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Get Ready For Nacho Fries At Taco Bell

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Bell is charging into the fast-food game with arms swinging. On Jan. 3, the Tex-Mex chain announced  that it will begin rolling out $1 Nacho Fries for a limited time, starting Jan. 25.

Talks of Taco Bell fries were abuzz since last spring when the fast-food joint ran tests with select audiences in West Virginia and Bakersfield, California, markets, according to a press release. Taco Bell fans can now get a taste of its crispy, golden fries sprinkled with Mexican seasoning and served with a Nacho Cheese dipping sauce on the side. (And it’s just $1!)

Extra hungry customers can also choose between a Supreme ($2.49) or Bell Grande ($3.49) Nacho Fries (both loaded with the usual Taco Bell add-ons — beef, pico de gallo, nacho cheese, and sour cream) or a $5 box with the fries, a Doritos Locos Taco, a Cheesy Gordita Crunch and a medium drink, if you want to make a quick and cheap meal out of it.

From Doritos Locos to Crunchwrap Supremes, Nacho Fries are a break from the usual Tex-Mex fare at this late-night eatery. But the newest addition comes after Taco Bell’s rollout of 20 $1 menu items in test markets and nationwide this year, according to CNBC. The competition is stirring.

The battle for cheap deals is heating up as popular fast-food restaurants slashed prices to appeal to cash-strapped customers in the new year.

On Jan. 3, Wendy’s joined the fast-food battle, announcing that it is expanding its “4 for $4” deal. Customers can pick and choose from eight entrees and pair it with an order of small fries, chicken nuggets and a drink for $4.

On Jan. 4, McDonald’s officially debuted the “$1 $2 $3 menu” — an update on its iconic Dollar Menu.

Also to follow in the fray is Subway, with a revamped $5 footlong deal, Del Taco, who recently relaunched its “Buck and Under” menu in late December 2017. Jack in the Box has been said to be focusing on the $1 and $5 price points, according to Businesses Insider.

There is no doubt — fast-food companies are gearing up for an all-out showdown with McDonald’s.

Sources: Brand Eating, Business Insider (2), Taco Bell, CNBC / Featured Image: Mike Baird/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: 1 dollar nachos, fast-food price wars, taco bell
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Taco Bell Tests A Massive French Fry-Filled Burrito (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

When it comes to fast-food restaurant oneupmanship, everyone wants to get loaded … with fries.

Loaded fries, the all-inclusive package of a fried potato order, promises much more than hydrogenated oils, beef flavors and salt. Beef, tomatoes, nacho cheese, sour cream, guacamole, bacon, jalapeno peppers and other add-ons make loaded fries look like “garbage plate” pyramids.

Stuff all of that homogenous grease mixture into a burrito and you get Taco Bell’s “Loaded Fries Burrito,” a beta menu item available exclusively in the Charleston, West Virginia, area, according to Brand Eating.

“Loaded Fries Burritos” will feature three flavors, all filled with Taco Bell’s signature ground beef, seasoned fries, diced tomatoes, nacho cheese and sour cream wrapped tightly in a flour tortilla. Burritos come in three delicious varieties: “Supreme” is Taco Bell’s version of “the usual,” hold the extras; “California” includes the same ingredients as “Supreme,” plus guacamole; “Chipotle” is for those who want an extra spice to their burrito with a dribble of chipotle sauce.

The “Live Mas” taco chain is finally addressing customers’ main gripe with its menu — there are no french fries. It is an obligatory fast-food side item since time immemorial and is welcomed, but the long overdue pilot test could just as likely disrupt the burrito-fries hybrid competition.

Competitor Del Taco currently offers a similar burrito with fries inside, the “Epic Cali Steak & Guac Burrito,” a gargantuan meat pocket stuffed with carne asada steak, guac and crinkle-cut fries. With “Loaded Fries Burritos” and loaded fries anything, we could, unbeknownst to us, introduce a new standard for eating America’s favorite side.

The legion of “Frankenfoods” is upon us — a race for the freakiest and most daring culinary innovations that will unravel America’s relationship with food and with it, the threads of even their most stretchiest of pants. Some Frankenfoods fizzled out as fast as they were delivered (Bagel Dogs, Brookies, Donut Burgers) while others prevailed as mainstays (Doritos Locos Tacos, Ramen Burgers, Cronuts, Cake Pops). This new food age could reach a gluttonous climax and make Frankenstein’s out of us all.

Sources: Brand Eating, Business Insider / Featured Image: Jeffreyw/Flickr / Embedded Image: Brand Eating

Tags: Loaded Fries Burrito, taco bell
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Taco Bell Is Testing A Kit Kat Quesadilla (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Bell, the master of bizarre late night snacking creations, is doing big things in the dessert world. 

Head over to select locations and you can try a quesadilla that has no cheese in it at all! For just $1, you can grab a Kit Kat Chocoladilla, which has a grilled flour tortilla with melted chocolate and Kit Kat pieces wedged inside, reports Brand Eating.

