REVIEW: Taco Bell Forbidden Melt Taco

Taco Bell Forbidden Melt Taco

The Taco Bell that’s closest to my house is a very special one: it always has the special test items that only very special people in very special cities get to taste, well before the less-special general public even hears about them. This month’s taste treat is the ultimately forbidding Taco Bell Forbidden Melt Taco.

Taco Bell Forbidden Melt Taco 2

It features an edible taco holder made from the storm clouds of a thousand children’s tears — actually, it’s just a fried blue corn tortilla shell. At first glance, it looks badly burnt and overcooked, but images can be deceiving. This taco shell, while nowhere near the genius of the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa, still makes a delicious enough mark on the ever-changing and always evolving Taco Bell menu.

Taco Bell Forbidden Melt Taco 3

But, to this hungry Chicano, what truly makes the Forbidden Melt even better is the titular “melted” part inside the taco shell. Beyond the zesty meat, cool reduced-fat sour cream, iceberg lettuce, and shards of cheese is what has to be a good ladle’s worth of Taco Bell’s patented nacho cheese, poured along the edible fault-line, definitely making it even more verboten.

The main problem — and this, sadly, is usually an issue with many Taco Bell products — is that while the molten cheese is a bright yellow cream dream come true, after a few minutes of sitting in the bag, the belly of this blue corn beast swells to a mostly soggy mess. The cheese sauce completely seeps through the specially-made taco shell.

The one tip I have to defeat this meat-loosening bulge? Take some time, try to relax, and enjoy the Taco Bell Forbidden Melt Taco fresh out of the fryer, while the outside is still a crispy lark and the inside a gooey mess. Instead of going through the drive-thru, how about setting up in the dining area, quietly learning to love this blue corn-based forbidden fruit Taco Bell menu item.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Sour Strawberry Skittles Freeze

Taco Bell Sour Strawberry Skittles Freeze

What is the Taco Bell Sour Strawberry Skittles Freeze?

If you’re a fan of Taco Bell’s Strawberry Skittles Freeze, you can now get a mouth puckering upgrade with an added pump of sour green syrup.

How is it?

Do you like Sour Skittles, but hate the coarse mouth-ripping sugar they’re coated in?

I mean, even if you love that tart palate-scraping sand, I have no doubt you’ll love the Sour Strawberry Skittles Freeze. This drink is a pretty spot-on representation of its namesake candy.

Taco Bell Sour Strawberry Skittles Freeze Top

Actually, while I was sipping this, I had a revelation – I never eat Skittles individually. I toss at least 4 in my mouth at once, so I’m not sure I’ve ever actually experienced the true standalone flavor of a Skittle. I guess I can officially confirm that Sour Strawberry is an elite Skittles flavor.

The level of sourness is right on par with Sour Skittles, but the fact it’s a frozen drink counteracts the usual feeling of thirst you’d have after polishing off a bag.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Taco Bell Sour Strawberry Skittles Freeze Bottom

As often happens, the advertising photos of this drink looked much better than the finished product. The sour syrup wasn’t striped throughout, but rather pooled at the bottom of the cup.

For some reason that didn’t register with my pre-frozen brain, so only my first few sips tasted like a delicious sour Slush Puppy.

If I wasn’t an aloof dope, I would have mixed it immediately to try and extend the sour sensation. I only ended up getting about five sour sips before it turned back into a normal Strawberry Skittles Freeze.

I’m not mad about it though, the regular is just as delicious and authentic to the candy I love, and it acted as a tasty palate cleanser.

Conclusion:

This refreshing drink was a great counterbalance to Taco Bell’s food, and I now realize I’ve been sleeping on their frozen drink menu for far too long.

Go enjoy one before National Skittles Day*.

*Which I’ve just declared as November 1st aka Half Price Halloween Candy Day!!!

