Maui Food and Dining

Taco Bell’s New Breakfast: Look Out, Stomach

March 28, 2014, 11:35 AM HST
* Updated January 9, 1:05 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

The waiting is the easiest part. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The waiting is the easiest part. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Early yesterday morning, a nation mourned as Taco Bells from sea to shining sea – including two here in the sea on Maui – began offering breakfast.

After waiting in a line ten cars (!) deep, we placed the largest fast food order of our lives.

Soon thereafter, the adventure was off and running with the Sausage and Egg Burrito ($2.39).

All told, it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect of a bare-bones breakfast burrito: egg, cheese, and sausage.

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Veggies? Nope.

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Salsa? Negatory.

Flavor? Sausagey.

The A.M. Burrito with Bacon. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The A.M. Burrito with Bacon shows you what she’s got. Which is eggs. And bacon. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

Not terrible, not good: just somewhat bland and decidedly greasy.

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The Bacon and Egg Burrito ($2.39) and Steak and Egg Burrito ($3.09) are – brace yourselves – exactly the same, sub in (itty bitty bits of) bacon or chunks of chewy beef. Meh.

While receiving our bags of food, we were asked, “how many ketchup packets do you want?”

We panicked – ketchup? What? – and said “three.”

Maybe it’s just us, but the idea of a burrito fuels the expectation of spicy flavors. These bland-a-rama offerings would no doubt be helped out by something more than ketchup. Salsa? Pico de gallo? Maybe throw a couple fire sauces in the bag?

Something. Anything. Por favor?

OK. We admit it. We didn’t actually try this here Sausage Flatbread Melt. That driftwood was covered in bird poo and we honestly couldn’t face one more bite of sausage. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

OK. We admit it. We didn’t actually try this here Sausage Flatbread Melt. That driftwood was covered in bird poo and we honestly couldn’t face one more bite of sausage. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Three cheers and a shot of tequila for the person who named the Sausage Flatbread Melt ($1.49).

Mmmmmm. Mexican chorizo… errrrr… Jimmy Dean.

This sexy-sounding treat is in all actuality a sausage patty swaddled in a flour gordita wrap with cheese functioning as the glue, emphasis on glue.

Over the lips and past the gums; look out stomach, here it comes!

Should you decide to partake in a Sausage Flatbread Melt, we highly recommend you warn your digestive system of the mayhem en route with this normally cheerful, now foreboding rhyme. It’s a sausage patty wrapped in an overweight tortilla and it’s coming for you like a ton of bricks.

The A.M. Grilled Taco with Bacon showcases one more use for the handy dandy tortilla. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The A.M. Grilled Taco with Bacon showcases one more use for the ubiquitous tortilla. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

Ay caramba, it’s the A.M. Grilled Taco with Bacon ($1.49).

It was around this point – i.e. too late – that we realized the better way to go about this would have been to blindfold someone and see if they could taste a difference between the items.

Alas, we leave that idea to you and yours.

The taco – offered as before, with ketchup and nothing else – finds a very generous portion of Bacos (or the nameless hacked-up bacon equivalent) mixed with eggs and cheese and placed in a flour tortilla.

Same thing, slightly different price point.

At least the day is still young… Photo by Vanessa Wolf

At least the day is still young… Photo by Vanessa Wolf

Speaking of which, let’s talk about that obvious upside. If calories are what you crave, this is a very affordable way to get the job done. A definite point for the Taco Bell breakfast: it will not break the piggy bank.

Had it with this sausage party?

The Cinnabon Delights come in three sizes: two-pack ($1.10), four-pack ($1.79) and 12-pack ($5.19).

By now, we started to wish we’d stayed in bed.

Roughly the size, shape, appearance and flavor of a donut hole, these Delights taste nothing like a cinnamon roll.

They are, however, coated in cinnamon sugar and filled with a warm cream cheese-flavored goo.

Plus they turn into little hacky sacks fast. Nonetheless,  if you insist on gnawing on them even then, the sweetness prevails. Live más.

The A.M. Crunch Wrap with Sausage waits for you. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The A.M. Crunch Wrap with Sausage lies in wait. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

The A.M. Crunch Wrap with Sausage ($3.19) is one of the more creative offerings in the lineup, piquing ones interest right out of the gate with some fancy tortilla origami.

Looks aside, two things make us think our blindfolded friend might realize they’re eating something new this time around: the decided kick of taco seasoning in the eggs and the presence of a hash brown.

Although in no way, shape or form the kind of meal that leaves you feeling spry and recharged, with this one you get the feeling they at least tried.

Thus, we vote the Crunch Wrap the best of the bunch, if for nothing but the originality factor. (And arguably it’s artery clogging powers approach X-Men status.)

Our self-abuse ended with the Waffle Taco ($2.89).

The Cinnabon Delights. Quit yet whining and embrace your upcoming pulmonary embolism. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Cinnabon Delights. Quit yer whining and embrace your upcoming pulmonary embolism. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

This is one gimmick with a bobble head on top if ever there were.

Tasting it alone, the microwaved (we’d bet money) waffle has the vague flavor of vanilla. However, coupled with the now-painfully-redundant eggs, sausage patty and cheese, the only notable feature is the slick layer of grease it deposits on your hands. No wonder this disaster comes in a thick cardboard box: holy oil spill.

It’s honestly just like everything else… insipid, slippery and hella greasy.

Blandness is the name of the game.

And although we have disliked the flavor of fake maple syrup since our diaper days, one bite into this ‘taco’ and we found ourselves thinking “maybe with some syrup on it…?”

The Waffle Taco never had it so good. Photo by Vanessa Wolf

The Waffle Taco is waiting for that call from Sports Illustrated. Photo by Vanessa Wolf.

Once again, Taco Bell Powers That Be, we fall on your mercy for a sauce, salsa, a condiment that’s not ketchup or a curative of some kind.

Until then, should you find yourself hungry (or curious) enough to grab some loose change and run for the border, now you know what awaits on the other side.

Live más or caveat emptor: You decide.

——-

Taco Bell is located at 100 E Kamehameha Ave in Kahului and 127 Hinau St. in Lahaina.

And yes, there is also one in Kihei, but it does not (yet?) serve breakfast.

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