Taco Bell Nacho Fries: more than meets the eye

Logan Ansteatt

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qBJEAEnL7M[/embedyt]

Video by Carly Kramer.

There’s something quintessentially peculiar about Taco Bell making fries.

A fast-food restaurant best known for their 88 percent “real beef” and breakfast food oddities, like the waffle taco, wouldn’t dare step into the crowded space of seasoned potato strips. But much like Kentucky Fried Chicken’s double down, Taco Bell’s seemingly absurd idea made it onto their menu and henceforth, into my stomach.

Taco Bell succeeds with menu items that do just enough to be considered mexican inspired, while also squeezing into the “cheap and easy to assemble” cuisine category. The new nacho fries are no exception, and feature a southwestern seasoning that holistically separates them from every other fast-food fry on the market.

With a similar kick to the steak fry seasonings offered by Red Robin, but a deeper penetration into the fry itself, this savory concoction adds a sophisticated taste to an otherwise bland and standardized potato offering.

The sophistication stops with the seasoning though, as every order of nacho fries is served with an unhealthy dose of nacho cheese.

Tasting more manufactured than truly cooked by a human being, the cheese sauce rests in a black condiment container and will not budge unless heavily provoked. You can literally give the cheese sauce Dairy Queen’s upside-down Blizzard test and it would reveal no significant movement or signs that any real cheese was ever injected into the nacho cheese production process.

Despite this, the combination of modestly sophisticated southwestern french fries and chemically engineered cheese sauce somehow blends into a delectable fast-food experience.

What you must reject is the larger and more ingredient inclusive sibling: the nacho fries Bellegrande. This variant features seasoned “beef, tomatoes, and reduced fat sour cream, all layered on top of a nacho fries and cheese sauce, the result is a soggy and unappetizing conglomeration of toppings that heighten the gelatinous aspect of the dish. It’s not only more expensive at $3.49, but the added ingredients do more to take away from the appeal of nacho fries than contribute anything that could justify almost a quadrupling of cost.

Taco Bell’s nacho fries definitely wouldn’t fit into a five-star or even three-star restaurant dining experience; but their simplicity and desire to reinvent, not revolutionize, the fast-food french fry is commendable. For only $1 (or $1.29 at the St. Johns Town Center), there’s little reason not to at least give them a taste test on your next visit for some questionable taco meat and a Baja Blast.

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