Welcome to Haute-N-Ready, in which John Locanthi, Willamette Week’s trencherman of leisure, tastes the hastily made, modestly priced food of the common man.
Taco Bell has long been unafraid to boldly go where no fast food has gone before. The pseudo-Mexican chain was the first to realize the potential of Doritos to be more than a moderately satisfying, flavored corn product when it unveiled the Doritos Locos Taco in 2012—described by the Atlantic
as “one of the most successful products in fast-food history.” Taco Bell was the first to turn nachos into a sandwich with the Crunchwrap Supreme. It was also the first to add a layer of nacho cheese in a burrito
. And then it did it again this year except with a new name: the Quesarito.
The only surprise here is that this purveyor of portmanteau food mutants didn’t think to wrap a burrito with a quesadilla until 2014.
Allow me to be frank at the commencement: I have not dined at Taco Bell regularly since I was barefoot boy with cheek of tan and dreams of winning a Nintendo 64. Much like the 1998 Godzilla film it was promoting, this proved an ultimately unsatisfying experience. But I did learn an important lesson: Taco Bell makes the most oft-delicious food of the bottom-barrel fast food chains—or at least nothing so foul that it couldn’t be saved by the house fire sauce.
A by-the-bite breakdown of the Taco Bell quesarito
Over the years, I’ve had the odd gordita, grilled stuft burrito or enchurrito (may it rest in peace), but I’d yet to taste the quesarito or even the aforementioned Doritos Locos tacos. The Quesarito Big Box—a quesarito, a nacho cheesier Doritos Locos taco and a regular hard taco—ensures that this ends today.
As for the quesarito itself. Smaller than I predicted, the first few bites were relatively pleasant. (I ordered it sans sour cream and utilized the potent fire sauce to combat the bespeckled, off-color cheese goo described as a chipotle sauce in the literature.) At first, it seemed like a subpar grilled stuft burrito surrounded by the thinnest quesadilla known to man. If only I could have been so lucky. To those of you who are ever weary of dishes that refuse to specify which cheese are contained, know that there is a very good reason: You wouldn’t order it if you knew. There is not enough hot sauce or soda in the world to deal with this thick plastic, cheese-like substance. 650 calories never tasted so foul.
I’ve not tried Chipotle’s quesarito as of yet, but I doubt Taco Bell’s offering would fare well in a comparison. It couldn’t even compete with the rest of the big box.