I ate at both Taco Bell and Del Taco to see how the chains compared, and Taco Bell was better in every way except 2

Taco Bell Crunchy Taco

Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Taco Bell and Del Taco are the two major fast-food chains that sell Tex-Mex food.

Tex-Mex food occupies a special place in America's stomach.

It's not Mexican, but it comes from the Southwest region of the US that used to be part of Mexico and New Spain. Like burritos? You can thank Tejanos. Tacos? They're as American as apple pie, spaghetti and meatballs, and fortune cookies.

Today, there are two major American fast-food chains that sell Tex-Mex food: Taco Bell and Del Taco. Both were founded in California by men with no Mexican heritage. The concept at the core of both brands is the same: cheap, tasty food made from tortillas, beef, beans, and cheese.

I sampled as much as I could stomach from both chains' menus. I attempted to order a representative spread of food from each chain for a total cost of about $60 per meal.

Here's how my meals compared:

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