Monday, November 15, 2010

Fast Food Review: Del Taco Beefy BBQ Fries

My friend Nick's words from a few weeks back were ringing in my ears as I tried this: "The things you do for your blog..."

Fast food restaurants aren't exactly bastions of creativity. A few years ago everyone started adding chipotle items to their menu. A couple years back everyone came out with mini burgers. Now, I wonder, are "loaded fries" next? Three months ago I tried the fries at Wienerschnitzel, topped with chili, bacon and ranch, and I did not think much of them. This weekend I noticed Del Taco has added two versions of loaded fries to their menu. I decided to try the "Beefy BBQ Fries."

The fries come with "seasoned beef, diced crispy bacon, cool ranch dressing and zesty BBQ sauce." (Raise your hand if you can already guess how these are going to taste.) I love Del Taco's crinkle-cut fries, but I dislike ranch dressing and I hate pretty much all fast food bacon.

Still, the things I do for my blog. I stopped by Del Taco yesterday to give them a try. For only the second or third time in the history of this blog, when I received the fries I considered aborting the whole idea. They looked bad; they smelled worse. But I tried them anyway.

And they were not good. The fries were hot and crispy and the barbecue sauce, while too sweet, wasn't terrible. But the ranch dressing added nothing to the dish (disclaimer: I cannot think of a single dish that is made better with ranch dressing), the beef was flavorless and unnecessary, and the bacon was not the least bit crispy.  I took a couple dime-size pieces of "bacon" out of the tray; they were nothing but fat.

This is one of those things where what you see is what you get: if you think the picture of the fries looks good, you will probably like it. But if you think it looks disgusting, it's not going to surprise you. I wouldn't order these again even if you paid me, but I can't get too upset. I knew I probably wasn't going to like them. And I did not.

14 comments:

Anna A. said...

These fries look amazing but I don't really like BBQ sauce. Glad you did not abort this mission.

JustinM said...

I like mustard-based sauces or a spicy tomato-based sauce like Gates or Rudy's, but sweet sauces that are basically ketchup with brown sugar aren't really for me. And that's what this tasted like.

Fritos and Foie Gras said...

I don't like ranch either...when people dip pizza into ranch i just don't get it...why would you ruin awesome pizza with RANCH?!

JustinM said...

That's always been a rule of mine: if you need ranch dressing to accompany your pizza, it's not good pizza.

Nosh Gnostic said...

I've got nothing against ranch dressing but have to wonder: from which think-tank was the idea spawned that it should be added to anything and everything?
Mixing a bit of blue cheese and Italian dressing actually appeals to me on a salad but this latest of trends is disturbing.

JustinM said...

I dunno. I remember a few years ago bacon was really cheap that year and suddenly every fast food place was adding it to their items. I wouldn't think there would be fluctuations in the price of ranch dressing - then again, what the hell do I know? - but maybe something happened that has made ranch dressing appeal to places. Or maybe everyone is just truly out of ideas and "Hey, let's add ranch to it!" is the last suggestion on the list.

That reminds me, you know what always bothered my brother about the movie Forrest Gump? Not the fact that Forrest taught Elvis to dance or busted the Watergate burglars, but the scenes where Bubba is reciting everything you can do with shrimp, which goes on for hours or perhaps days, and the last thing he thinks of is "shrimp sandwich." My brother always thought that was phony, that that item should have been one of the first things Bubba listed. I don't know why I'm bringing that up now. Anything to avoid the real world on Monday mornings, I guess.

tony yang hi said...

Reading your blogs on food always get me through my class. Thanks much

Nosh Gnostic said...

Well Justin, the fact that it is Monday and after seeing those fries - I think I'll just burrow back in bed until spring.

Oh, and Tony, what the heck kind of class are you taking that can be aided by all of this??? Hehe.

JustinM said...

Tony: You are welcome. Always happy to help someone whose AOL ID is "Sex Me Please."

Tim: If a guy whose job is eating at restaurants and drinking wine all day is depressed by the pictures of the fries, what hope be there for the rest of us?

Nosh Gnostic said...

I feel better already! : )

Liz said...

I still can't believe you ate those. But I get it, being for the blog.

Anonymous said...

this is why i like my stuff on the side. give me all that crap, but give me my fries separate, and let me dip the fries into it. it avoids turning the dish into one gooey, unintelligible mess. and i like ranch dressing, but ranch dressing heated up and getting all runny thus having zero thickness/ consistency/ texture? blech.

Q said...

But I like ranch with cheesesticks! Mmmmm... cheesesticks... and zucchini sticks! Like at Pharos!

Pardon the excessive exclamation marks =P

JustinM said...

Well, hey, if you love ranch, that's cool. I'm not gonna tell you how to live. But it's not for me. Although ranch with zucchini sticks doesn't sound half-bad.