Reality Check: Turkey Tacos from Del Taco
Del Taco recently added a trio of new turkey items to the menu: soft and crunchy turkey tacos and a Turkey CrunchTada Tostata. Made with lean ground turkey, the items are being touted as a healthier alternative (and one resolution you can actually keep), with 33 percent less fat than the ground beef tacos.
The turkey tacos ($1.29) come with lettuce, pico de gallo, and "hand shredded cheddar cheese" (if you can believe the paper bag they're served in). I tried the crunchy taco, along with Del Taco's baseline beef taco ($0.69) for comparison purposes. If you want to reproduce the experiment, the double classic beef taco is a fairer point of comparison than the regular beef taco (which has less meat and no pico).
When I cracked open both tacos, the differences were immediately obvious, and also fairly surprising. You'd expect the turkey—the lower-fat protein—to suffer from moisture issues, but that wasn't the case. It was juicy and significantly more flavorful than the dry and crumbly beef, which I abandoned after one tiny, exploratory bite.
Thanks to the tangy pico de gallo and a generous sprinkling of cheese, the ground turkey taco was surprisingly tasty, at least as far as fast food tacos go. At 150 calories and 8 grams of fat, it's not even that bad for you, until you factor in the sodium (310 mg), which is where most of the flavor comes from. Given the choice between the two options (in a hypothetical, gun-to-my-head scenario) I'd go turkey every time.
That sentiment wasn't unanimous. From the moment I unwrapped it, one member of my family was all about the beef taco.
Unlike the Jack in the Box Munchie Meals, which she spurned, Pixel's interest in the Del Taco beef was undeniable, starting with the yawn-turned-meow immortalized above.
That was followed by intense staring (while purring), multiple swipe attempts and pleas so impassioned, I just had to cave. So yes, I fed my cat Del Taco. And you know what? She loved it. Take from that what you will.
Want to try the turkey taco for yourself? Watch the promo spot on deltaco.com and submit your email address for a free turkey taco (with purchase).
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