Taco Bell’s new upscale taco chain, U.S. Taco Co., opened its first location nine days ago and the reviews are mixed.
The restaurant, located in Huntington Beach, California, serves french fries, milkshakes, and a variety of gourmet tacos costing between $US3 and $US10.
Many customers raved about the new concept.
“Absolutely the best tacos I’ve ever had,” one reviewer wrote on Yelp. “Amazing menu and even more amazing food. The Spud, the Grilled Cheese taco, and the Hot Chick tacos are heavenly. This is how you combine simple yet complex.”
Another reviewer wrote, “Quick prep, fun menu, healthy, quirky environment. New concept for Taco Bell, but nothing like a Taco Bell, thankfully.”
From the 47 reviews we read on Yelp and Facebook, the 1%er taco with lobster, garlic butter and slaw stood out as a clear favourite. Customers called it “mouth-watering,” “fresh,” and “absolutely delicious.”
Reviewers also gushed about the habanero-dusted french fries, which are served with a variety of sauces or loaded with meat and cheese dip.
“The seasoning on the fries was incredible and the queso was some of the best I’ve ever had,” Facebook user Lauren Eick wrote.
But some customers were sorely disappointed with the food and atmosphere.
Customers complained that the tortillas left a lot to be desired, with one person calling them “fast food quality.” Another customer compared the roasted chilli queso dip to Velveeta cheese.
Several complained that their tacos were smothered in too much sauce.
“The people are really nice and place is spotless,” one reviewer wrote. But “They need to work on heat or food, quality, better flavour combination & heavy handing of sauce. Also, a lot of the food tastes like frozen and store-bought. Nothing tastes fresh. Sorry I wanted to love this place I did but this was disappointing. “
Others complained about the prices.
“We paid about $US18 for two of us, and were both hungry within an hour,” one reviewer wrote. “Is this place competing with Chipotle? Rubios? I’m not sure. It’s supposed to be Taco Bell’s take on ‘fast casual,’ and while it was fast, and it was casual, I felt like the prices were for some place that should either provide larger portions or offer something…more.”
The restaurant has been open just two weeks so it’s possible the menu will be tweaked once more reviews start rolling in. The company is planning a second location but hasn’t revealed where it will be.
Here’s some photos taken by customers:
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