I’m not going to lie. It is really weird to be in a Taco Bell at 7 a.m.
I was the first customer of the day, there to try Taco Bell’s new nationwide breakfast menu, and even the register hadn’t finished booting up yet — almost as if it were saying, “Slow your roll, fella. It is way too early for this crap.” And maybe my bleary-eyed anthropomorphization of cash register logic was right. It definitely seemed too early for the Madonna and Phil Collins songs that were quite loud in the near empty dining area. And if it’s too early for 1996’s easy listening tour de force “Dance into the Light,” then it’s probably too early for something called a Waffle Taco.
Taco Bell’s not going to let a little egg and cheese get in the way of a properly syruped waffle. Photos by Jonathan Sharpe
The first thing I noticed about my Taco Bell breakfast bonanza was that their prices definitely don’t go up for FirstMeal. My platter loaded with Too Much Food (trademark pending) was just over 13 bucks. The Taco Bell breakfast experience breaks down to basically five items on which you can choose between bacon and sausage (how would you like your arteries clogged, sir?): the Waffle Taco, the A.M. Crunchwrap, the Breakfast Burrito, the A.M. Grilled Taco and the Flatbread Melt. I passed on the Flatbread Melt because it sounded too much like health food, but I got one of everything else, including a side of hashbrowns and a four-pack of Cinnabon Delights which are like breakfast dessert, I guess.
I started off with the Waffle Taco, which is exactly what you would think it is — a waffle topped with a sausage patty, eggs and cheese, rolled into a taco shape. A little packet of maple syrup comes with the Waffle Taco because Taco Bell’s not going to let a little egg and cheese get in the way of a properly syruped waffle. While this combination wasn’t nearly as gross as one would initially think, it’s definitely nowhere near the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
I definitely don’t want to think about how the Taco Bell steak meat is prepared.
I had even less hope for the A.M. Crunchwrap, the breakfast take on Taco Bell’s nuevo-classic fast food fabrication/invention. It’s basically a quesadilla stuffed with a hashbrown, meat of your choice, eggs and cheese and then grilled. First off, as one of the only non-repurposed-from-lunch items on the breakfast menu, the Taco Bell hashbrowns are as good as fast food frozen potato squares could be. My big mistake here was getting the bacon instead of sausage. There is probably nothing more unholy than fast food bacon. I would rather eat turkey bacon than the chewy processed fats and salts that make up fast food bacon. You heard me. Turkey. Bacon. It’s that bad.
It’s a good thing that for the Breakfast Burrito, I upgraded to steak and eggs for my protein choices. While I definitely don’t want to think about how the Taco Bell steak meat is prepared, it’s a million times better than the bacon. And the inclusion of Taco Bell’s Baja sauce on the burrito is a pretty good choice, although I felt like it often overpowered the ever-present eggs and cheese.
Taco Bell’s coffee is closer to the swill of Bojangles than the bare satisfactoriness of McDonald’s.
The A.M. Grilled Taco costs one yanqui dollar and was worth about that much.
Finally, there were the Cinnabon Delights, which were super-sticky fried balls of dough and cream cheese filling that, like all things Cinnabon, were tasty but probably took a few hours off my lifespan. And then there was the coffee. While I’m not one to drink fast food coffee regularly, I would put Taco Bell’s closer to the swill of Bojangles than the bare satisfactoriness of McDonald’s.
So how would I judge the whole ordeal? Well, I don’t think tortillas will be replacing biscuits as my fast food breakfast go-to. But if you’ve already made the life-decision to eat at Taco Bell on a semi-regular basis, you might as well eat breakfast there, too. Just don’t get the bacon.
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