Taste Test: Bacon Cheesy Potato Burrito

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Two runaway food trains are hurtling dangerously toward each other on a ferocious collision course. One loco locomotive is fueled by the oil spilling over the chipped, mismatched plates of diner-style breakfasty dives. The other grease engine is propelled by even darker forces - the kind that take advantage of you late at night and try to convince you it's perfectly natural to routinely indulge in a "Fourth Meal." So how would the unavoidable trainwreck taste? Read on.

What I tried: Taco Bell's Bacon Cheesy Potato Burrito ($2.79)

A riddle wrapped in a mystery breakfast inside a burrito: On paper, the burrito seems like it just might work. After all, it does feature the hottest ingredient since sliced crack, i.e. bacon.

In fact, when I stepped up to order it (and was embarrassed by actually having to pronounce its full, silly name), I noticed Taco Bell's menu screamed out this newbie's porky lineage, as bacon was printed in super-sized letters.

I suppose it showed TB's pride in marrying bacon and fried morning-style potatoes to taco meat and nacho cheese, thus creating a junky comfort food match made in artery-clogging heaven (aka health-insurance hell).

But unwrapping the Bacon Cheesy Potato Burrito (see - it's silly to even silently read), I encountered a big heavy log that was squishy with hidden contents I was afraid to bite into.

A salt to my senses: Well, bite I did, and immediately I was slapped in the face with an onslaught of salt - the salinity was through the roof of my mouth. No doubt, lots of it originated from the fat, greasy mound of leaking-out ground beef mix that was - apart from a bunch of salt - really quite boring.

And my best flavor description of the utterly forgettable nacho cheese sauce would have to be this: it was orange. Potato-wise, I got about three or four cubes of golden brown spuds whose baby-food-like soft texture suggested they'd not exactly been cooked to order.

As for that vaunted bacon, its presence was felt in leathery, hard-to-chew bundles that tasted mostly of salt but were otherwise absent any real piggy flavor at all.

Would I eat it again?: If I pull into the Taco Bell station again, I'm getting back on track with its (at least flavor-filled) Volcano Taco. Otherwise, this little piggy is staying home.

Spot a new menu item you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail gbenton@columbusalive.com