Purchased Price: $2.39
Size: Regular
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 43 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa

Like the bright shimmer of hidden gold from the lost city of El Dorado, Taco Bell’s newest menu item is a shining beacon of simple ingenuity filtered through pure borderland knowhow. The Toasted Cheddar Chalupa is a revelation of fried bread and cheese, combined the way Quetzalcoatl intended.

When unwrapped from its thin paper sheath, the grease stains catching the light allows the chalupa shell to portray a certain kind of inalienable beauty. Taco Bell has turned this thick carb-heavy casing into a surprising work of edible art that feels right at home in my quivering hands.

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa 3

The basis of the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa is the chalupa shell itself: an amazing feat of Tex-Mex handcraftiness. It’s a fried centerpiece that, now with the yellow bits of cheddar cheese clinging for additional flavor, is a treasured piece of corporate frybread that one could eat all day if they ever decided to stop living by the laws of common decency.

Seriously, if Taco Bell were to ever offer these chalupa shells by themselves, I would order a slick dozen fresh from the fryer, no problem. Call it sacrilege if you must, but I actually prefer them to the lauded Doritos Locos taco shells.

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar Chalupa 2

The typical Taco Bell fillings are all present and accounted for — temperate ground beef, cool lettuce, chopped tomatoes, stringy cheese, and reduced fat sour cream. They all seem to be spiritually created simply to mate graphically with this chalupa shell.

It was still crunchy even after an hour or two of sitting by itself on my dining room table. Even the best tacos the Bell has to offer can’t live up to that scrutiny.

More of this please, Taco Bell.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 30 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 550 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Reaper Ranch Tortilla Chips

Taco Bell Reaper Ranch Tortilla Chips

What are Taco Bell Reaper Ranch Tortilla Chips?

Based on the popular (I’m guessing) supreme fries and not-so-supreme burritos that were featured on the Taco Bell menu a short time ago, this is the home-game version of the Reaper Ranch flavor of the famed sauce, now in the form of a heavily-dusted tortilla chip.

How are they?

As I sat there, my mouth burning in a Carolina-based pepper-fueled ecstasy of sorts, I have to admit that I did like these Reaper Ranch spin-offs more than their Taco Bell menu board counterparts. On a tortilla chip, while the Reaper peppers are hotter than ever and the Ranch is also far more prominent, the notable flavoring beautifully covers the light and airy triangles of corn to great effect.

Taco Bell Reaper Ranch Tortilla Chips 2

Munching these considerately and carefully, I realized that years of sampling different Doritos concoctions have trained me to graciously accept the surprisingly different flavors of these Taco Bell tortilla chips. Remember those Wasabi Doritos? I loved those and, if I may, I love these as well.

Is there anything else you need to know?

After handling the Reaper Ranch chips, remember to immediately wash your hands thoroughly before touching or rubbing your eyes. It took me almost twenty minutes to get the mace-like burning to become somewhat manageable.

Conclusion:

The Taco Bell Reaper Ranch Tortilla Chips can really do no wrong, finding the niche that the fries and burrito never could. Too bad, though, that Taco Bell hasn’t made the Reaper Ranch sauce available as a kicky party dip. Imagine the meta-dining dipping these chips into that sauce. The fiery mind reels.

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: 3.5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz.) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 120 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Cherry Sunset Freeze

Taco Bell Cherry Sunset Freeze

What is the Taco Bell Cherry Sunset Freeze?

Taco Bell’s frozen drinks are quite popular, especially in the searing sun of the summertime. This latest flavor, Cherry Sunset Freeze, totally exploits that burning need to cool down with a bit of cherry syrup layered in with the pineapple slush to make a beautifully scenic drink.

How is it?

Taco Bell Cherry Sunset Freeze 2

Like a positively primo Don Henley tune, this smooth elixir is the perfect taste for an evening of, perhaps, eating tacos on the Taco Bell patio, if there is one. Or, most likely, hanging in the backyard with the dog and a couple of bean burritos, which is more my speed in the summertime.

Taco Bell Cherry Sunset Freeze 3

The thirst-quenching cherry syrup hits my first like a wave of dusk washing over the evening sky, with the clever pineapple slush refreshing my insides like the last peeks of sunlight on a sultry day. Both flavors are very present and complement each other graciously, providing cool relief without the horrid cough syrup aftertaste that so many of these novelty freezes seem to have.

Is there anything else you need to know?

If I was a drinking man, which, sadly, I’m not, a couple of jiggers of rum really would have been tropically lovely in this, making for a festive fiesta of one.

Conclusion:

Holding tight to my cup, even as my Cherry Sunset Freeze melted in the 103 degree Oklahoma evening, it maintained a decidedly winterish feel to my summery surroundings. With an absolutely inventive taste that keeps going after the drink has long melted into a cup of syrup, this is the flavor sensation to truly beat the freakish heat.

Purchased Price: $1.00 (Happy Hour)
Size: 16 oz.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 49 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Reaper Ranch Fries Supreme and Reaper Ranch Fries Burrito

Taco Bell Steak Reaper Fries Supreme and Burrito

As the Reaper-fueled fire in my belly from the Sonic Mocktail the other day had finally become little more than smoldering embers along my digestive track, Taco Bell succinctly took over the gastric position of flavor inciter with a heated pair of delicacies that surely stoked those internal flames with its latest addition to the what-seems-to-be nationwide call for a Carolina Reaper-based line of edibles: the new Taco Bell Reaper Ranch duo of supreme fries and a burrito.

And, unlike the Sonic Reaper Margarita, this one actually does make sense, to me, at least.

Taco Bell Steak Reaper Fries Supreme

Combining the calculated burn of the diabolical Reaper pepper with the cooling vibe of ranch dressing, the Reaper Ranch sauce, as it is called here, is a prime testament to how to make this pepper work without scaring and traumatizing those who usually need to be gently coaxed into the hot tub of spicy goodness. The seasoned spice-user, on the other hand, will love the methodical slow burn of the food items, one that allows you to actually enjoy the heat and the eat.

Featuring a pliable handful of chopped tomatoes, nacho cheese and sour cream – as well as plenty of that Reaper Ranch sauce, mama — this most beautiful mixture is dropped on the chain’s specially-seasoned Nacho Fries, with plenty of largish chunks of steak to make for a dream-worthy meal. Of course, the fries give off their own zippy flavor, but partnered up on the dance floor with the specially-made sauce and you’ve got another short-term classic on your hands, Taco Bell.

Taco Bell Steak Reaper Fries Burrito

But it’s still missing something, and it’s brutally found and made mercilessly better in the tempestuously transcendent Reaper Ranch Fries Burrito. Wrapped loosely in a wide flour tortilla, this burrito showcases all the same supreme fries ingredients above but, you know, all in a wholly convenient two-handed carrier. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: nothing can force me to give any foodstuff an extra point like a tortilla, be it corn or, in this case, like I said, flour.

Taco Bell Steak Reaper Fries Burrito Innards

The Reaper Ranch gives the burrito a mature kick I wasn’t expecting, even more adult than the Rattlesnake Fries released a few months ago. Maybe it’s because all the tastes are bunched up together, but when the Reaper hits — and, man alive, does it hit — it makes for even better eating by allowing the meat, cheese, and sour cream — rather than just the potatoes — to never overpower it, instead working with it for a deliciousness that truly represents what the Reaper Ranch should be about.

The prices — $3.09 for the burrito, $3.59 for the fries — may seem a little steep at first glance, but, as these goods are available for the dreaded limited time only, now is the time to dig deep into that piggy bank and, at the very least, give one of them the ol’ college try. Don’t fear the Reaper…Ranch, that is. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $3.59 (Fries) $3.09 (Burrito)
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Fries) 9 out of 10 (Burrito)
Nutrition Facts: Fries – 470 calories, 29 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 950 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 gram of sugar, and 12 grams of protein. Burrito – 490 calories, 24 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1060 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 4 gram of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.

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