Taco Bell, PLEASE just add Nacho Fries to your full time menu. We know you want to. Everybody loves them. Everybody wants them. You’ve been coasting off of the McRib effect for long enough and it’s time to just add Nacho Fries full time and make everybody happy.
In case you eat like a functioning person and didn’t know, Nacho Fries are basically the best french fries in fast food right now. They’re crisp, soft, and seasoned with a delicious blend of spices that add a dimension of flavor beyond the basic salted fries offered by every fast food chain that isn’t Arby’s or Rally’s/Checkers. They even come with their own side of nacho cheese to dip! How can you argue against that?
Taco Bell is obviously proud of their Nacho Fries and sometimes will mix things up with the addition of other ingredients. We had tried the Rattlesnake Steak fries, to good results; we had missed out on the Reaper Nacho Fries, to our disappointment. When they make these additions to the Nacho Fry formula, they also offer them wrapped up in a tortilla as a burrito too. We love the idea of a french fry burrito. It’s something to distinctively Taco Bell, something that vaguely has the shape of “Mexican food” but is so distantly detached from authenticity as to become a new kind of cuisine all together.
So now that Nacho Fries are back, they’ve come with a new version to try: the Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries, complete with Buffalo Chicken Nacho Fries Burrito. They can’t screw this up. They physically can’t make a Nacho Fries that is not good to eat. They can’t.
From where we are in 2020, it’s hard to imagine McDonald’s was once a major innovator in the world of fast food. The McDonald brothers and Ray Kroc were the inventors of the fast food concept, after all! The modern-day craze for chicken can even be traced back to the Chicken McNugget, which solidified the idea of molded ground chicken products into the consciousness of America. Now, it is lonely at the top, and McDonald’s is looking more and more decrepit in the face of fresher competitors. Without a doubt the biggest thorn in their side is Chick-fil-A, the notoriously homophobic fried chicken sandwich business that is the most beloved fast food chain in America.
McDonald’s has been desperate for a decent chicken offering to keep up with modern tastes, but nothing has really landed. They’ve tried chicken wings, chicken tenders, all kinds of new chicken sandwiches, but none of them have compared to the juggernaut power of established chicken chains. But there’s another front to the fast food war going on: breakfast. Taco Bell introduced a new breakfast menu in 2014, and Wendy’s is planning to bring back breakfast this year – so why not, McDonalds thinks, combine the two hot new things?
And here we are, with McDonald’s adding the new McChicken Biscuits and Chicken McGriddles to their menu. If there’s anything McDonald’s has been solidly entrenched in, it’s breakfast. Their Egg McMuffins are still the byword for “fast food breakfast”. What could go wrong?
Well, a lot.
It’s a generally accepted fact that Taco Bell never puts out anything new. The last successfully trending menu items they had released were the Doritos Locos Tacos and their many iterations, and they rode that wave for as long as they could. The other new items that they’ve introduced recently had received reception ranging from lukewarm (such as their frozen drinks) to incredulous (their breakfast menu), but none have shaped up to the alleged innovation of a taco with a Doritos shell.
Taco Bell is extremely guilty of its mangling of Mexican cuisine, in examples like the short-lived Grilled Stuft Nacho (which used a questionable definition of ‘grilled’, was only moderately stuffed, and had very little in common with nachos). It really should come as no surprise that they’ve managed to obfuscate the basic concept of a taquito into the mouthful that is their “Rolled Chicken Tacos”, but it’s still a disappointment.
When we first heard of the Rolled Chicken Taco, we have to admit we got a little excited. Finally, something remotely edible from Taco Bell! (Not that we have standards.) They even looked pretty tasty, featuring all-white chicken meat marinated in taco seasoning wrapped up in a corn tortilla and crispy-fried. Our excitement wavered once we noticed that was all it had in it, and dipped even further when we noticed that it was going to be a whole dollar per taquito. Regardless, we pressed on, bubbling with excitement over the thought of what is admittedly one of our favourite Tex-Mex foods finally being available at Taco Bell. We felt in our hearts that these were either going to be awesome or heart-breakingly disappointing.
Even though we had heard that these were going to be $1.99 for two, our local Taco Bell had them priced at $2.19, so we were already off to a bad start. They’re advertising these as being paired with their new Spicy Ranch sauce, but we ultimately decided on the Nacho Cheese sauce for a dip, feeling that anything we were unfamiliar with would affect our final judgment. Let’s hope that this is gonna be good…