Taco Bell Launches New Fast Casual Restaurant

Think you'd never be caught dead eating a Crunchwrap at your local Taco Bell? Maybe you'd be interested in trying Taco Bell's brand-new fast-casual concept, just announced today, called U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Taproom, which will feature a menu of 10 "core" taco varieties, fries, and shakes. The first location will be opening this summer in Huntington Beach, Calif., and future locations plan to tap into the latter half of the new restaurant's name, offering beer and wine for customers.

Learn more about the original Taco Bell in The Daily Meal's How Taco Bell dishes got their names (Slideshow)

"We could spend time and money trying to get these people interested in Taco Bell," but they would probably never become regular customers," Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed told Ad Age. "We thought, maybe there's a new brand we can create to address this opportunity."

Taco Bell has said that U.S. Taco Co. is not a spin-off of their fast food chain, because it's an American-inspired restaurant designed for upscale food-lovers. So that means no Dorito shells, and quesarito hybrids. Instead, according to National Restaurant News, the new chain will be offering tortilla filled odes to American regions like the "Winner, Winner," which is comprised of Southern-style fried chicken breast with South of the Border gravy, roasted corn, pico de gallo, jalapeños, and cilantro in a flour tortilla; the "One Percenter" which will feature fresh lobster in garlic butter with red cabbage slaw and pico de gallo on crispy fry bread; and the "Brotherly Love," with carne asada steak, grilled peppers and onions, roasted poblano queso, cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro in a flour tortilla.

The menu will also offer beer milkshakes like the "Mexican Car Bomb" with vanilla ice cream, tequila caramel sauce, chocolate flakes, and Guinness Stout.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi