The fast-food budget wars have heated up recently.
While Burger King, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s have all introduced thrifty value menus and bundle deals, breakfast has more or less escaped the value wars.
But Taco Bell’s new $1 breakfast menu, combining existing breakfast options with several new items, is a shot across the bow.
Clearly, $1 breakfast items can make anyone’s wallet happy, but is the food worth it?
We decided to try all the chewable, non-beverage value breakfast items (I think we all can imagine what orange citrus Mountain Dew tastes like, for better or worse) to find out if this morning value selection is a breakfast blessing or a blight.
So, you're going to Taco Bell for breakfast? Bold move -- perhaps even commendable. But is the chain's new 'Morning Value Menu' worth the visit?
The grilled breakfast burritos are the anchors of the breakfast menu: simple, easy to eat, and fairly large. Yet, two out of the three options disappoint. Both the sausage and bacon iterations are wildly salty with an abundance of bland egg and far too much molten cheese. The consistency is unpleasant, and the flavours just aren't there.
However, the potato version may just be the grilled burrito's saving grace. The potato chunks add a savoury, starchy flavour that lends substance to the egg and dubious cheese. And with some surprisingly vibrant pico de gallo thrown in the mix for texture and crispness, this burrito is amazingly balanced.
A hash brown is a hash brown is a hash brown. It's fine and all -- it has a faint hint of residual flour tortilla flavour, which is unsurprising given where it's being served. But skip it. One doesn't go to Taco Bell for the hash browns, so why bother?
The soft breakfast taco is soft on flavour, that's for sure. But with just sausage (or bacon), egg, and cheese, there's not much to work with here.
It's fairly similar to the sausage or bacon grilled burritos in terms of texture and taste. Also, it's absolutely puny -- I'd have to stomach eating five of them to feel satisfied, and that's never going to happen.
Bowls are so 'in' right now. Taco Bell's keeping trendy with the mini skillet bowl, which consists of potatoes, scrambled eggs, and cheese sauce, all topped with a drop of pico de gallo.
Let me first say: it tastes as great as the potato breakfast burrito. But, alas, it has everything that's delicious about the burrito with none of the convenience or ease. It's a tiny bowl, and digging a fork around in it without spilling takes skill. Plus, without the eggs hidden within a warm tortilla, they look mightily suspicious. Ignorance is bliss, right?
What's a breakfast menu without something out of a dentist's worst nightmare? The 'Cinnabon Delights' come in three sizes: a two pack for $1, a four pack for $1.79, and if you really love cavities, a 12 pack for $4.89.
These warm little orbs of tooth-melting sweetness have a slight eggy taste to the dough, but it's rather effectively smothered by the granulated sugar encrusting the outside. The inside is filled with a treacly icing so sweet that it should come with a surgeon general's warning. If you think these are a smart breakfast choice, reconsider your dietary choices. Albeit, they're delicious in a horrible, horrible way -- they bring a delight only tooth decay could follow.
Lastly, the lonely sausage flatbread quesadilla. It's much of the same story as the burritos and soft taco: salty, boring, and lifeless. However, the flatbread is much thicker than a tortilla, giving an overwhelming flavour of... bread. It's a lot of bread.
So, intrepid breakfast seekers: Taco Bell's 'Morning Value Menu' has more misses than hits. But for those few bright moments -- the fiesta potato grilled breakfast burrito, and the mini skillet bowl -- a dollar makes a decent deal. And sure, go for the Cinnabon Delights if you must -- just brush your teeth after.
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