At the same spots, Taco Bell is also testing out $1 Vanilla Iced Coffee, which sounds a lot more conventional — and perhaps also a natural to pair with the Kit Kat monstrosity.

The Mexican American chain has sold similar iterations of the Chocoladilla abroad, and they even had a Kit Kat Chocodilla in the U.K. in October 2016, although social media users over there gave it mixed reviews.

Unfortunately, the Chocoladilla and iced coffee are only available in certain restaurants in Wisconsin for the time being, but here’s hoping that they make their way across the nation soon, because they certainly sound like they are worth the couple of bucks to taste.

According to one Reddit user in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, their location has a Caramel Chocoladilla version of the melty chocolate snack, which features ground-up Twix bars.

“I was hoping for something good as I really enjoy a twix bar every now and then and while it wasn’t perfect it was pretty good,” the Redditor wrote. ” … The flavors worked pretty well together with the browned tortilla flavor playing well with the chocolate. The caramel flavor didn’t come through as well as I had hoped and there was pretty much no cookie crunch that I was hoping for. There was also not as much filling as I was hoping for but I’m not totally [surprised].”

They said that it was “pretty decent” and they’ll probably get it again, although it wasn’t something they thought they would crave regularly, so take from that what you will.

Sources: Brand Eating, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit / Featured Image: PX Here / Embedded Images: Taco Bell via Brand Eating, kgjettaIV/Reddit via Living Mas

Tags: Chocoladilla, Food News, Kit Kat Quesadilla, taco bell, Wisconsin
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Care To Try Chicken And Biscuits From Taco Bell? (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

Naked Chicken Chips have made their triumphant return to Taco Bell, and you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and FourthMeal. The chain is releasing them as a chicken and biscuit combo AND in a more standard snacky form!

Stop by for breakfast and you can grab the glorified, triangular nuggets, served with fluffy, bite-sized biscuits and either jalapeno honey or nacho cheese dipping sauce, according to a Taco Bell press release via PR Newswire. Get these for $1.99 for a limited time and in limited locations as they company tests out the new offering.

As of now, I can only confirm that the unique breakfast is being served at select stores in Indianapolis, but if you crave the crunchy chicken, fear not! Naked Chicken is available across the nation in a few iterations that don’t include mini biscuits but will still satisfy any cravings for the meat.

For $1.99, you can get a six-piece order of the Mexican-spiced marinated nuggets, served with Nacho Cheese sauce. Or you can enjoy them jammed into a Crispy Chicken Quesadilla alongside a three-cheese blend and creamy jalapeno sauce. Pick it up for $3.49 by itself or in a $5 Box with a Doritos Locos Taco, a Crunchy Taco and a medium drink.

Oh, and if you happen to be in Knoxville, Tennessee, you should totally try one more Naked Chicken limited edition item: the Bacon Ranch Naked Chicken Chalupa, which features the Naked Chicken taco shell you’ve been pining for since its abrupt departure. The chalupa gets packed with bacon, spicy ranch, lettuce, cheddar cheese and tomatoes, and you can get it for the same price as the Crispy Chicken Quesadilla, by itself or as a Box.

Fashionistas who wish to proclaim their love for the Mexican-American fast food chain can also head over to Forever 21 and grab Taco Bell-themed tops, bodysuits, hoodies and sweatshirts, as the two stores have teamed up to make clothes that the taco chain described as “hotter than Diablo Sauce,” according to NPR.

Sources: PR Newswire, NPR / Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr

Tags: chicken and biscuits, fast food news, Naked Chicken Chips, taco bell, Taco Bell breakfast
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Taco Bell Takes On Chipotle With Its New Burrito Bowl (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Bell might not be the first spot you think of when you’re looking for an affordable, reasonably healthy lunch or dinner, but that might all change if their Forbidden Bowl takes off.

Well … if deep-fried avocado counts as healthy, that is.

According to Brand Eating, the Mexican-American chain is testing out the new bowl and a corresponding burrito at just one location for just one week. And hopefully if it goes well we’ll see this thing pop up across the country soon.

In the meantime, it sure makes for a fitting name, considering that only Chinese royalty used to be allowed to eat the black rice back in the day.

The bowl starts with antioxidant-rich forbidden rice, which is vegan and cooked with the same seasoning as their regular rice, notes The Orange County Register. Plop on your choice of meat, shredded lettuce, black beans, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, three deep-fried avocado wedges and the cayenne pepper and garlic onion-seasoned Forbidden Sauce, and you have yourself a meal.

You can also order it as a burrito, which reportedly contains the exact same ingredients but comes wrapped in a warm, inviting tortilla blanket instead of a Chipotle-style oval dish.

The black rice, fried avocado and Forbidden Sauce make their Taco Bell debut, having never before been used as ingredients.

“We’re always about being a brand of firsts,” said Missy Schaaphok, Taco Bell’s food innovation nutrition strategist, according to The Register.

If this sounds delicious to you, you can pick up both items starting September 14 and ending September 21 at the Irvine, California, Taco Bell located on Barranca Parkway. A la carte prices range from $3.49 to $3.99.

