Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TBG Eats: Taco Bell's NEW Bacon Cheesy Potato Burrito

Current Weight: 169.8 lbs.

Hard to believe it's been five years since Taco Bell introduced their "Big Bell Value Menu" to the masses. In a brilliant bit of "marketing that now seems obvious", TB chose to put the promotional focus on the portion sizes ("I'm full!") instead of the prices. These menu items were not to be confused with McDonald's one dollar teeny double cheeseburgers.

The 2004 fast food rookie-of-the-year came from TB's new value menu, as their take on the Beef n' Potato Burrito was born. Potatoes in a burrito aren't uncommon, but for Taco Bell this was quite the break from their familiar food offerings. Ground beef, seasoned chunks of fried potatoes, red sauce and sour cream? If I'd had this lightly-read blog back in '04, the Beef n' Potato Burrito would've earned a perfect score. (Ditto for the now-discontinued Grande Soft Taco – two flour tortillas with nacho cheese sauce spread between them, then folded and stuffed with twice the meat along with lettuce and cheddar cheese. Glorious.)

So, can Taco Bell improve upon perfection by adding bacon and nacho cheese sauce to the already-awesome power of the Beef n' Potato Burrito?

Well, they come pretty damn close.

The bacon's saltiness blends well with mild seasoning of the potatoes. The sour cream – for once, not scooped on with a shovel – is a nice mix with the nacho cheese and ground beef. And, we've already established the beautiful union of ground beef and potatoes in a Taco Bell tortilla.

This is a very good burrito, but the entireties of the components don't quite connect.

I hate to be the one to blaspheme at the altar of fast food, but the close proximity of ground beef and bacon just might be meat overkill. Meanwhile, the mix of bacon with nacho cheese is tasty enough, but not to the degree it should've been.

The above critiques are explicitly nitpicks, but the original Beef n' Potato Burrito raised the bar for all other Taco Bell beef and potato-based burritos. I think it's high time we accept that there'll never be another Michael Jordan.

That doesn't mean we can't appreciate Kobe or LeBron.

Grade: 4.5 (out of 5) Calories: 680, Fat: 36g

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