the ice maker and drink dispenser is out of service 9 times out of 10, leaving you to stand in line waiting on a refill.

The food is really quite good. Their Big Bell Value Menu offers several choices around or under $1 and, as the name implies, is a real value for your money. Should you not want lettuce or sour cream or just want to be different, they are happy to oblige. I have yet to make a special order and get it wrong. You do have to watch when going through the drive-thru that you are given your drink or any side orders such as sauce.

The Cumberland Valley District Health Department gave this restaurant a 72% or C grade for sanitation. The grade was poor due to all the trash left in the dinning area as well as with the problems with the drink dispenser and some problems with the grill area. As long as you go through the drive through and get your order, where as you won’t be able to see all the trash in the dinning room, you should be fine as far as food quality and cleanliness is concerned, as a follow-up inspection left them with a sanitation score of 92%.

Just don’t expect the serve yourself drink station to be up and running any time soon, they seem to think it’s not all that important of a thing to repair. As for service speed, they are pretty fast on the inside but a little on the slow side when you go through the drive-thru. They seem to want to take care of any inside customers before they take your drive-thru order. The employees are pretty friendly and will gladly be of any assistance they can, which after all the mess, is a plus!

In Tim’s big book of restaurant reviews, The Taco Bell of Middlesboro has earned an over all rating of 6.2 out of 10. Individual ratings follow. Cleanliness: 4.5 – Service: 4.8 – Food Quality: 9.2