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Taco Bell's Doritos Loco Taco Can Work if Anyone But Taco Bell Makes It

doritos_loco_taco.jpg
Is the sun setting on Taco Bell?

I've currently been haunting Taco Bells for...something...so of course I had to try the much-heralded Doritos Loco taco that has stoners and regular folks slobbering like the people in that episode of The Boondocks when Grampa opened up The Itis. I was actually looking forward to this taco, not because I'm a fan of Taco Bell (I'm not) but because I'm a huge Doritos fan, especially the nacho cheese-flavored one. No joke: I've been eating those (drowned in Tapatío, por supuesto) since I was a kiddie, and will gorge on them whenever possible.

A Doritos taco shell? AWESOME. But a Doritos taco shell housing a Taco Bell taco? Disappointment.

Main problem? Taco Bell's "beef" gets in the way of the Doritos flavor: salty, with grease in place of actual cow juices. Maybe the Bell's core audience long ago became inured to this reality, but Taco Bell's beef is horrifically salty, the kind of salty that makes you want to drink from a faucet and which the Irvine-based giant devilishly employees to make people buy huge sodas. It's so salty, in fact, that the beef flavor gets in the way of the Doritos shell--I could barely discern the Doritos shell after the salt assault.

Don't believe me? I tried a Doritos Loco taco deluxe or whatever the hell it's called when it costs extra because it comes with sour cream. This one was marginally better: still that saltiness, still that grease juice, but the sour cream mitigated those flavors, meaning the Doritos shell shone a bit more--but not much.

Which leads to the following dilemma: under expert hands, the Doritos Loco taco can work wonderfully. Give a Mexican mom a shell, some freshly chopped picadillo, and crema fresca, and you have a wonderful taco. But in the hands of Taco Bell? FAIL. Problem is, they have the rights to this Doritos shell, so we're stuck with a company that currently seems to have no impetus to improve its beef quality, which makes the Doritos Loco taco the biggest tease since that Jehovah's Witness chick back in high school...

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48 comments
cocktailsfor2
cocktailsfor2

 "So stop complaining like my 7 year old daughter..." Perhaps when you stop spelling like her.

Hiroshi_Mishima
Hiroshi_Mishima

That's only if you actually think Taco Bell's food sucks, which apparently you do. I personally think their regular and soft tacos (and some of their burritos) taste excellent. But then, I also think Jack in the Box tacos and Del Taco tacos taste just fine, and all three have a different flavour so it's all dependent on what I'm in the mood for.

Personally, the way you described your feelings for Nacho-Cheese Doritos is kinda how I feel about their Cool Ranch chips. On the other hand, I'm pretty unimpressed with their Nacho-Cheese ones. I went at the Loco Taco without any real thought, though, and was surprised that it didn't taste BAD.. it just didn't taste great. I thought the shell was too salty and tasted a bit too much like the chip itself.

Hmm.. reading some more of the comments and going back up to your original post.. I'm actually surprised you can stand the NC Doritos if you have salt tolerance issues. I've never found their beef terribly salty though and I sometimes have to say no salt on my popcorn/fries at places. Sounds more like you just don't like Taco Bell, which makes your criticism hard to take seriously.

Dan
Dan

Taco bell is like Mc. Donald's a fast food restaurant. If your trying to be a food critic go to 5 star restaurant and then complain taco bell did much better then I expected because I like diretos but not taco bell so I thought it would not be that good. But it was great. Your right if a Mexican mom makes it or a restruant that is not a fast food restaurant makes it, it would be better. So stop complaining like my 7 year old daughter about everything and look at what is good about it

Stone
Stone

Bit of a biased review. (A lot)It's not all that bad. 100% on that salty part though. I think the shell itself contributes to a good heap of that salt flavor. I never get that same salt cringe on one of their burritos as I did from these tacos. It's just a bit too fake of a Doritos flavor.All my love sits for the Beefy Crunch.

wallbangr
wallbangr

If youreally want to mix the evil goodness of Doritos with legitimate mexican food, whynot just sprinkle some Doritos (Tapatio flavored, even) into a legit burrito ofyour choice? I mean, the Dorito taco shell seems like a good idea, except for the taco shell part. The proliferation of stale yellowEl-Paso-brand-type taco shells should have gone out of vogue about the sametime that "MacGyver" did, if not sooner. The reality is that noself-respecting mexican cook would use those crappy americanized taco shells.The notion that it is a "shell" or a "crunchy" taco aremarketing inventions of american fast food joints (think, crunch-wrap-supreme, Hahaha). I presume tacos durados are the inspiration for the yellow american monstrosity (though I will have to readGus' book to find out) but even those are made with a freshly fried tortilla.  The taco durado would seem tobe the exception to the general rule that tacos from Mexico are ordinarily madewith soft corn tortillas. Obviously there are regional differences and that is an overgeneralization, but I doubt very seriously that you would find a stale yellow "taco shell" sitting around somewhere in some small pueblo in Mexico waiting to be filled with fresh local ingerdients.  So to hell with the "shell" and the crappyTB "meat" inside. Just get your favorite burrito, open it up, emptysome pulverized tapatio flavored chips inside, refold and voila! Or, if you are an oldcodger like me, just stick with the legit burrito and be happy you can stillstomach it without adding an additional 600 calories...

tenjobara
tenjobara

In the 1980s, Taco Bell had decent food, and the beef was definitely better back then. The corn shell tasted like corn, and not genetically engineered corn like today.  It was real food back then, and I ate quite a bit in college because it was affordable.  I tried a couple things a few weeks back and it's definitely changed.  

