Review: Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell

The Doritos Locos Tacos family has expanded once again.  We’ve experienced the Original Nacho Cheese DLT, the Cool Ranch DLT, and most recently the Fiery DLT.  This time around there isn’t a new Doritos shell to dissect, but a lot more going on inside the shell. It’s taken over four years to move beyond seasoned ground beef and into the territory of chicken.  Let’s take a closer look at the new Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell.

Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch DLT 1Taco Bell describes the Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos like this:

A Taco Supreme® made with our Marinated all-white-meat shredded chicken, new Fiery sauce, crisp lettuce, diced juicy red ripe tomatoes, real cheddar cheese and topped with cool reduced-fat sour cream, in a shell made from Cool Ranch® Doritos® Chips

The thirteen syllables in “Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos” is a mouthful so let’s use the acronym SCCRDLT when appropriate.   

Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch DLT 2The shredded chicken is marinated and quite flavorful with seasonings of garlic, paprika and other spices.  Since the shredded chicken soaks in a lot of the wet marinade, pairing it up with a hard corn taco shell caused problems.   It’s not a shock to experience a somewhat crumbled mess when you’re dealing with a hard shell taco, but the SCCRDLT was one of the most difficult I’ve encountered.  The heat and moisture of shredded chicken that’s been sitting in a steamy vat marinating in its own juices will reak havoc on a delicate taco shell. The wetness of the shredded chicken seeped through both of my tacos.  Even with the little paper taco holder, there were problems.  The taco holder was great with previous incarnations of the Doritos Locos Tacos brand so it was disappointing to see it turn out so ineffective with the SCCRDLT.  The moisture even comprimised the structure of the paper taco holder.  Flavorwise, the Cool Ranch Doritos shell didn’t impress me with the original Cool Ranch DLT because it lacked the impact of a Doritos chip and the same will be said for this new taco.  With the SCCRDLT, I’ve never wanted a thicker Doritos shell more than now.

Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos 2Including Fiery Sauce in the Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos really puts the product in a spicy category that should satisfy the chile-heads out there.  On my personal heat scale, the Fiery Sauce was way up there.  The sauce had a nice creamy texture and peppery flavor that I’m sure people will want to try on other products.  Reduced-fat sour cream was a relief to cool things off a little bit to help balance the Fiery Sauce.  At this point in the fast food Mexican game, the blend of lettuce, diced tomato and shredded cheese is becoming more and more forgettable… especially with everything else it contends with.

Spicy Chicken DLT Cool RanchMy SCCRDLT was priced at $2.19 and I felt it was 50 cents away from being a good value.  The Supreme versions of all previous DLT’s made it under the 2 dollar mark.  Cool Ranch Spicy ChickenWith a product that was constructed just fine, but suffered from battling moisture and texture, I’d find myself having trouble ordering this product again unless there was an extra barrier between the shredded chicken and Cool Ranch Doritos shell.  Give this thing the Cheesy Gordita Crunch or Double Decker Taco treatment and support what you’ve got going on the inside and maybe I’ll give it a second look.  As the product is now, I feel it needs some adjustment.

Pros: Plenty of kick from the Fiery sauce so it lives up to its "spicy" name. Flavorful marinated chicken.

Cons: The bottom of the Cool Ranch Doritos taco shell loses its crunch upon the weight and moisture of the shredded chicken. The flavor impact of the shell needs some work.

Taste: 6.25/10
Value: 5.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 3.75/10
Price: $2.19

Overall GrubGrade: 5.25/10

More Info: http://www.tacobell.com/food/tacos/spicy-chicken-cool-ranch-dlt
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 119 grams
200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 14 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein

17 comments on “Review: Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell

  1. Robert says:

    $2.19? Weird. I paid just $1.59 for my SCCRDLT at the local Taco Bell.

  2. Mut says:

    Thanks for the review. You just saved me a couple of bucks!