Orange County residents have been pretty lucky when it comes to taste tests, of which the taco chain usually conducts 25 to 30 per year at various locations without too much fanfare.

Just one month previously, a few Taco Bells in the area released a limited-edition Firecracker burrito served with spicy Pop Rocks. Though it was met with mixed reviews, the novelty food is next set to make the rounds in Ohio to see how it performs.

Sources: Brand Eating, Orange County Register / Featured Image: Anthony92931/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Nancy Luna, Orange County Register/SCNG

Tags: Forbidden Bowl, taco bell, Taco Bell black rice, Taco Bell burrito bowl, Taco Bell Chipotle healthy
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Get Taco Bell’s New Egg-Shell Breakfast Taco This Month! (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

For those who stick to low-carb diets but have a soft spot for Taco Bell, there is splendid news: The always innovative chain’s new breakfast taco will be available in August — and it’s absolutely bread-free.

The Naked Breakfast Taco consists of all the beloved fillings of a typical morning taco — fried potatoes, cheese, and bacon or sausage (and nacho cheese sauce, because it’s Taco Bell) — but they’re folded into a fried-egg shell. After an apparently successful test run in April, the new breakfast delight is set to hit menus nationwide on August 31, according to Eater.

Is egg a totally effective replacement for bread? Not necessarily, Brand Eating reports, as a fried egg (a bit greasy on its own) doesn’t have the oil-absorbent infrastructure of a tortilla or biscuit. But since it’s fried until crispy, it’s sturdy enough to maintain shape and to keep its fillings from tragically falling overboard. Just do yourself a favor, and have a few napkins handy while you eat it.

If you find yourself uncomfortable with the indecency of a Naked taco, you can get yours Dressed. This drier variety sports the same egg shell, but it’s double-wrapped in flatbread for a neater, albeit higher carb, meal.

Clearly, Taco Bell likes to rethink traditional taco wrappings more than the average fast-food giant. The Naked Breakfast Taco follows the reign (or lack thereof) of the short-lived Naked Chicken Chalupa, which featured chalupa fillings inside of a fried-chicken shell and enjoyed a spot on menus for less than a month. May it rest in peace.

The Naked taco isn’t the chain’s first voyage into unusually shelled breakfast tacos, either. The restaurant has previously experimented with vessels made from buttery biscuits, flaky croissants and puffy waffles. The only breakfast carb that remains untouched by Taco Bell is the doughnut, though it may only be a matter of time.

Celebrate the last morning of August with a Naked taco of your own for just $1.99. Since you’re already splurging, go ahead and pair it with an order of salty, crispy hash browns and sugary, gooey Cinnabon Delights. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Sources: Brand Eating, Eater / Featured Image: Anthony92931/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: breakfast, breakfast taco, egg, egg shell taco, fast food, Naked Breakfast Taco, taco bell
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Taco Bell Now Serves Fries And Chicken Crunchwraps!

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By Cooking Panda

Hold the phone; Taco Bell is seriously changing the game with its new menu offering in West Virginia.

According to Brand Eating, the fast food chain is testing new Nacho Fries for only $1, and the fries come with a warm nacho cheese sauce for your dipping pleasure.

Everybody knows that the only thing Taco Bell was ever lacking in was a french fry option, but we all also thought that they would never offer it, considering the restaurant is more of a Tex-Mex chain.\

But the day has finally come!

You can order Nacho Fries Supreme or Bell Grande as well. All options will consist of a plate of fries topped with a comforting and warm cheese sauce (yum), seasoned beef, diced tomatoes, as well as reduced-fat sour cream.

Go for the Bell Grande if you’re feeling hungry, because that option gets you two times the amount of fries as the regular order.

Amazingly enough, there’s even more good news, because Taco Bell is also going all in with its fried chicken concept (does anybody else remember the short-lived Naked Chalupa it was selling earlier in 2017?) and has released the Chikstar, a Crunchwrap-type of dish that has fried chicken in it instead of ground beef.

The chicken is shaped to look like tortilla chips, and also replaces the typical hard tortilla crunch in the Crunchwrap.

Unfortunately, the Chikstar is only available for a limited amount of time. and Taco Bell hasn’t announced when that time will come yet, according to Delish. So if you think the Chikstar sounds tasty, go out to your local store and order one before it’s too late!

What do you think of these two new offerings from Taco Bell? Which one do you want to try first? Personally, I’d go all in on those Nacho Fries.

Source: Brand Eating, Delish / Photo Credit: Mike Baird/Flickr

Tags: chikstar, crunchwrap, fast food, nacho fries, taco bell
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Check Out Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chips

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By Cooking Panda

Naked Chicken Chips are at Taco Bell! Remember how good the Naked Chicken Chalupa was? Now it’s time for fried chicken nacho chips, and that couldn’t be more exciting.

Delish reports that starting May 11, Taco Bell will be offering the Naked Chicken Chips with a side of queso for dipping. The chips are expected to be crispy, and made of white meat chicken. They’re different from chicken nuggets served with cheese in that they are sliced more thinly and shaped like chips, so that they have more of a crunch to them than regular ol’ chicken nuggets.

