Review: XXL Crispy Steak Taco from Taco Bell

While Taco Bell breakfast is making headlines, there are still new non-breakfast items to be covered.  The XXL brand of products at Taco Bell is slowly growing into a decent menu of hearty offerings that aim to target an appetite that goes beyond the Why Pay More! menu.  To date we’ve covered the XXL Chalupa, the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito, and the XXL Steak Nachos.  The latest to join the XXL family comes quietly while breakfast gets all the attention.  This is the new XXL Crispy Steak Taco.

XXL Crispy Steak TacoTaco Bell describes the XXL Crispy Steak Taco like this:

The XXL Crispy Steak Taco is filled with a double portion of our premium thick cut steak, avocado ranch sauce, cool reduced-fat sour cream, crisp lettuce, diced juicy red-ripe tomatoes and real cheddar cheese in a XXL crispy shell. Also available with marinated all-white-meat chicken or seasoned beef.

The XXL Crispy Taco has your standard protein options available with steak being priced at $3.19, shredded chicken for $2.99, and beef at $2.69.  I went with the steak version because it’s the advertised product, but as always, you’ve got variety.  I’m not the biggest fan of the “premium thick cut steak” from Taco Bell, but I don’t hate it either.  It kind of is what it is and you can preface steak with “premium” in the description all you want and it’s still going to be fast food steak.  The steak has gone through plenty of makeovers and not once have I been overly impressed.  I temper my expectations enough to say the steak is passable and does its job.  In the XXL Crispy Steak Taco I can understand how steak is the featured protein since avocado ranch sauce is included and I don’t see it working quite as well with shredded chicken or seasoned ground beef.

Taco Bell XXL Crispy TacoThe steak has gone through enough tweaking to become not as overly chewy as past incarnations.  This results in steak morsels that have a texture that comes off as not very “premium”, but sacrifices had to be made to cut down on the rubbery old stuff.  Flavor-wise, the meaty morsels don’t have one truly identifiable standout taste…(salted steak?).  The avocado ranch sauce provides a delicate tangy quality that is more ranch than avocado, yet it’s tasty and complements the steak.  I could’ve done without the reduced-fat sour cream because it seemed unnecessary to me with avocado ranch sauce.  There is a good amount of steak stuffed into this oversized crispy taco shell to make the $3.19 purchase price feel about right.

XXL TacoSo how about that big crispy taco shell? I whipped out the trusty toolbox where my tape measure makes me feel like I’m about to do a real man’s work.  The crispy corn tortilla shell is an impressive 7.5″ long and slightly thicker than the regular hard shells.  I enjoyed the crispy crunch of the shell and it came off as a higher quality shell than the standard stuff.  With the aforementioned steak and avocado ranch sauce being the highlights within the oversized taco shell, the lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese were more filler than anything else.  Filler is an understatement with the lettuce and diced tomatoes since they spilled out easily.  I was pleased that the mess ends there and no where else since the taco shell was tough enough to keep everything else intact.

XXL Crispy Taco SizeI paired my XXL Crispy Steak Taco with the new Mtn Dew Kickstart Black Cherry Freeze during Taco Bell’s Happier Hour which scored me the regular sized Freeze for $1.00.  Even though the Black Cherry Freeze paired well with my food, I’m still looking for a replacement for Mtn Dew Code Red.

XXL Crispy Steak Taco from Taco BellTo sum up the XXL Crispy Steak Taco I’d say it’s a tasty taco that lives up to its XXL name.  I can see myself ordering this again and that’s the first time I’ve thought that about an XXL product from Taco Bell.  It wasn’t a complete gut bomb creeping up to the $5-$6 mark like the others in the XXL family. At around 3 bucks, the XXL Crispy Steak Taco left me satisfied.

Pros: Hearty, crispy corn tortilla shell. The avocado ranch sauce worked for me with this taco. XXL sized taco at a fair price.

Cons: Fast food steak should never be called premium. Overdoing it with lettuce and tomatoes. Reduced-fat sour cream wasn't necessary.

Taste: 7.75/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: $3.19 for the purchased steak version ($2.99 w/shredded chicken, $2.69 w/beef)

Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10

More Info: http://www.tacobell.com/food/tacos/XXL-steak-crispy-taco
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size - 193 grams
Calories - 430
Total Fat - 25 grams
Saturated Fat - 7 grams
Cholesterol - 75 milligrams
Sodium - 680 milligrams
Carbs - 26 grams
Sugars - 3 grams
Protein - 24 grams

25 comments on “Review: XXL Crispy Steak Taco from Taco Bell

  1. Justin ST says:

    I loved it. Best new product at Taco Bell since the Gordita.