  3. Darsh says:

    I really wish they didn’t get rid of the baja variation of chalupas. I know I can swap out the sour cream with baja sauce and all that other jazz, but Minnesota Taco Bells mess my order up every single time (actually once they managed to do it right). I miss my chicken baja chalupas.

  4. Jen says:

    Mine was $1.89. :) I thought the Fiery Sauce was great (I didn’t need to add my usual Fire Sauce packets) but I too didn’t really notice the Cool Ranch Dorito shell at all. I also tried the non-spicy new Chicken DLT and I did have to add the packets with it (but it tasted good mixed with the avocado sauce). Again, the shell didn’t make much of a difference, but I didn’t have a problem with the shells disintegrating, either.

  5. Sascha says:

    I have almost zero interest in whatever the review says, I am definitely getting me some of these, but it is too bad to read of your issues. And holy cow are they pricey. Here in Michigan, these are 2 dimes more than the regular DLT’s, $1.59 and $1.89 for supremes. Personally I prefer the regular to the supremes in this case.

    • Sascha says:

      Ok, nevermind. Haven’t had these yet, but did notice today that TB is advertising both this ‘spicy’ version and a regular one which probably is simply the chicken and taco toppings with the shell. Haven’t seen the prices on the spicy ones yet, but the upcharge is more reasonable now.

  6. Jessica says:

    Was the fiery sauce like the lava sauce? That was my fave thing at Taco Bell until they discounted it :(

  7. DerangedHermit says:

    The sauce on the fiery tacos should have been the Creamy Jalapeno sauce they put on quesadillas. This just tasted like spicy 1000 Island dressing to me.

    • lazzihappy says:

      Oh. My. Gosh. That’s what the sauce on the quesadillas is called? I always wondered. All I ever get is steak quesadillas from TB. Do you know how much the upcharge is for it in your area as an extra?

      I probably would have liked their Double Steak Quesadilla more if I knew I could add the sauce to it. Haha

  8. 3horseshoes says:

    sounds like this would be better is they did it as a salad in a cool ranch tortilla bowl! million dollar idea.

  9. MP says:

    Soft flour tortilla substitution.

  10. Alex K. says:

    Double up the shells, that’d prevent some sogginess. It doesn’t help that yours was soaked with sauce. Mine was a little soggy, but not to that level.

  11. Phil G says:

    I had the same issues with them getting super soggy. I like the fiery sauce tho. I think maybe just doing a beef cool ranch DLT with fiery sauce would be the way to go

  12. Sascha says:

    Well, looks like their just really expensive over there, because here both the regular and spicy versions are $1.59 and $1.89 for supreme. Ordered these yesterday, had two spicy and one regular, and ended up liking the regular better, but both were excellent. And absolutely no problem with the shells getting soaked from sauce or marinade. I will have these again.

  13. Joe says:

    Eh… Tried one out of their new $5 box out of curiosity.. With two packets of fire sauce, the thing didn’t even give me a little bit of a kick. Might be good for my Minnesotan family – I always remember having to mail them hot cheetoes in the 90’s because they weren’t sold there, and my visit to New York convinced me those people think ketchup is hot sauce. I couldn’t really tell what the ‘fiery sauce’ was supposed to be, except maybe a buffalo style sauce? I got a little vinegar in there. Just bring back lava sauce TB, still not hot enough but better than this!

    The chicken Taco Bell has has come MILES though, I remember overcooked chunks that reminded me of those precooked chicken slices you can buy in the deli at most grocery stores. The shredded chicken is moist and even has a decent flavor for a fast food joint.

    It’s a good deal in the box I guess, same price as the #1 but with the SCCRDLT added in while the crunchy taco loses it’s ‘supreme’ status. There is the loss of the large drink to a medium to consider too though. Dissecting the box you get a crunchy taco ($.99), burrito surpeme (2.39 here), SCCRDLT ($1.99 here), and a med drink ($1.59) – $6.96 worth for five bucks.

    I’d give it a 7/10 as a deal, but a 6/10 as a standalone product.

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