The Guilty Pleasure: The Waffle Taco, and other breakfast novelties. Where to Get It: Taco Bell, locations everywhere (participation may vary) Price: $1.99 for the Waffle Taco What it Really Costs: Greasy fingers and dismay.
Those wacky kids at Taco Bell are at it again. After lots of testing and refinement (including some a few years ago around here), they're the newest place on the block to pick up a turbo breakfast, this time with a full nationwide rollout.
I will say the coffee cup is one of the more enjoyable paper cups I've held. It's a 16-ounce cup, but they went with a short and girthy model instead of the usual tall and skinny cup most places use. Of course, the coffee inside was the same watery brew as every other casual eatery. Is it too much to ask to find coffee that tastes like, you know, coffee?
But we aren't going to Taco Bell for just coffee, we're here for breakfast. Of course, they have breakfast burritos. You can also get a breakfast version of the drive-thru friendly Crunchwrap. However, the flagship of Taco Bell's AM offerings is the brand spanking new Waffle Taco.
What exactly is a Waffle Taco? I'm glad you asked. It's a breakfast taco, with a waffle taking the place of the standard tortilla. Inside it is either bacon or sausage, along with scrambled eggs and topped with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
In theory, this is pretty freaking brilliant. It's a novel concept, just the kind of thing to get people talking on social media and over the office water cooler. Everyone loves waffles, everyone loves tacos, let's put 'em together and call it a day, right? In practice, the Waffle Taco leaves much to be desired. The waffle is soft and greasy, the sausage is rubbery, and the eggs are the sad overcooked variety. You know, the ones everyone thinks are reconstituted powder? They've just sat on a steam table for a little too long. Some people have said a drizzle of syrup helps, but I attribute that to Americans' tendencies to put sugar on absolutely everything.
The news doesn't get much better for the AM Crunchwrap. Again, it seems clever to take the contents of a breakfast burrito, and bolster it with a crispy hash brown patty to make it easier to eat with one hand while you're on the road.
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What ends up happening is starch overload. The tortilla and hash browns eclipsed the eggs and steak in the one I tried. A squirt of salsa helped, but it was still a ho-hum breakfast that tasted warmed over instead of freshly cooked.
I feel like Taco Bell's breakfast menu is like several of the customers I saw while I was there: Half baked. The ideas are clever, but the execution falls flat. I imagine if they cooked the eggs to order instead of dishing them from a warming tray, they could have a pretty serious hit on their hands. As it stands, I'll leave the Bell's breakfast for the wake-n-bake stoner demographic.