Review: Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell

Many years ago… I want to say a decade back, a very competitive friend of mine bet me a considerable amount of money that I couldn’t go an entire month without fast food.  I’ll cut to the end of that story and just let you know I actually won the bet.  The most difficult part of this bet was that within the first week of my fast food fasting, Taco Bell was featuring the new Cheesy Gordita Crunch.  I recall driving by my neighborhood Taco Bell every day and seeing the work of art poster in the window.  It wasn’t until its second run that I actually got my hands on this delicious Taco Bell gem.

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is described by Taco Bell like this:

Warm, pillowy flatbread covered in a melted three-cheese blend, wrapped around a crunchy taco and topped with a zesty Pepper Jack sauce.

It has taken me forever to get a review of the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, but now that it’s back for a limited time along with the $5 Buck Box, I had to jump on it.  If you follow GrubGrade, you might know that I reviewed a slightly different version back in 2009 called the Bacon Cheddar Gordita Crunch. Now you won’t find a bigger critic than me when it comes to the “Taco Bell Method” of shuffling around the same familiar ingredients and slapping on a new name and promotional price.  I’ve mentioned that many times before and it’s worth repeating.  That said, you’ve got to give credit to Taco Bell for the genius of wrapping a soft gordita flatbread around a crunchy taco shell with gooey cheese between the two acting as the packaging glue.  I love the crunch of a hard shell taco, but I don’t care much for it when it falls apart in my hands after one bite.  The Cheesy Gordita Crunch remedies the mess with the best of both worlds… you still get a crunch, and you get your crunch contained within the flatbread.

Is the Cheesy Gordita Crunch where the “crunch-chew-eesy” commercials came from some years back?  Slightly annoying, but an accurate way to describe it.  Crunchy, chewy, cheesy. You’ve got the best of all texture worlds with the Cheesy Gordita Crunch.  The Pepper Jack sauce is a decent topper sauce for this item as it isn’t too offputting and would more than likely appease most.  If there’s anything I could really put down about the Cheesy Gordita Crunch as a whole would be subbing out the beef for chicken or steak.  The option is always there at Taco Bell, but this item is meant for beef and beef only.  I’ve tried it with steak and I’ve tried it with chicken, but beef is really the only way to go.  The blends of flavors and textures work with the seasoned ground beef better than the rest.

I don’t see the need for Taco Bell to attempt to try and mimic a fast-casual concept like Chipotle with its Cantina Tacos or the currently testing Cantina Bell Menu.  The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is a good example of everything that Taco Bell should stand for.  Taco Bell’s strength isn’t in authentic Mexican creations, its forte lies within the ability to experiment and make interesting cheap menu items.  Some of these interesting items include the likes of the Crunchwrap Supreme and the Beefy Crunch Burrito with Flamin’ Hot FritosThe Cheesy Gordita Crunch is up there among the best Taco Bell has to offer and a permanent spot on the menu board would be deserved.

Pros: The crunch of the inner taco shell. Cheese glue. A tasty Taco Bell classic.

Cons: Only really works well with beef. Could use some more cheese between the flatbread and the taco shell... or better distribution.

Taste: 9.25/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Price: $2.39

Overall GrubGrade: 9.25/10

More Info: TacoBell.com
Nutrition Facts:
Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Calories - 490
Total Fat - 29 grams
Saturated Fat - 10 grams
Carbs - 39 grams
Cholesterol - 55 milligrams
Sodium - 810 milligrams
Sugars - 6 grams
Dietary Fiber - 5 grams
Protein - 20 grams

21 comments on “Review: Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell

  1. Michael says:

    I couldn’t agree more, the Cheesy Gordita Crunch is one of the best items that Taco Bell offers. Around here they never really went away. Sure, they were off the menu, but if you asked for one I was never refused.

  2. Chris says:

    Yeah, they have these year round at most Taco Bells I go to. It’s one of those not-very-well-kept secrets restaurants tend to have from time to time.

    I like pairing the CGC with a Chicken Burrito and some Baja Blast.

  3. rob says:

    I also think these are the best thing Taco Bell has to offer.

