Welcome to another edition of Foods That Should Not Exist, where for some reason — probably my own inability to sense impending doom — I allowed several readers to convince me to eat and then review the entire Taco Bell breakfast menu. Astoundingly, I got out of the affair with only minor internal injuries.
By now you've all heard of Taco Bell's new breakfast menu, as well as its signature item, the Waffle Taco, pictured above (oh, we'll get there, don't worry). You've probably also heard of the advertising war of words going on between McDonald's and Taco Bell lately. It started with Taco Bell posting this video, a pretty well-played jab at McDonald's*:
McDonald's responded by offering free coffee to all customers for two weeks, and also posted this:
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. pic.twitter.com/e0dFN1ZCqy
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) March 29, 2014
Yesterday, Taco Bell countered with the following:
While that second commercial only kind of works (probably because, unlike the first one, it wasn't shot by Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris), it's actually been pretty entertaining to watch two purveyors of shitty food engage in the world's silliest slapfight. As a long-time somewhat-enjoyer of McDonald's breakfast, however (my feelings on the vile entity known as McGriddles notwithstanding), it was time to find out how Taco Bell stacked up. After convincing my girlfriend to wake up before 10 AM and take me to Taco Bell (an achievement I consider my Everest, in retrospect), it was off to the Taco Emporium.
First off, is it just me, or do all Taco Bells feel dank in a way that can't compare to other greasaterias? You always feel like you're doing something illicit — although to be fair, I'm pretty sure those Mexican Nachos are illegal in at least five states. I'm honestly surprised the first restaurant to get caught selling heroin to customers was a McDonald's rather than a Taco Bell. Not that it has any bearing on this article, but fun fact: the Smackdonald's is my local McDonald's. Seriously. It's three blocks from my apartment. It's still open and I go there all the time.
Anyway, as I pulled everything out of the bag back at home, I encountered the fact that the items are just as cringe-inducingly packaged as everything else from Taco Bell. They have quotes in the vein of the same bizarrely stupid sayings that adorn the sauce packets, like "Right now I'm eating a Waffle Taco and you're not" (uh...I'm...pretty sure I'm eating it, Taco Bell?) and "It's a good morning now." Jesus Christ, Taco Bell, you're embarrassing yourself.
Let's just goddamn do this before my eyes roll out of my head.
Cinnabon Bites — My first words after I put one in my mouth were "I think I just ate King Candy's testicles," but I meant it in a good way. Once you get past the truly horrifying texture of a sugared puffball exploding with fructose spooge, it actually tastes pretty good. Now that I've put the thought in your head, though, I defy you to not think of them as Cinnabon Testicles. You're welcome for that marketing campaign by the way, Taco Bell.
Steak and Egg Burrito — This seems OK for about five seconds until your brain processes the fact that what you're eating isn't even D-grade meat. Seriously, what the fuck was that? It tasted like I was eating cartilage mixed with asshole meat. Forget "steak," "scrapple" is too highbrow of a description for that shit. The fact that they're not legally obligated to label it "stayk" is the clearest indication yet that the FDA is asleep at the wheel.
Hash Browns — I mean, it's ok. Like a pale imitation of McDonalds', though. Anyway, reviewing this thing is like reviewing a variety of napkin — I mean, they're there, I guess? They do napkin things? Why are we talking about this?
AM Bacon Crunchwrap — I took a bite only to discover that the cheese was entirely unmelted. I then put it in the microwave, and the CHEESE STILL DID NOT MELT. What the fuck did you put in my crunchwrap, Taco Bell, congealed malice?! Also, either I'm completely insane or the picture included sauce, which would've helped it taste less like playground wood chips. I can't believe I'm saying this, but this might actually be decent if they added sauce and used some form of cheese rather than nightmare shavings.
AM Sausage Crunchwrap — Marginally more edible than the bacon one, but had the same issue of being filled with impossible-to-melt, vaguely cheese-like compacted sawdust. There's also a steak version of this thing, but fool me once on that shit, Taco Bell. You're not getting me to eat old people knuckles twice in one meal.
Sausage Flatbread Melt — Everything about this screams "Fuck it." It's a wad of sausage flopped over that horrifying non-cheese (which, again, isn't even fucking melted in an item that calls itself a "melt"), in a tortilla that can't even be assed to close itself at one end. You know what? Fuck this. The Grilled Sausage Flatbread is so half-assed that it doesn't deserve a full-assed ripping from me. Fuck you, Grilled Sausage Flatbread.
AM Grilled Taco — I didn't order this, because the cashier started laughing ruefully when I asked "is there ANY difference between that and the flatbread other than the sausage/bacon swap?" This did not seem a ringing endorsement. No, this doesn't count as cheating. Because I say so, that's why, now shut up.
Waffle Taco — The first thing I thought when I looked at it was that it was going to have structural issues. The second thing I thought, after taking a plain, unsyruped bite, was "what the fuck is the waffle flavored with? Broken dreams?" Despite that, it's actually surprisingly not bad once you add the syrup — the taste actually works and is reasonably balanced. The problem goes back to my initial thought, because as soon as you add the syrup, get ready for a syrup explosion. Don't tell me I was supposed to dip the goddamn thing; the syrup container is like 1/8 of an inch deep. Besides which, if I tried it, the eggs (which were suprisingly NOT of the "re-purposed Shamwow" variety common to fast food breakfasts) would have made a spirited bid for freedom.
Anyway, two hours after eating the Waffle Taco, I was still finding syrup in places syrup had no right to be if the laws of physics were operating as per spec. I feel like I'll be finding hidden syrup pockets around my apartment for weeks. There do not exist enough showers to cleanse me of this syrup infestation. Only eat this during your morning shower, which will quickly become your afternoon and evening shower. And possibly your next-day shower.
There you go, guys. I hope you're goddamn happy, because my GI Tract certainly isn't.
*I swear to God the first person who points out that Jack in the Box did this years ago is getting banned for being a semantic, point-missing asshat.
Image via AP.