The Guilty Pleasure: Crispy Chicken Chickstar and Crispy Chicken Grillers Where to Get It: Taco Bell Price: $3.99 (Chickstar) $1.69 (Grillers) What it Really Costs: The total loss of your belief that Taco Bell even tries to serve Mexican food anymore.
The mad scientists behind Taco Bell's menu clearly put all of their creative energy into the Biscuit Taco when coming up with new creations.
There are three new items on the menu, and all of them feature the "Crispy Chicken." The Double Crispy Chicken Quesadilla is literally just a cheese quesadilla filled with a few fried chicken fingers, so we're not even talking about that one. The other two are a bit more noteworthy.
In reality, all of the new Crispy Chicken creations feature the exact same chicken.
For $3.99, you can get any of the three flavors of Chickstars (Mango BBQ, Chipotle, and Bacon Ranch), which is essentially a Crunchwrap filled with a couple of their new somewhat boring chicken tenders. Each flavor is pretty self explanatory, although we will say that the Mango BBQ and Chipotle are vastly more interesting than Bacon Ranch. Considering that it's just a grilled tortilla filled with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and fried chicken strips, the Bacon Ranch option tastes like something more suitable for a Quizno's, Mango BBQ is more of a cheap zesty BBQ wrap, and Chipotle is the only mildly Mexican-flavored option.
In our opinion, the Crispy Chicken Grillers provide much more value (and some extra taste) than their star-shaped counterparts. The Grillers are fairly simple, they're just a fried chicken tender wrapped in yet another grilled tortilla. Of course, at less than half the price for each one, two Grillers gets you just as much chicken and tortilla, while skipping the unnecessary lettuce and tomato and saving you approximately 60 cents (which is worth something, in Taco Bell money).
When you add in the fact that the Grillers are available with four different sauces (the same Mango BBQ and Chipotle flavors, as well as Spicy Ranch and Jalapeno Honey), they actually make for a pretty nice snack. The relative blandness/Taco Bell flavor of the chicken gets welcomely overtaken by the sauces, which makes for a pleasant taste and texture combination in just about every bite, particularly on the Jalapeno Honey and Mango BBQ flavors.`
If you ask us, the quesadilla and Chickstars might not be around for long, but the Grillers are worth keeping. We'd certainly like to add a few Jalapeno Honey Grillers to our regular rotation at 3 a.m.