Taco Bell has been on a roll recently! We didn’t get a chance to review the Bacon Club Chalupa, but we thought it was very good and an excellent bargain in its $5 meal deal. Their latest offering is the Dare Devil Loaded Grillers, a set of three “loaded Grillers” with super-spicy sauce in three heat levels.
Each Griller is wrapped in a grilled burrito and includes Taco Bell’s seasoned ground beef, nacho cheese, and crunchy red tortilla strips. The primary draw is the Dare Devil sauces, however: Chipotle, Habanero, and Ghost Pepper (from least to most hot).
The sauces for the Grillers are all mayonnaise based, with the Habanero sauce also including sour cream. As the sauce for the Chipotle Griller was an already established sauce on their menu, we decided to only review the two new sauces.
After the jump we’ll take the dare and see if these Grillers are red hot or stone cold.
They both clock in at about seven inches long, which is pretty dang large for the value of a dollar. They were rather thin, though – bigger than the quesadilla, for sure, but not as big as the Beefy Fritos Burrito. These are a great value, but not the best on the menu.
Right away we noticed that they are grilled! Both Grillers were hot and tightly sealed with a dark brown crust of grilled tortilla. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but previously-advertised “grilled” items have come to us comparatively lukewarm and pale.
We did notice one thing that spooked us: the sauce on the Ghost Pepper Griller had started to leak out, forming what looked scarily like an oozing wound on the tortilla.
First up was the Habanero Griller. This was oddly sweet on first bite due to the mayo and sour cream. The heat level only really kicked in after swallowing, with a very mild burn on the tongue. The warmth was reminiscent of a grill slowly heating up to a low peak. It got hottest at the very last bite once the remainder of the sauce had been consumed.
The Ghost Pepper Griller promised considerably more intensity, but would it deliver? Ghost Pepper, or Bhut Jolokia, is one of the hottest peppers that you have any chance of encountering in America; it has been a subject of chain restaurant fascination for a few years now, but has only started to make its way into the fast food world.
The first and last time that we’ve tried anything related to the Bhut Jolokia was Popeyes’ Ghost Pepper Wings, which promised intense heat but were ultimately disappointing, featuring nothing more than a vegetal heat.
The Ghost Pepper sauce made it hard to taste other flavors, because all that was noticeable was the intense searing heat. This was without a doubt the spiciest thing we had ever eaten at Taco Bell. The spice burned all the way from the tip of our tongues to the back of our throats and lingered for a very long time even after drinking. This is a menu item for true heat heads – if you love burning off your taste buds, this is for you. If not, stick to the Habanero Griller.
The both of them were otherwise identical. Warm ground beef, cheese, and a crunchy filler is relatively standard Taco Bell fare, and by no means covering new ground. One major problem was that the red strips weren’t even crunchy!
Each menu item that has included these strips has had them turn out soggy and unnoticeable. They’re a complete after thought each time. Why not just use real Fritos, which are consistently crunchy in every Frito-based item on the Taco Bell menu?
The primary draw here are the spicy sauces, and without them, these would be overwhelmingly bland. Frankly, the spicy sauces are even better on their own.
We found that purchasing a Beefy Fritos Burrito (which is our current typical go-to Taco Bell menu item) with a side of Dare Devil sauce to dip it in was absolutely delicious, for only about $.30 more. Having them on the outside makes them easier to smell, and smelling them makes them more flavorful. If you want to give these a try but are hesitant, go for the extra cup of sauce.
Habanero Dare Devil Griller: 5 out of 5 – Simply Superb!
Ghost Pepper Dare Devil Griller: 4 out of 5 – Worth Trying (Worth Getting Again)
Both of these Grillers were really, really enjoyable to eat. Although the Ghost Pepper Griller’s heat level somewhat overpowered the flavor of the rest of the food, the Habanero Griller found a perfect match of heat and taste. Considering that at our Taco Bell the standard Grillers are $1.50, these are a great bargain for the price and make an excellent meal.