Review: Sriracha Quesarito from Taco Bell
Last year when Taco Bell introduced us to their quesadilla-wrapped burrito known as the Quesarito, I felt it was a great idea that turned out to be nothing special. The next version of the Quesarito is known as the Sriracha Quesarito and it introduces us to Taco Bell’s spicy new Sriracha sauce.
Taco Bell describes their new Sriracha Quesarito like this:
The Quesarito you love now with 2 layers of our insanely good Sriracha sauce. The Quesarito is the best of a quesadilla and burrito rolled into one. It’s filled with seasoned beef, premium Latin rice, our own tangy Sriracha sauce and reduced-fat sour cream. Then it’s wrapped up in a grilled quesadilla loaded with melted cheese and another layer of our Sriracha sauce.
So if you weren’t thrilled with the Chipotle sauce found in the original Quesarito, maybe the Sriracha Quesarito will change your mind on the overall product.
The Chipotle sauce wasn’t the issue keeping the original Quesarito from being a success. I found the overall taste and heat of the sauce to be one of the bright spots. What made the original Quesarito just average was that the quesadilla portion didn’t really stand out to me. The whole point of the Quesarito was to have this wow factor that there’s this quesadilla wrapped around a burrito. Since the quesadilla part wasn’t very noticeable, the Quesarito turned out being just another average Taco Bell burrito. Besides the sauce flavor, the Sriracha Quesarito is a familiar experience. All the remaining components that make up the Sriracha Quesarito are the same. I enjoyed the “premium Latin rice” which is basically seasoned white rice tossed with cilantro. The reduced-fat sour cream provides a little hint of a cooling balance to the spice of the Sriracha sauce which would probably be more noticeable if it was missing. Sometimes ingredients seem like they don’t have any impact unless they’re missing from the product and that’s likely where the inclusion of the sour cream comes in.
There was something specific that I addressed in the original Quesarito which I will quote here… I said, “I think the quesadilla portion struggles to stand out much because there’s nothing new about the cheese. If Taco Bell featured a new cheese or sauce within the quesadilla level of the Quesarito, maybe the experience wouldn’t be as forgettable.” Well well well… there isn’t a new cheese within that quesadilla wrapping, but there is a new sauce mixed in with the cheese. So essentially there’s a Sriracha-laced melty nacho cheese quesadilla wrapped around the combination of seasoned beef, rice, sour cream and even more Sriracha sauce. That’s more like it Taco Bell. The fiery red-orange Sriracha has some sweetness, a little tang, hints of garlic and plenty of spicy bite if you have a tame tongue. Having the sauce mixed in with the nacho cheese within the quesadilla layer works well and I noticed the difference with my first bite. I liked how the cheese pretty much became a sriracha flavored nacho cheese sauce. The consistency of the Sriracha sauce itself was difficult to identify mixed with all the other ingredients. I’d have to say it appeared to be creamier than what I’m used to with sriracha, but again, tough to tell for sure. Yes it’s the spiciest sauce you’ll get at Taco Bell and no Lava Sauce lovers, that void in your heart probably won’t be filled. Maybe you’ll be pleased with the level of heat, it’s just that they taste entirely different.
At a price of $2.69, the Sriracha Quesarito with seasoned beef was a $0.20 upcharge over the original at my local Taco Bell in Maryland. You also have the option to substitute the seasoned beef for shredded chicken or grilled chicken for an extra $0.50 or steak for an additional $0.80. I’m not really crazy about an upcharge for Sriracha sauce instead of Chipotle sauce, but you are getting an extra layer of sauce with the Sriracha version.
To sum up the Sriracha Quesarito, although I’m growing tired of Sriracha this and Sriracha that on menus everywhere, at least the trend is a tasty one. The additional layer of sauce within the nacho cheese portion of the quesadilla layer proved to give the Sriracha Quesarito a slight edge over its predecessor.
Pros: The extra sauce in the quesadilla layer makes a difference. Plenty of heat and flavor from the Sriracha.
Cons: Upcharge for sauce. An added crunchy element would improve things... if you don't get crunchy/chewy/cheesy at Taco Bell your ceiling is a little lower.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.25/10
Overall GrubGrade: 6.75/10
More Info: http://www.tacobell.com/food/specialties/sriracha-quesarito
Serving Size - 269 grams
Calories - 650
Total Fat - 32 grams
Saturated Fat - 12 grams
Carbs - 68 grams
Sodium - 1720 milligrams
Cholesterol - 55 milligrams
Dietary Fiber - 6 grams
Sugars - 7 grams
Protein - 22 grams