Friday, May 17, 2013

REVIEW: Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos: Cool Ranch vs. Nacho Cheese!

Taco Bell has released two different tacos in its new Doritos-flavored tortilla shell line so far- Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch- the latter being the more recent of the two. I decided to get one of each for dinner tonight to do a little compare and contrast; see which one has the higher ground in overall deliciousness. I ordered mine Fresco style (which replaces the cheese with pico di gallo and lowers the calorie count) and with chicken instead of ground beef (also lowers the calorie amount.) Boy, did that confuse the drive-thru operator! I can't quite remember what the price tag was on each taco, but I believe they're around $1.39 a pop in my area. My tacos were bumped up to $1.69 for the chicken substitution. This is significantly higher when compared to Taco Bell's regular Crunchy Beef Taco, which is only around 99 cents.

All of the Doritos Locos Tacos comes in this cool packaging, which I imagine is part for convenience, part for style, part for novelty. It can get a bit confusing though, since the packages have one side for Cool Ranch and one side for Nacho Cheese. So you might catch yourself thinking, "Oh, here's the Cool Ranch one!" when really it's the Nacho Cheese one with the Cool Ranch packaging on the front. I know I did. I think Taco Bell should take the time to make two different packages altogether, not combine both styles into one. But I'm not here to judge the Doritos Locos Tacos graphic designs, I'm here to judge their tastes.

Two opposing sides! In this corner, we have newbie Cool Ranch. Will his tantalizing tanginess trip up his opponent? And in the other corner, we have the all-star, Nacho Cheese. Will his cheesy crunch crush his challenger? Let's find out whooooo's the better taco! DING-DING!

I tried the Doritos Locos Cool Ranch Taco first. Removing the packaging, you can see all the little specks of red and green you normally find on Cool Ranch Doritos, on the taco shell. It also has that same powdery feel that the original chips do. This taco has a slighter lighter tint than Taco Bell's standard Crunchy Tacos. There was plenty of lettuce and pico di gallo on the top.

I snapped off a fragment of the Cool Ranch shell to see how it tasted on its own first. There was plenty of flavoring powder- I could feel it cover my lips as I took a bite. And I am very pleased to say that the Cool Ranch tortilla shell tastes just like the chips it was based off of. The intense flavor hits you right away, like POW! but mellows out as you chew. It's slightly sweet, with a tang of sour cream. It also has a respectable crunch to it, making it fun to eat as well.

The other parts of the taco were good and work together nicely with the Cool Ranch shell. The pico di gallo and lettuce balanced out the spiciness of the Hot Sauce packets I like to use, and the chicken strips were a good size and had a somewhat sweet taste.

My only complaints with the Cool Ranch taco are that the Cool Ranch flavoring is more obvious in some spots than others, and that the shell is very, very thin. It doesn't hold up well at all, which I guess is what the cool packaging at the beginning was for... You can't even heat it up in the microwave for 15 seconds without the outer shell becoming all flimsy and flexible. This is especially true for the bottom of the shell, since its supporting most of the filling. My taco broke in two at the fold right away. So don't bother trying to heat yours up if you want a shell that can stay together.

Yeah, I really liked the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. The shell was unique. It provided a flavor that you won't be able to receive from any other kind of taco. It was very pleasing, and I wasn't disappointed in the least. I bet you that this taco would taste very similar, if not identical, to the taste of Cool Ranch chips with Taco Bell ingredients poured on top (Like a Frito Pie, but with Doritos.... Not a bad idea!) And I think that's what Taco Bell was aiming for, as well as what people were expecting from the new Doritos Locos Taco. Good job, Taco Bell! This one may be tough to beat...

Next, I tried the Doritos Locos Nacho Cheese Taco- the one that started it all. This taco had a much more vibrant color than the Cool Ranch, filling my eyes with a bright, almost neon-like orange when I opened up the package. Some of the Nacho Cheese flavoring had somehow sweated off the taco and was stuck to the bottom of the cardboard package. I hoped that wouldn't effect the overall flavor.

