The Guilty Pleasure: Grilled Stuft Nacho Where To Get It: Taco Bell, locations everywhere Price: $1.29, are you out of your mind? What It Really Costs: You're learning a new word today.
I have to hand it to the R&D people at Taco Bell. It seems they have a nearly endless stream of brand new things to satiate my junk food ADD. Some of them like the Doritos Locos Tacos sparked a revolution for the brand. Others quietly faded from the limelight, hiding at the bottom of the menu before it's forgotten forever.
The Grilled Stuft (their spelling, not mine. I know it's a tie-in to their Grilled Stuft Burrito line. Do they think the intentional misspelling makes it more hip and edgy?) Nacho is a rather clever item for Taco Bell to introduce. It's in the same vein as the Crunchwrap Supreme; since much of their business comes through the drive-thru lane, they made these to be eaten on the go, most likely with one hand.
The Grilled Stuft Nacho changes up the insides of the Crunchwrap Supreme without having to bring new ingredients to the kitchen. They fill a tortilla with ground beef, cheese sauce, sour cream, and corn chip strips. The whole thing is then folded into a triangular shape that's supposed to be reminiscent of a giant nacho chip.
It's a pretty clever idea. You get all the fun of nachos, but with a considerably reduced risk of getting cheese sauce everywhere.
The reality of the Grilled Stuft Nacho is that if you were in the mood for nachos, this isn't going to satiate your craving one bit. It's that flour tortilla, which has no business being involved with nachos. Inside, the corn chip strips get soggy in seconds thanks to the rest of the fillings, making them little more than colorful strips of filler. What we have here isn't so much a giant nacho, as a triangular burrito.
It's not even that easy to eat on the go. The Crunchwrap Supreme has a tostada in the middle for structural integrity. The Grilled Stuft Nacho just has grilled flour tortilla sidewalls to support a very loose interior that tends to puddle at the bottom and then squirt out as you're most of the way through.
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The whole thing is theoretically salvageable if the interior is at least remotely interesting. Such is not the case. It's a mixture of some of the most nondescript components Taco Bell has to offer. The whole thing is just... well... It's time to teach you a new word.
The other day, I was listening to an outtake interview from NPR's excellent puzzle quiz show, Ask Me Another. It was with Simon Doonan, the Creative Ambassador-At-Large for Barneys New York. In it, he discussed a secret language called Polari, used in London by theatre and Merchant Navy folk (i.e. cruise ship staff) during the early to middle 20th century.
The word Doonan introduced to me is naff. Something that's naff is tasteless and unstylish to the point of being depressing. The Grilled Stuft Nacho is extremely naff. It's the kind of dish where if I wasn't being paid to eat it, I'd start questioning my life choices as to what got me to this point. Simply put, if you find yourself at Taco Bell, order anything but this atrocity.