    Someone, I think on here, said the shell is actually fried IN-STORE. It makes a world of difference, quality wise. I will not hesitate to order this again soon.

    • Mike N. says:

      I’m surprised they’re not promoting the new shell more, it seems to be a standout for a lot of people. The nacho chips are “prepared daily” in store (I think they don’t want to use the word ‘fried’) so it would make sense for the XXL shells to be as well.

  2. Karl says:

    I’d rather buy 2 of the value menu tacos. More food for the money.

    • Justin ST says:

      Have you even tried it, dude? It shares little with the regular taco.

      • Karl says:

        Yea I had it. Wasn’t impressed. Too much sauce going on. The avocado ranch sauce is the only somewhat unique ingredient. To me, this is another situation where you are better getting a couple value menu items for the same price as a non-value menu item.

    • Anon says:

      The crunchy taco on the value menu is 78g and 190 cals, this is 193g and 430 cals, more than double in both categories. If in your area 2 value menu tacos cost the same as this (like your implying) and you think you are getting a better value by ordering them, our education system has failed us.

    • Bubbsy says:

      There is more than twice as much filler/steak in these than as 2 regular tacos.

    • Karl says:

      The nutrition facts are for the steak XXL taco. If you were to get the beef version and subtract the sauce weight, the math works out to get the 2 value menu crunchy tacos.

  3. Andre says:

    It sounds good, albeit a tad pricey. I like the avacado sauce and their regular steak soft taco. But what is up with Taco Bell skimping on cheese? If you buy a Classic Taco (99 cents) or Macho Taco (1.99) at the Del, you get literally five times as much cheese.

  4. Axel says:

    You could get 9 regular tacos for less than $2.50 at Del Taco on Tuesdays with the $1 off survey coupon.

  5. James says:

    Just tried this today, and it was a great surprise. I think the part of the taco that makes it stand out as something special is the new hard shell. I usually always go with soft so I don’t lose half my taco as I eat. To my surprise, this hard shell held together great and had a great fried flavor. This taco is a fat mans dream, and I will probably buy two tomorrow.

  6. EdH says:

    Steak brought to you by Alpo.

    • TJ says:

      How do so many people know what dog food tastes like? Personally I’ve never tried food made for animals…

      • Gemini says:

        No one has claimed to know what dog food tastes like, but the steak tastes the way some expensive dog food smells. It also smells the way expensive dog food smells, so it stands to reason it would also taste similar. They had done a great job with their triple steak quesadilla, and the steak in it was much better than the usual steak they use. I will not order any of their steak items unless they begin to use the type from that short time released triple steak taco. It is different than what they use in their xxl quesadilla or the regular steak quesadilla, and it tastes and smells much better!

  7. missouri says:

    Had the beef one on accident last night (ordered steak, got beef and was charged for beef – so not too upset). I think what won me over was that the shell actually tasted fresh and not the cardboard shells they usually serve. Would order this again.

  8. Britney says:

    I love these new XXL taco’s! Usually I eat 4 regular tacos, so I got 2 of these, and it was enough to fill me up. I actually like these a lot better because I like the avacado ranch sauce, but mainly because the shell is crispier and more durable. I always have problems with the shells on the regular tacos getting soggy and falling apart on me. I really think they should consider making their regular tacos with the crispy shell as well, though I doubt that would happen. I hope these stay around for a while and aren’t for a limited time like the XXL nachos, or I will be upset.

  9. WordSalad says:

    Had this for the 1st time today. VERY impressed. Probably the best food I’ve ever had at TB. Fresh-tasting, crisp delicious shell, it just all combined to make a great taco. I will definitely order these again!

  10. JoeyF says:

    Been wanting to try this, reviews are good enough that i will try it out. Probably one of these and a DLT, maybe 2…

  11. Jrdunn says:

    Unimpressed. Not bad flavor but only reason it is xxl is because there regulars are xxs. Anywhere else this is a regular taco

  12. Ariel says:

    Had them twice and they were very good. My bd who isn’t into Taco Bell nearly as much as me liked them too. It’s a good addition to the Taco Bell menu.

  13. ray says:

    I can get two of the beef xxl tacos for $2 each at my local taco bell, they are way better then the regular little tacos.

  14. Colin says:

    Just wanted to point out the steak XXL tacos are $4.00 here in CT. I got two and a medium drink and it was almost 11 bucks with tax. Didn’t really fill me up. Normally I can get full at Taco Bell for $7-8 including drink.

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