Last week the R& D department at Taco Bell grew tired of spinning the wheel-o-ingredients for zany breakfast products (French toast sandwiches? Denver stuffed hashbrowns?), and rolled out their new "First Meal" concept across 10 lucky states. "First Meal" is what we can only assume is the hangover-killing meal you eat following a late night bender that concluded with "Fourth Meal."
We were surprised to see big name brands like Johnsonville sausage, Cinnabon, and Tropicana orange juice. It gave us hope. Even though we were eating Taco Bell at 8 in the morning, we were reassured by the hope that brands like that wouldn't allow their reputations to be tainted by terrible food.
Then we remembered that nothing good ever comes from eating Taco Bell at 8 in the morning. Still, couldn't all be bad. Could it?
Let's count down the menu offerings from best to absolute worst:
7. Seattle's Best Coffee If the line at Starbucks is too long, you could do a lot worse than Taco Bell's coffee. Granted they haven't sunk as many dollars into their brew as McD's, but it's hot, full of caffeine, and cheap. If you're feeling fancy, they have vanilla and mocha iced lattes too.
With coffee being the best thing on Taco Bell's new "First Meal" menu, abandon hope all ye who enter here...
6. Steak and Egg Burrito Rubbery eggs, T-Bell's bready flour tortilla, a sprinkle of cheese and fairly tender (if a bit greasy) pulled steak-like product. It was the only breakfast item on the menu that we would have finished in the throes of a top-five hangover. Which means it's probably 1,000 calories of morning regret.
5. Bacon and Egg Burrito
Strange ham-like sodium nuggets passed off as bacon. Thankfully those "bacon" bits were practically nonexistent. Which means it's essentially an egg and cheese burrito. A very dry but unoffensive egg and cheese burrito, if powdered egg product is your kinda thing.
4. Sausage and Egg Burrito We don't know what deal with the devil Taco Bell signed to get Johnsonville's brand on board, but the sausage is one of the worst aspects of Taco Bell's
breakfast "First Meal." The rubbery pellets of mystery meat were unappetizing to see, and even worse to eat.
Called hashbrowns because you have to be high on hash (here's lookin' at you Taco Bell R&D!) to consider this potato product edible. Equal parts oily and sticky, half of the hashbrown stuck to the wrapper and was left behind. Having half of it left behind was the only positive.
2. Sausage and Egg Wrap
An inedible hockey puck of rubbery eggs and preformed mystery meat. The sausage and egg wrap is essentially a circular version of their sausage and egg burrito, with even more jiggly rubber sausage. It's like eating a steaming pile of depression sealed in a tortilla.
1. Cinnabon Delights Another odd, brand name that does a fundamental disservice to airport Cinnabon stands everywhere. The nuggets of dough tasted like old fryer oil, were rolled in cinnamon sugar, and filled with a whitish gel so foul we would rather not compare it to the bodily excretion it so resembles. Because we ate one. And we wouldn't be able to wash away that shame.
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SHOW ME HOW
At this point you might be asking, "Well why didn't you try the Grande Skillet Burrito?" First, if you find yourself asking this question the familiarity you have with Taco Bell's new breakfast menu is cause for alarm. Second, a fat-laced, sodium bomb of a sugar coma was already impending and had us a little frightened. And honestly, we just don't trust the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to the breakfast burrito. We'll leave that to the Crunchwrap 2.0 development team.
The Final Verdict: In terms of breakfast options, Taco Bell's "First Meal" is some of the most plastic food product we've had in years. It hovers somewhere between hospital cafeteria food and a freezer-burned burrito an old roommate left behind six months ago. Unless you're still hung over from "Fourth Meal," there's no excuse for you to be ordering Taco Bell at 8 in the morning.