Doritos Late Night line is back, inviting us to taste the night with a Loaded Taco flavor in a slick black and purple bag exclusive to Kroger stores. Past offerings in this series include much missed All Nighter Cheeseburger and Tacos at Midnight, which this new edition appears to be a spiritual successor to.
I’m pretty sure I tried Tacos At Midnight, but since a decade has gone by since those bags graced anyone’s beer can-strewn countertops at 2 a.m., I can’t say for sure this is the second coming of that flavor and will judge it on its own merits.
Opening the bag, the scent is very reminiscent of what would waft at you from a Taco Bell paper bag, and the flavor is there to match. It’s decidedly “fast food taco” and not “taqueria taco,” and the emphasis is on the loaded part. They taste like the mess that falls out of a haphazardly made Taco Bell item, and as someone who ends up eating those overly sour creamed lettuce shreds, beef bits, and always worthless pieces of tomato, I mean that as a term of endearment and also kind of amazement. See, all the elements you’d expect to taste are here – the crunch like a hard corn shell, taco seasoning, cheese, sour cream, a hint of tomato, but then there’s also…lettuce? Does iceberg lettuce even taste like anything? Apparently, it does, and I’m pretty convinced that slight vegetal note is here, which seems like the kind of achievement Willy Wonka might be proud of. Sure, anyone can make a chip taste like sour cream and paprika, but can they also manage to layer in the suggestion of lettuce? Frito-Lay can.
The next logical step is wondering if you want a chip that I just said tastes like lettuce. I’d be skeptical too, but it turns out it isn’t a bad thing! The iceberg and tomato make subtle appearances, while the predominant flavors are much more in the dairy spectrum, with cream, sour cream, cheddar, butter, and Swiss all getting mentions in the ingredients list. Alongside a classic mix of Americanized-taco spices and sitting on a crunchy corn chip, these really do manage to mimic a fully topped crispy taco surprisingly well. Appearance-wise, the actual chips don’t look much like the very orange one pictured on the front of the bag, but their lighter yellow color reminds me more of taco shells anyway.
Speaking of, would a Doritos Loaded Taco flavored Doritos Locos Taco be too meta or just right for late night? I’ll leave that one up to the fast food gods. In the meantime, enjoy these chips while they last, which, in the case of my bag, was not very long. If you have a Kroger affiliate near you, these chips are worth trying before the neon signs flip off and they disappear into the night.
Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 9 oz bag
Purchased at: Mariano’s (Kroger)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (About 11 chips) 140 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.