I think Taco Bell®’s breakfast slogan should be “Because if you make the worst decision of the day this early, things can only get better” but the drive-thru screen proclaims going to Taco Bell® as “your best decision of the day” which to me really seems like adding insult to injury.
It seems like a few years ago Taco Bell® finally realized that somewhere between 85% and 99.99% of their business goes to drunks and stoners, perhaps best exemplified in a taco where the shell is made out of Doritos®. It seems to be working out well for them, but apparently they’re still catering to drunks and stoners with their new breakfast menu. The problem I see with this is that, even though their breakfast is available later than most fast food breakfast (they go to 11 AM), most people aside from alcoholics, wake n’ bakers, or people still drunk from the night before aren’t going to be in those states of mind that early. Maybe if it went til 2 and was billed as a brunch menu people might have had the chance to get a few mimosas or bloody marys or bellinis or irish coffees or screwdrivers or tequila sunrises or fuzzy navels or whiskey straight out of the bottle or whatever people drink in the morning I ain’t about that life in them.
But anyway, I’m not here to review Taco Bell®’s business practices. I’m totally underqualified for that. And besides, it seems to be working out well so far. I went a little after 10:30 on a Sunday morning (I know, that was too late, I didn’t intend to go but I didn’t have any food in the house and if I haven’t eaten I don’t have the strength to fight past my hatred of grocery stores enough to actually go to the grocery store, it’s a catch-22 where the only way out was Taco Bell®) and a huge line of cars started pulling up to the drive through as things got closer to 11 and the end of breakfast. I felt a little sorry for the poor bastards working there but that feeling went away pretty soon.
Taco Bell® actually has a surprising number of things on their breakfast menu. I only tried a few because I don’t hate myself that much, but most are pretty self-explanatory. Breakfast burrito? Probably pretty good, it’s a breakfast burrito and they’re always good. Breakfast taco? Probably the same as a breakfast burrito, just folded.
OK, now that I’ve reviewed the items I didn’t eat, on to the ones I did.
The Waffle Taco comes in two varieties, sausage and bacon. I got the sausage one. If you’ve somehow missed hearing about it or seeing it and somehow aren’t able to imagine what something called a “waffle taco” could possibly be, it’s a waffle folded like a taco, containing a sausage patty, eggs and cheese.
Of all the breakfast items, this one definitely looks like it belongs on the late night menu. I could totally see myself…I mean…someone else scarfing down two or three of these at 3 AM. In the cold, sober light of the morning, though, it looks a little suspicious.
I tried to go into it with an open mind. After all, the one time I tried McDonald®’s McGriddle® (a biscuit sandwich using miniature pancakes rather than a biscuit), I liked it, and this is kind of the same thing, right? And it’s not like any of these ingredients wouldn’t be eaten together. Maybe not necessarily in the same bite, but like that disgusting kid in the lunch room who always mixed all his food together used to say, it all goes to the same place anyway.
I first tried it plain, without syrup. It was OK. The waffle was soft and actually did a pretty good job of containing the ingredients. Adding syrup definitely improved it, though. Unlike the abovementioned McGriddles®, the waffle doesn’t have maple syrup flavor already imbedded in it. And then, on the advice of my cousin who beat me to the “ridiculous review of Taco Bell breakfast” punch, I tried something even weirder, and added hot sauce to the syrup.
That’s the right way to do it, hands down. I know it sounds weird as hell, but if (God help you) you ever find yourself eating a Waffle Taco, definitely put hot sauce in the syrup. Think about it, it makes sense: syrup for the waffle, hot sauce for the eggs. Simple chemistry.
The Cinnabon® Delights™ are little fried balls of dough, dusted with cinnamon sugar and filled with frosting. I’m not sure if they’re new, but they’re billed as part of the breakfast menu and I’d never tried them before, so I picked some up.
They’re pretty good. When you put the balls in your mouth, warm, delicious, gooey white frosting gushes out. If you don’t put the whole thing in your mouth, sometimes some gets on your face and you have to lick it off. And no, there is literally no other way to describe that.
They’re super tasty, but I’m not really into sugary breakfast. Honestly, even as sugary breakfast goes these seem way too over the line. They’re actually even sold on the dessert menu later in the day.
The A.M. Crunchwrap™
You might have heard about the A.M. Crunchwrap™ already, and anything you’ve heard is true. I mean, I’m not gonna say angels sang when I bit into it or anything but it was really good. It comes in three varieties: steak, bacon, and sausage. I got the steak one because I’m bougie and also because what is steak even doing at Taco Bell®.
Unless you skipped the rest of the review, you probably know by now I wasn’t too sure about the whole Taco Bell® breakfast thing, even after eating the other stuff. The Waffle Taco was better than I expected, but was it good enough to justify Taco Bell spending millions (or billions? I have no idea how much things cost) of dollars on rolling out a whole new menu, adding coffee makers to their stores and expanding their opening hours into the morning? Maybe not. It’s kind of a gimmick item in all honesty.
The A.M. Crunchwrap™, though, is clearly the item that is going to make Taco Bell breakfast a success. In all honestly, it’s probably the entire reason Taco Bell® even considered making a breakfast menu in the first place. Some misunderstood, underemployed genius on the food line came up with it, and the stoners in upper management were so impressed that they actually put down their bongs for a few seconds.
“Dude,” one said, “We have got to make a breakfast menu. We are gonna make trillions off this thing.”
“But, we can’t make a menu with just, like, one item, man! We’re, uh, respected businessmen?”
“Man, I dunno dude, let’s make a taco out of a waffle or something.”
And thus the Taco Bell® breakfast menu was born. It was morning, then it was evening, and on the next day the Taco Bell® execs rested and raked in the money, over the bent and broken backs of the working class.
OK, so, the A.M. Crunchwrap™ itself. It’s based on the same concept as Taco Bell®’s Crunchwrap Supreme™, which is also pretty good, but the A.M. Crunchwrap™ is smaller and better. It’s filled with eggs, cheese, hash browns(!), and sausage/bacon/steak, depending on what you chose. If you’re a hot sauce person, put hot sauce on it, if you aren’t, don’t. I am and I did, but it’s good either way.
Taco Bell®’s food has never really been the kind you could eat while driving. Tex-Mex or southwestern or whatever the hell it is that Taco Bell® is bastardizing isn’t exactly the neatest food. The A.M. Crunchwrap™ changes all that. I’m a somewhat messy eater, and I was at a table so I wasn’t even being that careful, sometimes putting it down or opening a hot sauce packet or stopping to cry at what I was doing to my digestive system, and only two little bits of egg fell out the entire time.
It doesn’t even make sense. They must have hired MIT graduates to work on this thing. Not only is it the least messy item Taco Bell’s ever made, it’s probably the least messy fast-food breakfast item anyone’s ever made. Your precious Chik-Fil-A® biscuits crumble to pieces and get crumbs all over the damn place, don’t even try and tell me they don’t because you lyin’, that’s just what biscuits do. The A.M. Crunchwrap™ is the perfect size to fit in your hand, and it doesn’t make a mess at all. It may not be the perfect drive-thru breakfast item, but it’s as close as our flawed species has come so far, and it may indeed be the closest we ever come.