After trying the AM Crunchwrap and Waffle Taco, it was time to set my sights on some of the more standard breakfast items, or at least the stuff you'd expect from Taco Bell. On trip 2, I didn't even bother with a more standard sausage or bacon breakfast burrito- I went straight to steak. And it was surprisingly big for the fairly reasonable price tag of $2.89.
Burritos are tough to get great photos of, but I think this shot sums this rito up pretty nicely:
I was surprised it didn't have any potato, but it had a solid amount of egg and cheese, that delicious creamy jalapeno sauce, and a surprising amount of surprisingly decent steak. I clearly assumed this would be "steak," and I'd spend most of this review trying to figure out what meat it actually was. It certainly wasn't a $60 porterhouse, but it was pretty good. Surprisingly.
I have to give this an A. The combo of thick steak, warm eggs, just enough cheese and that awesome sauce... This is what a breakfast burrito should be. Still could have used some potato or maybe a vegetable or 2, but this is simple and awesome.
After I got there at 10:40 on trip #2 and was told they were out of sausage because it was too late (that's funny, I thought breakfast went until 11...), I knew trip 3 would be a real sausage party. I really committed to this review this time and woke up early to get breakfast on my way to work (and take photos of it while driving- shhhhh don't tell Obama). I tried a sausage burrito, and while I was blown away by the amount of cheese and just how hot and gooey this thing was, I was disappointed.
First off, only the steak rito comes with the jalapeno sauce- sausage and bacon are sauceless. Secondly, the sausage. I'm a bit of a sausage stickler. You give me one of those giant hot dog kielbasa things and I'll give it right back to you. Those stupid breakfast sticks? No thanks. I want a flat patty or nothing else. They don't have that gross hot dog snap or that frightening casing, they always end up having a more smokey flavor, they have a much more manageable amount of juice- they're just better. The sausage in this rito was the smaller, raccoon-shit-looking pebble type of sausage, and it honestly tasted kind of weird. I don't know what it was, but it didn't taste quite right. It was kind of like... buttery. The sheer amount of cheese and just how warm and melty this thing was nearly saved it, but the sausage hurt it. Sausage being the star makes this vehicle just not work quite the same as the steak rito. Gotta give you a C-.
Next up was the sausage version of the $1.00 AM Grilled Taco.
First off, this was way heavier and cooked more. And look at the sweet heavenly world inside. So... much.... cheese....
I guess when the Bell cooks things correctly, magical things happen. Unfortunately, the sausage turds made this only worthy of a C+. Everything was perfect about it, but those damn sausages. They just don't taste like sausage is supposed to taste. Give me the patty! I'll pay more!
The last regular food item to get (other than their coffee, which I'm not reviewing because 1. I don't drink coffee, and 2. I've never known of a food item that more people disagree about other than coffee, and this is Taco Bell coffee. I'm not going down that road) was the Sausage Flatbread Melt.
This only cost a buck, and it appeared to be a sausage patty (YES!), wrapped in cheese and a flatbread tortilla. And yup, that's all it is.
completely stuck together
Although I wonder if this could be helped by some jalapeno sauce, or maybe some maple syrup dip action, this was simplicity at its finest. 3 ingredients jammed together, cooked and served for a buck. I was surprised at how awesome the softness of this flatbread was. I've always been a fan but was expecting a tortilla (cuz I apparently don't pay very good attention) or some crappy hard pita-esque flatbread. I was met with a super soft, near gooey, cheesy sausagey concoction.
This is pretty simple and nothing to go crazy for, but for a buck, it's a fantastic addition to your meal. B+.
On my 4th trip, I finished the AM Crunchwrap Trifecta with the steak version. It was ok, but they didn't give me enough cheese or sauce. Or eggs. Oh wait... yea, that's zero eggs.
