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QUICK REVIEW: Taco Bell Cinnabon Delights

Written by | November 18, 2013

Topics: 7 Rating, Fast Food, Taco Bell

Taco Bell Cinnabon Delights

Purchased Price: $1.69*
Size: 4 pieces
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Definitely delightful. Cinnamon has that familiar and addictive Cinnabon flavor. Sugar and cinnamon give each pastry a nice sugary crunch on top of the slightly crispy pastry exterior. More satisfying than a Taco Bell Churro. A 4-pack is much better for you than a Cinnabon Classic cinnamon roll and better for you than a Cinnabon Minibon Roll. Much cleaner than eating a Cinnabon cinnamon roll.
Cons: Filling isn’t as sweet as frosting on a Cinnabon Classic cinnamon roll. Pastry is a bit thin. Could’ve used a bit more filling. Having to use more than one napkin while eating a Cinnabon Classic cinnamon roll.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

Taco Bell Cinnabon Delights Innards

Nutrition Facts: 4 pack – 260 calories, 130 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

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QUICK REVIEW: Taco Bell Cinnamon Nachos Dessert Kit

Written by | October 24, 2013

Topics: 7 Rating, Taco Bell

Taco Bell Cinnamon Nachos Dessert Kit

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 5.54 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Much better tasting and less messy than the Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit. As a whole, with a good vanilla ice cream, it’s a wonderful dessert with a variety of textures — creamy, crunchy, and gooey. Nice buttery caramel sauce. Chips are thick enough to scoop up ice cream. Good for two big boy servings.
Cons: Tortilla chips should’ve had a bit more cinnamon flavor. Comes with “toffee-flavored bits” and not actual toffee; they’re like pop-less Pop Rocks with toffee flavoring. Box says there’s five servings per container, but those are going to be laughable small servings. Taco Bell restaurants not offering something like this. Makes me miss Cinnamon Sun Chips.

Taco Bell Cinnamon Nachos Dessert Kit Closeup

Nutrition Facts: As Packaged – 130 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

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REVIEW: Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit

Written by | September 19, 2013

Topics: 6 Rating, Taco Bell

Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit

Holy (insert here favorite/most used way to express excitement or surprise)!

I imagine that’s what many will think loudly or yell in the middle of Walmart after seeing the Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit on the shelf. I yelled “Holy Tofu” when I saw a picture of them.

Sure, you could head over to the freezer aisle and buy a box of pre-made Klondike Choco Tacos, but there’s no fun in that. With this kit, you can let your inner fattie go crazy like she or he got dropped in the middle of Wonka’s chocolate factory. The box provides you with six chocolate taco shells, chocolate sauce, and colorful sprinkles; you bring the ice cream, whatever ingredients your sugar hungry-head wants, and the giddiness of making your own dessert taco.

I showed restraint and picked up just vanilla ice cream and whipped cream to replicate what’s on the box. However, I do have a second box and every time I think about what nasty things I’m going to do with that second set of chocolate taco shells my teeth and liver gets scared.

Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit Parts

If you do pick up a Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit, you may end up with broken taco shells, much like other reviewers and I did (I ended up with four mostly intact shells). This, I imagine, will make some children cry, but it’s not a complete waste, because you know the old saying, when life gives you broken chocolate taco shells, make chocolate nachos.

I decided to use Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream because I thought it would be appropriate to use ice cream that’s not Danish with a taco kit from a company that’s not Mexican. If you have surgeon hands, stuffing ice cream into the taco shell will be easy peasy. If you’re naturally rough when handling delicate things, there’s a good chance you’re eating chocolate nachos, because the shells are quite fragile. An iced tea spoon is an ideal ice cream stuffing utensil to use, if your Rubbermaid utensil organizer happens to have one.

Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit Parts Closeup

Biting into a completed dessert taco is very much like sinking your teeth into s’mores or human flesh–it quickly gets messy. Because of the very fragile chocolate shells and soft filling, one bite causes other parts of the shell to collapse. I estimate these dessert tacos are three or four times messier than eating a Taco Bell Crunchy Taco Supreme, so I’d recommend eating them over a large plate, in a shower, or sneak into a stranger’s house where you don’t have to clean up after yourself.

The chocolate shell’s color is a bit deceiving. With its dark color you might think it’s like eating a Cocoa Pebbles taco shell, but I have some bad news. There’s a sweetness to them, but the chocolate is hard to detect. Although, that’s not surprising since Taco Bell’s Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos also have shells with not much flavor. The dark brown shells also have a slightly stale texture, which seems strange for a product that just hit shelves, and a corn tortilla chip aftertaste.

When you’re making your dessert taco and squeezing out chocolate sauce from its packet, I recommend following the same instructions you’d find on a bottle of sunscreen–apply liberally. Doing so will help you not notice the corn chip aftertaste too often. As for the candy sprinkles, they give the dessert tacos color, texture, and partially hydrogenated oil.

A constructed Taco Bell Chocolate Taco mostly works. The taco shell’s crunch combined with the cool and creamy ice cream, gooey chocolate sauce, and airy whipped cream creates waves of textures. The chocolate taco shell could’ve used a bit more cocoa flavoring, but that one shortcoming can be hidden by adding a bit more chocolate sauce or stuffing the shell with an ice cream that’s a bit more exciting than vanilla.

Overall, I liked the Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit, even though, to be honest, the chocolate taco shells are the only thing special about it. It was fun to make and the end result was satisfying…and messy…but slightly more satisfying than messy.

Note: Thanks to Impulsive Buy reader Jonathan for sending me two Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kits and one Taco Bell Cinnamon Nachos Dessert Kit. I really appreciate it. Well, my teeth and liver don’t, but all the other body parts do.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/6 package with 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream and 2 Tbsp whipped cream – 260 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

*made with partially hydrogenated oils

Other Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit reviews:
Junk Food Guy
BevNerd (video)

Item: Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 5.82 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Makes a decent dessert taco. The excitement of coming up with your own dessert taco idea. Enough sprinkles and chocolate sauce to apply liberally to six tacos. Chocolate sauce helps taco shell’s shortcoming. The different ingredients creates waves of textures. Being optimistic and making chocolate nachos when life gives your broken chocolate taco shells.
Cons: Taco shells are fragile and you may end up with broken ones after opening the kit. Messy to eat. The chocolate taco shells are the only thing special about the kit. Taco shell has a corn tortilla chip aftertaste and could use a bit more cocoa flavoring. A bit difficult to stuff shells with ice cream without the right utensils.

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REVIEW: Taco Bell Smothered Burrito

Written by | August 27, 2013

Topics: 8 Rating, Fast Food, Taco Bell

Taco Bell Smothered Burrito

Certain words repulse me and “smothered” is one of them. There’s pork chops smothered with onions; a mother smothering her child with kisses before she heads to school; a needy boyfriend who smothers his girlfriend; John smothers his father with a pillow so he can inherit the business…and now, Taco Bell’s Smothered Burrito. I don’t care how you use the word “smothered”, I hate the word.

Why couldn’t the product developers use Taco Bell-speak and call it a Mega-drencharrito or Hurricanarito complete with a limited edition Storm Surge High Pressure Front (or whatever they are calling it now) Mountain Dew? Ah but what do I know? I’m just a jerk who can scrawl a few words together.

I feel sorry for Taco Bell. With fast food being caught in the pretzel roll rage, what can they do to make their mark? And no, I doubt anyone is clamoring for a pretzel shell taco. Taco Bell’s solution is to take a burrito and drown it in delicious condiments as if it were on trial during the Salem witch hunts. Mmmmm….Salem witch hunts.

The burrito looks like a normal sized burrito which is relative depending who in the back makes it. I’ve had large ones, small ones and some that look like a malformed tumor. For arguments sake, let’s pretend it was a normal burrito we all picture in our minds.

Also, you get a choice of shredded chicken, seasoned beef or marinated thick cut steak. For whatever reason, the official website is really pushing the shredded chicken. I chose the seasoned beef because chicken is blandly ubiquitous and their steak makes me want to cry and punch golden retriever puppies in the face (not really but you get the point). You also get a plastic fork and napkins because you’re going to need them.

Initially, I was a bit queasy when I opened the lid because the scent combination of warm dairy from the sour cream and the vinegar’s acidic notes have the faint essence of vomit. It gets better, trust me. Way better.

The appearance reminded me of those 1970′s suburban mom casseroles that scream “It’s Mexican Night!!!” for dinner. A generous amount of cheese is dumped (not sprinkled) all over. Then to add a dash of faux-fancy, low fat sour cream is zig-zagged on top.

Secret: I’ll always love you Taco Bell but you’ll never be fancy to me. That’s why I love you.

Finally, the burrito sits in a well of the trademark tangy Taco Bell red sauce like a victim in a Brian De Palma movie.

Taco Bell Smothered Burrito Innards

The wet burrito (Wet-rrito) tastes so much better than it smells. Don’t worry, when you first cut into those layers of the burrito, the smell dissipates because that beef just overtakes it and whispers, “This is gonna be delicious.” It’s like bourbon, you just have to power through the oaky and woodsy notes some find unpleasant.

The first thing to hit my taste buds was the vinegary red sauce but it gives way to the rich beef and the smokiness of the creamy chipotle sauce. In addition, the Latin rice and beans add an earthy tone that’s needed to ground the deep flavors (Flavo-rrito!).

I don’t know what makes the rice Latin, but I’m not sure what any item in Taco Bell makes it Latin either. Who cares because the sauce the burrito is washed in tastes so good, it just lingers in the back of your throat well after you swallowed each bite. The burrito is complex in flavors, hefty, and has a dense texture.

Taco Bell Smothered Burrito Closeup

But lest I forget, the melted cheese and the colder (not cold) creamy trails of sour cream really bring it all together. The cheese was actually stringy and had weight we are not normally accustomed to with Taco Bell’s melted cheeses (Melta-rrito!).

I’m aware it’s Taco Bell, but this burrito reminded me of honest home cooking. I was really shocked by how good it was. You know when you have to pee so badly and when you finally do, there’s that tingle that hits your tailbone? What I experienced with this burrito was the gastronomic equivalent sensation.

The only negative I can think of, besides the initial smell, is the strong vinegar lick of the red sauce. I loved it, but I’m the type that would drink Tabasco straight. Yet, I’m aware that the average person doesn’t have a strong penchant for it like I do. Oh, and if you’re health conscious (and why are you eating at Taco bell?), you may be floored that the sodium level is a gigantic 2,260 milligrams (Sodium-rrito!)

In the end, all we want is something that tastes good regardless of what it’s called. Taco Bell has achieved this. As much as I cannot stomach the word “smothered,” I’ll eat the hell out of a Taco Bell Smothered Burrito again.

(Nutritional facts – 710 calories, 35 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 75 mg of cholesterol, 2260 mg of sodium, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugars, and 28 grams of protein.)

Other Taco Bell Smothered Burrito reviews:
Grub Grade
Brand Eating
Man Reviews Food

Item: Taco Bell Smothered Burrito
Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The red sauce, the melted cheese was stringy, the rich beef and the red sauce again. The texture of the burrito. The feeling when you finally go pee. The zig zags of sour cream. The earthy heady beans. Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible.
Cons: The initial smell of the burrito when you open the lid. Salem Witch Hunts. The red sauce may be too vinegary for some. The word “smothered.” Colossal sodium amount. Brian De Palma’s Mission to Mars.

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REVIEW: Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme

Written by | August 21, 2013

Topics: 8 Rating, Fast Food, Taco Bell

Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Taco

Nostalgia is a fascinating emotion.

It leads some of us on online quests to acquire Sega Genesis smash hits, like Earthworm Jim, for the sole intention of casually displaying the game cartridge on our office shelves. And it convinces others to sign up for adult recreational kickball leagues in vain attempts to recapture that 7th grade playground glory. It also causes us to be looser with our wallets than the belt we wore on those baggy pants we made our moms buy for us at the Gap in 1995.

I probably shouldn’t be so cynical, but you’d have a hard time convincing me nostalgia didn’t play a major role in the success of Taco Bell’s Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos Locos. I mean really; who among us didn’t pack a bag of Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch Doritos in our lunchboxes back in the day (besides kids with hippy parents)? Those crunchy, chemically perfected bombs of MSG and spices delivered the escape from the trials and tribulations of stupid stuff like long division and fractions. We totally had it made.

No wonder we all jumped at the idea of our favorite childhood chips becoming tacos.

The only problem was that for many of us, myself included, it felt like something was missing in the hugely popular Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos. It’s not that they were bad – heck, they were by all accounts pretty damn tasty – but there was just something missing from both flavors that made us wonder why our favorite chips didn’t translate into our favorite fast food tacos.

Enter the third phase of the Doritos Locos Taco rollout.

Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Taco 2

Inspired by the Flamas Doritos chips, the new Fiery Locos Taco hasn’t quite generated the pre-release fanfare of its more iconic big brothers. Since I live in a region of the country deemed to have a sizable enough gringo demographic as to not be attracted to anything remotely spicy, my access to bags of Doritos Flamas have been few and far between. From the few times I’ve had them I remember a deceptively spicy heat at the end and an odd lime flavor. Not odd as in it tasted like Sprite or something, but odd as in, “Hey, I’m a white dude and this is a completely unexpected flavor combination.”

Dare I say, I liked it.

But I didn’t love it. At least, I didn’t love it to the point where I’d consider trading away a turkey sandwich, two packs of Dunkaroos, and those awesome Bachman pretzel packs for a single snack-size bag of the Flamas Doritos, a barter I routinely made at the elementary school lunch table in order to acquire similar bags of Cool Ranch Doritos.

Knowing I didn’t have an intense feeling of love towards Flamas Doritos, my expectations for the Taco Bello Fiery Locos Tacos were mild. Not lower — ok, yes, to be honest a bit lower — but also, actually, realistic. Taking that into account, I gladly handed over $1.69 for the Supreme version of the taco, hoping the addition of cooling sour cream and bright tomatoes would add just the right counterbalance to what is billed as a spicy, lime-infused taco shell.

Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Taco 3

I started out by taking a few bites of the taco shell on its own, expecting the bright red color to scorch my tongue like a fireball from Super Mario. Oddly enough, it was the taste of the lime that I noticed first, a puckering, moderate acidity which then gave way to a nice, spicy heat at the back end. It’s spicy, but not too hot. And I believe it strikes an acceptable compromise.

Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Taco 4

I wasn’t crazy about the strength of lime flavor, which on its own was too astringent for my taste and, unfortunately, there wasn’t enough yellow corn flavor to balance it out. Fortunately, the lime is greatly reduced when taking a bite of the taco as a whole, with the salty yet slightly sweet ground beef and gloopy, why-are-you-so-yummy sour cream helping to meld all the flavors together.

Unlike some people, I don’t find the shredded, but mild, cheddar cheese to be an afterthought, and in the case of this particular taco, even the slight milky taste came together nicely. What I liked most was the taco’s parting shot — a peppery heat that arises from the ground beef spice flavor, it captures the perfect middle ground between distractingly hot and unacceptably bland.

The new Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos are very good in the Supreme form. Serving as a more spice-intensive canvas that needs only a slathering of Fire Sauce for those looking to scorch their taste buds, it’ll also provide a modest, but definite kick that gives it flavor and personality beyond the simple classifications of “hot” and “not hot.”

(Nutrition Facts – 200 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.)

Other Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos reviews:
Grub Grade
Man Reviews Food
Brand Eating

Item: Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme
Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Perfectly constructed. Ends with surprising but not uncomfortable heat. Lime flavor doesn’t overpower with all the other flavors going on. Gloriously alchemized, highly-seasoned ground beef just works. Fresh veggies. Not getting let down by unrealistic expectations.
Cons: Lime flavor of the shell is too much on its own. Seasoning in the taco shell doesn’t extend all the way to the top. Tomatoes go jumping ship too easily. Always wishing for a little more beef in Taco Bell’s taco. Still waiting for a Jacked Doritos shell with epic crunch.

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