Product Review: Taco Bell's New Cantina Bowl

So Taco Bell has created "Cantina Bell" and is trying to play with the big dogs...barking up the Chipotle porch. How will they do? 

I guess some set up first - they have enlisted Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia - who was oddly enough co-host of America's Next Great Restaurant with the guy that started Chipotle! She's supposedly making gourmet items for Taco Bell - with better ingredients. 

They are offering a bowl and a burrito as well as chips & guac. I tried the bowl with steak. The above is a photo - there's a dressing in addition to lettuce, beans, tomatoes, corn, guac and steak.

The verdict?

Awful. Completely and utterly AWFUL.

I know - some of the folks out there are going to comment "Well it's Taco Bell what did you expect?" Oh bite me.

I expected edible. This steak was NOT - it was really bad. I've eaten their steak in items before but this was just gross. It tasted like hard pieces of mud. Hard, crunchy, no flavor - like what I would think dog food tasted like. It was THAT bad.

The toppings were okay but they had none of that "fresh" feeling and taste you get from Chipotle.

So don't bother - and the price was barely less than the real deal.


  1. The chicken bowl isn't much better. Barely any chicken, terribly mushy rice, horribly overpriced. I would think Chef Lorena would be a little bit more choosy about what she puts her name on.

  2. Hussy! How've you been? I haven't posted in ages. :)

    I've been a Taco Bell loyalist every since I was a wee lad, but I don't understand why.

    Is it because when I went to OU, we had the largest freakin' Taco Bell in the world (an old converted movie theater, now a Chipotle)? I can't tell you how many times I'd stumbled into to that place after a night of drinking on Court Street, gobbling their (at the time) 59-cent bean burritos.

    Whatever the reason, I'm getting increasingly irritated with Taco Bell. Years ago, they were much simpler with their ingredients. Nowadays, everything is drenched in goopy sauce or squirty cheese. It's become a parody of a concept that had begun as a parody.

    That they'd even try to out-do Chipotle smacks of desperation. Still, their new Cantina Bowl website is rather fetching.

    Why can't they just bring back the Bell Beefer?

  3. Agreed. Spend a couple more bucks at Chipotle and get you'll get much higher quality food. How can they say this chef Lorena invented this menu, when the guacamole tastes exactly like the same crap they've always used?

  4. I just had the chicken cantina bowl and it was amazing. I love Taco Bell and this just made it that much more enjoyable! Cannot wait to go again!

  5. Jus plain nasty. The steak is tough all my food is mixed together , and the taste is awful .

  6. Chef Lorena is a hypocrite. She says she promotes healthy eating then pushed fast food. In one interview she says I don't eat fast food that is why i created the cantina bowl "and my nephews can eat the other stuff" (i.e. crap) - way to fight childhood obesity you two faced transgender looking liar. By the way did you see what a bitch she really is on Top Chef Masters - she showed her true colors.