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Food Review: Taco Bell's Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco Meal

Taco Bell Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco Meal
Nice aroma, a tease when driving...


On a recent day trip outside the expansive borders of Wichita, I headed west for a little fishing fun and some property scouting.

I didn't pack a lunch, so when I started hearing some growling, I found a Taco Bell drive-thru.  I've been wanting to try the new Cantina Chicken since it was introduced on the menu late last month.

Here's the description from the Taco Bell website: Taco Bell’s new Cantina Chicken Menu features five new ingredients in your favorite Taco Bell forms, including our new slow-roasted chicken, signature pico de gallo, fresh purple cabbage, crispy white corn shell and flavorful avocado verde salsa. Satisfy your daytime cravings and try the Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco, the Cantina Chicken Soft Taco, the Cantina Chicken Burrito, the Cantina Chicken Quesadilla, or the Cantina Chicken Bowl. The Cantina Chicken Menu is the cheesy, saucy, spicy, crunchy Taco Bell you love combined with new, elevated ingredients. 

Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco
Slow-roasted chicken, wrapped in a crispy cheesy soft shell

All the options sound mouthwatering good, especially so when paired with their new avocado verde salsa.  

I went with the Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco Meal option.  All those flavors presented in a crispy white corn shell?  What's not to like?

The meal consists of two tacos, two of the new avocado verde salsa packets, chips and Nacho cheese sauce, and a medium drink.  Taco Bell touts "elevated ingredients" in the menu spiel, but my takeaway was pretty much just an elevated price.  Yes, the tacos are seasoned well, they're flavorful, the creamy jalapeno sauce dressing the tacos is nice as is the avocado verde salsa, but the portion of chicken is less than generous.  I didn't get chicken in every bite, it's like Taco Bell hopes you'll be satisfied with sauces, cheese, and a crispy shell.  These aren't robustly filled tacos, they're thin.

Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco
These may be "elevated ingredients," but the portions are smaller compared to other, traditional offerings.  Very thin tacos.

Costing me $9.75 after tax, I'm giving Taco Bell's Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco Meal 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  The flavors are good, but the meal is overpriced and not worthy of a repeat buy.  I'm not even interested in trying the other Cantina Chicken options.  Oh, and if you ask for extra avocado verde salsa packets, it costs extra and it's more of a tomatillo and green chili sauce, it's quite light on avocado flavor.   Elevated ingredients?  The flavors, perhaps, but is this an overall elevated Taco Bell meal?  No, there's not enough in the taco.  My hunger would have been better satisfied with a Crunchwrap Supreme Combo for less money.  

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


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