Review: Loaded Grillers from Taco Bell

I’m all about snacking, variety, and doing it on the cheap. A fast food value menu is one of the key ingredients I look for in what makes the restaurant excel where it should. If I want something for 6 bucks, I’ll upgrade to fast casual where I can expect the quality to be better. As far as inexpensive variety goes, Taco Bell has always been a top choice for me. The latest entries into the realm of super-quick, snackable, handheld Taco Bell fare are the Loaded Grillers and the variety is there, too – you’ve got 3 choices at a dollar a piece:  Loaded Potato, Spicy Buffalo Chicken and Beefy Nacho.Loaded Grillers Taco BellSo when you first get a glimpse of Loaded Grillers in ad pics, what comes to mind? Surely most will think along the lines of, “those are just taquitos with a new name”. You’re pretty far off with that assessment.Taco Bell Loaded GrillerI’d consider the Loaded Grillers to be a shrunken down version of the Grilled Stuft Burrito with 3 new choices on the inside. The Loaded Grillers are small burritos and not thin, crispy, long corn tortilla wrapped taquitos.Loaded Grillers aim to take common appetizer grub like potato skins, buffalo chicken wings and nachos and wrap them up in a tight little package with the familiar Taco Bell twist.  At 99 cents, this promo price is a pretty solid value, but you’re not going to come away too impressed by the product itself.  Coming in to the product sampling, I had a good idea which Loaded Griller would stand out slightly above the rest. Loaded Griller size

  • Loaded Potato Griller:  Delivers the taste of loaded potato skins because we take our crispy potato bites and cover them with warm nacho cheese sauce, flavorful bacon, cool reduced-fat sour cream, then wrap all of those delicious ingredients up in a warm flour tortilla and grill it so it’s ready to eat on-the-go!  Calories: 420, Total Fat: 22g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 13g

The Loaded Potato Griller was my favorite of the 3 choices.  While I didn’t really care too much for the Crispy Potato Soft Taco I reviewed a couple years ago, I’ve revisited it time and time again and it’s grown on me.  I’ll throw the Loaded Potato Griller in with my fondness of the seasoned crispy potato bites and say the package works on most levels.  The pieces of bacon hit you with the saltiness to cut through the starch and the nacho cheese provides the gooey blanket that envelopes the crispy potatoes.  The reduced-fat sour cream would work a lot better as an applied condiment or dipping base as it doesn’t do much but slightly get in the way of the consistency harmony of the other ingredients.  This is one super salty Loaded Griller, but it remained the most interesting of a less than interesting bunch.  The Loaded Potato Griller comes away with a strong 8.00/10.Loaded Potato Griller

  • Spicy Buffalo Chicken Griller: Delivers the taste of buffalo chicken wings because we take our marinated and grilled, all-white meat chicken, add spicy lava sauce, cool reduced-fat sour cream, then wrap everything up in a warm flour tortilla and grill it so it’s ready to eat on-the-go!  Calories: 350, Total Fat: 15g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 15g

The Spicy Buffalo Chicken Griller didn’t impress me and was just kind of average.  Keep in mind with this one that there is no buffalo wing sauce to speak of.  Taco Bell uses the spicy lava sauce used for the Volcano menu items (see also) and throws in some grilled chicken and sour cream.  Once again, the sour cream would work best separately and not locked into the product itself.  The Spicy Buffalo Chicken Griller seemed to be missing something… like it was one ingredient away from being in “good” territory.  It’s probably too spicy for the average patron with the wimpy pallet.  Overall I’d give this one a so-so 6.50/10.Spicy Buffalo Chicken Loaded Griller

  • Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller: Delivers the taste of beefy cheesy nachos with our seasoned beef covered in warm nacho cheese sauce and crisp red strips for crunch, wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla and grilled so it’s ready to eat on-the-go!  Calories: 420, Total Fat: 19g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 12g

The Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller would get my vote for most uninspired of the 3 choices.  This is basically the Beefy Nacho Burrito without the nacho chips, in a smaller sized and grilled for a slightly crisp outer layer.  The red tortilla strips are just there for texture and mine didn’t hold up too well under the pressure of the beef and cheese.  I would’ve rather had this be more reminiscent of the Beefy Crunch Burrito from a couple years ago because I really liked the Flamin’ Hot Fritos.  Fritos hold the crunch a lot better and these strips just don’t.  The Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller is nothing new.  It’s the most basic, inside the box, of the choices.  Middle of the road, 6.25/10.Beefy Nacho Loaded BurritoIn closing, Loaded Grillers come away with a case of “same old song and dance”.  While the Loaded Potato Griller offers up something interesting, the other two choices come up short.  All 3 items work in their own way for your particular tastes and it’s hard to argue with a fast food deal as good as 99 cents.  In the end, Loaded Grillers achieve what I consider to be what good fast food is all about.  Loaded Grillers are great for grubbing on the go and are available for some spare change. Taste-wise, it’s what you’d come to expect from the familiar ingredients at Taco Bell.Taco Bell New Loaded Grillers

Pros: Ultra portable grubbing on the go. 99 cents. 3 choices. Loaded Potato Griller is a solid, inspired offering.

Cons: Beefy Nacho and Spicy Buffalo Loaded Grillers seemed too familiar to me. These would work a lot better with their own individual side dipping sauces or sides of sour cream.

Taste: 7.00/10
Value: 8.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.25/10
Price: $0.99

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

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42 comments on “Review: Loaded Grillers from Taco Bell

  1. Heidi S. says:

    I might try one tomorrow. I’ve always been a fan of the potato taco…their beef scares me a little 😉

  2. Mike N. says:

    It’s funny that the vegitarian-friendly potato griller has more fat than the beefy nacho griller. I’m sure to try all three in the next few days, and actually the beef one is the one I’m most excited about, especially when doused with fire sauce.

    • Ryan says:

      Don’t forget the bacon 🙂

    • SmoledMan says:

      Vegetarian means eating lots of green vegetables and healthy fats(nuts, avocado, seeds, olive oil), not the crap they use in fast food concoctions. Absence of meat does not equal vegetarian. It’s also a philosophy on living.

      • stevenp says:

        Smoled: Excuse me? Where do you get your ‘definition’ of vegetarian? Because it ain’t in the dictionary, and it doesn’t apply in real life. “Vegetarian” means abstaining from eating meat. period. And I know several vegetarians; almost without exception, they really like unhealthy foods like soda, sweet desserts (cookies, cakes, etc.) and fried foods like french fries, onion rings, etc. In fact, most vegetarian friends crave sweets far more than my omnivore self.

      • Colin says:

        Food snob alert!

  3. Scott says:

    Wrong SmoledMan. It means no meat…Dictionary would help you

  4. Scott says:

    i know a vegetarian who pretty much only eats pancakes. He’s a vegetarian because of religion not because of a healthy lifestyle

  5. Chefprotoss says:

    So this morning I went to Subway. I was annoyed that the girl making my sub was talking on her cell phone and halfway through making said sub, I realized that her gloved hand was touching both the phone and the sub. Needless to say, I told her to forget about the sub and left. What does this have to do with Taco Bell? Well, about 50 feet away from that Subway is my go-to Taco Bell. I tried the Nacho Griller and was half impressed and half annoyed. It was about the size of a regular bean burrito, but grilled. Not a bad move Taco Bell. Unfortunately, it was filled with the same stuff everything else is. It just tasted like boring old Taco Bell. Whoopdeedoo… No cool new sauce awaited my taste buds, just plain jane nacho cheese. 5/10

    Also, has anyone else noticed that the Baja Gordita and Challupa are no longer on the menu? And not just not on the menu like the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, where you have to just ask for it, but completely removed? You can still order them by de- and reconstructing a Gordita Supreme, but they charge you for everything not included. At this same Taco Bell(which is a corporate store), it’s over THREE DOLLARS to build a Baja Gordita. WTF, Taco Bell? You have everything to make it. Did your menu need more room, so you had to clear space? A lot of people like me loved the old Grilled Stuft Burrito, Baja Challupas and Gorditas, Cheesy Gordita Crunches, and Black Jack Tacos because of that delicious nectar that is Baja Sauce! Why are you systematically removing it from the menu? The Volcano Taco, Chicken Burrito and others were tasty and fun because of the cool wacky sauces you put on them. NACHO CHEESE AND LITE SOUR CREAM ARE NOT FUN AND WACKY! THE LITE SOUR CREAM SUCKS BALLS TOO! We used to love each other Taco Bell. A forbidden passion was shared between us. Why have you forsaken me?

  6. jreednet says:

    Had all 3! Liked the Chicken the best, the potato the least. Sour cream and nacho cheese was of course all on one side of the thing, typical taco bell.

  7. Biff McGee says:

    Looks like vomit rolled into tortilla. Disgusting. Not worth a buck or 50 cents in my opinion.

    • Mikey D says:

      Really? You must have some edible looking vomit. I just don’t get comments like this that bash the product for no reason.

      • Ryan says:

        Burritos are usually the some of the most difficult foods to look great in pics. Yeah I wonder if Biff has tried them.

        • Klee says:

          I agree, does not look like vomit… I mean, really? Why even say that? I’m thinking it makes them feel superior, not eating a cheap product. Btw I had the nacho cheese one, it was disgusting, couldn’t even finish it. It did looks like a burrito tho

  8. Nick says:

    I just tried all three.

