Friday, February 6, 2015

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Sliders Review

It's been a while since I've written anything for the blog but good ole Taco Bell got me to come out of my hibernation1 with its new Crunchwrap Sliders. In a previous post, I gushed about how much I love the Crunchwrap Supreme and, with that being said, I want to gush over it some more. For those who have never had the pleasure of eating one of these hexagons of joy, please stop reading, go to Taco Bell, and try one. For those who are not fortunate enough to be able to do that, it's a large tortilla filled with taco meat, nacho cheese, sour cream, lettuce and tomato topped with a crispy tortilla puck and then all folded to create a hexagon. Then it is placed on a sandwich press to give it a nice browning. When you take that first bite, you get every single food sensation there is. Crunch from the crispy tortilla. Soft from the outer tortilla. Umami from the meat. Salt from the cheese. Fresh from the lettuce. Spice from the seasoning. Richness from the cheese. Sweetness from the tomato. Combined it makes for literally the perfect Taco Bell item. It only has one problem: the price. Depending on your Taco Bell it can range from $2.50 to $3.50 and while I will pay this much for such a perfect entree, sometimes you're balling on a budget.

Taco Bell rolled out three Crunchwrap Sliders and each one retails for only a dollar. That's right, for four quarters, 10 dimes, or 1 Sacagawea you can purchase one of three Crunchwrap Sliders. Since they are a dollar, Taco Bell obviously had to cut some corners. The most obvious change is the lack of a crispy tortilla, a handful of Fritos have been substituted in to provide the crunch and saltiness. Taco Bell rolled out three varieties: BLT, Beefy Cheddar, and Spicy Chicken. Each comes with Fritos along with various fillings detailed below.

Before I get into each one individually, I need to address the major issue with all of the Sliders. As you know, the sliders are smaller than the Supreme which is not an issue since you are paying much less for them. BUT, the size does make a difference when folding. On the Supreme, some of the edge pieces can be a little bit less enjoyable since you have to eat through four layers of tortilla. Normally it's only the bites of the outermost edge and there is enough filling for them to still be enjoyable. With the Sliders however, almost the entire Slider has four layers of tortilla due to the way it's folded and there just isn't enough filling to combat that. As such, in my mind, the Sliders never stood a chance of being a truly great dollar item due to the overwhelming amount of tortilla.

BLT Crunchwrap Slider

The BLT Crunchwrap Slider comes with, as I'm sure you guessed, bacon, lettuce, and tomato as well as creamy avocado ranch dressing and Fritos. Out of all of the Sliders, this was the one I was most worried about going in. How could I not expect this to be awful? I honestly expected nothing but iceberg lettuce with a small amount of Fritos sprinkled in. To my surprise, there was a fair amount of bacon and tomatoes in there as well. The Fritos were extremely crispy and the ranch dressing was great in place of mayo. I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed the BLT Crunchwrap slider - the pairings of all the flavors worked and the Fritos offered the proper amount of crunch.. The only issue is that this item is, quite frankly, not nearly as filling as the other two. If you are looking to feel full, this isn't the Slider for you.

Beefy Cheddar Crunchwrap Slider

The Beefy Cheddar Slider is the most similar to the Supreme since it has beef and the warm nacho cheese, and quite frankly, it's a combination that works. Anyone who frequents Taco Bell (and isn't a vegetarian) is familiar with these flavors - you are essentially getting Taco Bell's bread and butter. So the real question is, how are the Fritos? And the answer is: extremely soggy. I waited not more than the 3-4 minutes it took to take photos before digging in and the Fritos had lost all of their crunch. This is the only Slider with a filling flavorful enough to combat the 4 layers of tortilla. I just wish so desperately, that the Fritos had stayed crunchy. That said, it tasted good, but I would still order the Beefy Frito Burrito over this Slider any day.

Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap Slider

The Spicy Chicken Slider is Taco Bell's shredded chicken with chipotle sauce and Fritos. The big issue for most people here is going to be the shredded chicken, which seems to draw divided opinions. I personally don't mind the shredded chicken and enjoy it with the chipotle sauce, which gives it just a hint of heat and a good amount of smokiness. If you have had any of the loaded chicken Loaded Grillers, this has almost the exact same flavor.But the same problem I have with the Beefy Cheddar is present here as well - the Fritos were water logged by the time I dug in.

Ultimately, it's just unfair to compare these Sliders to the Supreme. The Supreme has it all while the Sliders unfortunately only have 1/3 as much. The ratio of the ingredients in the Crunchwrap Supreme is perfect - I would even compare it to the golden ratio. Nothing is there without purpose and no one part overshadows the others. It's much like an orchestra or Wu Tang, you need all the right parts in the right amount,and the Supreme gives you that. But that is where my problem with all of the Crunchwrap Sliders comes into play. Forget the soggy Fritos and forget that all of these are just typical Taco Bell fillings put into a hexagon - the biggest issue with all of these is there is just way too much tortilla for the amount of filling provided. In most bites you will go through 4-6 layers of tortilla for a meager amount of filling and in most cases how much tortilla is in your mouth is just overwhelming. So if you don't feel like splurging, picking up some Sliders is a pretty solid option, just don't expect the glory that is the Crunchwrap Supreme2.

  1. Truth is, I have just been neglecting the blog - I have continued to eat, cook, and drink and will documenting those adventures more regularly. I've missed Forks and Forties.  
  2. I couldn't figure out a place to naturally put this in the article but all three Sliders pair extremely well with Baja Blast. In fact, I insist you get one with your order.  

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