REVIEW: Taco Bell Shredded Beef Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco

Have you heard about this new lawsuit against Taco Bell?

Some dude is suing the company because he says it deceives customers, stating the product is nothing like the advertising. I just wanna go on record right now that I am NOT the dude suing Taco Bell… despite the photos that will follow.

Look, I adore Taco Bell. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is, “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell,” so I was obviously gonna try its new birria-inspired Shredded Beef Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco no matter what.

On the surface, the SBGCDT sounds great – a hard-shelled taco with a three-cheese blend of cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack baked on the outside. Inside you get braised shredded beef, a creamy jalapeño sauce, and more cheese for good measure. And if that’s not enough, it comes with two dipping sauces — nacho cheese and “red sauce.” How could you go wrong?

Well, I won’t mince words; my taco was an absolute crime scene. It was the messiest thing I’ve ever had at Taco Bell, and I’ve eaten the horrendously overrated Mexican Pizza.

There was only cheese on one side of the shell, and about five tacos worth of sauce blasted inside, which completely ruined the integrity of the entire thing. For something called a “dipping taco,” I had a really hard time picking it up, let alone dipping it.

I’m not one to complain (lol), and the (very nice) employees had a lunch rush to deal with, so I just soldiered on. I figured it looks bad, but I bet it still tastes good… and ya know what? It did, for the most part. You can literally see the lowlights, so I’ll focus on the highlights.

The birria-style shredded beef was excellent. It was seasoned well, super tender, and not even a little bit stringy. If it becomes a menu staple, I’m customizing all my meals going forward with shredded beef. The half-cheesed shell was limp, but I dig the general idea. It’s like a Cheesy Gordita Crunch without the outer soft tortilla.

There’s an epidemic in our society with over-saucing everything, and this jalapeño cream sauce went way beyond that. While it has a nice, slightly spicy kick, it needed to just be a dollop. Better yet, it should have been the dipper in place of nacho cheese, which is completely redundant.

The red sauce is really just a vague taco sauce, but I liked the consistency, which was similar to a thin spiced-up tomato bisque. It was actually a good “dip.”

I’m a little baffled by the concept in the sense that even if mine was clean and compact, it’s just a taco. That doesn’t seem like the right delivery system for a “dipper.” I get dipping taquitos, but an entire taco?

Assuming I got a properly constructed taco, I’d still toss this overall concept in the upper “mid” category. The grilled cheese taco shell and the pulled beef were both winning ideas. This isn’t the first time Taco Bell has done either of those things, but it should become a standard… just take it easy with the sauce.

I decided to rate this on taste and ignore the presentation. It was an absolute disaster to look at and a huge pain to eat, but I’d still rank it a “Hot” on the Taco Bell sauce chart. Sue me.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

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REVIEW: Taco Bell Steak Chile Verde Fries

Taco Bell’s new Steak Chile Verde Fries has dumped on it many of the toppings we’ve seen on ALMOST EVERY SINGLE LOADED FRIES the chain has dumped onto the world — nacho cheese sauce, reduced fat sour cream, and three cheese blend. But what’s new, along with the Chile Verde Sauce, is something else I don’t recall ever being on one of Taco Bell’s loaded fries — Fiesta Strips.

(Waiting for the internet to correct me.)

I’m going to bring up the crunchy red chip strips before I even discuss the headlining sauce because I believe it’s a simple ingredient that should join the nacho cheese sauce, reduced fat sour cream, and three cheese blend on ALMOST EVERY SINGLE LOADED FRIES from now on. They provide little flavor but add a crunchy texture that no Seasoned Fries could ever achieve. Plus, they would make any loaded fries kind of feel like nachos at the same time.

Although, I’m less excited for them in the burrito version of this product because, as we’ve learned with other burritos that have had them, the chip strips are less fiesta and more feeble when encased in a flour tortilla with gloopy sauces and hot ingredients.

As for the new Chile Verde Sauce, it’s definitely verde and, without question, has chiles. Taco Bell says the sauce incorporates jalapeño, lime, and zesty herbs. The person who made my order didn’t incorporate much of the sauce onto it, so I didn’t get to enjoy it with most bites. When I could taste it, I noticed a pleasant peppery and slightly citrusy flavor, and it had a mild kick that didn’t take away from the condiment’s flavor. But beyond the sauce, it has the same flavors as previous menu items featuring Seasoned Fries and steak, which is still quite good without the green topping.

Overall, Taco Bell’s Steak Chile Verde Fries are another good limited time offryring from the chain. Its sauce is tasty enough that I’d like to experience it with other menu items in the future. Also, I’d like Fiesta Strips for all future loaded fries.

Purchased Price: $6.29*
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 550 calories, 34 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1220 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar (including less than 1 gram of added sugar), and 15 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Yellowbird Nacho Fries

We are living in a golden age of artisanal hot sauces. Thanks to YouTube shows like Hot Ones, these lesser known regional brands are seeing their products gain popularity on a national stage. Taco Bell is doing its part to help bring these sauces into the spotlight by working with brands to create unique condiments for its menu items. It did it before when it offered the Loaded Truff Nacho Fries featuring TRUFF Hot Sauce and are doing it again, but this time with Yellowbird Sauce.

Yellowbird was started in Austin, Texas in 2013 by a couple with a backyard garden and a dream. Today they have a thriving online commerce, and their partnership with Taco Bell stands to put them into the national spotlight. Yellowbird Nacho Fries use the fan favorite Nacho Fries as a base for the toppings that include steak, tomatoes, sour cream, nacho cheese, cheese, and the Yellowbird sauce. Described as a “spicy habanero ranch,” it takes Yellowbird’s Classic Habanero Hot Sauce and blends it with ranch to give it a sweeter, more creamy taste.

