Fast Food Review: Black Jack Taco from Taco Bell

It’s very easy to point at Taco Bell and call their new items very uninspired.  You’ve got to give them credit though, at least they continuously market reasonably priced and reasonably tasty offerings.  There’s really only so much you can do with Mexican fast food.  You’ve got a ton of ingredients and coming up with something new just requires plucking a little of this and a little of that and coming up with a new name.  This time around, Taco Bell has a new-look taco called the Black Jack Taco, and it’s hard to pass up at only 89¢.

Black Jack Taco

Taco Bell describes the Black Jack Taco like this:

A crunchy black taco shell filled with seasoned beef,  zesty pepper jack sauce, shredded lettuce and a blend of three cheeses – cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella.

Maybe it’s a Halloween thing, I’m not sure, but a black hard shell taco for the month of October seems like a pretty cool idea.   Like the red Volcano Taco shell, the Black Jack’s black shell doesn’t taste any different from what you’re used to. You’re still getting the typical toasty crunch from your standard hard shell taco.  Putting aside just the look of the thing, the main concern for all the grubbers out there is, “How does it taste?”  Well, you’ve got seasoned ground beef and a mix of shredded cheeses and cheese sauce.  Crunchy, cheesy and beefy are three words that can describe the Black Jack. The inclusion of Pepper Jack cheeses into the Black Jack is a nice change of pace.  It’s milder than the cheesy Lava Sauce found in the Volcano Menu items but still has a hint of heat that won’t overwhelm the cheese taste.  Considering that a regular hard shell taco is on the Why Pay More? value menu at Taco Bell for only 89 cents, my question is Why Not Go For the Black Jack? You’re not getting more beef but the cheese blends are a nice bonus.  Taco Bell could’ve easily just come out with this taco with the typical yellow shell and had a different name for it.  The pepper jack and mozzarella cheeses are the only real taste changes.

Black Jack Taco from TB

In closing, it’s a no brainer to give the Black Jack a taste.  It’s promo priced at only 89 cents right now so why wouldn’t you? I applaud Taco Bell for it’s cheap options all the time and grabbing three items and spending under $3.00 is really the way to go.  It’s a cool, new look with a decent taste that won’t hurt your wallet.  Try it.  Available until December 27th.

BlackJack Taco

Pros: Cheap. Zesty cheese blend. Cool look.

Cons: Black shell is just for looks. Not filling and 17 grams of fat.

Taste: 7.25/10
Value: 9.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $0.89

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 210
Fat - 17 grams
Saturated Fat - 4.5 grams
Carbs - 6 grams
Cholesterol - 35 milligrams
Sodium - 430 milligrams
Sugars - 1 gram
Dietary Fiber - 2 grams
Protein - 8 grams

45 comments on “Fast Food Review: Black Jack Taco from Taco Bell

  1. Adam Bomb says:

    The review pretty much sums up what I imagined it would be like. Thanks for the description! At 89 cents, it really is very tempting…

  2. Colin says:

    It’s okay. I had one last night. You’re totally right about the black shell just being for looks and the sauce was okay. I did like the cheese blend, though.

  3. Goth Taco says:

    oh my god… i love this thing!!

  4. maxchain says:

    Eh, what the heck. This doesn’t look like it’s going to be 103% sauce like the Ranch Whatsis Gordita–count me in.

  5. codiablo says:

    Whats to lose….maybe your life with one more added food coloring to your body. YEAH CANCER…wait, if you’re going to taco bell in the first place,…. then order the blackjack taco.

    • kacie says:

      hm. if you get cancer from food coloring then im for sure getting it. i use food coloring on an almost daily basis with my baking!

  6. AK says:

    Codiablo: You are nuttier than a Payday bar.

  7. Elisa says:

    Wow, Codiablo, is this blog really the place to complain about food coloring–which, by the way, is hardly a new invention. People have been ingesting food coloring for a long time, and for all you know, Taco Bell is using a natural colorant for this shell…well, okay, it’s actually a pretty good guess to assume it’s artificial. It’s hardly “OMG SOON TO DIIIIE” worthy, though. I bet you’re afraid of parabens, too.

  8. TB is cranking out the new product, not sure if i am going to run there for this one, but would like to try the pepper jack sauce..

  9. ratbuddy says:

    Hmm. Look at the real pictures compared to the publicity shot in the ‘article’ directly underneath. Just a SLIGHT difference in the amount of beef, ehh?

