Fast Food Review: Pacific Shrimp Taco from Taco Bell

Yeah I know I’m late on this one, but better late than never.  I’ll be honest, I guess it’s obvious that I wasn’t really looking forward to trying Taco Bell’s latest creation.  Taco Bell has something new on the menu every month it seems and it’s usually just a new combination of the same ingredients.  I’m not complaining about that, but now comes along a creation with shrimp and I shy away from it.  Keith made me do it! Well, I do like shrimp and I do like tacos so I decided to just go for it.  Here’s my review of Taco Bell’s latest, the Pacific Shrimp Taco.

The Pacific Shrimp Taco is described like this:

A warm, soft flour tortilla filled with six succulent shrimp marinated in a mix of spices, then topped with crisp shredded lettuce, Fiesta Salsa, and Avocado Ranch Sauce.

Right off the bat, I’m already a little wary about a mixture of shrimp and  Avocado Ranch Sauce from the description alone.  I go ahead and “opt for the ocean” as Taco Bell tells me to and I really should’ve trusted my gut on this taco.  First of all, the price isn’t the greatest.  These 6 Pacific shrimp raise the price on this item and that’s not what I’m used to at Taco Bell.  When I think of a new Taco Bell item, I think of something priced at $1.49 or less for the promo.  I’m sorry but $3.29 wasn’t filling and the Taco Bell “Why Pay More?” menu makes most everything look pricey.  I’m not a penny pincher at all really, but I’m just thinking with the entire Taco Bell line-up in mind.  The 6 “succulent” shrimp were pretty average…oh and they were pretty small too.  Nothing really stood out to me taste-wise.  They claim to be “marinated in a mix of spices” but I was hoping for a little more kick. The shredded lettuce was very forgettable, (but of course it was, it’s shredded lettuce).  The fiesta salsa was decent as always but I’d much rather have a soft taco filled with fiesta salsa over one with shrimp.  As I mentioned before, I’m not a shrimp hater.  I think Taco Bell would’ve been better off using breaded shrimp in this taco.  The marinated variety was just off-putting to me.  I guess if you pile on enough breading, you’ll succeed in masking what you’re actually eating.  Now to the Avocado Ranch Sauce.  I love avocados and I like ranch dressing but the combo of the two only helped in taking my thoughts away from the shrimp.  The Avocado Ranch Dressing was more of a very mild ranch and had nothing reminiscent of avocado.  The sauce and shrimp together made for a less than harmonious union. I think I would’ve been on board with a breaded popcorn shrimp with some sort of spicy cream sauce and sure some shredded lettuce in the mix.  What I’m reviewing is what I got and as you can tell, I wasn’t impressed.

So in closing, I’ll be waving goodbye from the shore to the Taco Bell Pacific Shrimp Taco in the coming weeks. It won’t be a sad goodbye.  Any tears will be from the joy of testing out a new offering that is sure to blow this shrimp mess out of the water.  This was a miss from my favorite late night fast food spot, but maybe I’ll only be seeing it for about 6 weeks out of the year.  If you have Lent on your mind, give it a shot and I’m hoping you like it more than I did.

What I recommend? Well if you’re in the SoCal area, check out South Beach Bar & Grille.  Great shrimp tacos and only about 65 cents more than Taco Bell.

Pros: Only 180 calories and 7 grams of fat. Another Lenten option.

Cons: Strange combo of ingredients. Not really worth the price ($3.29). Wish they used fried shrimp.

Taste: 5.25/10
Value: 4.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $3.29

Overall GrubGrade: 5.25 (Mediocre)

More Info: TacoBell.com
Nutrition Facts:
Pacific Shrimp Taco
Calories - 180
Total Fat - 7 grams
Saturated Fat - 1.5 grams
Cholesterol - 50 milligrams
Sodium - 660 milligrams
Carbs - 21 grams
Dietary Fiber - 2 grams
Sugars - 2 grams
Protein - 8 grams

38 comments on “Fast Food Review: Pacific Shrimp Taco from Taco Bell

  1. Mark S says:

    I like the shrimp vs quarter pic. I might still try this thing before it’s gone. Still curious.

  2. Jenny says:

    Tiny shrimp!!! Yeah I agree this didn’t look too appetizing to me. Thanks for getting around to a review on it.

