Serious Eats

Fast Food: Waffle Taco from Taco Bell

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[Photographs: Top, Taco Bell, others, Erin Jackson]

Taco Bell has been tinkering with their breakfast menu since early 2012, adding menu items like hash browns, steak and egg burritos, and "Mountain Dew A.M."—a sugar-heavy cocktail of OJ stirred up with Mountain Dew—but none have captured the imagination of the nation as much as the waffle taco, sausage and scrambled eggs stuffed inside a waffle shaped like a hard taco shell, with a packet of syrup on the side. The damage? Just 89ยข.

The chain is currently testing the breakfast taco at a rumored three locations near company HQ in Orange County in preparation for a potential nationwide roll-out. So, until that fateful day, should the rest of the country be jealous?

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My vote: definitely not. Because while a waffle shaped like a taco, filled with egg and sausage, and drizzled with maple syrup has the potential to be great, you'll never get there with highly processed ingredients, and that's exactly what Taco Bell is serving up. Mine was prepared, wrapped in foil, and served in the same amount of time it took me to fill a small cup with water. Not a good sign.

Unlike the beauty shot, the sausage patty doesn't reach the edge of the waffle, and the portion of eggs is quite piddly, so the first bite on both ends is only waffle. Unfortunately, these were the only two bites I enjoyed. By itself, the waffle is passably tasty. It's lightly fried (not toasted), making it crisp and slightly oily...like a churro, minus the cinnamon and sugar. Once I got far enough in to have a composed bite, the party was over. If they could, my taste buds would have called the cops.

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The worst offender? The sausage patty, which I can only assume is supposed to be pork. With its bouncy, rubbery texture, sheen of grease, and lack of any discernible animal origin (at least, from taste alone), a better descriptor would be brownmeat. The flavorless and weirdly airy eggs weren't much better. This may be the only fast food product in history that would be vastly improved by substituting the protein component for Taco Bell's seasoned ground beef.

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If you're still curious and want to take the waffle taco for a test drive, stop by the location I visited in Santa Ana (map) during breakfast hours (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.).

Note: Despite my best efforts, I can't find a list of all the locations that are currently testing the waffle taco. If you've spotted one near you, please let us know in the comments.

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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