Fast Food Review: New Tortadas from Taco Bell

Scratch this one up as another rehash of ingredients for a new Taco Bell menu item.  That might sound like a complaint, but it’s really not a big deal.  Just as long as it’s tasty and affordable, you’re usually going to get a thumbs up from me. There’s only so much you can do with the thousands of combinations possible at Taco Bell.  The latest creation has a bit of an identity complex going on.  It’s sort of a Crunchwrap disguised in Quesadilla clothing.  The latest grub to join the TB menu, the Chicken Bacon Ranch Tortada and the Salsa Roja Tortada.

So Crunchwrap in Quesadilla clothing…let me explain.  A semi-hexagonal folded up tortilla, packed with a combo of ingredients would be an OK description of a Taco Bell Crunchwrap.  A tortilla stuffed with cheese or cheese/meat and folded once over and housed in a suffocating paper-plastic sleeve would describe a Taco Bell Quesadilla.  The new Tortadas are folded into squares and diagonally sliced into 2 decent sized triangle pieces.  Once again, just a tortilla stuffed with a mixture of ingredients and presented in a nice handheld package. My Tortadas came in the aforementioned non-breathable Quesadilla wrapper.  As you can probably tell, just more of the same but equipped with a fancy new name and design.  Wow, it really sounds like I’m complaining here.  I swear I’m not complaining, it’s just the M.O. for Taco Bell.  They haven’t gone off the deep end with something as ridiculous as the KFC Double Down.  While points can be deducted for lack of innovation, Taco Bell still delivers a decent “new” item from time to time.  At $3.49, they are a priced reasonably enough to be worth a try.

The Chicken Bacon Ranch Tortada:

A warm flour tortilla loaded with fire-grilled marinated all-white meat chicken, crisp shredded lettuce, diced ripe tomatoes, crispy flavorful bacon, and avocado ranch sauce, all grilled together hot and tasty.

My favorite of the two Tortada choices is the Chicken Bacon Ranch version. The combination of ingredients actually complement one another nicely.  Not a tough call considering that a chicken club sandwich is a favorite amongst many.  The all-white chicken morsels were a good size and the bacon was salty and crisp. I still don’t quite understand the avocado ranch sauce that Taco Bell uses.  It might as well be straight-up ranch dressing because I don’t get much avocado taste from it.    The avocado might be there, but it’s very mild.  The dressing mixed with the shredded lettuce and diced tomato come together to make a creamy coleslaw-esque coating for the chicken and bacon.  The flour tortilla isn’t overly dry after toasting and does it’s job by holding together the Tortada well.  Cheese is missing from this Tortada and I’m glad.  Cheese would’ve added unneeded calories and fat that you wouldn’t even get to enjoy. If cheese isn’t one of the two main players, it will always get lost in my opinion.  I liked the Chicken Bacon Ranch Tortada and feel it’s a good example of a combo of flavors that work.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Tortada

The Salsa Roja Tortada:

A warm flour tortilla loaded with fire-grilled marinated all-white meat chicken, crisp shredded lettuce, fiesta salsa, flavorful salsa roja, and a blend of three cheeses – cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella, all grilled together hot and toasty.

The Salsa Roja Tortada comes in second place in this race.  Once again, the chicken is generously portioned and sized.  You’ll get some chicken in every bite.  A big disappointment with the Salsa Roja Tortada is the 3-cheese blend.  Cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella sound great don’t they?  Well they sound great, but how do they taste?  I still don’t know because they go unnoticed. I obviously don’t have a sophisticated palate, but I can tell when cheese makes an impact in my meal.  This Tortada is dominated by the mix of fiesta salsa and salsa roja (red sauce).  If you’re a big fan of fiesta salsa and salsa roja, you’re likely to be a big fan of the Salsa Roja Tortada. A little kick of spice that isn’t overwhelming and an overall tomato-y vibe that might have benefited from some actual peppers and onions.  I wasn’t too impressed with this Tortada and was hoping for more.  This item just came off as very average to me.

Salsa Roja Tortada

In closing, why can’t Taco Bell come out with a legit Torta? You know, a Mexican Sandwich.  They are awesome, but I don’t know if it can be pulled off successfully in fast food.  Anyone have a Baja Fresh in their area?  Last year I reviewed their Fire-Grilled Chicken and Steak Tortas and loved the chicken version.  I remember when I visited the Taco Bell test-kitchen in California, I asked if they’ve considered tortas.  They said they’ve considered everything and I guess the Tortada is what they came up with.  Not a bad attempt really, but not at all a true torta.  The Taco Bell Tortada is simply an overstuffed quesadilla.

