Drive-thru review: Get a dropcloth for Taco Bell's smothered burrito

By: Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate
August 12, 2013

Get a drop cloth, this is going to be messy.

Taco Bell is the master of taking the same five or six ingredients, shaking them up in a Yahtzee cup and spilling out a "new" product, available for the dreaded "limited time only."

Here's the Smothered Burrito blueprint: a warm flour tortilla stuffed with shredded chicken, Latin rice, hearty beans and creamy chipotle sauce. The "smothered" part is compliments of red sauce, melted cheese sauce and reduced-fat sour cream.

You can get a Smothered Burrito with sliced marinated steak for $3.99, or a cheaper version with seasoned ground beef (and yes, it's beef ... stop that) for $2.99.

The Smothered Burrito is something risky for the Bell: It doesn't have anything to do with Doritos. Instead, Taco Bell is going old school with a flour tortilla crammed with the usual run of chicken or some other meat, rice, beans and cheese.

The Smothered Burrito isn't just smothered, it's absolutely doused with three gooey, sticky toppings: red sauce (mysterious name - it's a mild tomato-based concoction), cheese glop and sour cream.

The finished product looks more like a dessert at the state fair, with the sour cream squiggled on top like icing on a cinnamon bun.

The Smothered Burrito is not a typical hand-held, grab 'n' go Taco Bell burrito - it's a sloppy heap. Do not even think about eating this while driving. If you do, you'll have some explaining to do to your dry cleaner. Or your GEICO agent.

Taste-wise, the Smothered Burrito delivers the picture on the menu. It's typical Taco Bell fare, a good amount of food for a fair amount of money.

One caution: There's a lot of sodium in the Smothered Burrito, so if salt is a problem, now you know.

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