    Wish you guys hadn’t accepted that free trip to Taco Bell HQ, kinda ruined your credibility when reviewing any of their food :-/

    • Ryan says:

      @ ratbuddy … Promo pics rarely ever look like the real thing. If you think that I’d give Taco Bell products favorable reviews just because of the TB test kitchen trip you are mistaken. That actually never crossed my mind until you brought it up. I call it like I see it (or taste it) 🙂 … I don’t owe Taco Bell a thing. Companies can send us free stuff all they want but in the end, we do not work for them. The bottom line is I’m actually a fan of Taco Bell…but they have some hits and misses. I stay objective and try my best to point out the good and the not so good. I know I’ll probably never change your mind but it’s insulting to call me out and to think that I’d intentionally grade Taco Bell products higher.

      Also I’d like to point out that I reviewed and posted the entire Volcano Menu before the Taco Bell HQ trip even happened. The test kitchen visit was designed around a presentation of the Volcano Menu and I had already tried and reviewed everything on my own, spending my own money (which I do with all my reviews). Nothing was new to me on that front.

  10. sew3521 says:

    I have had this taco 3 different times. I absolutely love it. My meal now includes 3 Blackjack tacos and 1 volcano taco.

  11. John says:

    Sounds like ratbuddy is a little piossed that he didn’t get to go to Cali on TBell’s dime. I’m pretty sure I went and gave the Volcano Nachos a bad review not two months after.

  12. Im concerned that the black coloring would throw this off for me. When I first saw the commercial for it I immediately thought it would taste charcoal-ley. Did you get any of that thought when you had it in front of your mouth?

  13. Kelley says:

    I actually really enjoyed the pepperjack sauce and didn’t really see much of a taste difference in the blend of cheeses on top. If their ad campaign is any indication, the black color has nothing to do with Halloween, which chaps my hide. Perfect opportunity, wasted!

  14. Shana says:

    I really liked it the black shell makes me think blue corn chips.. I’m a creamy sauce kinds eater so loved the sauce but oddly i hate volcano sauce.. My black jack taco had only cheddar cheese 🙁 no new cheeses ! But I will replace my regular crunchy tacos with these until tb stops serving them!

  15. Ted says:

    I had a Blackjack taco today and I *thought* the taco shell tasted a little different, but it might have been the other stuff, or it might have just been the subconscious suggestion that something that color might have a burnt or broiled taste. But regardless, it was good.

    And now we play the waiting game to see what color it comes *out* as.

  16. ratbuddy says:

    I like Taco Bell too, it’s probably my favorite fast food place if you don’t count Five Guys.

    Unfortunately, every time you guys review them now, that free trip comes to mind. I know you aren’t purposely boosting their brand or anything, and sorry if that was the implication, but the trip is still lurking in my memory.

    • Larry says:

      I’m not concerned at all about the trip to HQ. You can tell in the reviews that they are calling it like they see it. One of these other guys actually puts out more bad than good TB reviews. And of course as we all know its one person’s opionion… TB is not afraid of that.

      The one thing I would be concerned about for all reviewers is how they come by the products they review and whether or not the restauant employees know they are reviewers when they make the purchase. If a company sends special vouchers and the reviewer becomes known as a reviewer, then the stores will be just make their item perfect. I want it to be based on what a Joe Schmoe like me can expect when I go there.

  17. I Heart Toxic Hell says:

    I think they could put that pepper jack sauce and a pile of dirt and I’d think it was delicious.

    This thing is like a clipped-CGC. Not as filling without the exterior pita bread and cheese mortar, but you get the crunchy the crunchy taco with that delicious pepper jack sauce. And for 89 cents, why not.

  18. rob says:

    isnt anyone worried about what these jokers used to make the shell black? Obviously not black beans-waste of time for the choades that frequent taco hell. I can only imagine illegal imigrants crapping into the corn mixture. As long as it comes with sauce and costs 89 cents, a little south of the poop should be fine.

  19. H says:

    yeah these tacos are pretty good but…..
    no joke it just happened a minute ago that’s why I’m on here….
    I’ll still order them though, they are delicious

  20. Adam Bomb says:

    I’m not surprised they turned your poo blue! I’ve eaten other things with black food coloring that did the same thing, lol.

  21. Roberto says:

    Blue corn is not new, but imaginitive. When I saw this commercial I thought of the recent cover of ESPN.
    The way they say, “Black Taco” is hilarious. Anybody get a little excited when they hear that? Mmmm, sexy food.

  22. Adam Bomb says:

    @Roberto: So they’re using blue corn for the shells then? That crossed my mind, but I didn’t think the shells would turn out that dark.