Pros: $3.49 isn't too steep. Two choices. Chicken in every bite.

Cons: Salsa Roja version is underwhelming (can't taste the cheese). Paper/plastic packaging can't breathe. Uninspired. Tons of sodium.

Taste: 7.50/10
Value: 6.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Price: $3.49

Overall GrubGrade: 7.75/10 (Chicken Bacon Ranch), 6.50/10 (Salsa Roja)

More Info: TacoBell.com
Nutrition Facts:
Chicken Bacon Ranch Tortada:
Calories - 570
Total Fat - 24 grams
Saturated Fat - 6 grams
Cholesterol - 70 milligrams
Sodium - 1870 milligrams
Carbs - 57 grams
Dietary Fiber - 4 grams
Sugars - 5 grams
Protein - 33 grams
Salsa Roja Tortada:
Calories - 480
Total Fat - 14 grams
Saturated Fat - 6 grams
Cholesterol - 60 milligrams
Sodium - 1860 milligrams
Carbs - 60 grams
Dietary Fiber - 4 grams
Sugars - 5 grams
Protein - 30 grams

10 comments on “Fast Food Review: New Tortadas from Taco Bell

  1. Jessica J. says:

    I tried the Salsa Roja Tortada a few days ago. I normally don’t go for chicken items at Taco Bell because I find their chicken to be pretty disgusting – rubbery, slimy, and quite suspect. For some reason though, the Salsa Roja Tortada sounded delicious, so I ignored my usual rule for Taco Bell ordering and jumped in, despite the high price tag. I felt a little bit ripped off when I realized, like you, that it was only a quesadilla filled with more stuff and wrapped differently.
    I thought the two types of salsa were way too overwhelming, plus, they made my tortada very soggy! The way it was wrapped made it stick to the wrapper, so I ended up having to cut it open because the tortada was tearing as I tried to pull it out. The hint of cilantro was nice, but I was disgusted by the chicken, as usual. I think it is a little different from the chicken soft taco chicken, but not much.
    I also wish they would come out with a torta! That would be DELICIOUS!

  2. Katie Ann says:

    I just had the chicken bacon ranch one tonight, and was mostly underwhelmed. It was big, but flat, and not worth the $3.29 I paid. It was a pain to pick up to eat, mess everywhere. Plus the most prominent flavor in mine was lettuce and slightly under-ripe tomatoes.

    And on a side note I managed to poke myself in the tonsil with the long pointy end of one half of my tortada, and currently have tonsillitis, so that may have just developed an irreversible grudge against these things. But Taco Bell will likely rotate them out in a month or two for another variation on their basic six ingredients, so it’s okay.

    I also got a cheesy gordita crunch, and even at their higher price post-promo, I’m still in love. I wish they put that pepperjack sauce on more things!

  3. Evan says:

    Normally I would agree that $3.50 isn’t that bad, but for Taco Bell it is. The chicken is BARELY a step up from the usual fare. It is not very big; smaller than a crunchwrap. And when you can get a 25 lb grilled stuft burrito for $2.50, this thing comes off as a lame value.

  4. Raiders757 says:

    Just as I was thinking of stepping outside my cheap norm, you guys talked me out of it. I really wanted to try the The Salsa Roja Tortada, as most reviews say that this is the better of the two. The thing is, it seems everyone is claiming that the price just isn’t right. Oh well, back my cheapo menu fare I guess.

  5. As usual, I agree with Raiders… it just doesn;t seem like the value aspect is there. The TB value menu is the best and worst thing about the place. However, I am not a fan of their nacho cheese, so to have a handheld options that I can eat and drive that doesn’t have the nacho cheese, is a good thing. However, I can eat a taco in about 28 seconds, so I would just rather pull over and knock a few down!

  6. Evan says:

    @wouldibuyitagain

    Agreed. Their cheese is really bad. One of my favorite aspects of mexican restaurants is the queso blanco. I can’t figure out why Taco Bell puts chedder cheese on everything.

  7. jack says:

    can you guys review the Denny’s 2-4-6-8 dollar menu?
    I want to hear your thoughts on it since the price seems too good to be true. I’m especially interested in your thoughts on the Spicy Cowboy Chopped Steak. Please do a review of that dish!

  8. Jim says:

    God this country is fat

  9. Ivane says:

    These things are way overpriced in my opinion. And, they don’t even fill me up. Like somebody else said, the Grilled Stuft burrito is cheaper and it fills me up!