Review: Quesalupa from Taco Bell
We got our first look at the Quesalupa a little over a year ago when Conan O’Brien tried one on a visit to the Taco Bell headquarters. Since then we saw its test market campaign in Toledo, Ohio and then even a breakfast version months later. The Quesalupa is a highly anticipated item for Taco Bell fans and the national release is finally upon us. I got my Quesalupa two days before the wide release via Taco Bell’s pre-order promo.Taco Bell’s Quesalupa is described like this:
The Quesalupa has melted pepper jack cheese stuffed inside a flaky, crispy shell. It’s layered with premium seasoned beef, crisp lettuce, real cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream and diced ripe tomatoes.
Rearranging familiar ingredients is something that we’re used to from Taco Bell. With the Quesalupa, we are introduced to a new cheese stuffed shell, but what’s inside is everything you’ll find in a typical Crunchy Taco Supreme.So right off the bat we know that the Quesalupa opens up a lot of new ideas for consumers to customize something truly unique using the new shell stuffed with pepper jack cheese. On the inside you’ve got the seasoned beef, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and diced tomatoes. Why go into the details of these individual components again and again? I guess to showcase this new shell, Taco Bell decided it was best to just use the most basic stuff on the inside in order to keep the real focus on the outside.I’m sad to say I found the Quesalupa’s shell to be lacking in both taste and texture. The texture is not exactly Chalupa-like… I’d say it’s surprisingly thinner than a Chalupa because it lacks that crisp, bubbled-fried puffed quality. It’s close to a Chalupa on the surface, but flattened and pressed. The cheese inside the shell lays towards the center and taste-wise I found it to be more Monterey Jack than pepper jack so that was a disappointment. Having this semi-Chalupa type of shell comes with some oily areas and adding in melted cheese impacted it even more. The chew of the shell was a little off too because of the pressed layers involved. To throw out one minor positive, there was a nice stretch of melted cheese when I pulled the Quesalupa apart in some areas. Even though it lacked impact in most areas, knowing you’re working with a cheese-stuffed shell has its novelty.At a suggested price of $2.99, the Quesalupa is a so-so value that might work alright featured around some Dollar Cravings Menu selections. Make a complete meal out of the Quesalupa and a couple of a la carte selections for a buck and you’ve got a filling fast food fix for five dollars.Was all the hype worth it? Nope, not for me. Honestly, even as a fast food fan and a fan of Taco Bell LTO’s, it’s almost never worth all the build up. I feel the best Taco Bell products are able to combine crunchy, chewy, cheesy textures and the Quesalupa was more chewy than anything else. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is a great thing… the Doritos version too… even the standard Chalupa shell is better than the Quesalupa shell. My experience with the Quesalupa was underwhelming and I’m disappointed about that. I really wanted the Quesalupa to be the next great thing at Taco Bell and it just fell short.
Pros: Golden wrapper and Quesalupa carrier. The ability to customize so easily at Taco Bell will still make me want to revisit the Quesalupa shell again.
Cons: Texture issues... too chewy. Cheese didn't have much flavor impact.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.25/10
Overall GrubGrade: 5.00/10
More Info: tacobell.com