For reasons unclear to me, Taco Bell has decided to add a flatbread sandwich to their menu.  The chain is known for their “think outside the bun” slogan and aversion to non-mexican cuisine (although just how mexican the Cinnamon Twists are is anyone’s guess).  Even more surprising, they haven’t made any attempt to make the new sandwich look mexican.  No made-up names, no trite advertising campaign, nothing.  Even their tostadas, which for all intents and purposes were club sandwiches, were still marketed as sandwich alternatives.  With this level of brand confusion, I just had to try it.

Who are you, and what have you done with Taco Bell?

After eating the sandwich, I’m even more confused.  It’s just their grilled chicken, cheese, and quesadilla sauce on what is unquestionably bread.  It’s also not grilled, which is a lot of the appeal of the quesadillas.  So on top of everything else, it’s not even good.  The one possible saving grace would be that it’s only 99 cents, but this is Taco Bell.  There are a ton of other options which taste much better for about the same price or a little bit more.

Overall, this sandwich is a mystery to me.  It’s like Taco Bell somehow ended up with a shipment of flatbread rolls and needed to come up with a way to get rid of them.  I had a bad feeling about it from the beginning, so I had hoped to review it with the much more promising Carnitas taco, but the location I visited didn’t have the ingredients.  Not a good sandwich, and not a good sign.  With this level of disregard for their brand, what’s next?

“Je veux Taco Bell!!”

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In an apparent misunderstanding of the meaning of the word “bar”, Burger King has recently opened a “Whopper Bar” in the Midtown area of Manhattan.  The Whopper Bar is a specialized BK location which serves a number of unique burgers and toppings, including a Bourbon Whopper and a California Whopper.  It also serves regular BK fare such as fries, onion rings, and shakes.  It does not, however, serve alcohol, the product which really makes a restaurant a bar.  It seems international locations serve beer, but Burger King has been more tentative introducing alcoholic beverages on its home turf.  Personally, I think it’s a bit absurd to try to redefine one’s brand as a bar without having the content to back it up. When McDonald’s created McCafe, they introduced a line of coffee and coffeehouse-style drinks.   However, the debate pales in comparison to this new monstrosity:

WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW??

The NY Pizza Burger is roughly four times the size of a regular Whopper and includes pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and marinara and Tuscan sauce.  It was allegedly created as an homage to New York pizza joints, in the same way Walmart was created as an homage to the mom and pop stores of yore.  It’s currently only available at the NY location, but with Burger King hoping to put Whopper Bars in airports, malls and the like, similar to McDonald’s McCafe units, it probably won’t be long before you can experience this horror for yourself.

To Burger King’s credit, the Pizza Burger isn’t intended to be eaten by one person.  It’s designed to be shared among friends, during a crazy night of not drinking at their fake bar.  However, I can say with almost absolute certainty that these will be consumed by individuals, fueling our nation’s obesity and generally embarrassing behaviors.  For shame, BK.  For shame.