Why Taco Bell’s Steakhouse Burrito Is a Game Changer for the Chain

wil-pettyWil Petty reviews fast food chains for the Exception; we are on a quest to find the finest food in America. See our full FAST FOOD POWER RANKINGS for all the reviews.

 

Picture it, the year of our Lord 2016, at a small town drive-thru in North Georgia. It’s about midnight and while 2016 gave us way more disappointments than I would care to count, I had a bit of hope as I prepared to try Taco Bell’s new steakhouse burrito. I mean, this had to be a continuation of the company thinking outside the box, right?

Value: 6

Here’s the thing. There are actual food products in this burrito. The steak actually tastes, feels and smells like steak. It was even marinaded. The potatoes, well, they were real potatoes. Literally, you’re getting a steakhouse dinner in a tortilla for $6.99 before taxes. If this were another Mexican food chain, I’d be all about this value. When you consider it’s Taco Bell and you can have a Big Box meal for $5, you can’t act like this is the greatest thing ever. You don’t get a taco or Burrito Supreme as a side; just a drink and a minuscule amount of chips and queso. I mean, it’s good and it’s worth trying. Still, you’re not going to be writing about it — that’s my job.

Still, you have to remember what steak and potatoes typically run for at a steakhouse. Yeah, this is still a deal, sort of.

Experience: 3.75

My girlfriend and I opted to have the “Eat Great Even Late” experience that Taco Bell loves to promote so much. That meant we opted for drive-thru, because the lobby was already closed, just like everything else in this suburb east of Atlanta. Well, except for a Walmart and the QuikTrip where I decided to eat one or two of the chips that came as the side to this Goliath of a burrito.

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As she returned to the car with her Powerade and my Monster energy drink (for the next day), I enjoyed a few gulps of my Mountain Dew Baja Blast.

Aesthetic: 6.25

It’s what you’d expect a steakhouse dinner wrapped in a tortilla to look like. It looks like a burrito.

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Therefore, I decided to cut it in half so you can see what it looks like filled. As you can see, it again, looks like the inside of a burrito. Food has always been about taste for me though, not how it’s presented on a plate, or in this case, inside a tortilla.

Taste: 8.5

Alright, taste-wise, this burrito is too good for Taco Bell. With Taco Bell you expect subpar products to go inside something wrapped or cupped, but forgive them because of cheese and hot sauce — and that’s completely fine. This is a game-changer, though. I didn’t even bother grabbing the Fire Sauce because the flavors were there on their own. You had the fine, seasoned steak that was tender. You had potatoes that simulated the taste of such with an odd sauce that acted as a gravy. The big difference was you didn’t have the two-day-old roll nuked and covered with butter to seem edible. You had a tortilla.

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Does it sound like a weird combination? You bet it does. Still, props to Taco Bell for being able to pull that off.

Quality: 9.5

I have to hand it to Taco Bell on this one. The food is quality. I didn’t feel like I’d be dreading eating this meal afterwards. I was content with the taste and for once was fine not ordering about 8 different items when dining here. I’m sure stranger things have happened but Taco Bell seems to be making some iota of an effort to compete with the Moe’s, Chipotles and Barberitos of this Mexican dining world.

If this was at another restaurant, I wouldn’t be rating it a 9.5. The fact it is Taco Bell and they have made such a drastic change as quickly as they have? Alright, you’ve earned it.

Overall: 6.8

If you are looking to eat something that tastes good and is a quality product, then this is going to be something you will enjoy. If you’re expecting it to look fancy or you are expecting a fine dining experience since it is simulating a steakhouse meal, you’re going to be disappointed. Then again, if you seriously expected a fine dining experience at Taco Bell, you were going to be disappointed anyway.