I heated up my Nacho Cheese taco in the microwave, just like the Cool Ranch. Partially done because its only fair for the tacos to be judged under the same conditions. Mostly because I don't like cold tacos.

Like the Cool Ranch taco that came previously, the Nacho Cheese's shell was very thin and resulted in the same, limp tortilla shell as like before. The only difference was that this one was Nacho Cheese flavored. Yeah, like I said, DON'T microwave the Doritos Locos tacos if you want to be able to hold your taco in your hands without it breaking into a dozen pieces. At any rate, let's see how the Nacho Cheese flavor tastes...

Hmm... Yeeeeeah, I took a decent segment of the shell off the taco, and found the initial cheese flavor to be very mild. It's not like the Cool Ranch one were you take a bite and are like, "WOW! Yeah, that's definitely the Cool Ranch flavor right there!" It's a lot more subtle. It was hard to pick out the cheese flavoring from the corn shell it was applied to.

Also, the Nacho Cheese taco didn't taste as much like the actual chips it was inspired by when compared to the Cool Ranch. I wanted to be reminded of the taste of eating a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos, but I wasn't. I mean, I hadn't eaten either flavor of Doritos all that recently, so I suppose you could argue that I shouldn't judge the taco shell's taste, but I was able to recognize the Cool Ranch flavor almost instantly. But the Nacho Cheese taco... Nah, it was just too mild. It wasn't what I expected. It needs a more intense nacho cheese flavor. I could've just gotten a regular taco with real cheese and most likely would've been a lot more satisfied with that instead. Would've been cheaper too. Not like I'm the one paying for dinner in the first place, but I know some of you readers ARE.

The other parts of the Doritos Locos Nacho Cheese taco were good though. The chicken, the pico di gallo, the lettuce- All tasty, just like in the Cool Ranch.

The Nacho Cheese taco would've been better with ground beef, or when ordered Supreme style and not Fresco- of this I'm mostly sure. But Supreme adds sour cream and cheese and tomatoes- Of course it'd taste better then. But the shell on its own just can't hold up to the competition. I mean, for such a thin tortilla with a higher price tag, I better be getting a boatload of unique flavor. Na-cho' best effort, Taco Bell. So, I have to give this match over to the Cool Ranch Taco! Whoo! Way to go, rookie!

But don't celebrate for too long- I heard yet another Doritos Locos taco is coming to Taco Bell sometime this year. The next one in line is allegedly going to be based off of the Doritos Flamas, which have a chili lime flavor that supposed to be real spicy. I can't wait! But for now, I'm going to be ordering the Cool Ranch whenever I'm in the mood for a chip-inspired taco from the Bell.

Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos Cool Ranch:
  • Pros: Taste just like a Cool Ranch chip! Intense flavor, tangy, slightly sweet, texture of flavoring powder on your lips. Well-seasoned, sweet chicken strips, pico di gallo and lettuce are good compliments.
  • Cons: Thin tortilla shell, Cool Ranch flavor more pronounced in some spots than others, flavors dies out as you chew, a bit pricy for a taco
Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos Nacho Cheese:
  • Pros: Taste is good. Chicken strips well-seasoned and sweet, good pico di gallo and lettuce.
  • Cons: Thin tortilla shell, very mild cheese flavor, does NOT taste like Nacho Cheese Doritos, subtle taste, needs to be more intense, a bit pricy for a taco and not worth the price
(Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos Nutrition: 160 calories standard, 200 calories Supreme, 140 calories Fresco, 120 calories with chicken instead of ground beef & Fresco.)

(Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Nutrition: 170 calories standard, 200 calories Supreme, 150 calories Fresco, 130 calories with chicken instead of ground beef & Fresco.)

So, have any of you readers tried the new Doritos Locos Tacos yet? Which flavor do you prefer? And what flavors would you like to see from Taco Bell next? Speak your mind (and you'll be heard)! I love to listen to what you guys have to say. Leave your comments down below!

Till' then, this has been RiRi Ri-porting!

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