Taco Bell has gone and done it again, and by "it" I mean given me another reason to fuck my common sense into the dirt and hit the drive-through, late at night, like the filthy pintos and cheese addict I am (but try not to be). Bell's new "Dollar Cravings" menu has eleven items on it, but only five of them are worth checking out and -- shocker -- the cheese roll-up isn't one of them.
Here's a list of the top five new Taco Bell dollar cravings menu items. Chipotle still has class, track lighting and fresh guac, but I'm afraid this round goes to Taco Bell.
5. The spicy potato soft taco.
Taco Bell cheflettes are damned geniuses when it comes to taking the same ingredients they have on hand, re-combining them in the simplest way possible, creating something new-ish, charging a buck each for them, and making wackloads of money from starving, incognizant freakos like me. The new spicy potato soft taco is probably the best example of this, because it's a flour tortilla with a small scoop of crispy potato bites with lettuce, cheese and some of that semi-new but ubiquitous chipotle sauce.
Besides the cheap price and the delicious tater nuggets, the best thing about this taco is that it's meatless, so vegetarians can load up, and anyone who is still leery of Taco Bell's mostly-meat filling can eat this without reservation.
4. The beefy mini-quesadilla.
I have never been a huge fan of Taco Bell's quesadillas, usually because they come out dry as hell and the chicken filling needs the salt police to make an arrest, but the new baby beef 'dillas are tiny gems filled with ground beef, molten cheese and a liberal dosing of chipotle sauce (which is pretty much power-sprayed onto all the new items). They're close siblings of the Mexi-melt, except cheaper and without pico.
These are the new "got high and need a bagful" Bell snacks. The money saved from buying the usual sack of Mexi-melts (with Fire Sauce of course) can go toward buying another sack of weed, thus completing the circle of life.
3. The beefy Fritos burrito.
The Fritos burrito has been an on-again, off-again menu item for a while now, going through many micro-transformations along the way. Seriously, this thing regenerates more than Doctor Who. The most recent incarnation gets loaded with seasoned beef, Fritos and cilantro rice -- the way-tastier alternative to Bell's regular, flavorless Mexican rice -- before the whole thing gets some pump-action nacho cheese sauce.
The only downside to this re-upped burrito is that you have to eat it within four minutes of buying it or else the Fritos go soggy and turn into corn mush and the whole thing tastes like a canned tamale.
For more new Taco Bell dollar menu items worth the buck, read on...
2. The triple-layer nachos.
I was tickled that Taco Bell decided to make beans-only nachos, in the same way I get a sick thrill from other sorts of awesome exclusions (#channelingmyinnerhipster). These leetle-beety nachos are topped with beans, nacho cheese and that addictive red sauce -- and nothing else at all. These are worth a buck for sure because even if I order the extra side of weird, waxy Bell guac, it's still cheaper than ordering any other nachos on the menu.
But if I'm being perfectly honest, would it kill them to add a few diced onions, just for makeweight?
1. The spicy tostada.
It's a well-known fact among people who are forced to put up with me on the regular that I adore bean tostadas, and I order them almost every time I go to Taco Bell. One of the biggest pains in the ass I deal with when ordering them is that I have to specify several times that yes; I really want BEANS and no MEAT on my tostadas. The new spicy tostada just shaved a few minutes of repetition off my total ordering time; beans, lettuce, cheese and red sauce is all I want, and almost all I get -- along with a few squirts of that chipotle sauce, which I can live with.
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I'm convinced that Taco Bell's over-liberal use of this ranch-dressing-ish chipotle sauce is a passive-aggressive dig at Chipotle, and by hosing down every other menu item with it, the Bell is mocking Chipotle's higher prices and higher-quality menu items. Most of all though, Taco Bell wants us all to remember who our fast food daddy-master is -- and forget all about that other place.