Review: XXL Crispy Steak Taco from Taco Bell
While Taco Bell breakfast is making headlines, there are still new non-breakfast items to be covered. The XXL brand of products at Taco Bell is slowly growing into a decent menu of hearty offerings that aim to target an appetite that goes beyond the Why Pay More! menu. To date we’ve covered the XXL Chalupa, the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito, and the XXL Steak Nachos. The latest to join the XXL family comes quietly while breakfast gets all the attention. This is the new XXL Crispy Steak Taco.
Taco Bell describes the XXL Crispy Steak Taco like this:
The XXL Crispy Steak Taco is filled with a double portion of our premium thick cut steak, avocado ranch sauce, cool reduced-fat sour cream, crisp lettuce, diced juicy red-ripe tomatoes and real cheddar cheese in a XXL crispy shell. Also available with marinated all-white-meat chicken or seasoned beef.
The XXL Crispy Taco has your standard protein options available with steak being priced at $3.19, shredded chicken for $2.99, and beef at $2.69. I went with the steak version because it’s the advertised product, but as always, you’ve got variety. I’m not the biggest fan of the “premium thick cut steak” from Taco Bell, but I don’t hate it either. It kind of is what it is and you can preface steak with “premium” in the description all you want and it’s still going to be fast food steak. The steak has gone through plenty of makeovers and not once have I been overly impressed. I temper my expectations enough to say the steak is passable and does its job. In the XXL Crispy Steak Taco I can understand how steak is the featured protein since avocado ranch sauce is included and I don’t see it working quite as well with shredded chicken or seasoned ground beef.
The steak has gone through enough tweaking to become not as overly chewy as past incarnations. This results in steak morsels that have a texture that comes off as not very “premium”, but sacrifices had to be made to cut down on the rubbery old stuff. Flavor-wise, the meaty morsels don’t have one truly identifiable standout taste…(salted steak?). The avocado ranch sauce provides a delicate tangy quality that is more ranch than avocado, yet it’s tasty and complements the steak. I could’ve done without the reduced-fat sour cream because it seemed unnecessary to me with avocado ranch sauce. There is a good amount of steak stuffed into this oversized crispy taco shell to make the $3.19 purchase price feel about right.
So how about that big crispy taco shell? I whipped out the trusty toolbox where my tape measure makes me feel like I’m about to do a real man’s work. The crispy corn tortilla shell is an impressive 7.5″ long and slightly thicker than the regular hard shells. I enjoyed the crispy crunch of the shell and it came off as a higher quality shell than the standard stuff. With the aforementioned steak and avocado ranch sauce being the highlights within the oversized taco shell, the lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese were more filler than anything else. Filler is an understatement with the lettuce and diced tomatoes since they spilled out easily. I was pleased that the mess ends there and no where else since the taco shell was tough enough to keep everything else intact.
I paired my XXL Crispy Steak Taco with the new Mtn Dew Kickstart Black Cherry Freeze during Taco Bell’s Happier Hour which scored me the regular sized Freeze for $1.00. Even though the Black Cherry Freeze paired well with my food, I’m still looking for a replacement for Mtn Dew Code Red.
To sum up the XXL Crispy Steak Taco I’d say it’s a tasty taco that lives up to its XXL name. I can see myself ordering this again and that’s the first time I’ve thought that about an XXL product from Taco Bell. It wasn’t a complete gut bomb creeping up to the $5-$6 mark like the others in the XXL family. At around 3 bucks, the XXL Crispy Steak Taco left me satisfied.
Pros: Hearty, crispy corn tortilla shell. The avocado ranch sauce worked for me with this taco. XXL sized taco at a fair price.
Cons: Fast food steak should never be called premium. Overdoing it with lettuce and tomatoes. Reduced-fat sour cream wasn't necessary.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: $3.19 for the purchased steak version ($2.99 w/shredded chicken, $2.69 w/beef)
Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10
More Info: http://www.tacobell.com/food/tacos/XXL-steak-crispy-taco
Serving Size - 193 grams
Calories - 430
Total Fat - 25 grams
Saturated Fat - 7 grams
Cholesterol - 75 milligrams
Sodium - 680 milligrams
Carbs - 26 grams
Sugars - 3 grams
Protein - 24 grams