Review: Grilled Stuft Nacho from Taco Bell
I’ve always wondered if fast food items that test well before a national release are tested by people that are familiar with the restaurant’s other menu offerings. I’d put myself in the “extremely familiar” category when it comes to the Taco Bell menu. Even though our personal tastes will vary, others that fit into this category would likely scratch their heads at how certain products make it through the battery of evaluations they go through before hitting restaurants nationwide. The new Grilled Stuft Nacho from Taco Bell is the latest entry to fall short for me.
The Grilled Stuft Nacho is described like this:
The Grilled Stuft Nacho is nacho flavors all wrapped up and grilled to perfection in the shape of a giant nacho chip, with seasoned beef, warm nacho cheese sauce, our new zesty nacho sauce, crunchy red strips, and cool reduced-fat sour cream.
I consider the Grilled Stuft Nacho to be a pretty good idea that wasn’t executed in a way to really stand out as special. The idea of folding up a stuffed tortilla into the shape of a giant nacho chip and then grilling it is awesome to me. This is something that I wanted to see succeed, and who knows, at the $1.29 promotional price it still may end up being a hit. What I’d prefer to see out of this is an opportunity for Taco Bell to recognize their creative idea didn’t have to end up so mediocre and possibly try again at a later date.
What makes a good nacho chip? Crisp and warm with a nice solid crunch is a decent start. Load that chip with cheese and other toppings and you’re on the right track. The biggest failure with the Grilled Stuft Nacho is that there’s no solid structure to it. It’s limp and floppy and actually quite pathetic looking. You’re going to want to keep the Grilled Stuft Nacho hidden within the bag it’s housed in or else fumble around with a sagging tortilla that’s ready to spill. There goes the joy of gazing upon the novelty of a tortilla shaped like a giant nacho chip… that’s my sarcastic way of saying it’s just a triangle. I still would’ve thought the triangle would be cool if it had something keeping it somewhat stiff. The tortilla is grilled and has some crispness to it in some spots, but it’s mostly on the pointed ends. Now I obviously haven’t been experimenting with Taco Bell ingredients attempting to perfect this compact stuffed tortilla triangle, yet another product comes to mind when thinking of a way to make it better: The Crunchwrap Supreme. The Crunchwrap might serve as an example of how to straighten the Grilled Stuft Nacho out. The Crunchwrap Supreme has a crunchy tostada shell inside of it and that helps give it some stability. So what do we do here? Triangle shaped tostada shells? It’s an idea that should be tinkered with. The Grilled Stuft Nacho does come with crunchy red strips, but there are just not enough of them to compete with the combo of warm nacho cheese sauce AND the new zesty nacho sauce. Add in the mix of ground beef and pointless sour cream and you’ll know why the crunchy red strips would be more appropriately labeled as just red strips.
It wasn’t too surprising to me that the seasoned beef felt lost in a sea of cheese. There didn’t seem to be much beef in the Grilled Stuft Nacho at all and maybe that’s why the $1.29 didn’t quite come off like a complete steal. I’d still say $1.29 is a good value for the 570 calories and 32 grams of fat you’re piling on (only 14 grams of protein though). The new zesty nacho sauce had a mildly spicy flavor that I wouldn’t mind having in some other products. It tasted like a much tamer version of Taco Bell’s lava sauce and it went well with the nacho cheese sauce. Since this is a “nacho” product, the warm nacho cheese was definitely the main player here. While the flavor and consistency was fine, there was too much nacho cheese. Maybe the new zesty nacho sauce should have been highlighted a bit more since it’s new.Overall the Grilled Stuft Nacho didn’t impress me. There wasn’t much of a nacho vibe outside of the nacho cheese sauce and while the new zesty nacho sauce gets my approval, the package altogether missed its mark. A quesadilla and a Crunchwrap don’t suffer from extreme limpness so I feel the Grilled Stuft Nacho didn’t need to suffer this fate. This is a difficult product to grade because it doesn’t taste terrible and it’s not grossly overpriced. Sure it can get messy, but the real issue is in all the other details of what this product intended to be and what it actually turned out to be. Cool idea, but this cool idea didn’t translate over to the actual product.
Pros: $1.29. I like the "idea" of what this product could be. Zesty nacho sauce is a wimpier alternative to lava sauce and I'm OK with that.
Cons: More limp than the soggy bottom chip in a plate of loaded nachos. Crunchy red strips were only there for color. Obviously I didn't feel like this was a portable plate of nachos wrapped in a tortilla, not even close.
Grubbing on-the-go: 3.25/10
Overall GrubGrade: 5.50/10
More Info: http://www.tacobell.com
Serving Size - 194 grams
Calories - 570
Total Fat - 32 grams
Saturated Fat - 7 grams
Cholesterol - 35 milligrams
Sodium - 960 milligrams
Carbs - 56 grams
Dietary Fiber - 6 grams
Sugars - 5 grams
Protein - 14 grams