Review: Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell
One of the more interesting and innovative Taco Bell menu items now has a new addition. The Doritos Locos Tacos line went nationwide back in early 2012 and impressed me with its crunchy shell flavored like Nacho Cheese Doritos. While not perfectly mimicking Doritos chips, the taco shell was still a hit with me and it introduced a new wave of possibilities to upgrade the standard crunchy taco. A year later Taco Bell surprised no one with the release of the Cool Ranch flavor. The DLT line has been a huge success for Taco Bell and with each new release we’re seeing another flavored shell to the mix. This time around, Taco Bell has added some heat to DLT with new Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos.
New Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos take your traditional crunchy taco and upgrade the shell to be a fiery red shell with a chile-lime flavor. While past reviews will tell you I’m not too tolerant of spicy foods, I still enjoy them if the flavor is right and it heat doesn’t leave me in pain. I felt that the Volcano Taco introduced a few years earlier adequately brought the heat enough to satisfy those looking for a spicier option. For me, Lava Sauce was pretty hot, but still tasty. Nothing beyond the Lava Sauce really did anything to heat up the Volcano Menu and with Doritos Locos Tacos, the shell is the only new ingredient variable that can really dictate the flavor of the taco. Needless to say, there’s a lot riding on the shell. Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos won’t be showing up on the Taco Menu board or on posters and marquees until Thursday, August 22nd, but if you’re a “fan” you can get them today… just ask. My first attempt was unsuccessful and I left with no Fiery DLT. I talked about how secret menus annoy me on an episode of The Nosh Show a couple months ago and my experience today is just another example of why I don’t like them. Getting food that isn’t on the menu might make a cashiers head spin. I could’ve ordered from the drive-thru like normal, but almost every past experience in a situation like this was bound to have me explaining too much, so I went inside the Taco Bell. I get a blank stare from the cashier upon ordering my Fiery DLT… here we go… go get the manager. I know what I do is geeky and when I start talking to the manager about Taco Bell doing an early product release for its fans and he has no clue what I’m talking about, I feel like the king of the geeks. I drive a couple miles to find another Taco Bell to give it another shot. This next cashier is clueless, has to get the manager… the manager asks me for a Facebook coupon or something. I show him my phone with Taco Bell tweeting 6 minutes earlier about how it’s available today and I luckily get out of there with my order and no more explaining. Just take a peak at the Taco Bell Twitter feed from today and you’ll see a ton of people experiencing coming up short with their attempts too. Secret menus are annoying and even more so when your employees aren’t trained right.
I didn’t expect to feel this way going in, but Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos are my new favorite from the DLT menu. Cool Ranch Doritos were a letdown and maybe the a major part of that was the novelty wearing off from my initial experience with the original Nacho DLT. A gripe that many have with Cool Ranch and Nacho DLT is that they are just a powdered on flavored crunchy taco shells and not a true Doritos chip. I can’t really disagree with the thought behind that complaint, but I felt this was actually a positive. I feel if the same impact a Doritos chip has in taste and texture would be applied to a taco shell, it wouldn’t work as well. The point is to still keep this item as a traditional crunchy taco, but with a Doritos twist. Now that I’ve just had Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos, I think my familiarity of Nacho and Cool Ranch Doritos chips had a slightly negative impact on the experience of the first two DLT choices. The fact that the Fiery DLT uses a far more unfamiliar flavors with chile and lime got me more into it and I found myself enjoying it more. The guts of the taco remain everything you’re used to with a Taco Bell taco, but it all seems to feel a lot more unique because of the Fiery shell. Let’s admit it, Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos and Cool Ranch Doritos are a lot less welcome in the world of fast food Mexican novelty grub than the flavors you get from chile peppers and lime.
The Fiery DLT were priced at $1.39 for the regular and $1.89 for the supreme (supreme adds diced tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream). The 50-cent upcharge felt too high for such a weak upgrade, but I’d recommend getting the supreme anyway. The cool reduced-fat sour cream mixed in with the salty lime chile kick of the Fiery DLT shell works a lot better in the overall experience. The taco gets some heftier weight to it when it’s a upgraded to supreme as well. As I said in the beginning, Fiery is my favorite of the three Doritos Locos Tacos. The chile-lime taste of the shell works with the seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese much better than the Nacho and Cool Ranch DLT. This feels like a truly new taste that doesn’t have me comparing how well it matches up to the actual Doritos chips. The heat was noticeable, yet tame and didn’t detract from the overall experience. I’m not sure where Taco Bell will go from here with new shells, but they’ve got a trio to get the ball rolling on future fast food mash-ups.
Pros: The chile lime flavored shell works better in a taco than previous DLT offerings. Supreme version. Tasty heat.
Cons: Taco Bell employees didn't get the memo. Chile-heads will be disappointed if they're looking for a true "fiery" kick.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Price: $1.39 regular, $1.89 supreme
Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10
More Info: http://www.tacobell.com
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