Given the stately nature of foreign ambassadors’ housing and the sleek cars with special plates that they drive, it’s easy to imagine that D.C.’s diplomats dine only in the city’s most exclusive white tablecloth restaurants. Colombian ambassador Francisco Santos has proven that notion resoundingly false.
In a recent Washington Post piece surveying ambassadors about where they eat when they feel homesick, Santos told the newspaper he makes a beeline for Taco Bell.
“My staff gives me a hard time about it, but I’m a freak for Taco Bell,” he says. “I go to the one in Union Station because it’s near the embassy. I chow down. I get Combo #1: a burrito supreme and hard-shell taco with Diet Pepsi and the red packet of salsa — fire, obviously”
Santos goes on to explain that he studied at the University of Texas in Austin, where he first encountered the fast food Goliath, and eating there reminds him of a time “when my life was beginning and everything was new and full of ideas.”
And what a life it has been. Santos was Vice President of Colombia from 2002 to 2010. He’s spent much of his political career fighting against kidnapping. In the early 1990s, the former newspaperman was held in captivity for eight months by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s forces.