Man, Taco Bell (or at least the one at Four Corners in Woburn, Massachusetts) is about the most inconsistent fast food place ever. On 4 trips, I didn't get something I ordered, they burned the hell out of my hash brows, and they didn't include one of the ingredients in a menu item for no reason. Food was also either cool and boring or some of the hottest, most perfectly cooked fast food I've ever had. I'm gonna say that this would have been a B+ if they had actually included eggs. This one was more like a C. I think the sausage AM Crunchwrap was the best, while I'll take the steak in a burrito.
Alright, time to finish this review and go back to bed. And just like Vanessa Williams, I saved the best for last: Cinnabon Delights. A partnership between 2 brands that is... well, delightful.
Alright, so we all like Cinnabons. Sure, they're the devil, you should probably have 10 heart attacks after 5 bites, DO YOU KNOW HOW BAD FOR YOU THOSE ARE!??!! Yea yea, we've heard it all. It's also extremely difficult to get a perfect one, and they're hard to find (at least up here in the granite state wilderness). These, to me, don't taste that much like Cinnabons. And that's ok. But they took that kind-of-cream-cheesey-but-mostly-frosting frosting heaven that's all over Cinnabons and hid it inside these doughnut holes.
Didn't hide it too well!
But that's not even the best part. You know when you go to a fair and you get those apple cider doughnuts that you order 6 of and eat in a minute and a half? The ones that they make on the spot, put on a roller thing to dry, then sprinkle heaven all over? Then they shake them in the bag so they're completely covered in cinnamon sugar and serve them to you piping hot? Wow, I wish I was at a fair right now. Seriously, why are they only in fall? Why can't I go to a restaurant and buy fried dough and apple cider doughnuts? It's LUNACY! Ok I'm done. Sorry. So you know why those doughnuts rule? It's not the soft warm dough inside. It's the crunchy exterior- how it's crisp but wet with grease. And the way that grease makes the cinnamon sugar stick to the doughnut and your fingers. You know, this:
So these are balls of that filled with Cinnabon frosting. There's barely any dough, and what there is is either greasy and near the crisp outside, or soft and soaked through with Cinnabon frosting. Look at this one, it's like they accidentally gave me one they were planning on using for menu pictures:
These things are perfect. Goddamn, what a creation. A+++
So to recap, other than the letdown of the Waffle Taco and a lot of inconsistency, Taco Bell's new breakfast menu is pretty awesome. Other than my 3rd visit crew, I certainly wouldn't trust the Taco Bell I went to, but I imagine once this goes worldwide, there are some serious customization possibilities. I know if I go back for a 5th time, I'll see if I can get that awesome jalapeno sauce on more stuff (I asked for extra packets and was told they don't exist, which I absolutely don't believe). I wonder if I could substitute a flatbread for a tortilla somewhere. I'll definitely order more than a 4 pack of Cinnabon Delights.
I imagine Taco Bell will get rid of some of these items, but they better keep the AM Crunchwrap and Delights. Probably burritos too. And that sausage flatbread melt. Ok, keep everything. What they need to do is make this menu last all day. I'd even settle for parts of it. I mean, I could write a 10 page essay on how ridiculous it is that things like doughnuts and cinnamon buns somehow ended up being breakfast items rather than desserts. Why are Cinnabon Delights not served at night!? It rhymes! As much of a slob as I am, this isn't really the way I want to start my day. It's how I want to end it.
And come on Taco Bell- your fanbase is drunk college kids, fat video game kids on hour 10 of COD binges, and stoners who are really hungry for some reason and need to buy 20 dollars worth of Taco Bell at 1 in the morning. 4th Meal! YOU CREATED A MEAL FOR THESE PEOPLE! Time to give us breakfast all day. I don't want to get up early for this stuff anymore. Let's make it happen.
So anyway, good job Taco Bell.
If you don't have Taco Bell Breakfast near you yet, you will soon. I hope this has given you a nice sneak preview and you can now make more informed decisions once you're given the opportunity. Have a great day.
-review by Mike