Here are your choices between the two new products — one a burrito not called a burrito, and the other branded by MTV, who apparently aren’t worried whether they look cool or not anymore.
This is the second in a series of reviews of newly introduced fast-food items that will run this week, graded on a bell curve.
Taco Bell is the culinary equivalent of minimalist art. Their fast-food inventions are so simple that they often omit key ingredients that might make the food good.
The foil wrapper is intended to dazzle the eyes.
As an approximation of Mexican or even Tex-Mex, it’s not very well conceived. A standard Taco Bell antojito might consist simply of flour tortilla, rice and beans, plus a little cheese food product, if you’re lucky. Few chiles, raw onions, and little salsa, except that which you have the patience to squeeze out of the plastic tubes, a trickle of red hardly worth eking out.
Watching the new products being flogged is to see the same small number of components endlessly assorted, like a con man with a dried pea and three bottle lids.
The burrito is smooth and white.
Behold the filling.
Such it is with the new Taco Bell offering, Steak Done Triple. The color illustration — not the name — reveals that it’s some kind of burrito, but the name conjures up mountains of delicious premium meat. Would there be three kinds of steak? A single type of steak cooked three different ways (boiling, grilling, and deep-frying, one might guess)? Money clutched in palm, I went to my nearest Taco Bell — which happens to be at Union Square — to see what was what.
Well, “triple” means none of the above. It refers to the burrito containing three times the steak that the normal steak burrito contains.
When you cut this baby open — really, the outside of the burrito is white and smooth, like a baby — you find lots and lots of rice, less steak than you might have hoped for by a degree of about 10, and a dark, thin sauce that lacks any Mexican flavor, not cumin, not chiles, not raw onions, not cilantro, nor indeed any flavor identified with south-of-the-border cuisine. There are little globs of cheese, which might be mistaken for mayo.
So I guess the Steak Done Triple is a fail. Really, it’s like they’re not even trying.
Letter grade: D
Examples of the beef and gristle found in the Steak Done Tripe — the picture in the window of Taco Bell shows larger strips of steak striped from the grill.
Check out the previous review in the series, the Burger King California Whopper.
Like this post? Take a gander at the rest of our blog.
Follow us on Twitter if you dare:
@robertsietsema [Robert Sietsema]
@chantytown [Chantal Martineau]
@ldshockey [Lauren Shockey]