  3. Jillian says:

    I had my doubts about you not wanting to try it, but I guess you were right all along. Doesn’t happen often. :)

  4. Stef says:

    Gross!!! Thanks for taking one for the team. I know you were hesitant. Good job soldier!

  5. Scott E says:

    I just can’t do shrimp tacos.

  6. Marco says:

    I’ve been waiting for weeks GrubGrade! I know I haven’t really wanted to try it either…and that’s why I love you folks! I like to read all about it.

  7. Katie Ann says:

    Yikes, $3.29! They’re $2.79 here in Texas and I was still appalled at the price. I can go to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and get a truly amazing grilled shrimp taco for $1.99, definitely not worth it at TB.

    • Ryan says:

      Yeah seriously, even at $2.79 they aren’t worth it. I had heard they would be in the $2.50-$3.00 range…but $3.29 was nuts. I could get 3 Why Pay More value menu items for less than that.

      • skippymom says:

        I have to agree Ryan. I can think of three things that would [over] fill me for the same price.

        Shrimp are small and avocado & ranch. Just.no.

        I do have to say, tho’ there are some serious tomatoes on that thing and it might be part of the cost – tomatoes are scarce and expensive these days due to the frost/freeze this winter.

  8. They are on the cheap end here, but they are pretty bad. Prob TB’s worst launch in a long time.

  9. Shana says:

    I liked it alot the first time I ate it second time not so good. I really felt like the avocado ranch was the taco’s only saving grace

  10. Keith says:

    Pretty much what I was expecting – I think maybe it’s the price more than anything that’s putting me off. I can have a whole meal at TB for the price of just this one taco. The bell’s lamest item since fruitista freezes. Hopefully we’ll see a new item for April…

    Dude, way to buck up and grub on for the greater good – you’ve done us all proud.

  11. johnryandunn says:

    WHHHATTTT I CAN GET 4 WPM MENU ITEMS FOR THAT…REDICULOUS!

  12. Francois says:

    I refused to try these, but when I got home earlier today from Taco Bell, there was a shrimp taco just thrown into my bag, along with my actual order.. for free.

    I almost ate half of it and couldn’t go on. The sauce, I think, is what ruined it for me, as well as the chewy shrimps I got. A good fried shrimp taco with some lettuce and a few splashes of hot sauce would have been great. Simplicity.

  13. Justin says:

    Complete fail…hope this item disappears FAST.

  14. maxchain says:

    I’m getting nauseous just looking at the thing! Props to you for biting the bullet on this one.

  15. The avacado ranch is also on the $.99 chicken burrito and I love it! Bigger than the shrimp taco, tastier than the shrimp taco and you can get 3 of them for the price of 1 shrimp taco ($2.99 in Madison, WI.) 2 of these and 1 cheesy gordita crunch and I pay less than $4. That’s my usual order.

    • Ivane says:

      Hey, I live near Milwaukee! (West Bend) They don’t have the Cheesy Gordita Crunch on the menu but if you ask for it, they’ll make it for you.

  16. edjunkie says:

    I think they are following the lead of Taco Cabanna who offer a shrimp tampico quesadilla. I always avoid shrimp at any fast food place unless it is fried.

  17. rightclue says:

    It’s actually quite tasty. I tried it and I like the medley of tastes. Can’t expect anything “new” from Taco Bell, just new combinations.

    But the price point really breaks the deal for me.

    Oh well, they had such promise too. Guess this will go the way of the Black Jack Taco as well

  18. alex says:

    can you do a review of Del Taco’s crispy shrimp taco?
    and then we can compare the two.
    their shrimp taco looks better than the Taco bell one.

    • Ryan says:

      I definitely would but the closest Del Taco is a 7-hr drive for me. If I’m ever out and near one, I’ll stop at DT.

      We need some west coast representation on GG.

  19. Shrimp Boat Captain says:

    Gotta say, I really like it, and I’m glad they didn’t fry the shrimp in heavy batter and force 20g of fat on us. The sauce works well with the fiesta salsa, creating a zesty blend, and the shrimp I’ve had–while not jumbo shrimp–were as big as the ones you get at any taco place, except they aren’t covered in batter, which makes those seem deceptively large. And they had a fresh snap to them–which is pretty amazing considering I’m in suburban Detroit, thousands of miles from the ocean. As for the goobers who keep noting that you can get considerably more from the Why Pay More menu, i can only say: “Duh!” You could also take the dollar you found while out begging for change and buy 5 packages of Beef Ramen Noodles. That doesn’t make it steak. And if you order the combo, which features 2 pacific tacos and a large drink, it’s $5.99. Filled up less than the cost of a mystery meat-filled $5 footlong and a Coke. Yo quiero Pacific Tacos!

