Review: Quesarito from Taco Bell
There are some fast food products that make us all ponder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” This is usually the case with creations that seem like a no-brainers and it’s anyone’s guess why it’s taken so long to hit the market. Taco Bell’s new Quesarito combines a quesadilla with a burrito… an idea that takes two awesome Mexican food classics and attempts to create one unforgettable fast food experience.
Taco Bell describes their Quesarito like this:
The NEW Quesarito is the best of a quesadilla and burrito rolled into one! It’s filled with seasoned beef, premium Latin rice, Chipotle sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, and then wrapped up in a grilled quesadilla loaded with melted cheeses.
The Quesarito tested really well and was the best-selling Taco Bell test market item since Doritos Locos Tacos. I tempered my enthusiasm enough to go into sampling my Quesarito with fair expectations. Outside of the fact that this was a quesadilla wrapped burrito and trying to start my focus on the interior ingredients, I liked that the Quesarito featured Taco Bell’s premium Latin rice. The crossover of Cantina Bell ingredients into the everyday stuff is something I’ve been hoping to see in future products and it’s been few and far between. The cilantro-laden rice is cooked with onion powder and garlic powder and it’s something a little different than the norm. It’s hard to dissect a Taco Bell burrito too much when it’s one made with their seasoned beef, so the complement of a sauce is always crucial. The Chipotle sauce provides a noticible smoky flavor with provides some peppery spice and it went well with the blend of salty seasonings from the ground beef. Reduced-fat sour cream finds its way into a lot of Taco Bell products and it’s normally lost within a burrito and the same case applies here. Taco Bell should save the sour cream for tacos and just forget about it in their burritos. I was happy to see the obvious markings of a grill press with the Quesarito because there are too many hot/wet ingredients for a package like this to not benefit from a little extra crispness in the tortilla. The quesadilla portion of the Quesarito was surprisingly noticeable from just a visual perspective as the picture below clearly shows there’s plenty of melted cheese slathered in there. It’s a cheesy burrito, but during the grubbing process, the novelty of this being a quesadilla wrapped burrito is unfortunately lost. I think the quesadilla portion struggles to stand out much because there’s nothing new about the cheese. If Taco Bell featured a new cheese or sauce within the quesadilla level of the Quesarito, maybe the experience wouldn’t be as forgettable. My Quesarito was priced at $2.19 for the standard seasoned beef version, but it’s also available with shredded chicken for $2.99 and steak for $3.19. It’s right around average and it’s hard to whine about a pretty filling burrito for under 3 bucks. For the sake of being extra geeky, let’s compare the Quesarito to the less-expensive Beefy 5-Layer Burrito (50-cents cheaper at my local TB) on the Why Pay More menu. I figure there will be some that wonder what is so different about the Quesarito versus the cheaper Beefy 5-Layer Burrito since both products have the layer of cheese inside the tortilla. The Beefy 5-Layer Burrito has beans instead of rice so maybe you can argue the added fiber will make for a more filling meal. Serving size comparisons have the Quesarito at 259 grams and the Beefy 5-Layer at 230 grams… very similar in weight. The Quesarito is still a superior product to the B5L Burrito in my opinion because it’s grilled, has the heat element with Chipotle sauce, and I noticed a more substantial presecence of cheese. The 50-cents between them feels about right so the Quesarito feels like a decent value.
To sum up the Quesarito, when you’re gnashing your teeth against a compact package of ingredients, you’re going to have to do something extra to really separate yourself. The Quesarito experience wouldn’t have felt very different if the quesadilla cheese layer was on the inside with everything else. We should expect some new varieties of Quesarito in the future and my hope is that the quesadilla portion is where the change comes… until then, this feels like more of the same.
Pros: Tasty heat from the Chipotle sauce. Cantina Bell ingredient crossover with the premium Latin rice. Filling, decent value.
Cons: The quesadilla portion didn't stand out enough for me and that's the most important part of the Quesarito being a true success.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.25/10
Price: $2.19 beef (shredded chicken $2.99, steak $3.19)
Overall GrubGrade: 6.25/10
More Info: http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/quesarito
Serving Size - 259 grams
Calories - 650
Total Fat - 34 grams
Saturated Fat - 12 grams
Sodium - 1450 milligrams
Cholesterol - 60 milligrams
Carbs - 65 grams
Dietary Fiber - 6 grams
Sugars - 5 grams
Protein - 22 grams