Del Taco usually comes out with pretty good promotions, like the chicken mole soft taco, the crispy shrimp tacos, and, once upon a time, the awesome Sonora chicken burrito, which was the best fast food burrito I have ever eaten. So when they recently came out with jalapeno rings, I figured I should at least try them.
I first saw jalapeno rings as a menu item a few years ago at, of all places, Hooters. My friend Dave and I had stopped by because they seemed to be the only place in Old Pasadena capable of showing three basketball games at once. I ordered some kind of fried shrimp, I do not remember what, and it was served with "jalapeno pepper wheels" - sliced, battered and fried jalapenos. This seemed like a no-brainer for a restaurant: jalapenos cost a few cents each. Battering and frying them then selling them for a few dollars is a pretty good profit percentage.
Of course, there wasn't anything special about those fried jalapeno pieces, and I doubted there would be anything special about these. But they only cost $1.99 and are served with a "secret sauce," so I couldn't resist. I went to a different Del Taco than I normally do. I could write 5000 words just on that experience, between the crazy woman singing songs or the woman crying hysterically because the employee did not give her a number and she didn't want anyone else to get her two tacos.
The jalapeno rings were decent. They didn't have much flavor beyond the batter, but they were very spicy, which is a good thing. The secret sauce was quite bland; I imagine its purpose is solely to temper the spiciness of the peppers. I don't know if I will ever order these again. I guess I could see myself getting an order and throwing a few rings in a chicken soft taco, but if they disappeared tomorrow I don't think I would care one bit.