  23. Jesse says:

    You’ve got a point about the Black Jack Taco being a better option than the regular taco, but I would rather pony up the extra $.40 or so for the Volcano Taco. However, both are really just another lame Taco Bell attempt at creating new menu items by recycling their current items.

  24. Uli says:

    Well, First of all Taco Bell is NOT MEXICAN FOOD, I like their combinations though, is a twist of ingredients from various menus. There’s LOTS OF RECIPES YOU CAN DO WITH MEXICAN FOOD I guess Taco Bell has stayed with what works. The Black Jack taco is no much different as the original taco in taste, I like the shell color and the name. I’ll give them credit for that. I think their volcano taco is a lot better than this.

  25. Adam Bomb says:

    Just a thought for those who have expressed concern over the possible dangers of the food coloring in the shell: Anybody ever pay attention to the artificial food colorings in just about EVERYTHING we eat? It’s everywhere, lol.

  26. Ray Gun says:

    The carbs listed have to be wrong if it is just a colored shell. A regular taco has 16 carbs and a black jack has 8 carbs? how did they manage that? As a diabetic, I would like to know the truth.

  27. BethB says:

    I think it’s completely hilarious that people are worried about the possibility of black artifical food coloring but don’t stop to think about the 17 grams of fat in this one little taco…. If you’re that concerned about what’s in your food, you probably shouldn’t be eating at fast food restaurants 🙂

  28. sheryl says:

    I like the taco. I feel the shell is crunchier than the regular ones. The color didn’t sway me one way or another. I liked the sauce…something different for a cheap price. The cheeses were an added bonus. The meat might be exactly the same, but it tasted good. I will definitely buy more.

  29. Rachel says:

    So my friend just told me about this taco, so i looked it up, my only concern is, being diabetic, i have to watch my Carbohydrate intake, and compared to a regular, standard hard taco shell, which has 17-19g of carbohydrates, I really doubt this thing has only 6g. There’s something really wrong with that picture….

  30. Ganja says:

    This forum is of idiots, a smart one tried to throw some light on a herd of blinds to enlighten them of the dangers of food color, but they say “oh yeah”. Well how can light affect totally blind here. It cant.

    Yes it is true that even the FDA approved colors pose danger and may act as carcinogens and the idiots who are bashing one sane guy about his concern about color will only come to know when they will reach 60+ TO FIND THAT THEY HAVE A DEADLY FORM OF BLOOD CANCER, which has no cure.

    So better be safe than sorry.

  31. Adam Bomb says:

    Wow Ganja, you’re right! About everything. Seriously. Please write a book on how to live so that we all may begin doing everything the right way. And make sure to include free coupons for some antidote for the “DEADLY FORM OF BLOOD CANCER, which has no cure.”

    Stand back, Grubbers. Moron walkin’.

  32. Skeeter says:

    Ganja, please be sure to comment on as many message boards as possible as we humans may very well cause our own extinction without your wise advice to guide us. And it will be our own fault for not having the smarts to listen to you.

  33. Ozzie says:

    That’s cuz there IS no ‘black taco’…. Made of BLUE CORN…. When where one of you AD WIZARDS gonna figure THAT one out. Blue Corn is common in the Southwest. Only took an ignorant fool to market it as BLACK!

  34. Madeline says:

    So, i bought this taco today just to try it. Let me tell you that it was actually really good. The sauce really puts it over the top and usually where i add taco bells “salsa”, i didn’t need to with the black jack taco. I did not notice any difference in the way the shell TASTED but i did notice how it seemed to break into a million little pieces! My friend noticed this too…I couldn’t really taste any differences with the cheese except that their was more on the taco. I purchased this, a side order of nacho’s and cheese and a small drink and i was stuffed for just over $3. I hope taco bell never goes out of business 🙂

  35. James says:

    I thought it tasted great but the shell seemed more crumbly than the regular tacos. Other than that, I really enjoyed this taco.

  36. Bitengineer says:

    I have had 4 blackjack tacos for lunch 3 different times, I like the taste and the price, however the next morning my bowel movement is Green. There must be an extreme amount of dye in the shells. Is this dangerous? Are they using FDA approved colors and if so, are they using an extreme amount of dye to get the shells black? The dye maybe approved but in what amount per serving? I don’t think I get them again.

  37. Anonymous says:

    You know, if you are that worried about food coloring just ask them for a regular shell and they will do it.

  38. Marisa says:

    Any idea what happened to the Black Jack taco? It disappeared in Canada…the sauce was SO good, I was adopting it as one of my favourite Taco Bell tacos!

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  41. Nene says:

    I loved the Black Jack Tacos. I hope Taco Bell bring it back. The sauce was really good…