Taco Bell’s Loaded Grillers are meant (and marketed) to serve as a convenient flavor deliverer.  Pack some bold flavors into a tortilla, heat that thing up, and serve! Convenience! Flavors beyond the usual Taco Bell simplicity! Somehow, I’d never had one, so I decided to head back to Taco Bell (second time in a month!), to try out the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Loaded Griller and the Chili Cheese Fries Loaded Griller (which I should note was enthusiastically recommended to me by the cashier, who claimed he ate ten of them the day before. That he ate so much, survived the aftermath, and still recommended them to me is still making me chuckle. Don’t ever change you weirdo cashier.)

They look like soft tacos, but are heavier

They look like soft tacos, but are heavier

I dined in again this week. With all the cheese and ranch, I was worried about congealing. I think it helped. As for my order, I got the Loaded Grillers, a taco, and the XXL Shredded Chicken Nachos (sidenote: they were MUCH larger than I’d anticipated, and thus did not finish my food), for the grand total of $10.85. Great value for a mountain of food. The Loaded Grillers themselves are $1, which seemed like a pretty good price. They’re small, but filling on their own. Two or three would be enough for a meal… if you were willing to make a meal out of these things.

Perhaps they left this one on the press for too long...

Perhaps they left this one on the press for too long…

They look like soft tacos when they’re in the wrapper, and when unwrapped they look like soft tacos… but bigger, both in length and girth. I opted for Chipotle Ranch Chicken first because of the sauce and cheese, and that was definitely wise. This would have been pretty gross if I’d let it sit for too long, since it’s just chicken, cheese and sauce.

First bites!

First bites!

Taco Bell says the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Loaded Griller “delivers the taste of spicy chicken wings with ranch dip because we take our grilled, all white mat, marinated chicken and cover it with kicked-up Chipotle Ranch Sauce and cool reduced-fat sour cream, then wrap it in a warm flour tortilla and grill it.” That’s a mouthful! (You can groan if you’d like). First three bites… all tortilla. This is something I seem to harp on every week, but seriously: can we figure out how to properly proportion food? It’s difficult to stay excited about something when I’ve already eaten a quarter of it and only tasted bread. So of course on the fourth bite, sauce explodes out of it. There was so much sauce that after every bite I had to wipe my mouth. It seemed a little overkill. That Ranch Sauce is very tangy. It really overtakes the whole experience, especially since there was so much. I noticed the cheese, but couldn’t really taste it. It just blended with the ranch.

Probably not the most appetizing photo I'll post on this blog.

Probably not the most appetizing photo I’ll post on this blog.

When there was a good proportion of all the ingredients, this was actually pretty good! There were only two pieces of chicken in the first half, but the second half had a much better balance, and the chicken definitely stood up to the Ranch Sauce when it was there.

Even at the end, there was still sauce all over this thing

Even at the end, there was still sauce all over this thing

Given that this is only $1, it’s a pretty good deal. If they could just add a little less ranch, it would be something I definitely recommend. However, as of now, unless you really like Ranch Sauce, you may want to stay away. Be warned though: get extra napkins. Sauce was everywhere when I was eating it.

Hope you're still hungry!

Hope you’re still hungry!

Now, onto the main event: the Chili Cheese Fries Loaded Griller! Even before the cashier was salivating at the thought of this when I ordered it, I thought this had a chance to ascend into my regular rotation of Taco Bell food. Taco Bell’s potatoes are underrated, and should occupy a more prominent spot on their menu. If the chili was passable, then this would be good.

Still a little too bready in this shot

Still a little too bready in this shot

Let’s see how Taco Bell describes the Chili Cheese Fries Loaded Griller: it “delivers the taste of chili cheese fries because we take our crispy potato bites and cover them with our savory chili and warm nacho cheese sauce, then wrap it all up in a warm flour tortilla and grill it.” That comes across as so understated compared with the Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken. So once again, the first few bites were only tortilla. Ugh. Once I got to the middle and tasted everything, this was good. Really good. The chili wasn’t particularly spicy, and was more like a meat sauce (so no beans; for you heathens who prefer chili without beans, you won’t have any trouble adjusting). It complemented the crispy potatoes really well. And once again, those potatoes. They maintain their crispiness, so there’s some actual texture in here, as opposed to mush.

Griller guts!

Griller guts!

Seriously, the Chili Cheese Fries Loaded Griller is the best thing I’ve reviewed so far. Instead of going overboard and adding some overpowering ingredient, Taco Bell kept it simple, and I appreciate it. The flavors work well together, no one tries to outshine and the other. In addition, this wasn’t messy at all (perhaps because chili is more solid than a sauce). At $1, this is definitely something you could add to a meal if you’re hungry and looking for something a little more substantial than a taco.

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