    The potato one is pretty darn good, and it’s also obviously the worst one health-wsie. But even Taco Bell’s mushy potatoes do alright when smothered in cheese sauce, bacon bits and sour cream. I enjoyed this one.

    The beef/nacho one is okay, but boring… it’s about as “default uninspired taco bell” as you can get. Mine was mostly seasoned beef with a few sad soggy tortilla strips and a vague hint that nacho cheese might have visited the contents of the burrito once, but it had clearly left town weeks ago. This needs something more… more nacho cheese, for a start, less beef, maybe throw some beans in there or something…. I dunno… Most of the flavor I got from this was just plain “salt”.

    As for the chicken one… It just doesn’t work at all. The weird citrus flavoring they use in the chicken since they introduced those awful bowls clashes completely with the rest of the ingredients. It’s also pretty spicy. Probably much too spicy for normal people. I usually enjoy that, but it doesn’t have the flavor punch to back up its heat level. It somehow manages to be hot and bland at the same time, yet it still carries strong notes of lemon scented furniture polish. This would be much better if Taco Bell used chicken that tasted more like chicken than what I clean my floors with and if it had an actual buffalo sauce rather than the volcano sauce or whatever it is they’re using. And if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle.

    My take: The potato’s good, the beef is a bit south of mediocre, and the chicken is terrible.

    • JF says:

      I pretty much agree with you after trying all 3 today as well. The potato is by far the best of the 3. The chicken is the worst. It’s the first time I had chicken since they introduced their cantina line and the marinade totally kills it. Just doesn’t work with the lava sauce and just had a really odd, pretty horrible taste. Not sure how the chicken is on other items, but this just doesn’t work at all. And I was looking forward to the chicken hoping it would be good. I wish they’d bring back the spicy chicken.

  9. John says:

    Volcano sauce will cure any taco bell Woes.. also… you can ask your local taco bell to toast/press your order if you want…. – makes the entire menu retarded.

  10. Raposin says:

    I don’t even like Taco Bell but I’m thinking of trying one of these.

  11. Jenne says:

    The thing I like about Taco Bell is that it’s cheap and reliable…the thing I don’t like…it’s reliable…TOO reliable…they keep using the same few items to make new items.. so whether you’re getting a soft tortilla/cheese/sauce/meat or not OR the crunchy chips/tortilla/cheese/sauce/meat or not based’s all the same stuff. PLEASE for the love of all that’s holy, bring back the bell beefer and forget your “outside the bun” mantra!

  12. rummble says:

    I just tried all 3 of them and I would have to say the potato wins it for me.

    If your going to try all 3 or even 2 I would suggest you eat the chicken one last.

    The potato is well seasoned and you can taste it which makes it the best for me.

    The chicken which I wish I had it last was way way over powering with it’s buffalo sauce. It was soo over powering that you can’t really taste the chicken at all and that sauce carries over to your next one. Now I do love spicy stuff but not at the cost of not being able to taste the rest of the food. Not sure if the chicken was well seasoned or not but you just really couldn’t taste it.

    The beef well… I really couldn’t taste it cause I still had the buffalo sauce taste in my mouth and therefore couldn’t taste any beef.

    I would try the beef 1st and then the potato and then leave the chicken very last. That’s about the only way your gonna really be able taste each one for what they are.

    Also I noticed that the chicken one was smaller then the others. Not sure if everybody noticed it.

  13. rondoman says:

    You know what drives me nuts about TB? The way they construct their burritos or anything wrapped in a soft shell.

    Instead of taking meat, cheese, veggies, sauce, etc. and EVENLY spreading it across the length of the shell, they just throw the ingredients on next to each other. Always pisses me off.

    So you take a bite of your burrito, and you first get a mouthful of sour cream, then the next bite, a mouthful of just meat, then the next bite maybe all veggies.

    Anybody know what I’m trying to say?

  14. Nick Rovo says:

    I feel like these are just another line of uninspired products from taco bell. I do like the value of them though. I agree with you that fast food should keep to pushing out cheap products rather than trying to get “upscale”.

  15. Abby says:

    Too much tortilla not enough filling; same story different product.

  16. Zachary says:

    I think taco bell is a bunch of copy cats. Up in buffalo ny, we have a place called might taco, fast service, similar to taco bell. My favorite menu item, is a “nacho buffito” It’s buffalo chicken, fritos, and blu cheese dressing, in a tortilla, what I think taco bell was trying to replicate.

  17. Dan says:

    The chicken one is gross because they’re trying to recreate this buffalo chicken type flavor but they use the chicken that has that cilantro lime flavor and it doesn’t mix well with the volcano and sour cream sauces. The potatoe one is definitely a winner.

