We Tried Taco Bell's Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries And They Were A Decent, Mushy Mess

After dropping a serviceable vegan nacho cheese dip as an alternative accompanying sauce for its Nacho Fries in October, Taco Bell is going a step further this month, in a fully loaded fashion. Welcome to our world, for a limited time, Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries! Before you start dreaming of a grilled cheese loaded up with fries in between, the new item is simply, or perhaps not so simply, Taco Bell's crispy seasoned fries, worked up and over with multiple cheeses, chipotle sauce, and a choice of beef or steak, spicy or not.

Will these hot and new Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries be a game changer for Taco Bell, or perhaps turn into another mess we'll gladly wash our hands of moments after eating? With an open mind — and mouth — and an empty stomach, I walked into my local Taco Bell to see which hypothesis would ring true. Here, mi amigos, is the result of my chew and review.

What do the Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries taste like?

For the purposes of our taste test, we chose the spicy Grilled Cheese Nachos Fires with steak. Opening the box, a small plume of smoke arose, and it turned out to be the last bit of physical heat the fries would emit. The messy pile I saw before me resembled an omelet if it were churned out by Taco Bell. A handful of fries and thin cuts of steak sat lodged in a sea of creamy oranges and yellow, which turned out to be an abundance of cheese and sauce.

On the surface, the steak pieces appeared to be both well-grilled, well-done, and perhaps a tad dry. Nibbling on them revealed something thankfully entirely different — soft, tender, and juicy meat. The parts of the Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries that were the most fluid turned out to be Taco Bell's chipotle sauce, which sports its usual mix where tangy and sweetness come together nicely. A majority of what one sees and eats here is the cheese blend. Hidden within it are hidden pieces of jalapeños, which gives this item a really good and dominating kick. Luckily those jalapeños were somewhere within the cheese because the addition of sliced jalapeños that should have been included in my "spicy" order of Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries didn't seem to make the cut. Altogether, I would simply say this new item was good.

What are the Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries made of?

The Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries begin with Taco Bell's standard Nacho Fries, which are potatoes seasoned, spiced, and fried. The fries are surrounded by a grilled blend of cheeses, including low-moisture part-skim mozzarella, cheddar, and pasteurized process Monterey Jack and American cheese with jalapeño peppers. Also in the mix are nacho cheese, made from nonfat milk, cheese whey, and jalapeno puree, and a chipotle sauce, made of vinegar, cage-free egg yolk, chili peppers, chipotle peppers, and various other seasonings. There are two meat options to choose from to seal the deal: marinated beef or a seasoned and sauced steak. The final option is if you want it spicy or not, and if it's the former, jalapeños are added to the affair. Allergens include gluten, milk, eggs, and wheat.

Nutritional values are similar but vary per depending on the meat toppings and spice level one chooses. Since I tried the spicy Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries with steak for review, the values for that one are as follows: 520 calories, 33 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein, 8 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1430 milligrams of sodium, and 37 grams of total carbohydrates.

How to order Taco Bell's Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries and how much they cost

The Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries are now available at participating Taco Bell locations, including Taco Bell Cantinas, while supplies last. It is not clear what exact times they are available for ordering, but I was able to eat mine during breakfast hours, slightly past 10 a.m.

There are four versions of the Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries available; you can choose beef or steak, as well as spicy or not. The beef version retails for $4.49 and the steak for $4.99, although prices may vary per location, and may be higher with delivery.

The Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries can be purchased in-store at the counter or kiosk, or the drive-thru, where available. Advanced ordering for pick-up and delivery in some areas is also an option via the Taco Bell app and website. Customizations are available and include add-ons such as rice, beans, potatoes, and chicken.

The drop of these new editions of the Nacho Fries coincides with the introduction of the Nacho Fries Lover's Pass. For only $10, the pass allows eaters the opportunity to snag an order of regular Nacho Fries with one of the six sauces, for 30 consecutive days at no additional cost. Sadly, the Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries are not included in the pass.

The final verdict

Poutine and nachos are awesome snacks, but one thing that commonly spoils the fun with them is when the cheese is so overly present it makes the fries or tortilla chips a soggy mess, kind of defeating the purpose. The cheese found in the Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries proves to be somewhat of a blessing and a curse in the same vein. With the cheese, all the other ingredients stay together as a gelled unit, which allows for easy eating with a fork (do not try to eat it with your hands!). Alas, since the cheese utterly surrounds the fries, the usual crispy and crunchy goodness of Taco Bell's Nacho Fries sadly become mushy shells of their former selves.

While there's no denying that it was certainly a tasty nosh, and even made my cheeks sweat a bit, I'm not sure the Grilled Cheese Nacho Fries are worth the price of admission. It's true that $5 goes a long way at Taco Bell, and while this item looked like a lot, it turned out to be something rather small that wasn't all that filling. Maybe if the portions were a little bigger and Taco Bell could figure out a way to keep the Nacho Fries crisp it would be onto something, but for me, I'm ready to move on to something else.