Habanero-based hot sauces are always a bit hit or miss for me. They either use too many other flavors to mute the spice or not enough that it’s just a tongue-burning experience. The Yellowbird sauce strikes a wonderful balance that gives you that heat from the peppers, but it never burns in an uncomfortable way. The taste upon the first bite was slightly sweet with a hint of the pepper and a slight heat kick came at the end.

I was able to isolate the sauce enough to get a good taste of it on its own, but overall it got lost by the overwhelming amount of sour cream on the fries. Nacho Fries are in their best form when used as a base for a cheese fry dish. They are hardy and hold up well to the onslaught of ingredients while still bringing their own cumin-forward flavor.

To me, the steak added more of a textural difference to the item than a flavor, but Taco Bell steak has never been amazing. The two cheeses (nacho and shredded cheddar) worked well with the headlining sauce by adding a salty element. Taco Bell tomatoes are essentially decoration by offering no real taste to the dish.

When the titular sauce wasn’t overshadowed, the Yellowbird Nacho Fries were great. I was disappointed to see that the version of the sauce being used in Taco Bell isn’t currently for sale as a standalone item, but I hope that will change. It offers a good habanero flavor without worrying about the overwhelming spice that can come with it. This item is a super limited time (April 27th being the reported last day), so get it while you can. I recommend asking them to go easy on the sour cream when ordering.

Purchased Price: $6.49
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 order) 490 calories, 30 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1240 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Salsa Verde Grilled Chicken Burrito

Spicy food is pretty new to me. I’ve been too afraid to order fiery food for most of my life, and only recently realized that I actually like the burn of mild-to-moderately spiced food. I’m still never going to order a Super Triple Spicy Ghost Pepper Burger or whatever, but I like me some Wendy’s Spicy Nuggets.

What makes this item interesting — yet another burrito from Taco Bell, oh joy — is that it seems like the spiciness has been calibrated for people like me. You’ve got the salsa verde, which Taco Bell calls “green sauce,” which is spicy, but the presence of rice, grilled chicken, reduced fat sour cream, and a three-cheese blend are all fighting valiantly to cancel out that spice. What I ended up with was a burrito that created a pleasant, light-burning sensation on the tip of my tongue and the roof of my mouth, but did not spread that heat to the back of my mouth.

Other than the perfect spice level (for me, anyway), there isn’t that much to talk about. The other foods that complement the green sauce, save the cheese blend, are all relatively bland, which leads to a bland dining experience. The chicken tastes fine, but lightly marinated chicken is never going to rock your socks off with flavor. The cheese blend could add some flavor contrast, but I tasted very little cheese in my burrito. I’m assuming that means there wasn’t much in my burrito to begin with because cheese has a flavor that would have stood out if it was there in any reasonable quantity. More green sauce would have dialed up the flavor, but then the burrito would lose its “perfect for spice-wimps” level of heat.

Since I have so little to say about the flavor, I spent a little time online seeing what other reactions this burrito has been inspiring. Surprisingly, some eaters noted that it had too much cheese and not nearly enough salsa verde, which does not match my experience at all. Apparently, there may be some quality control issues going on here, which will not shock anybody.

The last thing I want to mention is the fact that this burrito is only two dollars on Taco Bell’s “Cravings” menu. Criticisms aside, this is a pretty hefty burrito for only two dollars; if you’re a somewhat light eater, this could serve as a really cheap lunch. Taco Bell is known for providing cheap eats, and while this burrito is far from perfect, it’s a pretty good deal for what it is.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 390 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 1110 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar, and 18 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell 7-Layer Nacho Fries

I’ve never thought about finding out if there are actually seven layers with every 7-layer dip that comes my way. I just blindly shovel tortilla chips with a Tex-Mex rainbow of ingredients on them.

My mind is on this stupid tangent because Taco Bell’s new 7-Layer Nacho Fries technically has eight ingredients smothering a bed of the chain’s Nacho Fries — seasoned beef, black beans, guacamole, nacho cheese sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, creamy chipotle sauce, tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese.

I understand that combining the two cheese products will make seven. But, if we’re using Taco Bell math, shouldn’t the Beefy 5-Layer Burrito be the Beefy 4-Layer Burrito since it comes with seasoned beef, beans, sour cream, nacho cheese sauce, and cheese? Yeah, I’ve spent too much time thinking about this.

Also, because I’ve been thinking way too much about 7-layer dip purity, what we have with this Taco Bell menu item aren’t layers like with a dip at a party. It’s more like various colored bloops, gloops, glops, and blops on the fries.

But enough with my seven layers of insanity. How does this new menu item taste? As expected, it tastes great. It also tastes familiar since there’s no new sauce, and it has ingredients that have seen each other so many times in other products.

Since the toppings weren’t in layers, I dipped fries in various ingredients, but that was inefficient. So I thought it was best to mix everything. That resulted in consecutive forkfuls not tasting the same and the least appetizing photo in this review. The somewhat spicy creamy chipotle sauce, nacho cheese sauce, and tomatoes stand out the most. But everything else blends to create a pot of flavor that you’d taste at the end of a Tex-Mex rainbow.

If you’ve been enjoying all of these loaded Nacho Fries varieties, I’m sure you’ll also enjoy all the bloops, gloops, glops, and blops the Taco Bell 7-Layer Nacho Fries have to offer.

Purchased Price: $5.99*
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 610 calories, 39 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1420 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.