This morning, March 27, 2014, Scene
traveled to the Taco Bell on Steelyard Drive to experience firsthand the the fast food chain's new breakfast menu. (Spoiler: We survived our maiden voyage, but do not feel very good at all).
You're not dreaming, folks. Taco Bell now has a breakfast menu, including the pictured Waffle Taco, which here (for the record) looks edible and shapely.
All sorts of variously compelling options to choose from, but no time to choose. At 9:30 a.m., there was no line to speak of. Two patrons waited glumly for their combined order — four A.M. Crunchwraps, two without eggs — but after they left, not a soul entered the restaurant. Molly, who worked the register, said that they were "actually pretty busy" between 6:30 - 8:00 a.m., and that customers, thus far, had been satisfied with their meals.
opted for two of the breakfast menu's flagship options: the Waffle Taco and the A.M. Crunchwrap. With a cup of Rainforest Alliance 30% certified coffee, this haul set us back $6.45.
The friendly folks behind the counter included one semi-rigid plastic syrup container as well. Taco Bell Syrup. This is now a real thing.
First, the Waffle Taco: You are cordially invited to compare the material reality of the Waffle Taco here with the advertised reality of the Waffle Taco above. Suffice to say, it's much messier and much smaller than we had been anticipating. (Syrup is included for size comparison). What's perhaps most surprising is the utter lack of flavor. The thin syrupy aftertaste of the synthetic waffle prevailed for the six bites, during which the eggs manifested themselves mostly as gooey texture, not taste. It packs a caloric punch, though, for $1.99. You will feel full after devouring this puppy.
On to the A.M. Crunchwrap: You'll surely notice that the morning version is both smaller (in diameter) and larger (in girth) than the Crunchwrap Supreme. Instead of a hard taco shell inside, a hash brown has been melded with the egg/bacon/cheese melange. Like its Waffle Taco cousin, this item's premiere characteristic is its tastelessness. Only here, the tastelessness is coupled with an alarming density. The grenade of food you see above is monopolized by a sort of potato paste. The thing feels like it weighs about four pounds.
Looks harmless; tasty even... DON'T BE FOOLED.
Most surprising highlight? The coffee. For $1.49, it's neither a good deal nor a bad one (and thereby represents the best deal of the morning). It smells burnt at first, but tastes almost rustically roasted after it cools. With a cream and an Equal, it goes down smooth and remains almost McDonald'sianly hot for the duration of your meal, perhaps to enliven your taste buds by sheer force of temperature.
Taco Bell is worth a single A.M. visit for the novelty, perhaps. But we can't, in good conscience, recommend it as a viable alternative to other chains' breakfast options until the culinary executives manage to infuse, or at least influence, their menu with something south-of-the-border...other than the shape of its microwaved waffles.