REVIEW: Taco Bell Rolled Chicken Tacos

Taco Bell Rolled Chicken Tacos

Say what you will about Taco Bell’s recycling of ingredients when introducing new menu items, but I will say this – they do enjoy getting creative with tacos. Whether they’re turning a Dorito into a shell, or wrapping a taco around another taco, playing origami with tortillas is not their weak spot.

And thus, the next iteration of the taco has arrived at Taco Bell: Rolled Chicken Tacos.

“Aren’t rolled tacos called taquitos?” You’re asking yourself right now. Or maybe you’re not, but it was my first thought when I saw them. The short answer is yes. I’m glad we cleared that up.

I associate these two terms with two different things, however. Whenever I visit a taqueria, I see them listed as rolled tacos on the menu. But when I visit the frozen food aisle of the grocery store, I see big boxes of taquitos.

In fact, growing up, my parents’ freezer was not complete without a big box of El Monterey or Delimex beef taquitos. It was my dad’s thing. I think he gave them out at the hospital when I was born in lieu of cigars. They tasted as cheap as they cost, but when you’re a ravenous prepubescent, the perfect food is something you can throw in the microwave, eat with your hands, and dunk into a puddle of Pace Picante.

Strangely, beef isn’t an option when it comes to Taco Bell’s Rolled Tacos. It’s chicken or GTFO. I don’t understand this decision, given that Taco Bell has loads of ground beef hanging around that would fit perfectly into a fried tortilla tube, but here we are. I have no choice but to be poultrified.

While it seems self-explanatory, I should let you know how Taco Bell describes their Rolled Chicken Tacos: “Rolled Chicken Tacos are crispy tacos rolled up with marinated all-white-meat shredded chicken.” Again, so glad we cleared all that up.

The Rolled Tacos also come with your choice of five, that’s right, FIVE different dipping sauces: Nacho Cheese, Premium Guacamole, Salsa, Reduced-Fat Sour Cream or Taco Bell’s new Spicy Ranch.

My mouth wanted to go with guacamole, but knowing that the Spicy Ranch was new, I had to pick that. Spicy Ranch is about as Mexican as dipping your rolled tacos in ketchup, but we are talking about Taco Bell, so hey.

Taco Bell Rolled Chicken Tacos Unwrapped

When Taco Bell says “crispy”, what they really mean is “deep fried”, and boy are these Rolled Chicken Tacos. Upon removal from their sleeve, the delightful scent of fried tortillas wafted into my nostrils. The tacos were dark and glistening with grease. Yesss.

The texture of the tacos was indeed crispy, but not so much that they were mouth-hurty, and there was a nice, greasy give in the middle. The meat-to-tortilla ratio was pretty much spot-on; I expected them to be underfilled, but the chicken wasn’t overwhelmed by the tortilla.

The chicken itself was moist and surprisingly flavorful. When you’ve only got one ingredient going on inside a taco, it’s important to get it right, and Taco Bell did a pretty good job. Whatever marinade they used kept the chicken juicy and added seasoning and a nice little kick to what could easily have been bland, shredded meat. My favorite part were the bits on the end that had turned crunchy from the frying process. I could eat a whole stick of crunchy, deep-fried chicken.

Taco Bell Spicy Ranch

As mentioned before, dip is important when it comes to taquitos. In regards to Taco Bell’s new Spicy Ranch, I found it to be lackluster, and this is coming from a person who will dip pretty much any chicken product into any ranch product. It wasn’t bad, it was just terribly generic.

I don’t know what they used to spice up the ranch, but it had a slightly orange-ish tone with little red and green flecks. It was thick, which was good – nobody wants a runny ranch when they’re dipping – and Taco Bell was generous with their portions, as I got two cups with my four rolled tacos. In the end, though, it was just ranch with a bit of a kick, and nothing more.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Taco Bell’s Rolled Chicken Tacos. The corn tortillas were deep fried to just the right unhealthily greasy and crunchy texture and the chicken was prominent, juicy and well-marinated. While the Spicy Ranch did nothing to wow me, there are four other dip choices for your perusal.

At the price of $1.99 for two tacos and one dip or $3.99 for four and two dips, these make a fine snack or appetizer to your Fourthmeal. There’s also a “duo” (I don’t know what that means) 12-pack.

(Nutrition Facts – 4 rolled tacos – 520 calories, 200 calories from fat, 22 grams of total fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 940 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugars, and 20 grams of protein.)

Item: Taco Bell Rolled Chicken Tacos
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4 tacos and 2 dip cups
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tortillas were just the right amount of crispy. Origami tacos. Chicken filling was juicy and well-marinated. Makes a cheap but satisfying snack. Taquito Cigars.
Cons: Forced poultrification. Spicy Ranch was lackluster. Things that are mouth-hurty. Unhealthy amounts of grease (if you consider that a con).

REVIEW: Taco Bell Fiesta Potatoes Grilled Breakfast Burrito

Taco Bell Fiesta Potatoes Grilled Breakfast Burrito

Taco Bell is a terrifically sad place at 7:30 in the morning. It looks depraved and miserable and…oh no, is that father buying a Taco Bell breakfast for his six-year-old? Dear God.

All around me, every patron sported the same placid expression of someone who was not only giving up on their chance for a nutritious breakfast, but also in some small way on themselves. As I waited in line, now one with the other early-morning crew, I was overcome with the unshakable feeling that this was the start of my very long, slow decline.

“Well”, I said to myself. “Burritos always make me feel better.”

Enter Taco Bell’s Grilled Breakfast Burritos, one of the latest Taco Bell breakfast offerings and the temporary antidote to my morning sadness. Available in three varieties—steak, sausage, and Fiesta Potatoes-I went for the latter. Fiesta Potatoes, for those of you who aren’t as talented with language as I, roughly translates to “party potatoes.” And I like to party, especially when there are potatoes involved.

Taco Bell Fiesta Potatoes Grilled Breakfast Burrito 1

The burrito itself has some pretty simple ingredients: eggs, nacho cheese sauce, and the Fiesta Potatoes all wrapped in a little grilled tortilla sleeping bag. The eggs, which are reheated scrambled eggs, actually have a pretty nice texture that avoids being too squishy. Although, like most hastily prepared eggs, it’s not exactly packed with intense flavor. The nacho cheese sauce, which does a great job of keeping everything from being too dry, also suffered from being pretty bland.

Taco Bell Fiesta Potatoes Grilled Breakfast Burrito 2

The real flavor in this burrito lies in the Fiesta Potatoes. A spiced out version of traditional diner home-fries, these crispy potatoes gave the burrito a little crunch, and a mild, but tasty, peppery kick.

However, because I am pretty sure I am the first person in Rhode Island to ever order the Fiesta Potatoes Grilled Breakfast Burrito, mine also included pico de gallo. Seriously, I could hear a cook in the back uneasily asking his equally uninformed manager about the ingredients, unsure of whether or not to include the condiment. It was decided to go for the middle ground, and scoop out a smidge. But I may have just gotten lucky.

Though I did really enjoy this burrito (despite how miserable it is to frequent a Taco Bell before noon), I have to say that the Grilled Breakfast Burrito may just be the least “Taco Bell” item on the Taco Bell menu. In fact, if you changed the word “burrito” to “breakfast wrap” I could easily see this being on the breakfast menu at McDonalds or Burger King-even without showcasing any southwestern flare. Either way, while it certainly isn’t the start of a Special K day, it’s a filthy cheap, quick, and damn good burrito. It’s also a great pick-me-up from the early morning Taco Bell blues.

(Nutrition Facts – 340 calories, 130 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 790 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars, and 10 grams of protein.)

Item: Taco Bell Fiesta Potatoes Grilled Breakfast Burrito
Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Pretty large and filling considering the price. Fiesta Potatoes have enough spice to give the burrito sizeable flavor. The eggs have a good scrambled consistency.
Cons: Holy hell! I do not like being in Taco Bell in the morning. Seriously, it is one of the most depressing places I have ever been. The burrito is also a little bland.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme

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
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.