We thought we were out, but they pulled us back in. “They” is just Steve Lackmeyer, Oklahoman reporter and PAIN IN MY DAMN NECK who would not stop chirping about how we hadn’t really done the whole Taco Bell menu because we hadn’t had the breakfast.
And while he was technically correct, I technically hate him for putting us through another round of The Bell.
Greg Elwell - Large. Hairy. Not particularly nice.
Spencer Hicks - Tall. Skinny. A gentleman in the streets and a gentler man between the sheets.
Brian Byrne - Though he was not with us in body, his spirit loomed over the breakfast, occasionally laughing at us.
Fifth Course: The Breakfast Menu
Make no mistake: I love Taco Bell. Spencer loves Taco Bell. Before he was taken by the Yeti and forced to become their Living God, Brian Byrne loved Taco Bell. But we don’t love all of it and breakfast probably the least.
Why? Because your palate is not ready for the level of fat and spice used in Taco Bell food that early in the day. It’s like setting yourself up to be sick for the rest of the afternoon. Not because Taco Bell makes you sick, but because your body doesn’t have time to steady itself for the onslaught of Bell until about noon.
Oh my god here it goes.
(Quick note: there’s no steak rankings because Taco Bell was out of steak that morning. Also, come on. The steak wasn’t going to be any better than the bacon or the sausage.)
14. Sausage Breakfast Crunchwrap
GE: Truly, we have reached the nadir of the crunchwrap with this one. Both the crunchwraps were bad, but the sausage version was the worst of the worst. Elsewhere on the list, you’ll see they use ground sausage. In this thing, you get a full, weird, squishy sausage patty that isn’t getting any crispier steaming inside a tortilla with eggs and a wet hashbrown. This is punishment food.
SH: Why are these still called “crunchwraps”? There wasn’t any crunch, and honestly, it wasn’t very good, and that’s coming from a guy who is getting his doctorate in Crunchwrap Etymology from Trump University.
13. Bacon Breakfast Crunchwrap
GE: The texture is all wrong and it’s weird to realize how often Taco Bell nails textures, but they were waaaaaay off the mark on this one. At least the bacon had that crispy-chewy feel, but it was surrounded by wet, gluey awfulness.
SH: I think the crunchwraps, like any breakfast with eggs, needs the availability of salt and pepper, but like I discussed with Greg on that overcast morning, I would feel weird opening up the tortilla to sprinkle salt n peppa in there.
12. Sausage Burrito
GE: How are the sausage burritos and sausage tacos both $1? What’s the difference?! All I can tell is that the smaller nature of the taco is vastly preferable to the mass of dry tortilla hiding a sliver of eggs and sausage.
SH: Maybe there is a size difference between the soft tacos and burritos, I wasn’t paying that close attention. They’re “fine.” If someone was like, “I’m going to TBell to pick up breakfast, do you want a burrito or soft taco?” One could say, “It doesn’t matter.” And it wouldn’t.
11. Bacon Burrito
GE: I love breakfast sausage, but these things are so so so dry. The bacon seems to have a little more moisture and a much more assertive flavor. Still would not order one of these. No thanks.
SH: I think I enjoyed the bacon iterations a little better. They seemed to have more flavor than the sausage.
10. Sausage Quesadilla
GE: It’s a giant sausage soft taco, but cut into pieces. It’s fine, but it’s too much (and too expensive) when what you’re really craving is probably two breakfast tacos, max.
SH: Like the soft taco and burrito, this needed something else. Possibly the addition of the jalapeno sauce would have done wonders.
9. Bacon Quesadilla
GE: This. Is. So. Boring. Everything is the same, just in different sizes. You ask me to choose between bacon and sausage here and I ask you why it doesn’t come with salsa or some onions grilled in there. Please.
SH: Again, bacon flavor came through a little bit better. Could have used some pepper. Or maybe the test kitchen could have not put it in the redundancy machine before adding all these combinations of tortilla, eggs, and cheese on their menu.
8. Bacon Soft Taco
GE: Bacon, egg, shredded cheese and a flour tortilla. It’s nothing special, but it’s also about what I’d ask for in a breakfast taco from a non taqueria. It’s not great, but it’s easy to eat and it’ll tide you over until you get to a better restaurant.
SH: Everything on this menu is just tortilla, eggs and either bacon or sausage. Nothing, aside from the Cinnabon Delights, really stands out as something I’d make a trip for.
7. Sausage Soft Taco
GE: I thought the sausage was better here. I might actually order this again, if for no other reason than ease of use. You can house one of these in two bites, easy, and it’s built for the addition of hot sauce. Though next time I might see if I can add pico de gallo as an upcharge, because I think that’d be good.
SH: It’s alright, it’s the same as the burrito, but with less origami involved.
6. Mini Skillet
GE: Man, this little thing was pretty good. I might not have gone nacho cheese vs. shredded, but it adds a lot of flavor. The addition of pico de gallo is the biggest difference maker here and I urge the people at Taco Bell to figure out how to put this in every other breakfast dish (save one) and give people a reason to wake up.
SH: I think this was $1. And for a dollar, it’s worth the money. It’s just potatoes, pico, eggs, and their nacho cheese sauce. But you wanna know what, that cheese sauce makes all the difference!
5. Flatbread Quesadilla
GE: In a breakfast menu beset by texture issues, the flatbread quesadilla is the winner. The sausage gets lost in the dish, but the chewy, almost fluffy flatbread really was a breath of fresh.
SH: The flatbread I think made it feel more “breakfasty.” And I just had an idea… what if instead of flatbread, they used a pancake? Are pancakes and flatbreads the same? I dunno, I’m not a bread etymologist.
4. Potato Burrito
GE: Why is this rated so much higher than the other burritos? Because they decided to actually try on this one. The nacho cheese works better here than in the mini skillet, maybe because it’s helping offset the blandness of the tortilla. The big change here: pico. Put that pico everywhere, Taco Bell! It saves the day.
SH: TBell took the brave step of putting the mini skillet in a burrito! Neil Armstrong and NASA can kiss my ass, whomever made that decision is the real hero. Aside from my snide remarks, it’s pretty good.
3. Sausage Grande Scrambler
GE: The Grande Scramblers are like bigger versions of the potato burrito, but with the addition of sour cream and meat. Sausage doesn’t play so well with sour cream here, but it’s a much better burrito than any that came before it.
SH: The Scramblers were pretty good! I think they were the least boring thing (i.e. they had more ingredients) thing on the menu. But the sausage flavor was a little lost in the noise.
2. Bacon Grande Scrambler
GE: This is what I’d order if I ever went back to Taco Bell for breakfast. This and maybe a sausage taco. (And the inevitable winner, of course.) It’s big, it’s just moist enough to eat without feeling wet. More eggs and more bacon are welcome, as is the pico de gallo. I could take or leave the sour cream, honestly, but it didn’t detract from the overall product.
SH: The bacon flavor just seems to stand out a little better than the sausage in breakfast menu. But that might be because my tongue is “sausage blind.” Please donate to Greg’s Patreon so we can find a cure.
WINNER: Cinnabon Delights
GE: A sugary adrenaline shot of fried dough, straight to the heart. Cinnabon Delights are pretty much the only reason Taco Bell’s breakfast exists. All the other stuff ranges from awful to “not bad for Taco Bell,” except for these. Cinnabon Delights are perfect. They’re crispy outside, doughy inside and infused with that Cinnabon frosting that is definitely taking years off my life and I am here for it.
SH: We tried these before on the dessert menu, I think. If not, they were similar to the other cinnamon and icing treat we had. Regardless, this was the only item that we finished. And I think the number of Delights was the only thing stopping us from eating more.
Previous Worst to Best editions: