Perhaps the worst thing about Taco Bell is ordering.
Are they really going to make me say “Chickstar” out loud? Chickstar. Can I instead order the “crunchy, chewy pentagonal chicken pouch”?
Don’t test me, Taco Bell.
I walked away from that movie Chappie just because I didn’t want to have to say “Chappie” out loud to the box office. You think the branding is cute but it sounds like I’m doing jaw exercises before delivering a high school sports report on the local news. Chi-ck-stahr. Que-sah-ree-toh. Break-fast fail-ures.
The Crispy Chicken Chickstar can slide, though, just this once. It’s pretty good! To start, this sandwich thing is shaped like the Crunchwrap Supreme, so it’s completely inviting comparisons. The first bite is a bit of a shock. “I know the Crunchwrap Supreme. And you, sir, are no Crunchwrap Supreme.”
It lacks the snap of a tortilla shell wedged into each bite, but give it some time–the texture is still dynamic, thanks to the fried chicken fillets. The breading of the two chicken finger-sized pieces is made of tortilla chips and while it doesn’t taste different than most other fast food breading, it has a jagged, harder feel that gives it some substance. The chicken itself is also white and dense, like a U.S. congressman.
The softness of the outer tortilla contrasts nicely with the rough-breaded chicken and that interplay is definitely the star (Chickstar?) of the show. Having no bread, it means the protein is allowed to pop more and it also means there are those delightful bites that consist of folded over flour tortilla. So satisfying. Hold on to the tiny joys in life.
I tried the creamy chipotle version of the Chickstar. The sauce filled in the flavor profile and rounded out the taste a bit, but overall it felt a little anemic with the heat. The grated cheese and lettuce and tomato are even more of an afterthought than usual and remain borderline useless. However, the chicken did a decent job of picking up the slack, like Allen Iverson. Al-hen Thigh-verson? Mmm, Al-hen Thigh-verson.
I know these sound like negative points for the Chickstar, but something about the entire package clicks together. It’s crunchy and soft in the right places and knows how to showcase the novelty of a tortilla chip-breaded chicken. Maybe it’s magic. Maybe it’s black magic. Taco Bell does fold these things into pentagrams. Or are they hexagrams. They added an extra side to the pentagram just like they added a fourth meal to the day! Must be voodoo.
The Chipotle Chickstar is a good item. Taco Bell’s new chicken fillet thing is good. But it cost me four bucks and I can get a couple chicken sandwiches for half that at most fast food restaurants. It even costs more than a Quesarito, and is almost as embarrassing to say.
What does “Chickstar” even mean? Is it a chicken hipster? A poultry constellation? Lady rock star? Debbie Harry? Chrissie Hynde? (Crispy Fried is her Chickstar name). Whatever. I’d pay another dollar just to not say the name out loud in the restaurant. And I’ll throw the cashier another twenty if he wants to go next door and say “One for Chappie” for me.
(Nutrition Facts – 760 calories, 43 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 1650 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, and 25 grams of protein.)
Item: Taco Bell Crispy Chicken Chipotle Chickstar
Purchased Price: $3.99
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice breading, great texture. Easy to eat, plenty of folded over tortilla.
Cons: Chipotle sauce is a little quiet, bland. Cheese is still Taco Bell cheese. Fairly expensive.