  4. Chefprotoss says:

    Maybe the greatest fast food item ever. The only flaw I see with it is that I hate myself after eating a couple. I can rationalize the lack of nutritional value in most foods, but this was clearly not meant to sustain life. Being drunk curbs this feeling though.

  5. Royal says:

    These just hit year-round on the combo board at my local Taco Bells a couple of months ago as well.

  6. COBRA says:

    I love cgcs. They are one of my all time fast food favorites. I get one with beef and one with beans

  7. jamesela says:

    After reading this review, I immediately went out and picked one up (along with a beef enchirito…a run to the border is not complete without an enchirito). Delicious!!!

  8. Jeff D. says:

    I F*&$%NG LOVE THE CHEESY GORDITA CRUNCH!!!!

    For me the main attraction is the sauce. I love that pepperjack sauce. And like others have said above me, I could always get one whenever I asked even if not on the menu. They do have all the ingedients year round so why not?

    Curious about the new Doritos Loco taco coming soon. Will that taco shell be an option in other items like the CGC or the double-decker taco? Would be interesting!

  9. Raye Peneber says:

    The CGC was pretty dope. 5 dolla box is even better. I was so full and I added one of those flaming hot frito buritos ugggghhh yum.

  10. BlankVerse says:

    > Now you won’t find a bigger critic than me when it comes to the “Taco Bell Method” of shuffling around the same familiar ingredients and slapping on a new name and promotional price.

    You should try playing the fast food new menu item game. The one requirement is you have to use the “Taco Bell Method” and has to be something you’d order if it was on the menu.

    For example, you take the mushrooms from the Carl’s Jr. $6 burger, but put it into a breakfast burrito.

  11. Raiders757 says:

    I’m too cheap of a bastard to order anything over 99 cents on TB’s menu. From the sounds of things, I just might be missing out on something here.

  12. Keith says:

    I also have to proclaim my love for the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, easily my favorite Taco Bell item. Completely agree that this is what TB does best. It’s also a superior alternative to the Double Decker Taco, which is a soft taco shell stuck to a hard taco shell with beans. It’s not a bad idea, but when the beans can’t mingle with the other taco bell ingredients (like a burrito grande) they don’t taste right.

    I’m pretty big on texture when it comes to my food and I love crunch in anything that’s otherwise non-crunchy. This is why I put chips in my sandwiches all the time. This is one item I’d like to see them go all “Taco Bell method” on and offer of some new varieties. Volcano taco shell maybe? A supreme version with sour cream and pico de gallo? Guacamole?

    • Jeff D. says:

      You know the Volcano taco shell is only colored red, and has NO taste difference from the regular taco shell?

  13. Nick says:

    Easily the best thing on Taco Bell’s menu. As mentioned, they have it year round. Of course, I drop the lettuce and baja sauce. Distracts you too much from the cheese.

  14. Lindsay says:

    It looks delicious! I’m a huge fan of wrapping the soft shelled items around a hard shell. Bost of both worlds! Using cheese as a glue? AWESOME.

  15. Mike N says:

    I was going to try this at my local TB this afternoon, but it was $3.19! And this is my go-to Taco Bell that’s usually reasonable. Maybe they’re under new management or something (the value menu has been seriously pared down too.) I opted for a .99 fresco bean burrito with fire sauce.

    • Chefprotoss says:

      Dude, it’s worth the money. =P

    • George says:

      My local Taco Bell used to have Cheesy Gordita Crunches for $1.29 a couple years ago. Rarely eat TB anymore, but get one every time now, and they’re something like $2.29 now. Not a great deal, but I’ll agree with others that it is quite possibly the best fast food item out there.

  16. […] the re-imagining of already existing items is sure to follow.  For a 30-cent upcharge, turn your Cheesy Gordita Crunch into a Doritos Locos Cheesy Gordita Crunch.What other Taco Bell items do you think would benefit […]

  17. joebecca says:

    This is my favorite besides the cheesy beefy melt!!

  18. Jesse says:

    The CGC is a favorite…is it possible to still be a little disappointed each time I get one? The cheese-bonded flatbread-shell combo is outstanding and the southwest sauce is a nice change of pace, but whenever I crack the thing open to throw in a little hot sauce, I am always a little miffed at how little beef, cheese and lettuce is actually contained in this thing.