Drive-thru review: Taco Bell's Grilled Stuft Nacho -- a hot mess

By: Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate
January 6, 2014 Updated: January 6, 2014 at 10:05 am
photo - Ken Hoffman - Drive Thru
Ken Hoffman - Drive Thru 

Taco Bell is up to its old tricks with the Grilled Stuft Nacho: Putting its core ingredients in a Yahtzee cup, shaking gently and rolling out a new product. That's why Taco Bell suffers from Olive Garden Syndrome - everything tastes the same. Can a Mexican Burger be far off?

Here's the Grilled Stuft Nacho blueprint: seasoned beef, warm nacho cheese sauce, zesty nacho sauce, crunchy red strips and reduced-fat sour cream, tucked snug as a bug in a warm flour tortilla.

There's a lot wrong with the Grilled Stuft Nacho ... and spelling does count. The word "grilled" has come to mean "lower fat" or "not deep-fried" in fast-food lingo. Here, the folded nacho is merely warmed on a flat grill. The insides are basic Taco Bell this 'n' that.

The Grilled Stuft Nacho is a hot mess. The tortilla is folded like a triangle that slightly resembles a nacho chip and is stuffed with Taco Bell's greatest hits. There you go, a Grilled ... Stuft (hilarious misspelling) ... Nacho. Whatever time it spends on the grill is not enough to support the mess within. The tri-tips are crispy, sure, but most of the tortilla stays soft and vulnerable. The nacho cheese sauce, zesty nacho sauce and warm ground beef seep through the tortilla. The product yields to floppage, and once that starts, the end is not pretty.

That zesty nacho sauce tastes like Taco Bell's superior lava sauce. It's like the Bell took its best and boldest hot sauce and kicked it down a notch. The new nacho sauce has its own flavor, but it will leave spice fans longing.

All the Taco Bell flavors are there, twisted into a new format. The nacho-chip triangle is like the magician's shapely assistant: there to divert the audience's attention from this bland repackaging of Taco Bell's same old, same old.

The main selling point of the Grilled Stuft Taco is the price point - $1.29. You do get a fair amount of Taco Bell fare for your money - and that's always the bottom line in the drive-thru.

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