Review: Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell
One of my biggest vices when it comes to grubbing is my inability to put down a full-sized bag of Doritos without almost completely finishing it off. Don’t get me wrong, I could easily complete the mission and barely come up for air while doing it, but I feel a lot less guilty when I’ve shown a hint of restraint. My love for tacos would have to rank right up there along side my beloved Doritos… but together, I’m not so sure. Enter the Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell.
Back in April 2011, I received an email from a reader (Jesse) with some pictures of a Taco Bell item in test market Toledo, Ohio. A taco with the shell made of Nacho Cheese Doritos? Is this for real? I posted the pics and soon enough websites everywhere were linking to GrubGrade about this new Taco Bell creation. Then in September 2011 I get more pics from a GrubGrade reader (Tyler) showing the Doritos Locos Taco with a Cool Ranch Doritos taco shell. This was obviously the next big thing from Taco Bell and a nationwide release had to be around the corner. March 8th, 2012 will be the nationwide launch of the Doritos Locos Tacos (Nacho Cheese flavored shell).
The regular corn hard shell has always been relatively mild and flavorless. You don’t think of it in any other way but delicate temporary housing for ground beef, shredded cheese, etc. The Doritos Locos Tacos has really changed the way I look at a taco and now hindsight makes me think, “Why hadn’t this come out years ago?” While the shell tastes like a Nacho Cheese Doritos chip, it’s a tad more muted. I found this to be a positive in the overall flavor of the taco because it complements the ground beef and shredded cheese without becoming the front and center taste.
Texture-wise, I was expecting a thicker, crunchier shell than what I’m used to because it was described that way to me before trying it. I felt the shell was nearly identical to the regular corn shell in crunch and thickness. The same mess you get from a regular hard-shell taco is the same mess you’ll find with the Doritos Locos Tacos (albeit, tastier mess). An improvement made by Taco Bell to help contain the mess of eating a hard-shell taco has been brilliantly made with its sturdy taco holster. The shell seasoning will clamp on to your fingers like a Doritos chip, but not to the same extreme. The taco holster will definitely help prevent cheesy fingers.
In 2009 I did a full review of the Volcano Box and I graded the standard Crunchy Beef Taco from Taco Bell a solid 7.75/10. I felt this was a fair score for a menu item that is simple and done right. Subbing out the no frills shell with a Doritos shell bumps this up a bit more. It’s easy to be harsh on Mexican-style fast food and you can only be so original with different combinations of the same ingredients. I’ve 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 something right. Sure there’s a novelty to it all, but that’s what’s fun about the fast food industry. The cheesy Doritos shell will open the doors for a whole new world of new Taco Bell creations and that in itself should satisfy the fans for years to come.
Pros: The taco has been reinvented. Shell tastes like a Doritos chip, but subtle enough to not overpower the flavor of the taco. Taco holster.
Cons: Not as thick or crunchy as an actual Doritos chip. Cool Ranch Doritos fans will have to wait a little longer.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Price: $1.29 standard, $1.69 supreme (complimentary by Taco Bell for this review)
Overall GrubGrade: 8.25/10
More Info: TacoBell.com
Doritos Locos Taco (standard version)
Calories - 170
Total Fat - 9 grams
Saturated Fat - 3.5 grams
Cholesterol - 25 milligrams
Sodium - 340 milligrams
Carbs - 13 grams
Dietary Fiber - 2 grams
Sugars -1 gram
Protein - 8 grams