Taco Bell is trying it’s hand in the fried chicken game with a sandwich, or is it a taco? Let’s check it out.
Taco Bell describes the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco like this:
Our approach? Game-changing. We took crispy, white-meat chicken. Marinated it in jalapeño buttermilk. Seasoned it with bold Mexican spices. Rolled it in a crunchy, tortilla-chip coating. Topped it with creamy chipotle sauce. And put it inside a puffy flatbread shell because we could. Thus, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco was born. Hatched? You get the idea.
Taco Bell’s pseudo attempt at entering the fried chicken war is somewhat comical but also somewhat inventive. While no one has probably ever thought of the taco joint as a fried bird destination, it’s the type of gimmick that gets the Fast Food Geek’s juices flowing.
If you haven’t been looking, Taco Bell’s combo prices and non value menu items have been skyrocketing. At least in my region there are plenty of combo prices, raging in the $7-9 range. I’m not sure when this happened but it’s pretty much made me into a “get the $5 box” consumer.
The Crispy Chicken Taco Sandwich costs $2.49 a la carte (or $1.49 if you buy it online) or you can get it as part of the $5.49 promo box alongside a 5 layer burrito, taco, and medium drink.
Once you open the box and look at the wrapper holding the Crispy Chicken Taco Sandwich, you can’t help but feel flabbergasted and underwhelmed. You could use context clues based on the promo photos, but it’s hard to ignore that this item is super small. After unwrapping it, you’d think this was a finger food at cocktail hour during cousin Ronnie’s wedding.
The flatbread is very reminiscent of bao bread, used in Asian cuisine, being pillowy and doughy in consistency. The inside is toasted, but mine was downright charred.
The fried chicken finger was definitely crispy and texture rich with the tortilla chip coating and the creamy chipotle sauce was lathered all around the blackened inside of the bread. If you look at the close ups, you can see the breading was seasoned quite well.
Biting down, I have to say the sandwich taco had great, spicy, and zesty taste. While Taco Bell offers a spicy version, that adds on pickled jalapeños, the OG was quite spunky in it’s own right. The fried chicken was plenty crispy and proves that pretty much any fast food joint can put out a decent piece of fried bird. The flatbread was airy and pillowy, just like it looked and was definitely a suitable vessel. I couldn’t imagine throwing fried chicken into a typical hard shell for instance.
While this taco sandwich provided plenty of Mexican themed, fried chicken vibes, it probably encompassed all of three bites. To me it shouldn’t be promoted as a star or a main event with just one of these. A duo or even trio should be sold together, for this to have any hope of satisfying the masses. Popeye’s fried chicken sandwich would laugh at this dinky being, and laugh like the Jolly Green Giant.
Taco Bell Crispy Chicken Taco Sandwich: 5/10