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REVIEW: “Double Chalupa” from Taco Bell

Imagine filling a small dinghy with meat and nacho cheese. Also the dinghy is made of oily donuts.

Taco Bell Double Chalupa

We wanted to hate this item. We really did. After all, in the recent Taco Bell pantheon of Instagram-friendly stunt food, how was simply doubling the size of an existing menu item, the “Chalupa Supreme,” possibly going to move the needle of consumer engagement more than, say, the “Naked Chicken Taco,” or the always-satisfying fried egg breakfast taco?

Taco Bell Double Chalupa

A “chalupa,” for those unfamiliar with Taco Bell’s tendency to remix the same ingredients into new, fun ways to combat hangovers, consists of a light, puffy, slightly oily and pleasantly greasy shell, filled to the brim with Taco Bell seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, shredded three-cheese blend, lettuce, tomato, and reduced-fat sour cream (because that full-fat sour cream goes right to the waistline). The “Double Chalupa,” you may ask? It doubles all that stuff, while beating a yachting metaphor to death for no reason whatsoever! From the website:

“First off…Yes, it’s a real word. It’s Spanish, whose origins come directly out of Ol’ Mexico and is generally defined as a fried tortilla shell, in the shape of a small boat, filled with lots of flavorful ingredients. Now imagine a much larger vessel, fully loaded with a double portion* of Taco Bell’s savory seasoned beef piled high with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, Nacho Cheese Sauce and reduced-fat sour cream. Sounds like quite the bounty right? Some might call it a boatload of goodness or even a yacht of yumminess. We call it the all new Double Chalupa, and it’s only available for a limited time. So set a course for your local Taco Bell now… or you might just miss the boat.”

This monster of a taco is made using an all-new, double-sized chalupa shell, and promises to deliver twice as much of all of the things you love about the Taco Bell standard-issue chalupa. The scale of this thing really is impressive; at a little more than half a pound, it sits heavy in your hand, and it’s hard to imagine following the Double Chalupa up with any other items from the Taco Bell menu. At $3.49, it’s an impressive amount of food.

Taco Bell Double Chalupa

While we were dubious at first (particularly in light of the flood of complaints that seem to be circulating about the Double Chalupa), the one we purchased for testing did appear to contain twice as much meat and cheese as a regular-sized chalupa. The beef is standard-issue Taco Bell ground beef, and the salty, creamy nacho cheese really rounds out the filling. It would be easy to tear Taco Bell down for perpetuating this kind of made-up, bro’d-out Mexican food that no one south of the border would even recognize, but those smug feelings of self-satisfaction are quickly pushed away by the realization that you’re EATING A TACO DONUT AND GOD IS BENEVOLENT AND KIND.

The lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and shredded cheese should be instantly familiar to Taco Bell aficionados, and do little to enhance or detract from the overall experience. If anything, this feels like a hyper-efficient way to relieve your Taco Bell cravings, in a gigantic meal that’s the perfect vehicle for a half a dozen packets of “Fire” sauce.

Want to try a Double Chalupa for yourself? You’d better hurry…this limited time offer is only sticking around until the end of July.

 

Written by Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is the author of “Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road,” as well as a frequent contributor to Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. When not poisoning his body with garbage and then posting sardonic commentary about it on the Internet, he also owns and operates the ‘Wich, Please food truck, named Eater.com’s “Hottest Restaurant in Maine” for 2015.

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