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Our Review Of Taco Bell’s New TRUFF Nacho Fries And TRUFF Fries Burrito

Over a month ago, Taco Bell added Nacho Fries to their constantly shifting menu for the — hold on let me count… seventh time. No, that’s not an exaggeration. Since first launching in 2018 as a limited-edition menu item, the Nacho Fries have disappeared and reappeared on the menu over a half dozen times, which is a little ridiculous. If you’re a fan of Taco Bell’s attempt at the all-powerful French fry, then you probably have a pretty intimate relationship with heartbreak at this point.

Hopefully, things are different this time around, because I just tried Taco Bell’s Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries and they may just be the best menu item Taco Bell has given us since the Mexican Pizza. Which they’ve also taken away from us. Cruel, cruel Taco Bell.

Made in partnership with California-based hot sauce brand TRUFF, Taco Bell’s Loaded Nacho Fries feature seasoned French fries doused in a special mix of TRUFF hot sauce and Taco Bell’s Nacho Cheese sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, and a huge glob of sour cream. Taco Bell is also testing out a burrito version called the Loaded TRUFF Fries Burrito, which is just the same thing but wrapped in a tortilla.

If you want to get your hands on these truffle sauced fries you’ll have to wait a bit because currently, Taco Bell is only testing the TRUFF collaborations at a single Taco Bell location — Newport Beach, California — until August 31st. So if you live anywhere other than Southern California, you’re sadly out of luck. Luckily, I’ve had them, so for now you can at least live vicariously through me.

Let’s break these new dishes down.

Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries/ Loaded TRUFF Fries Burrito

Dane Rivera

Okay admittedly, the above picture doesn’t look fantastic. It looks less like food than it does a radioactive blob that is just waiting to wreak havoc on your digestive system. Welcome to Taco Bell. But don’t let its gut-bomb vibe fool you, this thing is full of flavor. A forkful gives you crispy french fries dusted in garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika — or as Taco Bell calls it “Mexican Seasonings,” which… okay — plus chunks of tomato, a redundant pinch of shredded cheddar cheese, some steak, all tied together with a spicy hit of the truffle sauce which is almost too umami dense but is expertly balanced by the tangy qualities of Taco Bell’s sour cream. It’s important to get all of those ingredients in your forkful because, on their own, only two of those ingredients are actually delicious. Let’s talk about them.

Taco Bell’s fries are some of the best in the game, they’re crispy on the outside, which supplies a nice crunch, and soft, buttery, and molten hot on the inside. But the true star of the show is that TRUFF Nacho Cheese hot sauce. Taco Bell’s hot sauce packets have always been lacking in my opinion. They don’t have the complexity that comes from fresh salsa, remaining very one-note (and that one note is vinegar). TRUFF remedies this by making a hot sauce that leans into bright chili notes that dance on the tongue and earthy umami-truffle notes while adding a sense of realness. Taco Bell’s food can often taste overly chemically, so that latter point is definitely a bonus.

Truffle sauce might be a bit played out in 2021, but at Taco Bell? The experience still feels novel. The TRUFF sauce seems carefully crafted and thoughtfully inspired — making this dish the anti-Mountain Dew Baja Blast. It’s just refreshingly unlike anything at Taco Bell, and that’s its real strength.

This brings us to the bad: everything else. The chopped tomatoes are fine, but the cheddar cheese feels unnecessary when coupled with a cheese sauce, and the steak is the saddest meat I’ve ever tasted and seen. It doesn’t look flame-grilled or seared like carne asada, it looks like someone boiled some steak. Ask to swap in ground beef, which may be hotly debated and significantly made of fillers but remains the Bell’s best protein option. The aforementioned sour cream does add balance but you should tell Taco Bell to go easy on it — it can certainly overpower the palate.

Dane Rivera

I’m a lot less enamored with the Loaded TRUFF Fries Burrito, which as I mentioned before, is the same thing just wrapped in a tortilla. Fries in a burrito is a love it or hate it thing. I happen to love it but in this dish, it ruins the fries. French fries wrapped in a tortilla will always get soggy, it’s just what happens, and that sogginess takes away this dish’s crunch, giving you a chewier experience that essentially tastes the same, but is a lot less satisfying to eat.

The burrito sounds tempting, especially if you love a good California burrito, but trust me on this one. It’s way too wet.

The Bottom Line

Taco Bell’s Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries succeed where so many other Taco Bell stunts fail — ahem, Naked Chicken Chalupa with a Plant-Based Shell (yes, its real name) — because it doesn’t keep things completely in-house. By collaborating with a brand that knows the hot sauce space intimately, Taco Bell has stumbled into a couple of menu items that feature fast food’s best hot sauce, by a mile.

The Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries are a must-try when they finally appear on Taco Bell menus nationwide.

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