For quite some time, Taco Bell was just playing with us. Launching new items with the ingredients of the old. Let’s put a hard taco inside a bean burrito. Let’s put the breakfast Tater Tots in a burrito. Then they started to be pretty concerned about completely being whipped by Chipotle. Time to bring out some more expensive food to erase our memory of the “59 / 79 / 99” pricing for tiny quantities of bland food wrapped in bland wrappers. Bring out the Doritos, baby.
The nacho ones were first out. Not bad! Pretty worrysome for those of us who don’t want food to be hunter’s orange though. So … next comes the cool ranch version.
Being time for an occasional non-paleo meal I treat myself to, just to keep the experience fresh, today turned out to be a great time to try these.
To set this up in the best possible way, I took young son along, ‘cuz he loves anything ranch flavored.
I ordered one regular crunchy taco and one of the cool ranch.
I was immediately impressed because the nice lady behind the counter took my name instead of referring me to a number. Great! Like Panera. Everybody likes to be called by name. We don’t like being referred to as the next sequential number.
The food came up quickly, and I was greeted, again by name, and was politely wished much enjoyment of my food. Whoa. Almost needed to look at the sign to make sure this really was Taco Bell.
I opened up both tacos. I was please again! The tomatoes were red. They looked quite a bit like tomatoes. And the lettuce was green! And cold! Will wonders never cease!
Then I compared the two tacos. They cool ranch one looked just like the regular plain one, with some ranch powder on it.
And there’s the rub. The cool ranch taco tasted the same as the regular taco, except you could feel the dust. It’s like the dust didn’t have much taste on its own. A bite of each shell confirmed that they taste about alike.
They could bring out a new version of this, kicked up, and call it the extreme ranch version or something. This version here, meh. It’s not worth the price mark-up from the plain version. The nacho Dorito flavor tastes a little bit like a nacho cheese Dorito. The ranch version, well, tastes like ranch Doritos if you got a bag with too little ranch stuff. All this wait, all the pleasant expectation of a new flavor and … like … meh.
I understand that the next flavor out of the chute for these is a very spicy extreme flavor. Let me predict — it will be really pretty good. Especially if there’s a spicy sauce that’s the Mexican equivalent of siracha. Which is Da Bomb. But this flavor — there’s just not enough of it to make a taco taste like something other than a plain taco. Which is fine in its own way, being that the lettuce and tomato was relatively real and the person who made it for me remembered my name (!) and wished me a good day (!) by name(!!!) when we left(!!!!) … but it’s not something worth being my weekly non-paleo indulgence.
- Taco Bell Should Probably Have Told Its Restaurants About Cool Ranch Doritos Taco Going On Sale Early (consumerist.com)
- Not So Cool Ranch Doritos Taco (kiss951.cbslocal.com)
- You Can Buy Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Starting Today (gizmodo.com)