REVIEW: Taco Bell Loaded Nacho Taco

Taco Bell Loaded Nacho Taco  1

What is the Taco Bell Loaded Nacho Taco?

The Bell continues its recent trend of Loading up just about every item on its menu, now delicately doctoring up its tacos with the tight and tangy addition of seasoned red chips and nacho cheese along with seasoned beef, lettuce, and shredded cheese in a warm flour tortilla. It’s as good as it sounds.

How is it?

In a word, majestuoso. Taco Bell really makes the hungry diner feel like nacho cheese sauce has always been the one element missing from most tacos in existence, especially those of a faux-Mexican descent.

Taco Bell Loaded Nacho Taco

On the Loaded Nacho Taco, the seasoned red chips are fine to be sure, but it’s the comforting amount of gooey nacho cheese that makes this taco variation a definite must-try. A deliciously necessary coating for the rapturous seasoned beef — a mixture T.B. always does right — with its soft flour tortillas completely sealing this culinary deal.

Taco Bell Spicy Loaded Nacho Taco

Even better is the mouth-warming Spicy Loaded Nacho Taco, which is basically like the original version with the welcomed bonus of fiery jalapenos to turn the heat up. Mine was practically overloaded with the hellish green discs.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The best thing about these? They’re dollar menu items, allowing even someone with merely a handful of pocket change to enjoy one or, someone with even more cash on hand, to enjoy both of them, possibly even more.

Conclusion:

True to form, Taco Bell’s dollar menu delights continue to amaze with the amount of food and flavor it can pack into a buck’s worth of grub; this duo of Loaded Nacho Tacos are absolutely no exception. They’re, of course, a limited time offer, so you better get them while the getting’s good, hombre.

Purchased Price: $1.00 each
?Size: N/A
?Rating: 8 out of 10 (Loaded Nacho Taco)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Spicy Loaded Nacho Taco)
?Nutrition Facts: Loaded Nacho Taco – 280 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 670 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein. Spicy Loaded Nacho Taco – 290 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 800 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Brunch Burger

Sonic Brunch Burger

For quite a while now, one of my favorite burger toppings has been that of a fried egg, usually sunny-side up, always sitting on top of the sizzling meat and cool cheese, the sticky ovum running down your face and hands with every sensual bite. It’s usually worth the extra dollar charge to the bill.

It’s a singular treat of mostly gourmet burger spots. Almost none of the bigger fast food joints around town have even attempted an egg-drenched burger, except Jack in the Box. But now Sonic adds itself to this short list with its new Brunch Burger, available for a limited time only at $2.79 with a single-patty, which is more than enough.

Made with the usual Sonic burger platitudes including an undoubtedly 100-percent pure beef patty, crispy bacon strips, and a gooey layer of melted cheese, the Brunch Burger throws in a pillow-soft brioche bun and, for good measure, a fried-egg of sorts. They all come together in Sonic’s grand effort to serve the underserved between breakfast and lunch, even if people have securely had brunch for years.

Still, even though I went against dining protocol and had it for dinner, I’d have to say Sonic is mostly successful in creating a somewhat decent substitute for true brunch.

Sonic Brunch Burger Eggs

While the meat is juicy, bacon is salty, and cheese gunky — and yes, the brioche bun is a definite somewhat sweet improvement — the real tipping point here is the egg which, as you might have guessed, isn’t of the sunny-side-up variety but rather of the rubbery McMuffin sort. That means it’s a large pressed disc of what I believe to be an egg, professionally shaped and heartlessly cooked.

Sonic Brunch Burger in Half

A good-enough spanner in the usual burger works, the egg, when combined especially with the cheese and large slice of tomato adds a nice bit of tasty roughage to the meal, a heated-wet goodness that can’t be denied. The meat I can give or take, especially when Sonic’s mouth-puckering bacon overtakes it. Thankfully, this brioche bun does an excellent job of tying it all together with its dull sweetness and makes it work rather well.

Overall, it’s a good attempt at a classy fast food burger. Do I wish it was a proper sunny-side up egg? Sure, I bet we all would. But, whatever it is, it can’t be any worse than the new Cherry Limeade Mimosa, which is a disappointing blend of limeade and orange juice.

The Brunch Burger would be a decent treat on a Wednesday morning (or evening), but on a Sunday, just head down to your favorite uppity bistro for its omelet, grapes, and champagne-infused drink specials instead. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: Single
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 510 calories, 33 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 190 milligrams of cholesterol, 1100 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 29 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Steak Rattlesnake Fries and Burrito

Taco Bell Rattlesnake Fries

Like an angry sirocco tearing through the cactus-strewn desert of Death Valley, Taco Bell has inevitably whipped up a whole nest of spicy snakes into a flavorful frenzy with both the figurative and literal arrival of what is now more popularly known as the Steak Rattlesnake Fries and the Steak Rattlesnake Fries Burrito.

Utilizing its delicious fries, beautifully clad in a hefty amount of taco seasoning, combined with its patented nacho cheese goodness, creamy jalapeno sauce, chunky cuts of steak, and scads upon scads of perfectly sliced jalapenos, together they all naturally combine to deliver an unholy bit of border-bound heat, especially when purposefully devoured with that Taco Bell passion I know we can all muster.

The Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries — reviewed here before — are, of course, a surefire winner, delivering some of the best fast-food fries in the business, but the addition of these tongue-searing extras make the Steak Rattlesnake Fries a wholly welcomed addition to the TB menu. I personally believe that what makes the Bell’s newest menu items so fire-worthy is that, with this delectable go ‘round, it’s definitely not afraid to bring the heat and bring it mercilessly.

Taco Bell Rattlesnake Fries Closeup

The dark spices on the fries, the creamy jalapeno sauce, and especially the multiple jalapeno slices are a definite match made in the deepest pits of Mexico, delivering a heat that, for about a minute, renders the actual taste of the fries a bit obsolete. But, hold steady and that’s when the actual flavor of the fries comes through, a passport from the edge of righteous potatoes to the subtle cream of the jalapeno sauce. It’s a flavor train that goes even deeper with the Steak Rattlesnake Fries Burrito.

Taco Bell Rattlesnake Fries Burrito

Taking a cue from some of this country’s bravest five-year-old chefs, combining Taco Bell’s fries with a burrito is already the game-ball, but to add in this Rattlesnake variety, it’s the whole damn championship. Combining a large tortilla with, of course, the Taco Bell fries with the aforementioned nacho cheese, jalapeno sauce, steak, and even more of the vaunted jalapeno slices, it makes it an easier to eat method of madness. Not to mention how devilishly delicious the whole thing absolutely is.

Taco Bell Rattlesnake Fries Burrito Closeup

Here, the steak really shines through, mingling in a seductive tango with the impervious creamy jalapeno sauce. The nacho cheese, per usual, adds an extra kick but, once again, the addition of real live jalapenos is what it’s all about, a much-needed addition of puro machismo that most of the burritos on Taco Bell’s menu could definitely use. Maybe a little of that jalapeno sauce too, but far be it from me to ask for too many extras.

But, if I may, my main complaint with both of these products would be the $2.99 price tag. The container holding the Steak Rattlesnake Fries is a bit chintzy and, the Steak Rattlesnake Fries Burrito, while seemingly more when holding it in your hands, is apparently even less. Dine accordingly, but, as they are here for a limited time only, maybe order both or, if I’m being honest, order two burritos and be done with it. You’ve probably spent far more for far less.

Currently, some Taco Bell locations around the country are in the process of test-marketing the supposedly even hotter Reaper Ranch Fries, made with, as you probably guessed, the famed Carolina Reaper peppers. And while it might or might not ever make it to market, nfor now, we can all be routinely thankful and stop by the Bell to take a venomous bite of out of the Rattlesnake. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $2.99 each
?Size: N/A
?Rating: 8 out of 10 (Steak Rattlesnake Fries)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Steak Rattlesnake Fries Burrito) 9 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: Steak Rattlesnake Fries – 450 calories, 28 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 1150 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of total sugars, and 12 grams of protein. Steak Rattlesnake Fries Burrito 470 calories, 22 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of total sugars, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Del Taco Beyond Tacos

Del Taco Beyond Tacos

What are the Del Taco Beyond Tacos?

Utilizing Beyond Meat, a wholly plant-based meat substitute in its tacos, Del Taco officially overtakes Taco Bell as my faux-Mexican eatery of choice. The vegetarian Beyond Taco and the vegan Beyond Avocado Taco, apparently here for a limited time, are being tested throughout the United States. My area was finally lucky enough to receive them.

How are they?

In short, a revelation. Del Taco took its charming array of spices and seasonings and mixed it into the ground beef-like Beyond Meat, creating a flavorful mélange that is even better than its real meat mixture. Offering two distinct tacos — the Beyond Taco and the Beyond Avocado Taco — I ordered both as soft tacos, natch, with no problem and no argument.

Del Taco Beyond Taco

The Beyond Taco contains the plant-based protein, lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheese – perhaps a little too much shredded cheese. After taking a handful of it off, the spicy meat substitute really comes through, filling and satisfying, far more than you would think it would.

Del Taco Beyond Avocado Taco

Additionally, the Beyond Avocado Taco features the protein, lettuce, tomatoes and, for all the difference in the world, a hearty slice of avocado. While the cheese kind of took over the previous taco, here the cool denseness of the avocado really brings out the seasonings that make the Beyond Meat so mouth watering.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Tacos not your bag, baby? I’m sure if you ask nice enough, they will substitute meat with Beyond Meat on just about anything on the menu. They did it for me with the soft tacos. The taste I’m sure would go great with its burritos, nachos and, sorry Carl’s Jr., burgers as well.

Conclusion:

In both the Beyond Taco and the Beyond Avocado Taco, the plant protein elevates both and finally gives taco-hungry vegetarians and vegans a palpable choice as opposed to settling on lame takeaways and substitutions at other restaurants.

Purchased Price: $2.49 each
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Beyond Taco)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Beyond Avocado Taco)
Nutrition Facts: (1 taco) Beyond Taco – 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 510 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of total sugars, and 19 grams of protein. Beyond Avocado Taco – 260 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of total sugars, and 12 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Wendy’s Barbecue Cheeseburger

Wendy s Barbecue Cheeseburger

The act of adding any type of barbecue, from the sauce to the meat, is the quickest way to screw up an otherwise decent cheeseburger. Either the sauce is too sweet, the meat bone dry, or everything is delivered to you sopping in pickle juice because they added too many damn BBQ-related toppings underneath the toasty bun.

Our girl Wendy’s, God bless her, has thankfully gotten the barbecue cheeseburger right this time.

Settling in to my neighborhood restaurant on a cold evening, unwrapping the meaty mound, a proud steam rises high like a smokehouse smokestack, gently giving off a true barbeque aroma that you don’t get with too many of these fast food concoctions. As the barbecue sauce runs wantonly down the sides, crispy fried onions try desperately to escape, but I push them back in with one hand as I lick the sauce off my other one.

Holding the single snugly (it is also available in double and triple denominations if you’re so inclined, natch) as I take a bigger first bite than I usually would, I get an immediately dream-like taste of that manufactured barbecue flavor that only Wendy’s can accomplish, with daring singularity. The sauce is the best in the fast-food biz (and it always has been) while the addition of the fried onions is a tangy treat that is immediately welcomed overkill.

Wendy s Barbecue Cheeseburger 2

With a mixture of sweet brown sugar and tart vinegar, the barbecue sauce that Wendy’s uses isn’t an additive meant to take your mind off what you’re actually eating, but instead it’s used to thoroughly enhance the flavor, letting it mix deftly with the meat and cheese and, even better, the fried onions. Sure, perhaps there was a few too many on my cheeseburger, but I’d rather take too many than not enough and at Wendy’s they do like to pile them high.

As usual, the rest of the Wendy’s Barbecue Cheeseburger – the never-frozen meat, the fresh bun and of course, American cheese — are all tops, but what really impressed me were the inclusion of these fat slices of pickles. I know it seems weird for me to point out, but I love how they weren’t soaking in juice. Instead, they were firm discs that added a true snarl to the burger, instead of being immediately discarded off to the side, as they usually are.

Wendy s Barbecue Cheeseburger 3

Wendy’s has had quite a few successes over the past couple of years and it is safe to say that we can add the tempting Barbecue Cheeseburger to the list. A slight caveat however: even though the single has around 630 calories, once again, the sodium at 1360 takes a few points off. If this is the type of thing you watch, like I do, get one, but go easy on it, will ya? Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: Single (1/4th pound; also available as Double and Triple)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 630 calories, 34 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1360 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 30 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star

Carl s Jr Beyond Famous Star

I realize it may not look like much, but the Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star is probably the fast food burger of the year.

Yes, it may be only January, but God bless Carl’s Jr. for unleashing this wonderfully unknowing beef-substitute on their many meat-weary fans and, even more so, those just looking for something not only a bit healthier, but deliciously different in the new year.

Beyond Meat has been making a bit of a wave lately in fast food, making different partnerships with places like Del Taco — if you can find them — to live out its wholly utopian dream of replacing meat with a fully plant-based foodstuff. If its faux-beef patties taste this good — better even than the real thing, if you ask me — don’t ever wake me up. Allow me to forever slumber in this world.

The basic skeleton of the Carl’s Jr. burger is all here: the buns, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, secret sauce, and so on, with the option of cheese or no cheese to make it a bit more tangibly vegan. And while the smell is different than a usual slab of burger beef on the grill — think of it more like a wafting scent of Sunday morning on the busy farm, if you will — the Beyond Meat taste is quite like anything I know I’ve had, at the very least inside a Carl’s Jr.

Carl s Jr Beyond Famous Star Patty

You may expect something like this Beyond Meat to be remarkably dry, but it is actually the perfect balance between perfectly juicy and properly flambéed, the signature Carl’s Jr. mess running down the front of your shirt. Is it actually grilled? Who knows? But, like so many other things in this world, does it really matter when it tastes this good?

You’d really think that more fast food joints would offer the Beyond Meat as an option — or at least bring it to my town, won’t you Del Taco? — easing the usual vegetarian-phobics, at the very least, into a solvable Meatless Monday solution, like Paul McCartney and PETA routinely says.

I gotta say, this burger worked for me.

However, while the calorie count is not as terrible as the chain’s standard burger, the sodium is well over 1500 milligrams, giving people trying to cut that back a small pause for concern. Still, if you’re only eating one a week — that seems about fair, eh? — you should probably be fine. Just don’t substitute these for an everyday meal, usually on your lunch break, especially when detrimentally paired with fries and a Coke.

I’m thoroughly surprised with Carl’s Jr. latest endeavor for the vegetarian community — and the wannabe one — applauding its decision to go above and, yes, Beyond, with this latest call to a most tasty form of positively edible action. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $6.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 710 calories, 40 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 1550 milligrams of sodium, 61 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 30 grams of protein.