  18. MP says:

    Just finished eating mine – I got the Beefy Nacho and the Buffalo Chicken Loader. I have to say, I got a lot of big chunks chicken in mine, and I liked the buffalo sauce & sour cream together. The Beefy Nacho was alright. I would say 99 cents for the Beefy Nacho is spot-on, and I would pay up to $1.29 for the chicken one again. They were about 25% bigger than I was expecting.

  19. Neko says:

    I’ve had two of the three so far. I didn’t try the nacho griller as its the same as past versions minus sour cream. If I were to eat it I’d ask for lava sauce instead of nacho cheese and add sour cream to it.

    With the “buffalo” chicken, I agree it’s nothing special. It’s just chicken, lava sauce and sour cream. I wouldn’t get it again and would stick with their chicken burrito adding sour cream.

    The loaded potato griller was the best out of the three. It was like having a baked potato burrito and should be a keeper. If I were to get it again I’d substitute lava sauce instead of nacho cheese.

  20. Ken says:

    I ordered 2 chicken ones and got 1 chicken & 1 potato by accident. The potato one was waaaaay better. Taco Bell really needs to get away from that awful citrus marinated chicken. It’s passable when you’ve got strong flavors to mask what’s going on with it, but they really screwed the rest of their chicken menu with all this Cantina Bell stuff.

  21. Manavee says:

    I tried all 3 today, ad my thoughts echo a lot of what has been written above.

    1. The loaded Potato one is the clear winner. It is a steal at 99 cents.
    2. The beefy nacho is very generic Taco Bell. It’s perfectly fine, but nothing special.
    3. I thought the Buffalo Chicken was horrible. I’ll go on record as saying I actually like TB’s new citrus-y chicken. However, it does not work at all with the buffalo sauce. The flavors are just totally discordant.

  22. The loaded Potato griller was worth all the 99 cents. The beefy nacho and Buffalo Chicken, like all other have said, are nothing special. I recommend them possibly doing a steak or even better a fish option.

  23. CB says:

    Love the potato and beef one. The chicken one is gross but its probably cuz I hate the citrus chicken

  24. Darrell Martinsen says:

    Once again, Taco Bell is forcing its customers to “take it or leave it” instead of offering a choice. Much as they did when they replaced their regular sour cream with that less than appetizing reduced-fat sour cream, instead of letting us choose between the two toppings or making it available separately, like on the Fresco menu…Taco Bell is now forcing us to eat any items with chicken on them to now eat the cilantro lime chicken monstrosity on all items that essentially only worked somewhat well with the bowls. Not liking the direction Taco Bell seems to be heading, although I am looking forward to the recently rumored Vanilla Frutista! 🙂

    • John says:

      I think you make a good point… if Taco Bell was to Re-invent itself- it would be to let itself have its Customers choose the ingredients in all of their items… Taco bell isn’t fast casual like Chipotle…. there is no Legitimate fast casual fast food business- taco bell- burger king- mcdonalds- Wendys..Del Taco… the list goes on…. that let you customize… the only fast food joint that has a secret menu and is open to customization in almost all locations without being cheap snobs is In-and-Out burger… Maybe fast food joints need to re-invent how they sell their products because its getting old and increasingly expensive and un-inspired.
      And when I say fast good I mean STRICTLY the world-wide mainstream fast food companies.

  25. maxchain says:

    I had the Loaded Potato Griller. In the first bite (and one near the end) I managed to get every ingredient in just the right ratio. I was briefly impressed, it actually did taste kinda like potato skins there!

  26. Great review and good pics! Yours look way more packed than mine did. I agree with you 100% on the order of these too. Potato clearly the best, Nacho clearly the worst. Still, glad to see Taco Bell Do what they do best, make crap. I reviewed em too but we fall in line on our thoughts for the most part. Watching the site for the news of when they will launch the new Doritos tacos!

  27. Justin says:

    I’m not sure what the deal is with the Taco bell by my house but they never seem to participate with nationwide offerings. I live in San Antonio, there are plenty of cheaper taco offerings here. These things were $1.29 each.

    Anyway I found all three to be terrible. Beefy Nacho was bland, Spicy Chicken was bland. The Potato one was alright. I live potato and egg breakfast tacos with some spicy salsa. This thing was just a little weird with the cheese sauce and sour cream.

    Currently I’m sitting on the can pooing these things out of me. It’s an unpleasant experience. Never again.

  28. […] Grillers to the menu – Chipotle Ranch Chicken and Chili Cheese Fries.  The new duo joins the Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller and Loaded Potato Loaded Griller that are already on the menu.  For a limited time, all Loaded Grillers will be sold at $1.00 all […]

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