Think of this new menu item as Taco Bell’s version of the chicken nugget, which, according to USA Today, is a hot selling item for the chain’s burger competitors. This way, Taco Bell can cash-in on those customers instead of letting them slip away to McDonald’s and Wendy’s and such.

The Naked Chicken Chalupa was available in January, but only for about a month. In that version, the Chalupa’s tortilla shell was replaced with a piece of fried chicken (and it was obviously delicious) that held in all the good stuff.

Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer says Taco Bell wasn’t ready to let go of Naked Chicken just yet. I guess that means we can look forward to more Naked Chicken items coming our way.

For now, the Naked Chicken Chalupa is no longer available, and the chips are only available for a limited time (six weeks to be exact). If your local Taco Bell location has these fun, new little “chips,” you should probably jump at the opportunity to go and try them.

You can get the six-piece order for $1.99, and the 12-piece order for just $2 more. Naked Chicken Chips can also come as part of a $5 box, which includes a Burrito Supreme, crunchy taco and medium drink.

If you don’t make it to Taco Bell during the six-week period of the Naked Chicken Chips reign, you can grab some chicken nuggets from basically any other fast food chain to hold you over. It won’t be as satisfying, but it’s probably safe to guess there will be more Naked Chicken in the future.

Sources: Delish, USA Today / Photo Credit: Foodbeast

Tags: Naked Chicken, Naked Chicken Chips, taco bell
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Taco Bell’s New Mexican Pizza Is All About Fried Chicken

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Bell sure is showing a lot of love for fried chicken. I’m not sure if that’s very Mexican food-like, but I’m pretty sure we’re all on board anyway.

According to Brand Eating, the newest fried chicken creation from Taco Bell is the Mexican Crispy Chicken Pizza, which is currently a test item in Columbus, Ohio. The new pizza features a crispy shell, nacho cheese sauce, a crispy chicken patty, Mexican Pizza sauce, three-cheese blend and pico de gallo — in that order. Think of the regular Mexican Pizza, but with fried chicken rather than beef, and nacho cheese rather than beans. Sounds great!

The chicken used is the same used in the Naked Chicken Chalupa, but is flattened out for the pizza. One Brand Eating taste-tester said that the pico on top offers “a bit more zip” than the tomatoes used on Taco Bell’s regular Mexican Pizza and that the chicken and shell gave the pizza a nice crunch.

The Mexican Crispy Chicken Pizza is test running through May 10, 2017, so if you’re in the Columbus area, check it out. It will be anywhere between $3.49 and $3.99 based on your location, and is also available in a combo with a Crunchy Taco and large drink, starting at $5.49.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be in the Columbus area to try out this new menu item, you might prefer to try the regular Mexican Pizza, which has become a classic for the fast food chain. If you’re craving crispy chicken, go for the Naked Chicken Chalupa.

But if you’re really feeling adventurous, get both and a side of nacho cheese and see if you can combine the meals to come up with your own Mexican Crispy Chicken Pizza. It’s bound to be delicious, even if you have to use plain tomatoes. Who knows? Maybe having the beef, beans, chicken and nacho cheese all on one shell would be even more amazing. It’s worth a try!

Source: Brand Eating / Photo Credit: Taco Bell via Brand Eating

Tags: fast food, Mexican Crispy Chicken Pizza, Mexican Pizza, taco bell
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Taco Bell’s New Breakfast Taco Has A Fried-Egg Shell (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

After the flop that was the Naked Chalupa (a taco that had a shell made out of fried chicken), Taco Bell is back with its newest “naked” creation: The Naked Breakfast Taco.

Essentially, the new taco uses a fried egg and repurposes it into a taco shell (much like fried chicken was repurposed into a shell for the Naked Chalupa); then, the folded fried egg is stuffed with an assortment of traditional breakfast fillings to complete the dish. You have your choice of potato bites, sausage crumbles or bacon, nacho cheese sauce, and shredded cheddar.

While the Naked Chalupa’s reign was relatively short-lived, Brand Eating reports that Taco Bell has actually been creating different variations of its breakfast items for a while now, swapping out their breakfast burrito’s typical tortilla with waffles, biscuits, and even croissants as shells in the past, so a fried egg really isn’t a huge stretch for the chain.

For those who are iffy about the Naked factor, you can get your breakfast taco “Dressed,” which means the Naked Breakfast Taco is served in a Gordita flatbread.

If you live in Flint, Michigan, you’ll be able to get your hands on a Naked or Dressed Breakfast Taco starting on April 18 for $1.99 apiece. Luckily, Brand Eating actually was able to taste test one ahead of time so you don’t have to go in totally blind.

Basically, Brand Eating thinks that while the egg is fried in such a way that renders it relatively crispy and sturdy, an egg really isn’t a replacement for bread — so expect your taco fillings to seep out a little, especially the grease and the liquids.

What do you think? Are you intrigued by the Naked and Dressed Breakfast Tacos?