    • Lloyd says:

      Agree with you Shrimp Captain. I think most of the people who commented are just so used to paying $1 for some almost-meat tasteless garbage, they can’t appreciate the actual TASTE of something fresh and unique (especially for TB). Every year during Lent I go to TB many times…and then stay away the rest of the year.

  20. Keith says:

    Question – the Cheesy Gordita Crunch is my favorite Taco Bell item, but it only comes and goes. Will they make it for me if I ask? I need confirmation, the people who work at my local TB are likely on drugs…

    • Ryan says:

      Yeah man they should. If they have the ingredients, they will make pretty much anything for you. I guess it depends also on the people working. When I went to the Taco Bell HQ and test kitchen, one of the main points that the food creators stressed was that you can order whatever you want whether or not it’s on the menu. It’s a pretty simple creation and the only issue would be probably figuring out how to price it. I’m sure whatever TB manager they have on duty would know how to handle it. By the way, the Cheesy Gordita Crunch is a favorite of mine as well.

      http://www.grubgrade.com/2009/06/01/taco-bell-headquarters-and-test-kitchen-irvine-california/

    • Mikey F Baby says:

      Despite the ads saying it’s only back for a limited time, I’ve been ordering the Cheesy Gordita Crunch on a consistent basis for 5 years. It’ s ALWAYS available, so it bugs the hell out of me that they act like it’s some special promotion.

    • Bunny says:

      I asked for one the other day. It wasn’t on the menu and was $2.79.

  21. Aimee says:

    Thanks for this, there is no way I would pay that much for this seeing these pics.

    Shrimp & avocado can work. You can do appetizers w/guacamole, a thawed shrimp cocktail ring & tortilla chips. You put some guac on a chip, and a piece of shrimp on top of that. Mmmmmmm.

  22. Shan says:

    I liked it. the shrimp was not fishy-smelling or tough in texture. The only thing I didn’t care for was the price (for Taco Bell) and the mess – they put too much sauce on and it kind of made it messy.

  23. Optimizer says:

    Dang, I was interested in trying this out, but for that price? Forget it.

  24. Matt P says:

    i love their avocado ranch sauce on the chicken soft taco’s, not a fan of the shrimp taco tho. and i agree with other posters about the cheesy gordita crunch, i have been ordering it every single time i go since they introduced it years ago and am always confused why they need to promote it every so often as a new limited time offer. they will always make cheesy gordita crunches and that is a good thing.

    ive seen a few others on this forum and across the net bring up the chicken fiesta melt and man what a blast from the past. why dont they bring something like that back. chicken fiesta melt was unbelievably good, if taco bell brought that back as the new special id buy stock in YUM brands, its that good.

  25. Matt P says:

    rather…it WAS that good. need to bring the chicken fiesta melt back. i should start a petition

  26. tom says:

    I like taco bell. they do many things well .but the shrimp tacos are not one, especcially at the price point they have set. six tiny, and i mean tiny, rubbery parboiled shrimp. or five. two tacos, with water, will set you back almost 6 bucks. no thanks. If you want procecessed seafood, go to ljs or miky d’s. and get a fish sandwich. on the up side. at least they are not deep fried little bread balls. but there are way better things to eat at tacco bell. and I like their mild or medfium sauce.

  27. Hunter says:

    I cant belive this got such a bad review. I love this taco. Its by far the best creation Taco Bell has made. It tastes great and is well worth the price. It is also good because it is much healthier then most options and I’m glade they don’t fry them because that would ruin the flavor of the shrimp and just give it that bland deep fried generic taste the anything that has been deep fried has.

  28. vibha says:

    i love shrimp taco from taco bell, only i think prize is too high. i can not wait tonight go home and get it, craving for very much.

  29. [...] been harsh on some uninspired or just not that good Taco Bell menu items in the past (see here, here and here to name a few), but when you reinvent the taco after over 50 years, you’ve done [...]

  30. MP says:

    Oh my god, shrimp at Taco Bell. You couldn’t pay me to eat that.