Archives for posts with tag: Potato

Taco Bell’s general modus operandi is to create new food items or just double (or triple!) the portion size of an existing item. Why serve a regular burrito, when you can serve an XL burrito? The question is so silly it shouldn’t even be asked.

The XL Steakhouse Burrito comes with chips and queso. The chips and queso are not an add-on to the burrito, they are necessary accompaniments. I think I see that Taco Bell is looking to give a restaurant feel to a bigger and pricier item, but for me personally, I’d prefer to eat a different menu item rather than waste stomach space on Taco Bell chips and queso. The collection of foods cost $6.49, and I added on a medium drink for $1, which lines up with the cost of a meal at other fast food outlets. Of course, that means this is expensive for Taco Bell. The burrito itself contained steak, bacon, queso, sour cream and fried potatoes.

To run through the sides before we get to the main event, the chips were meh. They were nice and salty, but thin and stale tasting. The chips sometimes broke when dripped in the queso. The queso was better and is more in line with what I expect from Taco Bell. It had a nice spicy cheesy taste. The only problem with the queso was the consistency: it was too soupy, which makes me think it came from a mix.

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The meal came in a large cardboard box, and the burrito itself was in brown paper. From the looks of it, it was a hefty burrito. Taking into account on the presentation and the size of the burrito, you’d be happy receiving this form your local burrito establishment, while also wondering how they made an oblong burrito.

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My first bite was tortilla and fried potato. I wasn’t sure if the potatoes were fried pieces or tots, but it doesn’t matter. One of my policies in life is that adding fries potatoes to any foodstuff is always the correct decision. In a burrito, it helps to have that crunch to switch up textures as you eat. The Taco Bell tortilla is not great. It’s thick and chewy, but those qualities also mean it should be sturdy enough to hold everything together.

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The other prominent ingredient in the first few bites seemed like a bacon cheese sauce. There’s a chance it was just bacon pieces and queso (which I found out afterwards when researching the ingredients), but I want to believe it was one ingredient. I like queso and thought it complemented the steak well, when I eventually got to the steak, that is.

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The burrito suffered from poor construction. I made it 1/3 of the way through getting any steak. Seeing the ads, I knew XL meant a bigger burrito, but also should mean more steak, which didn’t seem to be case.

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When I finally reached the steak, I was surprised at how tender it was. I always hesitate when ordering steak burritos because if the meat is too chewy or difficult to bite, then it’s difficult to get just a bite of steak, as opposed to a whole piece. It goes without saying that I was expecting hard and chewy pieces. The steak was decently spiced I think. I twas hard to isolate alone because of the sauce throughout the burrito. One nit pick: the steak pieces were pretty small. The pieces were small enough that it almost didn’t seem like I was eating steak. Soon after I encountered the steak, I reached a sour cream cache in the middle of the burrito. I’m not a fan of sour cream in general and don’t think it helped the burrito.

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Taken as a whole, the burrito was extremely messy and saucy. At the halfway point, the burrito started falling apart. It seems the tortilla wasn’t as study as I thought. Combining all the ingredients, there were some good bites here. Anything steak heavy was tasty and I applaud the use of fried potato, rather than rice, as the burrito filler. The bacon, when not a featured bite, fell into the background and seemed to just be there so they could advertise that the burrito had bacon on it. Maybe if it had more of a smokey flavor that would have been good for background.

The XL Steakhouse Burrito was filling. While on the pricey side for Taco Bell, it was a substantial meal. The fact that I’m leading off with that point is not a great sign though. I felt like the burrito was less than the sum of its parts. The bites without steak, of which there were many thanks to uneven ingredient distribution, just didn’t have strong enough taste, and too much of the heavy lifting was left to the sour cream. As I write this, the XL Steakhouse Burrito isn’t currently on the menu, so no one can actually order it right now, and I’m not sure I’d recommend it as anything other than a filling meal.

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I love fried potatoes in any form. Waffled and hashed, shoe stringed and tatered, you name it, I’m eating it. Tater tots, in particular, are really underutilized by restaurants. When done right, their increased surface area is optimized for crunchiness, and the insides can have more of a potato taste than regular fries. Of course, they can be done horribly wrong (re: anything frozen), but tots are amazing when done right. When I saw that Burger King was bringing them back (with cheese!), I was all in for an eating experience.

Unfortunately, Burger King’s ad campaign for this product featured the terrible movie, Napoleon Dynamite. I understand the connection since they were (grossly) prominent in the movie, but I was hoping anyone who actually liked that movie ten years ago had long ago realized it was boring and not funny and wouldn’t feel shame, not nostalgia for that period in their lives. Burger King is betting I’m wrong.

Burger King’s Cheesy Tots will not receive a description because 1) they’re cheesy tater tots, there’s no ad speak that could really dress these up and 2) there is no description currently on Burger King’s site because they may have already been discontinued. We’ll proceed as if they haven’t, because maybe they’ll come back some day. They cost $1.89 before tax as a side order, and that portion gives you seven tots. The tater tots arrive in a box, which was unexpected, and classier than the greasy paper bag that I expected to receive.

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I opened the box, and was confused. Each tot looked like a fried ball/fritter or a golden brown hockey puck, not like an actual tater tot. My first bite was not good. They somehow tasted stale, which should have been impossible since I ate them the week they were released, but it seemed as if they had been sitting in a box for the past year.

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That stale taste formed a formidable duo with the lack of crunch. An uncrunchy tater tot. The one thing you need to do right! For something that looked battered and fried, the texture was as if someone had baked these at a low temperature to get them hot. It reminded me of eating crappy leftovers.

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The cheese in the middle of the tots was a Velveeta-like product. I’m not a huge fan of that taste, so that wasn’t a compliment. Because the tot itself was limp and flavorless, the cheese overwhelmed the potato and it felt like a fried cheese ball. Once again, not a compliment.

If you’ve made it pretty far, it’s evident this was not enjoyable. Without looking back through the archives, the cheesy tots are one of, if not the worst products I’ve eaten for this blog. They somehow managed to be stale, overly cheesy, grease bombs. I did not eat all seven and barely finished half the order. It appears these are no longer available, and I implore Burger King not to return these to the menu unless there’s a new recipe.