Source: Brand Eating / Photo Credit: Taco Bell via Brand Eating, Brand Eating

Tags: dressed breakfast taco, fried egg shell, Naked Breakfast Taco, naked chalupa, taco bell
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Check Out Taco Bell’s Latest Menu Items!

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By Cooking Panda

I almost can’t keep up with Taco Bell’s menu; the rate at which they add to it is almost too much. Almost. Luckily, this world is full of cheese and tortilla fans, so it only makes sense that they’re always coming up with crunchy, cheesy new items.

The latest is a mashup of the Doritos Locos Taco and the Quesalupa. Brand Eating reports that this creation, along with two other new menu items, will be testing March 2017 in three different markets.

The Doritos Quesalupa Crunch (sounds good already) will be testing in Cincinnati. It bears similarities to the Gordita Crunch, in that it has a shell inside of a shell. The difference is that this particular shell combination is special. The crunchy shell on the inside is that of a Nacho Cheese Doritos Loco Taco, with the outside, softer shell being that of a Quesalupa. Then the two shells are lovingly stuck to one another by a layer of nacho cheese. Is there anything better?

The next new treat is the Chicken Enchilada Burrito, available for testing in Flint, Michigan. It should be expected to taste like an enchilada, even though it looks like a burrito. Think of it as a traveling enchilada. It features two chicken taquitos wrapped in a layer of seasoned rice, your choice of red sauce or nacho cheese (cheese, please!), sour cream and Taco Bell’s three cheese blend, rolled up all snug in a tortilla shell — burrito form.

Last but not least is the Caesar Crunchwrap. Its market will be Nashville, Tennessee, and the name really says it all. Think Caesar salad served Crunchwrap-style. Inside the tortilla is your choice of protein (chicken or steak), parmesan, crispy corn strips, Romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, the three cheese blend and tomatoes. Just like your regular Caesar salad … except I don’t usually make mine with tomatoes, so that’s a little different. Also different is an added green chili flavor to the dressing. Taco Bell, you do you.

The Doritos Quesalupa Crunch is $3.49 in Cincinnati, and available through April 8, while the other two items are $2.99 in their respective markets, or $5 in dinner box form.

Source: Brand Eating / Photo Credit: Taco Bell/Instagram

Tags: chalupa, Chicken Enchilada Burrito, Crunch Wrap, Doritos Locos Taco, Quesalupa, taco bell
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Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa Is No Longer

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By Cooking Panda

We can’t say we’re shocked by this news, if we’re being quite honest.

Even though the new, limited-time Naked Chicken Chalupa by Taco Bell only debuted on Jan. 26, the menu item is already on its way out sometime in March, according to the OC Register.

Before it ever debuted, the chalupa, whose shell was actually made out of spicy fried chicken, then flattened and shaped into a tortilla shell shape and stuffed with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese and avocado ranch sauce, made a huge splash online and definitely earned its fair share of buzz from fans salivating to try the innovative meal.

Not only that, but Taco Bell went all out with its promotional stunts for the chalupa, including opening up a Taco Bell Speakeasy in New York City to celebrate the launch of the item.

This seems like an exceptionally short run for such a talked-about menu item, but the OC Register reports that a spokesperson for the fast-food chain actually said that the Naked Chicken Chalupa had about the “same length” of time on the menu as most other “LTO,” or limited-time offerings.

The chalupa was in testing for two years and will end up spending less than two full months on the Taco Bell menu.

It only costs $2.99 to pick up one of these chicken chalupas and try it for yourself before you never have the chance again, so if you’re jonesing for your chicken taco shell fix, now is the time to head on over to Taco Bell!

Source: OC Register / Photo Credit: Marie/Instagram

Tags: chicken chalupa, menu item, Naked Chicken Chalupa, naked taco, taco bell
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Eat Free Fried Chicken At The Taco Bell ‘Speakeasy’

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By Cooking Panda

Well, this is totally whacko and also amazing.

In a bid to promote its new menu item, the Naked Chicken Chalupa (you know, the chalupa with a shell made entirely out of crispy fried chicken), Taco Bell has decided to launch a sort of anti-Chicken Chalupa campaign.

From what we can discern, the fast food chain has created something called the “Council For Eating Fried Chicken The Same Way You Always Have” (TCFEFCTSWYAH), which is a fake committee that thinks Taco Bell’s chicken-shell innovation is dangerous.

“We at The Council for Eating Fried Chicken the Same Way You Always Have devote our every effort to protecting the populace from the dangers of nontraditional fried chicken. The healthy, traditional consumption of fried chicken is a respectable, time-honored practice, and as such should be defended at any cost from nefarious form-twisting interference masquerading as “innovation.” Taco Bell’s new Naked Chicken Chalupa, a shameless display of unsanctioned and dangerous experimentation, should be avoided at all costs,” reads the fake council’s website.

In response to this, Taco Bell is pretending that it has been forced to open up an actual “speakeasy” so that adventurous, cutting-edge diners can continue snacking on its new Naked Chicken Chalupa.

