[Friday Flash Review] Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa

Friday Flash Reviews are abridged reviews of new or exciting products for your end-of-week reading.

If you’re a Taco Bell aficionado, then you’re no stranger to all of the wacky creations the Bell has come up with over the years. The Quesalupa–a chalupa with a cheese-filled shell–seems crazy, but was actually pretty tame by Taco Bell standards. You might recall one of Taco Bell’s original breakfast offerings, the Waffle Taco, which is exactly what it sounds like. And in the late 1970s, Taco Bell made something called the Bell Beefer, a taco-inspired Sloppy Joe. Apparently, people loved it. There’s even a whole Facebook group dedicated to bringing it back. Hey, maybe Taco Bell will bring back the Bell Beefer if we all get naked…

…The Naked Chicken Chalupa, that is. There’s been a lot of hype about the new menu item, and for good reason: the “shell” is a piece of fried chicken! The chicken is tender and flavorful, and the breading is perfectly crispy with a spicy kick. The lettuce and tomato are standard Taco Bell fare, but add some much-needed freshness to each bite. The cheddar cheese doesn’t add much. The avocado ranch sauce adds some good tanginess and heat.

The Naked Chicken Chalupa is one of the better menu items I’ve had at Taco Bell, but it seems like it could use another ingredient, as it relies too much on just the chicken and sauce. This seems simple, but the addition of zesty tortilla strips (or something similar) could have taken the Naked Chicken Chalupa to the next level.

Item: Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa
Price and Place of Purchase: $2.99 at Taco Bell
Nutrition Facts (serving size-1 chalupa): 440 calories, 270 calories from fat, 30 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1090 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, 20 grams of protein.
In a Nutshell: Chicken shell is surprisingly tasty, and avocado ranch sauce is bold. Could use an additional ingredient. Bring back the Bell Beefer.
Overall Score: 7.5 out of 10

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