In recent weeks, Doritos and Taco Bell enthusiasts alike have asked my opinion on this creation. I’ve seen layman reactions ranging from disgust to adulation. Make no mistake, both are right. Make no mistake: this is a creature of excess, but it’s a sign of a decadent and delicious future. A prototype for the next generation, if you will.
Taco Bell rolled these out nationally right around my birthday— talk about a missed synergy opportunity. My good friend Calvin, himself a Taco Bell loyalist and excellent writer bought me two as a birthday present. That’s friendship right there.
NOVELTY: Off the charts. Out of bounds. Doritos are rightfully respected for pushing the envelope, and Taco Bell is a known thought leader in stoner food, so this was an alliance long overdue. The stylish carrying case really takes it to the next level. Unfortunately, this all-too-perfect coupling harms the Doritos Locos taco in my next category
CROSSOVER APPEAL: Minimal. People who don’t like Doritos probably also turn their noses up to Taco Bell. Those bourgeois fools are the real losers, I say. This is a food made by and for the real folks.
TASTE: This is where I differ from a lot of the reviews. The shell does not taste just like a Dorito. Maybe they taste like the Doritos you ate at lunchtime in the Clinton Administration, but Nacho Cheese has really stepped up its game as of late, and I can tell that Taco Bell is just getting the B-Team. Low levels of boldness and zest give it away.
Nevertheless, I still downed my Doritos Locos entirely too quickly and enthusiastically. Even with B-Team Nacho Cheese, the shell drives a mean bargain with the palate and you forget you’re eating Taco Bell. That’s a success by any metric, even if the success leaves you curled up on the couch wishing you’d only had one.
VERDICT: Gaudy, indulgent, and not perfect. But an encouraging start. There’s rumors in the flavor mill that a Cool Ranch variation is on the way, which makes me more comfortable with my decision. This must be how our grandparents felt when John Glenn completed orbit.