The so-called speakeasy is actually located at 399 Lafayette Street in Manhattan, New York City, and will be giving out free fried chicken tacos and complimentary cocktails to any diner brave enough to eat the banned meal.

The speakeasy, according to Delish, will be open from 5-10 p.m. on Jan. 25, and will take only 500 guest reservations. Diners who want in on the fun must call a secret hotline to get in.

Sources: Delish, TCFEFCTSWYAH / Photo Credit: Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo for Delish

Tags: fast food, fried chicken, Naked Chicken Chalupa, speakeasy, taco bell
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Taco Bell’s Fried Chicken Shell Is Finally Coming!

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By Cooking Panda

In summer 2016, we wrote to inform you all that Taco Bell was gearing up to launch a shell made entirely out of fried chicken at some point in the future.

We’re back to bring you the news, fam: The time has finally come.

That’s right. The popular chain has announced that The Naked Chicken Chalupa will be offered nationwide on Jan. 26, 2017, which means you have only a few weeks to wait before you can chow down on the first taco shell made completely out of all-white, marinated crispy chicken.

Oh, baby.

The shell is made with four ounces of antibiotic-free chicken that is flavored with plenty of bold Mexican spices and seasonings, and is then packed full with your expected Taco Bell staples: fresh shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, ripe and diced tomatoes, and a luxuriously creamy avocado ranch to top it off.

The shell is the chicken. The chicken is the shell. The #NakedChickenChalupa will be exposed January 26.

A photo posted by Taco Bell (@tacobell) on

“Something this delicious yet different is bound to ruffle some feathers; some might even cluck their tongues at it,” Marisa Thalberg, chief marketing officer at Taco Bell Corp., joked on the press release. “However, we feel confident that once our fans get a taste of the Naked Chicken Chalupa they are going to understand exactly why this is our next big, fun and craveable innovation, following in the footsteps of the Doritos Locos Tacos five years ago and the Quesalupa just last year.”

For $2.99, you can get your hands on a single Naked Chicken Chalupa, or you can spend $5 to receive a box that will include a Naked Chicken Chalupa, a Doritos Locos Taco, a Crunchy Taco and a Medium Drink.

Are you excited?

Sources: Taco Bell / Photo Credit: Taco Bell

Tags: fast food, fried chicken shell, Naked Chicken Chalupa, taco bell, taco trend
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Get Ready For Taco Bell’s New Taco Burrito

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Bell has come out with a new “Loaded Taco Burrito” as a limited-time special, so if you’re a fan of the Bell, hurry and get it while it’s hot.

Brand Eating reports that this new idea is being tested in Toledo, Ohio, for $1.49 in participating Taco Bell locations. You can probably guess what it is, since it’s all in the name. The burrito features a double portion of the ground beef used in the regular taco, along with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream normally found in a side taco. In order to make up for the lack of a hard taco shell, Taco Bell is incorporating crunchy tortilla strips. That way, you get everything you love about a taco, including that satisfying crunch, all in a burrito.

Since the Loaded Taco Burrito is likely to be a hit, it’s no wonder Taco Bell plans to offer it as part of a $5 Big Box meal as well. That meal will include the Loaded Taco Burrito, a Crunchy Taco, a Doritos Locos Taco and a medium soft drink. What’s left to be needed in that lineup?

I imagine that since this burrito doesn’t include any limited-time ingredients, we’ll be able to custom order it even in the areas where it isn’t being tested. It doesn’t hurt to try, anyway.

If you’re more of a nachos fan, you might prefer the other menu item that Taco Bell is testing. According to Grub Street, another new item on the testing menu will be “Loaded French Fries.” Basically, think of the loaded nachos you like so much, and replace the chips with fries. Sure, it doesn’t seem like much of a south-of-the-border type food, but it does seem delicious.

The fries have been testing in different countries with different toppings. Guatemala’s test comes with ground beef while Japan’s test comes with a shareable size featuring green onion and nacho cheese. The States’ version is testing in California with Nacho Supreme toppings — cheese, sour cream and tomato.

As always, there’s a lot that Taco Bell has to offer. It’s our job to keep trying it all.

Sources: Brand Eating, Grub Street / Photo Credit: Taco Bell/Instagram, Taco Bell via Brand Eating

Tags: Burritos, Loaded Taco Burrito, New Food Items, taco bell, tacos
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Taco Bell’s New Quesadilla Is What Dreams Are Made Of (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Bell has just debuted a new quesadilla in the Philippines and we need it to come to America as soon as possible, please.

You no doubt have heard about the Doritos Locos tacos, Cheetos Crunchwraps and Cap’n Crunch Delights (aka cereal donuts) by now. But this newest creation just may tantalize you in a new way, especially if you are a fan of jalapeno-flavored Cheetos. Take a look:

A photo posted by Edel San (@vivamanilena) on

The dish itself sounds pretty simple to recreate, with melted cheese and jalapeno Cheetos folded into the middle of a flour tortilla and grilled until the cheese is oozy and melty and the tortilla is (ideally) both chewy and crunchy at the same time. Plus you have the added crisp from the little flavor bombs known as Cheetos in there. There’s no way it can be bad, can it?

