Review: Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell
Many years ago… I want to say a decade back, a very competitive friend of mine bet me a considerable amount of money that I couldn’t go an entire month without fast food. I’ll cut to the end of that story and just let you know I actually won the bet. The most difficult part of this bet was that within the first week of my fast food fasting, Taco Bell was featuring the new Cheesy Gordita Crunch. I recall driving by my neighborhood Taco Bell every day and seeing the work of art poster in the window. It wasn’t until its second run that I actually got my hands on this delicious Taco Bell gem.
The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is described by Taco Bell like this:
Warm, pillowy flatbread covered in a melted three-cheese blend, wrapped around a crunchy taco and topped with a zesty Pepper Jack sauce.
It has taken me forever to get a review of the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, but now that it’s back for a limited time along with the $5 Buck Box, I had to jump on it. If you follow GrubGrade, you might know that I reviewed a slightly different version back in 2009 called the Bacon Cheddar Gordita Crunch. Now you won’t find a bigger critic than me when it comes to the “Taco Bell Method” of shuffling around the same familiar ingredients and slapping on a new name and promotional price. I’ve mentioned that many times before and it’s worth repeating. That said, you’ve got to give credit to Taco Bell for the genius of wrapping a soft gordita flatbread around a crunchy taco shell with gooey cheese between the two acting as the packaging glue. I love the crunch of a hard shell taco, but I don’t care much for it when it falls apart in my hands after one bite. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch remedies the mess with the best of both worlds… you still get a crunch, and you get your crunch contained within the flatbread.
Is the Cheesy Gordita Crunch where the “crunch-chew-eesy” commercials came from some years back? Slightly annoying, but an accurate way to describe it. Crunchy, chewy, cheesy. You’ve got the best of all texture worlds with the Cheesy Gordita Crunch. The Pepper Jack sauce is a decent topper sauce for this item as it isn’t too offputting and would more than likely appease most. If there’s anything I could really put down about the Cheesy Gordita Crunch as a whole would be subbing out the beef for chicken or steak. The option is always there at Taco Bell, but this item is meant for beef and beef only. I’ve tried it with steak and I’ve tried it with chicken, but beef is really the only way to go. The blends of flavors and textures work with the seasoned ground beef better than the rest.
I don’t see the need for Taco Bell to attempt to try and mimic a fast-casual concept like Chipotle with its Cantina Tacos or the currently testing Cantina Bell Menu. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is a good example of everything that Taco Bell should stand for. Taco Bell’s strength isn’t in authentic Mexican creations, its forte lies within the ability to experiment and make interesting cheap menu items. Some of these interesting items include the likes of the Crunchwrap Supreme and the Beefy Crunch Burrito with Flamin’ Hot Fritos. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is up there among the best Taco Bell has to offer and a permanent spot on the menu board would be deserved.
Pros: The crunch of the inner taco shell. Cheese glue. A tasty Taco Bell classic.
Cons: Only really works well with beef. Could use some more cheese between the flatbread and the taco shell... or better distribution.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Overall GrubGrade: 9.25/10
More Info: TacoBell.com
Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Calories - 490
Total Fat - 29 grams
Saturated Fat - 10 grams
Carbs - 39 grams
Cholesterol - 55 milligrams
Sodium - 810 milligrams
Sugars - 6 grams
Dietary Fiber - 5 grams
Protein - 20 grams