Taco Bell Tortadas and Sparklers!

14 04 2010

There is nothing that brightens my day more than seeing a new special plastered on the windows of my local Taco Bell. I don’t know what they put in their food, but I keep coming back for more. The last major special Taco Bell ran (and the subject of my very first post) were the Pacific Shrimp Tacos. I was rather unimpressed with them (full review here) and they seem to have disappeared from the menu since then. For this month’s special, Taco Bell has released not one, but four new menu items! I tried three of them last night – and here is what I thought.

Bacon Ranch Tortada

Chicken, bacon, ranch, tomatoes, and lettuce wrapped inside a quesadilla tortilla. If you have ever had Taco Bell’s “Club” style gordita, this is basically the same thing with a new shell. Taco Bell likes to dust off the bacon bits once in a while, and I have never been a fan. There is nothing spicy or Mexican about this creation – it just tastes fatty, and rich. Now let me take a moment to discuss the new “Tortada” concept. It is a quesadilla tortilla, wrapped around the ingredients to create a square shape, which is cut down the middle diagonally. The end result here is a floppy mess that falls apart when you pick it up. If you have ever had Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme – this is its less functional and less attractive little brother. The tortada is just another rehashing of Taco Bell’s base ingredients, in a failed way. To add insult to injury, a tortada will run you close to 4 bucks, which is unacceptable when there is a huge 79/ 89 / 99 cent value menu to choose from.

Salsa Roja Tortada

Now that you already know my take on these tortadas in general, I will just focus on the ingredients in this one. The salsa roja tortada trades out the bacon and ranch for cheese and a tomato salsa. As much as I enjoy Taco Bell, they are terrible at making fresh salsa. The “salsa roja” contained in this tortada is drippy, wet, bland, and was obviously prepackaged/frozen. Salsa is one of those foods that is either extremely tasty or just bad. For example –

Good –

– Buy fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, and cilantro

– Dice, add lime juice and a bit of salt, let sit for an hour in the fridge

– Enjoy


– Tostitos / Pace jarred salsa

– Taco Bell “salsa roja”

So after picking up this already unwieldy tortada, be prepared to deal with the juices flowing inside. Or skip it. Last but not least –

Taco Bell Limeade Sparklers – Cherry

After making my way through the disasters above, this was my light at the end of the tunnel. The limeade sparkler is a refreshing beverage consisting of Sierra Mist lemon-lime soda with a shot of cherry limeade syrup, garnished with a lime slice. Think Shirley Temple, but better. Why don’t more restaurants do this? The ol’ soda fountain gets boring after you see the same drinks 1000 times. Lets see…. Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Root Beer, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper….. *yawn*. Taco Bell already broke the mold years ago with their exclusive “Baja Blast” version of Mountain Dew, which I enjoy on occasion, but these limeade sparklers really take the cake. The cherry flavor infuses the whole drink and provides a thirst quenching, sweet contrast to your spicy, beefy meal. I only tried the cherry limeade, but there is also an original limeade which I’m sure is also quite good.

Despite the Frankenstein creation known as the tortada, Taco Bell will still be one of my favorites. They can’t get it right every month I guess! If you have tried any of the products reviewed here, please post a comment and share what you think!




2 responses

14 04 2010

Bring back the blackjack taco!

22 04 2010

Just tried the Bacon Ranch Tortada yesterday. I know it isn’t “Mexican,” but what at Taco Bell is authentic Mexican food? I actually thought it tasted decent and mine wasn’t floppy, it actually held up well. I enjoy the avocado sauce, but I totally agree on the bacon bits…the Bell needs to improve on that before they roll out another bacon infused monthly special. The price of $4 is pretty ridiculous, but Taco Bell loves doing that for these monthly specials (think Cheesy Gordita Crunch, Blackjack Taco, etc.) because they know people will spend the money to try a new item.

I see what you’re saying with the Bacon Ranch Tortada, but I don’t think it’s a complete failure for Taco Bell. The salsa one however I don’t even have to taste it, I’ll take your word on that one sucking. Taco Bell’ salsa blows and it adds like a quart of salsa water to whatever you eat with it.

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