Review: Mango BBQ Chickstar from Taco Bell
Taco Bell released a bunch of new menu items today and figuring out which product to review first was tough. To narrow it down I decided to pick something that had the most “newness” factor. I chose the new Mango BBQ Chickstar to kick things off. Taco Bell describes their new Mango BBQ Chickstar like this:
A warm, soft, flour tortilla filled with new premium all-white-meat crispy chicken that’s marinated in bold Mexican spices, rolled in a crunchy corn tortilla coating, and crisped to perfection combined with a tangy Mango BBQ sauce, real cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes and then wrapped up and grilled for maximum portability.
Breaking down what’s new here we’ve got a new trademarked name… Chickstar… which will likely see many incarnations throughout the coming years. There’s also the new Mango BBQ sauce and, of course, new crispy chicken.
Of course, the basics of the Chickstar shouldn’t be anything new to Taco Bell fans. It’s really just a new style of Crunchwrap. Nice move for Taco Bell as the Crunchwrap was once the least utilized original products on the menu and I always wondered why. In the last year or so, all that has changed… the AM Crunchwrap kicked off the breakfast menu in early 2014 and Crunchwrap Sliders were introduced in late 2014. These are nice, portable fast food items and the Chickstar is just another branch to that original idea.The Mango BBQ Chickstar has some familiar items found in most Taco Bell creations… lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese. Each play a small role in the overall product. The produce acts as that little extra filler and freshness to blanket the warm ingredients and it helps even out the sauce. The shredded cheddar cheese is lost for the most part, but if any amount clumps up in certain ends, it will make for a pleasing bite. There are two pieces of crispy chicken inside the Chickstar. Each is about the size of a slightly smaller McDonald’s Hash Browns and they kind of look similar too. On closer inspection you can see the breading of the crispy chicken does feature some specks of crushed tortilla pieces. The crispness of the breading was pretty decent throughout, but I wouldn’t say the crushed tortilla part was much of a huge standout. In order to fit the products they’re featured in, the crispy chicken pieces are pressed and flattened out, so don’t go expecting big meaty chunks of chicken. Flavors are tame with typical seasoned chicken breading ingredients like salt, onion and garlic powders and a little hint of corn. The Mango BBQ sauce was an interesting choice and it made for a sweet and tangy flavor experience. I found the sauce flavor to be subtle enough to not come off as overwhelming, and it’s likely due to a couple reasons. First of all, there didn’t seem to be a lot of sauce used in my Chickstar. Second reason being it’s light and thin, almost like a Mango BBQ vinaigrette. Overall I feel the Mango BBQ had just the right amount of impact to be noticeable without feeling overused and drowning out the other ingredients.
At a price of $4.29, the Mango BBQ Chickstar is on the higher end of Taco Bell’s menu prices. The Chickstar alone didn’t feel hefty enough to be a full meal so plucking a sidekick from the Dollar Cravings Menu wouldn’t be a bad call. On the value scale, the Mango BBQ Chickstar struggles a bit, but it’s a great grubbing on the go item with new flavors that I wouldn’t mind having again. There’s plenty of new stuff to choose from now that crispy chicken is on the menu. Those of you looking for a change from all the grilled chicken changes over the years, you’ve got plenty of extra options now and the Chickstar isn’t a bad start.
Pros: Sweet and tangy Mango BBQ. Crispy chicken.
Cons: About a dollar away from a great value. Not filling enough to be ordered alone and will require some Dollar Cravings Menu assistance.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Overall GrubGrade: 6.50/10
More Info: tacobell.com
Serving Size - 279 grams
Calories - 650
Total Fat - 26 grams
Saturated Fat - 6 grams
Cholesterol - 40 milligrams
Sodium - 1620 milligrams
Carbs - 80 grams
Fiber - 5 grams
Sugars - 13 grams
Protein - 24 grams