Cafe Reviews

XXL Chalupa from Taco Bell: 'Cause We All Need Edible Food Troughs

Great job,Taco Bell! There's nothing like answering the call to fight obesity in America than introducing a new promotional item to your menu with reduced-fat sour cream. Never mind that it's also 650 calories and the size of a child's arm -- a fat child's arm. No, it's fine. I'm sure folks will look beyond its fried edible food trough and think, "Hey, at least the sour cream is reduced-fat." before taking their first bite of heart attack, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, and high blood pressure surprise. Congratulations on a job well done.

The XXL Chalupa, the newest promotion from Taco Bell is exactly what you think it is: a massive mutation of the somewhat-decent regular chalupa. Packed with your choice of beef, chicken, or steak, it features lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese, nacho cheese sauce, red tortilla strips, and yes, reduced-fat sour cream inside a crispy food-trough shell.

The drive-thru box told me the chicken and steak options were the best so I went high-class and got the steak. Then, the problems began.

Flavor-wise, the XXL Chalupa is forgettable. No outstanding flavors, nothing special going on, and ingredients we've tasted a zillion times. The real problem? You can't get all the makings in your mouth in one bite unless you have a detachable jaw. It's impossible -- even for a big-mouth like Fry Girl.

The first bite is salad city on a cold day: lettuce, salsa, cheese, and reduced-fat sour cream. The second is the warm stuff. Sure, you could add some hot sauce, fire-roasted or verde salsa for a little flair, but what would be the point? You'd have to do it on the second bite and somehow manage to put it on while holding it or take the risk of it falling to pieces in and around its cardboard packaging.

Messy, fattening, and horribly ho-hum, Fry Girl's passin' on this novelty nosh from Taco Bell. Dong! Think outside the food trough!

(The best part? At the drive-thru, I gave my change to help world hunger. Insert irony here.)

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld