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Fast Food What's New

Taco Bell Brings Back Naked Egg Taco, Tests New Toasted Cheese Chalupa

Taco Bell has been stepping up the value menu game lately, with both the Dollar Stacker and their fries turning into cult favorites. The taco titan is now bringing back one of their more innovative items from the past year: The Naked Egg Taco.

Photo: Peter Pham // Foodbeast

This unique breakfast item, consisting of an egg “taco shell,” returns to the breakfast menu for a limited time starting March 8th. You can purchase Naked Egg Tacos as part of a two for $3.49 deal.

The Naked Egg Tacos will, once again, be available in two different options: bacon or sausage. They also come filled with seasoned potatoes, melted cheddar, and nacho cheese sauce. The option to “dress up” the tacos with a Gordita flatbread will also be available.

naked egg taco returns

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

Taco Bell’s also continuing their shell innovation with a new, cheesy chalupa shell. Called the Toasted Cheese Chalupa, it’s got crispy aged cheddar on the outside that makes it sound like a cross between a cheese bagel and a taco shell. It’ll be available in two different forms: a Breakfast Toasted Cheese Chalupa and a Toasted Cheese Chalupa. The morning meal form comes with scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, and nacho cheese sauce. The regular version swaps out the eggs and bacon/sausage for ground beef.

Both Toasted Cheese Chalupa options will be available as a limited-time test in West Virginia (specifically, Charleston and Huntington), starting March 8th.

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Fast Food

Taco Bell Spices up Morning Menu With New Breakfast Burritos

Taco-Bell-Grilled-Breakfast-Burritos

Debuting its breakfast concept only months ago, Taco Bell is already looking to revamp its wildly successful breakfast menu. Taco Bell already has plans to test a new “Power Breakfast” menu in August with lower calorie options, such as Greek yogurt, but the fast food chain is adding two new burritos to their morning line up.

The new Grilled Breakfast Burrito is made up of scrambled eggs smothered in nacho cheese sauce wrapped and grilled in a flour tortilla with your choice of sausage, bacon, or, for the vegetarian Taco Bell lovers, Fiesta potatoes with pico de gallo.

The Grande Breakfast Burrito is more of a traditional breakfast burrito featuring your choice of bacon, sausage, or steak, pico de gallo, sour cream, Fiesta potatoes, and cheddar cheese.

If the Steak and Egg Burrito was your breakfast of choice just FYI, it’s undergone a name change and is now known as the Cheesy Burrito with new options including sausage, potatoes, and bacon options.

You can find the new breakfast burritos at your local Taco Bell.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating

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Deals

McDonald’s Counters Taco Bell Breakfast, Offers Free Coffee

mcdonalds-free-mccafe

Who: McDonald’s

What: Free small McCafé coffee. Think of it as a friendly reminder to Taco Bell.

Where: All participating locations in the US. During breakfast hours only.

When: March 31, 2014 – April 13, 2014

Picthx McDonald’s

Categories
Fast Food

Taco Bell Breakfast — Everything You Need To Know About FirstMeal

With Taco Bell now officially launching their breakfast menu in 10 western states, we’re here to shed some light on the taco giant’s early morning offerings. Through an official press release, we now know the organized breakfast menu will operate under the name ‘FirstMeal™’ a fun concept juxtaposition to their late night branding of ‘Fourth Meal’.

Back in September of 2011, we caught a whiff of a local Southern California Taco Bell location toying with the breakfast menu, and last week we confirmed the FirstMeal name and the menu items that would be available. As of yesterday, January 26th, 750 stores across 10-western states including California, Arizona and Colorado began serving the 11-item breakfast menu.

The fast food breakfast arena is a crowded one, and it looks like Taco Bell, albeit a powerhouse in the fast food game, definitely saw fit to partner with several key breakfast brands to attack the market in a serious way. Included in the menu are the likes of Johnsonville®, Cinnabon®, Tropicana and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

The full FirstMeal™ menu, in order of price: Sausage or Bacon and Egg Burrito, Hash Browns, Seattle’s Best Coffee® ($1.49 cents); Cinnabon Delights™ ($1.49), Tropicana Orange Juice ($1.49), Johnsonville® Sausage and Egg Wrap ($1.79), Seattle’s Best Coffee® Premium Vanilla or Mocha Iced Coffee ($1.99), Steak and Egg Burrito ($1.99), Grande Skillet Burrito ($2.79). Three combos will be offered, all for $3.99, which includes a drink and hash brown. Prices and items may vary at participating locations.

Time is a factor, and we experienced a tragic first Taco Bell breakfast run a few months back, showing up just minutes after the 11AM breakfast deadline. That’s right, breakfast will be served from 8 or 9AM until 11AM daily. Showing up at 11AM for some breakfast burritos? Better hope somewhere else is serving them.

Before the 750-store rollout, Taco Bell tested their FirstMeal options in over 150 stores in four markets, and Taco Bell’s Brian Niccol, the Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer mentions that the breakfast launch is beginning in the west, “where people grew up with breakfast burritos,” and that he hopes to reach a national audience in the future.

Our friends at the OC Register have compiled a list of all the locations currently serving breakfast, if you want to be absolutely sure before you set your alarm any earlier than normal.

What do you guys think of Taco Bell’s breakfast offerings? Awesome? Boring? Lacking? Just right? Not what you expected?

Let us know in the comments!

 

Categories
Fast Food

“First Meal” — Taco Bell Breakfast Now Has An Official Name

All last year, we saw sporadic Taco Bell locations testing breakfast, specifically an Irvine, CA-based location that we checked out in September of 2011. The plan for breakfast remained under wraps — would it ever become national? What would the official breakfast lineup include? When would they stop serving it? All day?

We’re now getting answers. In fact, Taco Bell told the OC Register their new breakfast menu will be launching in 750 restaurants in the West starting January 26th across 10 states. It even has a name — First Meal, a rather cute compliment to their late night menu branding, Fourth Meal.

Utilizing scrambled eggs, sausage patties, bacon, tortillas, and hash browns, the 11-item breakfast lineup may be late to the quick-service breakfast game, but it’s definitely a dense lineup of breakfast options for Taco Bell’s large customer base.

Orange County’s Fast Food Maven even mentions that by 2014, Taco Bell’s First Meal option is slated to be available in 5,800 domestic locations. The food items range in price from 99 cents, to $2.79, and include iced coffee (which was pretty darn good when we tried it) and Sausage & Egg crunch-style wrap.

We’ll have more information as it comes in:

[Leader Image via OCRegister/TacoBell]

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Fast Food

Could Taco Bell’s SIGNATURES Menu Be a Chipotle Competitor? [OUR LOOK]

According to a recent investor conference, Taco Bell‘s chief executive Greg Creed told investors and analysts that 2011 had been a terrible year for the brand (NRN).

Apparently the lawsuit attacking the chain’s seasoned beef coupled with a relative shortage of new products during the course of the year seemed to truly rattle the fast food giant. The conference wasn’t all negative though — the light at the end of the tunnel being the agressive product lineup they have ready for 2012.

When Creed was asked about rebooting core ingredients, posed as a comparison to Chipotle Mexican Grill’s success as a fast-casual Mexican chain, he was quick to note that Chipotle is less a competitor, but the comparison opens up an opportunity to create similar quality items at a cheaper price.

The first of these higher quality, more economical efforts? Taco Bell Signatures.

The Chef’s Signature lineup was helped developed by Miami-based chef Lorena Garcia. Upgrades include a reformulation of several key ingredients, from the beans, pico de gallo, marinades and seasonings on the chicken and steak.

The lineup, which we hear is slated for debut sometime next year, was quietly waiting for us at a Costa Mesa, CA location near our office.

Of course, we jumped at the opportunity to try what we will naively pose as possible Chipotle-competition. The menu was relatively simple to understand — three main groups of items, all priced out at $2.99, boasting NEW INGREDIENTS, NEW FLAVORS. No word if this will be how the menu actually comes to fruition when brought out nationally (if it ever does), but it works as is.

A group of 3 signature tacos, with your choice of Chicken, Veggie, or Steak (we ordered one of each), was among the first group of items we tried:

All three were delicious. The meats were great, the seasoning was quality, and the pico de gallo with charred corn was…in the words of my man Jason Segel from the 2009 film I Love You, Man, a revalation.

One of the hidden gems of the taco (which will also prove to ring true in both the burrito and salad bowl) is the quality of the beans. The addition of black beans works exceptionally well with all the tacos, particularly the Veggie option, which relies heavily on it without the use of Chicken or Steak as a main protein.


Pictured above is Rudy getting throat-deep in the Steak burrito offering. As you can see, the size is respectable, and the flavors are on par with the quality of the tacos. The burrito isn’t the size of a Chipotle burrito, but for the price ($2.99), it’s definitely worth every penny.

Lastly, we ordered up their Signature Bowl (also $2.99), an accumulation of all the ingredients, alongside a bed of seasoned rice, and the dollop of guacamole was a great touch. Here’s a look after I stirred it all up:

So the question remains, will this give Chipotle a run for its money?
It very well could, but if anything, it might just be the crucial part of a portfolio of items that Taco Bell needs to bounce back in 2012.
Realistically, it will take far more than a few new “fresh ingredients” for Taco Bell to ever shake the stigma of being a fast food giant and undergo a visage of a “fast casual” brand like Chipotle, but that doesn’t seem to be their direct aim.
Along with the rollout of Taco Bell Breakfast over the next year, coupled with some promising off-the-wall menu additions, they might just have it in them to turn things around.
For fans of Taco Bell, what would you like to see changed, added or removed from their menu? Do you think they should become more of a Chipotle, or are they fine as is?
Speak on it!
Categories
Fast Food

A Look at Taco Bell’s Breakfast Menu

Drake’s new song Headlines has a lyric that reads “I’m floatin’ in and out of consciousness,” it’s almost as if he was talking about the new Taco Bell Breakfast Menu. Why do I say that? Well, the restaurant has never had a permanent breakfast menu that they felt strongly enough about to give a full-fledged marketing push, let alone make available systemwide.

The result? A sporadic issue of different breakfast menu items, year after year, never really finding an identity the way McDonald’s has with their breakfast offering, or even Del Taco has with their permanent breakfast menu. The OC Register has a piece on what Taco Bell breakfast looked like back in 2009, NRN shows you what it looked like in 2010, and we’re here to show you what it looks like in 2011:

Could this be the breakfast menu that Taco Bell sticks to? A conglomerate of name brands in a feeble attempt to bring a cohesive menu offering to their customers? Johnsonville, Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tropicana orange juice? It honestly looks like we’re peering down a grocery isle instead of gazing at a complete and confident breakfast menu. For Pete’s sake, Taco Bell is the world’s largest Mexican food chain as well as being one of the biggest fast food chains period, will they ever get it right?

Breakfast ends at 11 a.m. The Iced Coffee, both flavors, were good, albeit expensive for the quantity allotted. The Johnsonville Sausage & Egg Wrap is deceivingly undersized, and the only burrito on the menu of the three we tried (completely forgot to order the Grande Skillet Burrito) that was worthy of being discussed was the Steak & Egg Burrito.

Food is subjective, so if you find a Taco Bell in your area testing out a breakfast menu, definitely do your own research, you might like what you see. Until then, here’s a look at what the menu items look like in real life, outside of the fancy photoshopping of their marketing team:

Taco Bell Breakfast

Sausage & Egg Burrito

Steak & Egg Burrito

Taco Bell Iced Coffee

Hash Brown and Bacon & Egg Burrito

 

Johnsonville Steak & Egg Wrap