by Brandon James Anderson
Like any warm blooded American, Taco Bell was a steady part of my diet throughout high school and college. “Crunchy, melty, spicy, and grilled” were once the foundation of my food pyramid long before the fast food giant began actively promoting the concept of “fourth meal.”
And while I’ve tried to eat healthier over the years, Taco Bell’s never-ending campaign to bastardize Mexican cuisine and the modern American diet in general always piques my interest. There’s been countless rumors over the years about Taco Bell getting into the morning fast food game and now those dreams are a reality as last week Taco Bell rolled out its breakfast menu throughout the United States.
Based on the buzz on Twitter and elsewhere, it seems that the Waffle Taco is the the new menu’s flagship item. I’ve been a fan of most odd things Taco Bell has rolled out in the past (anyone else remember their arbitrary Chicken Caesar Grilled Stuft Burrito circa 2003?). However, I decided I’m too much a fan of actual waffles to try this version. Instead, I ordered a number 14 which was a A.M. Crunchwrap, two Cinnabon Delights, and a coffee.
I also ordered the A.M. Grilled Taco simply because the picture reminded me of a Meximelt. When it came time to eat my order, however, I was dismayed (but not shocked) to find the A.M. Taco was nothing more than a folded over, overly done tortilla filled with a minute amount of processed sausage product, processed egg product, and cheese. It only cost $1.49 but tasted much, much less.
The Cinnabon things were delicious, which isn’t much of a surprise given they are essentially cinnamon doughnut balls filled with icing. If the chain isn’t doing so already, Taco Bell would be foolish not to offer these things all day.
I made a point to get a coffee with my order since I’m that delightful kind of person who is simultaneously a coffee addict and a coffee snob. Having spent the better part of five years adjunct teaching my way around the entire state of Michigan, I’ve gotten to try just about every gas station and fast food coffee there is. And while Biggby and Tim Horton’s are my personal favorites, I’ve come to find McDonald’s coffee to be quite good (and cheap).
So how did Taco Bell’s coffee stand up? It wasn’t bad. Not great, but it was drinkable. If I had to rank it, I’d say it’s below that of Speedway but above that of the coffee typically found in an unwashed pot at 7-11.
Last, but not least, is the centerpiece of my meal, the A.M. Crunchwrap. Other Crunchwrap offerings include some type of meat and a collection of sauces and cheeses folded into a pentagon-shaped tortilla. The morning version is much of the same, albeit smaller in size. Sausage and egg product were also components of this item but they tasted better than they did in the worthless A.M. Taco. The hash brown that was also inside tasted good enough, while the inclusion of the same sauce Taco Bell uses inside their quesadillas made this the crème de la crème of the new line-up.
As far as recommendations go, the new menu is worth a try — if for no other reason than to say you’ve tried it. You many not feel good about yourself afterwards, but that’s merely the price of living más.