It sure sounds like everybody who has tried the late-night munchie snack is a fan. Which makes sense, because honestly, how could this be anything but super delicious and addicting?

Sadly, the Mexican-American taco chain doesn’t have any plans to bring the perfect snack to the U.S. or Europe, so we’ll probably mourn this news forever — or at least until we are able to make it to a Taco Bell in the Philippines. At least there’s some good news here, though. The dish looks impossibly easy to make yourself. All you need are those three ingredients, and you could probably even just bring a bag of jalapeno Cheetos (or your favorite flavor, if, for example, you prefer the devilishly red spicy stuff), order a quesadilla from TB and stuff the chips inside. Keep it classy.

Of course, there is a ton of fast food items you can get from the chain internationally but can’t get in the U.S., and probably vice-versa, like the DELICIOUS-looking kimchee quesadilla that you’ll find in South Korea, which comes with cheese, chicken, spicy sauce and, of course, fermented cabbage, according to Thrillist. Honestly, this sounds like a great idea and we think you should throw kimchee into the quesadillas you make at home and let it change your life for the better …

Sources: High Snobiety, Thrillist / Photo Credit: Taco Bell via Spot

Tags: Cheetos quesadilla, fast food chain news, Philippines fast food, taco bell, weird quesadilla
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Taco Bell’s New Queso Dip Is Finally Here!

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By Cooking Panda

It’s official: Taco Bell can do no wrong when it comes to Queso.

Per Brand Eating, the popular fast-food chain has debuted its new Queso as the superstar ingredient to its new Steakhouse Burrito and Steakhouse Nachos, which are limited-time menu offerings. After so long in the Tex-Mex game, our only question is, why didn’t Taco Bell ever think of doing this before?

As of Nov. 17, the new cheese sauce became available nationwide, and can also come solo with some chips.

Mmm … chips and Queso.

The new cheese dip features all of the good stuff … we’re talking fire-roasted green chilies, onions, jalapenos, tomatillos, cheese and a pinch of the spice — cayenne. Brand Eating reports that the chain says it came up with over 20 different versions during a six-month-long experimental period before they settled on this particular Queso recipe.

It’s “the perfect combination of sharp and creamy indulgence balanced with good spice and acidity from the peppers and spices.”

The Steakhouse Burrito features “a double portion of grilled marinated steak, potato bites, bacon, sour cream, three-cheese blend, and queso wrapped up in a flour tortilla,” according to Brand Eating, while the Steakhouse Nachos will instead get you a mega-large portion of crispy tortilla chips, which are then topped with “a double portion grilled marinated steak, queso sauce, pico de gallo, sour cream, refried beans, guacamole, and three cheese blend.”

Our mouths are watering so much right now.

For $4.99 you can get a beef burrito, and for $5.79 you can opt for the version with chicken in it instead — for $5.99, of course, you can treat yourself and get it with steak, although it should be noted that prices may vary from location to location.

The nachos will start at $5.19 for beef, increase to $5.99 for chicken and then finally land at $6.19 for the steak variety.

Chips and Queso are available for $1.29.

Sources: Brand Eating / Photo Credit: Taco Bell/Facebook

Tags: queso, Steakhouse Burrito, Steakhouse Nachos, taco bell, Tex Mex
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Trending Treats: Quesarito

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By Cooking Panda

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Rejoice! Free Taco Bell Is Coming Your Way

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By Cooking Panda

As you probably well know, the MLB World Series is happening now, and it’s caused quite a ruckus so far among baseball fans. But Taco Bell thinks it should bring excitement to taco fans as well.

FoodBeast reports that thanks to the World Series, Taco Bell has decided to supply everyone with a free Doritos Locos Taco if any of the players steal a base during a game. Luckily enough for us, Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians has done just that! In the last game, the shortstop stole a base in the bottom of the first inning.

Hungry Doritos Locos Taco fans can go to the nearest Taco Bell and claim their free taco on Nov. 2 between 2 and 6 p.m. That’s a small gap of time, so it’s best you know now so you can plan accordingly.

Most restaurant specials are available only in the cities from which the participating teams hail. For example, Timeout Chicago reports that many of the area’s bars are offering specials such as rotating Cubs-themed sundaes by pastry chef Meg Galus at Chicago’s Cold Storage, or at Chop Chicago you can get $1 shots and 25% off your bill by showing up in your best Cubs gear.

Magnolia Bakery of Chicago is selling World Series themed “CUBcakes” for $5.25 on game days and Chicago’s Q-BBQ is selling goat sandwiches for $10.08 to break the curse of the Billy Goat.

Likewise, Cleveland.com reports that fans who show up to the Greater Cleveland and Akron Chipotle locations in Indians gear can buy one/get one free for burritos, bowls, salads or tacos. The same deal applies in the Chicago area for Cubs fans as well.

Cleveland-based Inca Tea will be giving away free boxes of Peruvian Purple corn-infused tea the day after the World Series has ended if the Indians win it all. They’re pretty confident!

