I Tried Taco Bell’s New $1 French Fries. Here’s What I Thought.
The Tex-Mex chain has never shied away from tempting its customers with new creations—but do their limited-time Nacho Fries stack up to the competition? I snapped them up to see for myself.
Taco Bell Nacho Fries and Supreme Nacho Fries
“Do you want fries with that?”
It’s not exactly the first phrase that comes to mind when pulling into the drive-thru of your local Taco Bell. The national fast-food purveyor of Tex-Mex amalgams of the meat + cheese + veggie variety—all packaged in slight variation of one another—certainly isn’t afraid to tempt and tease their customers with new menu innovations (whether it’s stuffing Kit Kat bars into a quesadilla or transforming spicy Doritos chips into a taco shell), but with their latest limited-time menu addition, the restaurant takes a step back from the mad-scientist test kitchen and instead introduces a concept their burger-focused competitors have offered for decades: the French fry.
Meet Taco Bell’s Latest Creation
Of course, it isn’t Taco Bell’s protocol to simply slice up plain Russets, toss them in the deep fryer and sprinkle on a bit of salt. With their new Nacho Fries, the restaurant plays up its Tex-Mex roots and dusts their fries with “Mexican spices”—a blend of garlic, paprika, onion and salt—and serves them with a side of hot nacho cheese sauce. The result is one of the more genuinely delicious side dishes you’ll find on any fast food menu across the country—and for only a dollar, no less.
When I entered my neighborhood Taco Bell on a brisk Saturday afternoon, the place was bustling. Apparently I wan’t the only one there intrigued by the fast food chain’s new menu item. “Have you tried the fries yet?” one customer asked another in line, before offering his thoughts. “I like them. The seasoning is really good!” Such a positive review gave me a boost of confidence before stepping up to the register to place my order. In fact, it convinced me to try not only the Nacho Fries themselves, but to place an order for the Nacho Fries Supreme—a small bowl of the fries covered in nacho cheese, seasoned beef, diced tomatoes and a swath of sour cream. I waited as the handful of customers before me received their orders—all seemingly as excited to try the new Nacho fries as I was—and sipped on my fountain drink as I wondered how they’d stack up to their competitor’s versions. My name was called, I picked up my tray weighed heavy with the fried potato creations, and I was ready to dig in.
Taco Bell Nacho Fries
For one dollar, you get roughly 25-30 fries lightly dusted in Mexican seasonings—not too heavy, nor too subtle, just enough flavoring to set them apart from your typical French fry. They’re cut slightly larger than their typical fast-food counterparts, and when eaten right away, the golden-orange fries have a crisp exterior that gives way to pleasantly fluffy insides. Not a fry in my container was sogged out, wilted nor burnt—each held a uniform shape and texture right down to the bottom of the cup. The included nacho cheese cup offers a zesty, creamy option for dipping, and clung to each fry without fear of drippage or causing the fry to fall limp under its weight. But the fries are flavorful enough on their own, and I found it wasn’t necessary to overload them with too much of the cheese.
Like many fast food French fry varieties, however, Taco Bell’s fries are best enjoyed immediately upon being served. As my meal stretched on and my fries went from piping hot to lukewarm, their crunch faded and the flavor seemed to dwindle with it. And, as one would suspect, the nacho cheese began to coagulate into an fairly unappetizing orange goop. When you order the Nacho cheese fries, you’re going to want to start snacking on them right away.
As much as I enjoyed the fries on their own, however, the real star of the show was the Nacho Fries Supreme. Dressed like Taco Bell’s standard Nachos Supreme offering, the dish is the picture of guilty pleasure—mounded with traditional taco toppings and dug into with a fork to scoop up every tasty, cheesy bite. I took the liberty to top my order with Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce, but couldn’t help but wonder how delicious they’d be with additional taco toppers—a drizzle of Baja sauce, a smattering of sliced jalapenos, some fresh lettuce or a dollop of guacamole. It wasn’t until I returned home to learn more about the Nacho Fries Supreme that I discovered you can add any topping from a standard Taco Bell menu item for an additional fee (just another of the chain’s incredible secret-menu items). I may have to go back and create my own Frankenstein’s monster of fries at another time—in fact, I may be dreaming of such creation right now.
For the value, Taco Bell’s fries are a welcome, tasty addition to their menu. Between their relatively thick cut, distinct seasoning and unique nacho cheese pairing, they set themselves apart from other fast-food fry offerings—plus they provide a just-right side to accompany your standard Taco Bell order (for me, they’re the perfect sidekick to my beloved Cheesy Gordita Crunch). Though currently offered for a limited time, the fries already seem to be gaining enough buzz that it’s likely they’ll find their way onto the permanent menu in just a matter of time. But for now, make a run to your nearest Taco Bell to try them while you can.
Try the fries, but add ’em as a side to one of these homemade recipes just right for taco night.