December 28, 2008

All dressed up: The Bacon Cheddar Gordita Crunch

As you might know, I'm a big fan of the Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell. But the chain had virtually pulled them from the menu -- it was no longer listed on the big board, although you could usually get one if you asked for it.

Last night I was delighted to find it back in a prominent place on the menu. There was just one twist. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch listed isn't your father's Cheesy Gordita Crunch.

It was the new Bacon Cheddar Gordita Crunch.

The basic idea is still the same. It's a beef taco wrapped in a gordita with a liberal amount of melted and shredded cheese. But now there are bacon bits between the taco shell and the gordita, and some new cheddar sauce is slathered on top of Taco Bell's ground beef.

The Bell has always served an "Americanized Mexican" food. The old 1/2 Pound Beef and Potato Burrito was a good example of that -- the potato chunks gave it a lot of stateside flavor. But the bacon takes that to a whole new level.

It takes the Cheesy Gordita Crunch to a new level, too. I wasn't expecting the bacon to taste as good as it did since its quality isn't the highest. In fact, it's a little soggy. But those bacon bits managed to blend seamlessly with that cheap beef and salty cheddar.

The combination was so good that I didn't feel too bad spending a whopping $2.49 for a Taco Bell item. Typically there's no reason to stray from the "Why Pay More" value menu, but this is an exception. The regular Cheesy Gordita Crunch was always reason enough to shell out a little more, but the dressed up version is absolutely worth it.

Of course, it would be better off if it was on the value menu. But I guess you can't get a newly renovated item at the prices your father remembers. Four sporks out of five.

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