I’ll say this for Taco Bell’s new Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos Locos: The salty, artificial-tasting shell has the virtue of making the filling taste comparatively fresh and clean.
The new creation, which launched nationwide Thursday, is essentially a regular Taco Bell crunchy taco except that the shell is one enormous, U-shaped Cool Ranch Dorito chip. Taco Bell’s first joint venture with Doritos, Nachos Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos, debuted last March. (Please, God, let me stop typing Doritos Locos Tacos.)
I’m not a fan of American-style hard-shell, ground-beef-filled tacos; I don’t like Doritos, whether Cool Ranch or Cheese or Chile Limon Rolled. So it was no surprise that Taco Bell’s newest creation wasn’t my cup of tea. The regular version (two for $2.78) is filled with lettuce, cheese and “premium seasoned beef” (i.e., not horse?). The “supreme” (two for $3.38) version adds chopped tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream. Just like they ate at the Alamo.
For what it’s worth, Taco Bell’s regular taco shell contains about eight ingredients, the Cool Ranch shell, more than 30.
In August 2010, Taco Bell introduced a new line of “cantina” tacos made with soft corn tortillas. How fondly I remember my first taste of the tacos filled with slow-roasted shredded pork, marinated steak — both garnished simply with chopped onion and fresh cilantro. That was a great day at Taco Bell. Today was not.