Although Taco Bell is the only restaurant (that we’ve yet heard of, anyway) promoting the World Series with special offers countrywide, no matter whose side you’re on. Thanks, Taco Bell, we appreciate you!

Sources: FoodBeast, Cleveland.com, Timeout Chicago / Photo credit: FoodBeast

Tags: Doritos Locos Tacos, taco bell, World Series
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Taco Bell Now Serves A New Kit-Kat Chocodilla Dessert

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By Cooking Panda

Sure, this may be ironic coming on the heels of the announcement that Taco Bell has secretly become the healthiest fast food chain option available to consumers, but hey! Give ’em a break — because the chain has a new dessert in the UK, and it features the beloved Kit Kat bar.

Per Brand Eating, UK consumers can now order a new Kit Kat quesadilla off the chain’s dessert menu, which is essentially just like any other quesadilla, only with gooey, warm and melty chocolate instead of cheese.

Um, yes please.

The menu item is officially called the Kit Kat Chocodilla (which sounds sort of ominously like Count Dracula, which is perfectly in theme for the Halloween season), and is a grilled and folded flour tortilla chock full of delicious melty chocolatey chips. Then, Kit Kat lends its crispy wafer goodness into the mix to finish off the decadent experience.

According to Brand Eating, Kit Kat wasn’t a shoe-in for the chocolate of choice; initial taste-testers sampled a variety of different kinds of chocolates before officially dubbing Kit Kat the reigning champion.

After finally deciding to go with Kit Kats, tasters tried “a Kit Kat crumble with chocolate sauce, Kit Kat bites with chocolate, and a few different variables from the Kit Kat family,” so you know this combination is the best of the best.

For now, you can purchase the Kit Kat Chocodilla for a limited time if you live in the UK for the equivalent of approximately $1.58.

Unfortunately, those of us who live stateside can’t purchase the official dessert in Taco Bell stores here, but if you’re feeling dangerous, why not crush a few Kit Kat pieces into a tortilla yourself?

Source: Brand Eating / Photo credit: Taco Bell UK/Facebook

Tags: chocodilla, fast food, kit kat, taco bell, UK
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Is Taco Bell Launching An All-Day Breakfast Menu?

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By Cooking Panda

Most people are excited about the prospect of downing a Taco Bell burrito — or crunch wrap — or what have you for lunch or dinner, but few have talked about chowing down on the fast food chain’s breakfast fare at night, even though its competitors (like McDonald’s) offer their breakfast menu 24/7.

According to GrubGrade, however, that may all be about to change. The website reports that customers in Dallas have spotted round-the-clock breakfast options at their local Taco Bell, possibly confirming the unofficial rumor that Taco Bell is ready to launch a 24/7 breakfast offering.

This is what dreams are made of, people!

For now, Taco Bell offers a $1 All Day menu, which does in fact include some breakfast items. Formally, however, the chain’s full breakfast set is available between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. only.

Fingers crossed that Taco Bell takes a cue from its competitors and allows us to indulge in some breakfast tacos for dinner sometime in the near future, though!

Source: GrubGrade / Photo credit: Taco Bell/Instagram

Tags: 24/7, breakfast menu, fast food, mcdonald's, taco bell
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Taco Bell’s Nacho Cheese Could Be Its Key Into China

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By Cooking Panda

In order to thrive in China, Taco Bell is working on a more localized menu, and the popular chain believes the answer is nacho cheese.

According to Munchies, Shivram Vaideeswaran, the Global Marketing and Innovation Director at Taco Bell said, “While preparing for the launch in China, we spent a lot of time learning the local culture and food customs to help us customize the menu to meet local tastes while still staying true to our core.”

What they learned of local tastes turned out to have a lot to do with temperature. In a market testing, Taco Bell found that the people of China prefer their food to be served hot rather than cold. For example, in the United States, we like the added lettuce, tomato and cheese to be cold, making the overall meal lukewarm.

China’s locals prefer that the entire meal is hot, so Taco Bell has decided to give them nacho cheese sauce rather than cold shredded cheese. This can help to warm up the other ingredients.

“Since Taco Bell is all about craveable textures and tastes — cool sour cream, crispy corn shells, and warm seasoned beef — we didn’t want to polarize folks when they bit into a taco and there were a ton of cold ingredients,” Vaideeswaran said. “Nacho cheese sauce was an awesome bridge because it kept the products hot while adding in a new flavor that is uniquely Taco Bell.”

Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, also owns KFC and Pizza Hut, and according to Bloomberg, KFC and Pizza Hut are already well-established in China. In order to expand their reach even further, Yum Brands will be ramping up delivery options and loyalty programs in the country. So, these measures in addition to a nacho cheese-heavy Taco Bell should do the trick to amp up sales.

Now, don’t be fooled, Yum Brands doesn’t think that nacho cheese sauce is a food that’s widely used in Chinese culture. The use of the cheesy sauce is only there to help satisfy the palates of Chinese locals.

Sources: Munchies, Bloomberg / Photo Credit: Taco Bell/Instagram

Tags: china, Nacho Cheese, taco bell
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