If you watched The Big Game on Sunday, then chances are you watched the commercials. After all, for many years the commercials have been a major part of the show.
If you saw the commercials, then you saw the ad for Taco Bell’s new Quesalupa.
It seemed like the Quesalupa was one of the few new national food items advertised. Taco Bell paid a lot of money to introduce this thing during the game. So naturally, we had to try it to give our readers the truth. We are journalists, after all.
What the hell is a Quesalupa? Very good question. We had no idea, and the commercial didn’t exactly say. It took some investigation (we are detectives too, if you recall!) to figure it out. Taco Bell’s website is a mess since the recent redesign.
According to the site, the Quesalupa is, “A…Chalupa shell on the outside, with delicious pepper jack cheese baked right inside the shell…cheesy shell, filled with seasoned beef, lettuce, tomato, reduced fat sour cream, and…even more cheese.”
So basically, we have here a cross between a quesadilla and a chalupa. Interesting.
The Quesalupa is available starting on Monday, February 8th for a limited time only.
We headed out to Taco Bell to try it. We ordered the Quesalupa, and it came out in about 30 seconds. We weren’t sure what to make of that. Was it fresh? Had it been sitting? Has Taco Bell figured out a way to make them in 30 seconds? Oh my!
You already saw in our featured image at the top that the Quesalupa is placed into a paper sleeve of sorts. This keeps it put together, and might help keep it from getting too smashed in the bag. You can see the filling in the picture above.
Before we continue, we need to get this out of the way. Taco Bell is clearly pushing that this thing is loaded with cheese. The cheese is clearly a focus here, and it probably should be since cheese is a main part of a quesadilla. In fact, the commercial itself features young “trendy” people constantly pulling the Quesalupa apart with melty cheese stretching between the halves. You can see what we mean in the still shot from the commercial below…
Evidently, the Quesalupa should be pretty easy to break in half. And it should be so loaded with melty cheese that it flows with cheesy goodness.
Here is what our test Quesalupa did when Herman pulled it apart…
And that is the view from the underside. Here is a view straight on…
For what it is worth, it was HARD to break apart. It was nothing like what is shown in the commercial. Herman had to work at it. It took away from his beer time.
Look, we have said this a million times. We realize that what you actually get is never quite like the commercials. But seriously. Taco Bell is pushing the cheese factor hardcore. Even the drink cups feature the Quesalupa on it. On one side of the cup it says, “BECAUSE CHEESE.” If you are going to push the cheese, then dammit, there should be more cheese than we got! Look at that! There was hardly any cheese at all. More on this later.
Here’s another view…
In terms of actually reviewing the Quesalupa, there isn’t a lot to focus on here. The fillings are not revolutionary. Essentially, what we have here is a normal taco or chalupa filling. The beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream taste like what you get at Taco Bell. If you like Taco Bell’s meat, you’ll like this meat. It is basically ground beef with a sauce on it. Standard Taco Bell, people. They didn’t “think outside the taco” here.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the real point. Taco Bell is clearly going for a hybrid here between a quesadilla and a chalupa. We don’t think it resembles either.
A chalupa has a fried flatbread shell. This doesn’t.
A quesadilla is tortillas browned on both sides and filled with cheese. This isn’t.
The Quesalupa is a cheese-filled tortilla that is then fried.
See what we mean?
And the biggest problem? As we already said, there just isn’t enough cheese. As you saw, all the cheese is in the bottom. It just doesn’t even resemble the ads at all. Not even close. If there were more cheese, this thing would be better.
The overall flavor is good. It is basically a taco with a slight crunch and a very little bit of cheese at the bottom. That’s it, kids. There just isn’t much to say!
The Quesalupa with ground beef was $2.99. It is also available with chicken ($3.49) and steak ($3.99). The ground beef version combo also included a regular crunchy taco and a drink for $4.99.
Herman’s Thoughts: I will say right now that I did like this. Would I get it again? Sure. I like to try Taco Bell’s new items. I also like to get more than just the tacos and burritos. I have gotten the regular chalupa on occasion, and I can say that as long as this is around, I would be fine paying the extra 40 cents to get one of these over the regular. Now if I get it again and the cheese is as sorry as this one was, then nevermind.
Denny’s Thoughts: I would not get this again. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Taco Bell pushed the hell out of this thing by spending a TON of money on the ad in the Big Game, and then launching it the next day. I would have thought that this was some kind of masterpiece. It isn’t. It is a taco in a fried shell. That’s it. If it had been loaded with cheese like the ads show, I might feel differently. As it is, there is nothing to recommend it. And it sure as hell isn’t worth the price. The cost is WAY too high for what you get. I’ll just stick with my tacos and Burrito Supremes.
Our Quesalupa may have been a fluke. If this is what they all are though, we think Taco Bell missed on this one. Especially since the hype is so big. Let us know what you think below, people.