Herb Toker
Herb Toker

When I was in high school (circa 1993), TB had something good - called Chilitos.  They only cost .79, and a hungry nerd like myself could polish off 3 or 4 at a time.  I wonder if that's in your book (not me eating chilitos, but the chilito in general).  At some point they definitely changed their meat recipe too, becuase it's gross now, like you pointed out.  I think they must have some sort of fillers added to it.  You remember the old TB commercials - some dude playing a piano on the side of the road, with the .59, .79, .99 menus?  Ahh good shit - TB actually used to be good.  Or shit - maybe my taste buds have evolved.  Nonetheless, I see a visit to the TB drive thru on my lunch break tomorrow to try the dorito taco.  Keep up the good posts Gustavo!

Tbplayer
Tbplayer

Hate to nitpick here, but I think "devilishly employees to make..." is supposed to say "devilishly employs to make..."   

You also used the phrase "gets in the way of" twice in the same paragraph.    A little variety in phrasing is usually preferred.  

Just trying to help.

Michael J. Guerro
Michael J. Guerro

Now if we just wait it out, the unsold doritos taco shells will show up in your local Supermarket, just like Taco Bell Taco seasoning (which i have only purchased ONCE - if you're gonna  make crappy tacos stick with Old El Paso)

CHS
CHS

Not impressed but the three I ate were cold leftovers so perhaps my assessment isn't fair.

Nicole Maria Romero
Nicole Maria Romero

ATTENTION!!!! Taco Bell is NOT Mexican food. It's *influenced* by mexican food. Stop comparing it to authentic "Tia Maria" food.Sidennote: They barely even sell burritos in Mexico (I'm talking real Mexico not Tijuana) and when they do they call it "gabacho"-style.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

That you don't consider Tijuana "real" says all we need to know about you.

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

You are annoying, but that you for being the authority on Taco Balls.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

That you don't consider Tijuana "real" Mexico says all we need to know about you.

Indigenous
Indigenous

 Taco Bell isn't real Mexican food, it's 'Taco Bell'. I wholeheartedly agree that in Taco Bells' hands they could could screw up Rice-a-roni, but the crime is muddying the Dorito name. I have loved NC doritos for as long as I can remember and the idea of a Doritos taco shell is a fresh idea. Paired with Taco Bell's beef, which doesn't smell any different going in  than going out (try it sometime!) and you have pure garbage. You may as well dip the chips in dog food pate.

Erika M
Erika M

Dude, seriously?? Why defile the paragon of ersatz Mexican food that is the Taco Bell taco with foul Doritos flavoring!? Doritos are the Devil's snack! I won't even let my child eat them in the car; the smell alone causes car sickness....

Anyways, what would work better would be to dump the filling, and replace it with cocktail shrimp soaked in that liquid that comes in a plastic lime-shaped bottle. Doritos faux-viche taco, uh huh.

JB
JB

"...which makes the Doritos Loco taco the biggest tease since that Jehovah's Witness chick back in high school..."..LMFAO

And so shamefully true

Frankdriven
Frankdriven

The flamas flavored is coming... It will do much better than the cheese flavored.

Jmills714
Jmills714

Perfect description of my doritos locos experience. What a let down!

Cris
Cris

I tried it also even though I don't eat Taco Bell more than once a year. My only complaint was how soggy the shell got in a hurry. I didn't notice anymore saltiness than I would normally from such fare. I've got news for you, Doritos are very salty. You just don't notice with the assault of artificial flavorings you get pummeled with. I'm betting all that on top of the normal salt in fast food like this that it stood out more to you or you merely got an especially salty batch of "beef".

Nicole Maria Romero
Nicole Maria Romero

worked at TB for two years and never had a "Salt" issue...maybe its the store where you live -.-p.s. the shells come with saltp.p.s. doritos come with salt too

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Nah, this was beyond salty. I'm especially sensitive to salt overloads, and the beef was like the friggin' Dead Sea.

gabriel san roman
gabriel san roman

I don't know what they've changed, but Taco Bell ingredients have actually gone down in quality since that 35% beef shit. 

I'm waiting for a burger joint to incorporate Funyuns into their burgers. Carl's Jr.???

Ashley Woody
Ashley Woody

Order an individual shell and take it home to make a better taco for yourself? Would this be possible?

Sue4565
Sue4565

"devilishly employees..."  wow.

Alex
Alex

My standards are low. It still sounds pretty good :-)

Alex
Alex

"which makes the Doritos Loco taco the biggest tease since that Jehovah's Witness chick back in high school..." Hilarious LOL. Best line in the article.

S
S

Stupid review, you go to TB to complain it tastes like Taco Bell with Doritos?.  Not everyone is from SoCal and/or Mexico and gives a crap about picadillo and crema fresca.  Just another internet "writer' aka hater trying to get attention.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Thanks, pendejo!

Bill T.
Bill T.

I think you have more loyal enemy readers than most writers have fans, cracks me up. Not implying you don't have a ton of fans too, that point just occured to me.

Bill T.
Bill T.

How many readers does he have?  How many do you have?

Joe
Joe

 LOL. For sure, Gustavo Arellano is just another internet "writer/hater" who has no credibility when it comes to talking about Mexican Food.

Guest
Guest

I bought 2 loco tacos supremes last week to try. They're 40 cents more than regular tacos supremes. I should have just spent the additional 80 cents on a bag of Doritos. You can't really taste the Doritos taco shell.

Froman
Froman

Dude, it's fast-food. Quit complaining...

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Oh, it's okay for fast food to suck? Fast food should never try to actually taste like it's worth the zillions of empty calories?

Thanks for clearing that up.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

In-N-Out is fast food yet delicious, so spare me your excuses.

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