Last week Taco Bell announced the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee as one of the test beds for its new flagship breakfast item, the Waffle Taco. Early Sunday morning I pointed my car towards breakfast taco nirvana and drove. I probably should have checked Google Maps first.
Taco Bell is expanding its breakfast coverage in a big way, and the Waffle Taco is the key to that expansion. It's the diamond tip on the drill guiding the franchise into the hearts of early eaters across the country. No longer will Taco Bell breakfast be mainly a West Coast privilege.
The Waffle Taco is a fried waffle with eggs and sausage stuffed inside, with a packet of syrup on the side. Up until last week, Taco Bell had limited testing of the product to five locations in California. Last week testing opened up at 100 stores in Chattanooga, Freno, California, and Omaha, Nebraska.
I live in Atlanta. Chattanooga is one of my old haunts. I would have liked to have seen it again, but my hubris got the best of me. I took a wrong turn on 575, and wound up (eventually) in Chatsworth, Georgia. I'm still not sure where that is.
I am sure, however, that they had Waffle Tacos. I ate them. I was not impressed. Later, after the video was finished, I tried one with syrup. It did not help.
The other menu items I sampled fared better as breakfast fare. The A.M. Grillers — essentially cheese quesadillas with sausage, eggs and bacon — were okay.
The A.M. Crunchwrap — a tortilla wrapped around eggs, cheese and bacon/sausage on a bed of hash browns — was exquisite, though my wife said it was far too much food.
I get why Taco Bell is pushing so hard for the Waffle Taco. The other items on the breakfast menu are pretty much just variations on the traditional breakfast burrito. The Waffle Taco is unique. It puts them on the map, which again, I should have looked at.
It's just not good. It's tough, and chewy, and unappealing. Were it not against the basic tenets of snacking, I'm sure I could have made this myself with an Eggo waffle and been much more satisfied.
Maybe the folks in Chatsworth didn't know what they were doing (be sure to stay until after the credits roll to see why this is highly likely). Perhaps had I made it to Chattanooga I would have spent the day at scenic Ruby Falls, America's highest natural underground waterfall, dining on the most delectable breakfast creations in all of creation.
But Chatsworth is where I lost my Waffle Taco virginity, and it was not a pleasant experience.
Snacktaku is Kotaku's take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands. Past critiques can be found at the Snacktaku review archive.