Review: Chipotle Steak Big Fat Taco from Del Taco
Growing up, options for Mexican food in my suburban town were so lacking that after the one chain restaurant (Chi Chi’s) closed, my family routinely made the trek to the nearest Taco Bell, which was a full 45 minutes away. Years later, as a teenager visiting Los Angeles, I discovered another Mexican chain — Del Taco. It became the defacto place for a quick, cheap meal that we (probably wisely) ate in a dark car, so as to conceal the ingredients. It wasn’t life-changing, but it served a purpose.
It had been a solid decade since my last trip to Del Taco, but the promise of chipotle sauce on grilled steak (mixed with an ample touch of nostalgia) was enough to pique my interest.
The Chipotle Steak Big Fat Taco is described as having “tender, juicy steak, creamy chipotle sauce, freshly grated cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and warm flat bread.” Based on the taco I received, I have to take issue with most of the chosen adjectives.The “steak” tasted like chewy, flavorless, browned protein product, the chipotle sauce was overwhelmingly salty and tasted like liquefied Doritos, there’s no way that cheese was grated recently, let alone “freshly”. On my taco, there were exactly four segments of diced tomato on the entire thing. It’s true, the lettuce was crisp and the flat bread was warm, but I wasn’t looking for a lettuce sandwich on flat bread. I ordered a taco.Closer inspection of the Del Taco website reveals that the “big ass” classification applies to all tacos made with flat bread. Not to push too fine a point, but shouldn’t flat bread be flat (like a pizza) and have stuff on top of it? Have we really reached a point where any bread product can be replaced with flat bread and not incite a riot? Sure, the breakfast sandwiches at Subway were tasty (and flat bread actually worked in this interpretation), but should we just accept the swapping out of essential components of a specific type of food (like tacos!) for mass-produced and flavorless flat bread? I say no. This is America, damnit.
With the wan, flavorless beef bringing absolutely nothing to the table, the only hope for this taco was the chipotle sauce, and it had none of the delicious characteristics of smoked jalapeno peppers. It wasn’t spicy or smoky. It was salty, with a tangy, chemical-tinged aftertaste. If Doritos made an off-brand chipotle taco sauce, this is what it would taste like. I realize that may be an endorsement for some people, and for them, I say have at it. For me, the only way I’d eat this again would be if all of the problematic ingredients were removed, but a handful of shredded cheese and lettuce doesn’t sound all that appetizing.
Pros: A cheap way to take care of cravings for Doritos and cheap "Mexican" food at the same time. Fairly filling.
Cons: Very salty, beef is low-quality and not cooked properly, flat bread is no improvement over a tortilla
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 5.00/10
More Info: DelTaco.com