Should you eat Taco Bell’s Cantina Burrito?
Mon, Jul 16, 2012 (11 a.m.)
Photo: Brock Radke
Taco Bell unveiled its new Cantina Bell menu this month, and it turns out the “new menu” is really just one dish composed of some different-yet-familiar ingredients. Whether you order it in a bowl or a burrito, you’re getting the same food: marinated chicken or steak, black beans, guacamole, corn salsa, cilantro rice and cilantro dressing. Hope you like cilantro.
As a normal human who consumes Taco Bell only after a few too many drinks, I have to ask: what the hell? Clearly Taco Bell is aiming at the fresh-Mex dominance of Chipotle, creating a comparable product for a couple bucks less. (The Cantina Burrito is $4.99.) They’re taking the high road with the marketing, using that now-meaningless descriptor “gourmet” and letting us know celeb chef Lorena Garcia concocted these new recipes. That’s cool, I guess. Clearly, Taco Bell doesn’t understand that when I’m at the drive-thru, a bad decision has already been made. I’m looking for a Crunchwrap Supreme, an Enchirito or some other melty, crunchy, ridiculously-named snack. How are you going to drop the Doritos Locos taco on us and do the fresh-and-healthy thing months later?
The Cantina Burrito is pretty good, which is to say it tastes much different from standard Taco Bell fare. The cilantro rice is particularly flavorful and pleasantly moist. The corn and pepper salsa combined with the limey guacamole and creamy dressing creates that obnoxious sweetness that permeates most fast food. This might not be your standard Taco Bell burrito, but its components blend together in a way that makes it difficult to tell just how improved these flavors and ingredients may be. Maybe we’ll downgrade from “pretty good” to “not bad.” The price may be right, but as far as flavor goes, it’s not even close to Chipotle.