A Cannabis Enthusiast Ranks Everything on Taco Bell's $1 menu

Taco Bell's $1 menu
Lee Breslouer

Taco Bell recently launched a Dollar Cravings menu, which was a big deal for people who a) have food cravings and b) have a dollar in their pocket. That's most people. But you know who really has food cravings and dollar bills? Stoners.

I live in Colorado, where not only are there plentiful Taco Bells and dollars, there are weed smokers. This made my home state the perfect place to conduct a taste-test of TB's new menu. So I rounded up one of my favorite cannabis users and fed him all 11 items on the $1 menu to see what he thought.

taco bell $1 menu
Lee Breslouer

What's on the $1 menu

This is Taco Bell's first attempt at a $1 menu, and they went all out, with eight entree-type items and three desserts.

All this stuff is only a buck: Cheese Roll-Up, Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla, Beefy Mini Quesadilla, Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito, Beefy Fritos Burrito, Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Spicy Tostada, Triple Layer Nachos, Cinnamon Twists, Cinnabon Delights, and the Caramel Apple Empanada.

Ice Cream Riot
Lee Breslouer

So who the hell is this "cannabis enthusiast"?

Ok, take the stereotypes you have about guys who smoke a lot of weed and throw them out the window. This is Jim. He owns and operates Ice Cream Riot, a popular ice cream shop that produces delights like Fruity Pebbles ice cream. He works his ass off seven days a week, as he's the shop's only employee. He does not live with his parents.

He told me that he hasn't had Taco Bell since he was a younger man, when he and his friend Jay would get high, eat tacos, and listen to Wu-Tang's 36 Chambers. And to continue the hip-hop theme, like Nate Dogg (when he was alive), he smokes weed every day.

To get ready for this taste-test, he smoked a 1-gram joint and took a few hits off of a bong. To give you an idea of how much weed this is, he said, "If [an average person] smoked as much weed as I smoked [tonight] -- they'd be really f***ing high."

We thought it'd be fun to make him guess what he was eating, and then tell us what he thought of the taste. Here's how he ranked the 11 items.

Taco Bell's triple layer nachos
Lee Breslouer

11. Triple Layer Nachos

What's in it: Tortilla chips, beans, warm nacho cheese sauce, tangy red sauce
What he thinks is in it: "Little nachos. Little tortilla chips. Looks like some red hot cheese stuff. Regular cheese, and whatever that red stuff is. I think it's going to be hot. If it's not spicy, it sure knows how to pretend. It knows how to put up a front. Holy smokes."
How it tastes: "Yeah, it ain't hot at all. Was it supposed to be? Honestly, is it? What is it? I can't tell what it is. What the hell is it? Because it's not spicy. It doesn't seem to have a whole lot of flavor at all. I guess it has the slightest kick. I kind of wanted it to be more flavorful."

Taco Bell's spicy tostada
Lee Breslouer

10. Spicy Tostada

What's in it: Crunchy tostada, beans, lettuce, cheese, tangy red sauce, creamy chipotle sauce
What he thinks is in it: "Don't they call this a Mexican pizza? I feel like that's what they call that. Basically it just looks like a taco that's flat. (Editor's Note: I make a True Detective reference about time being a flat circle, just like that tostada.) It's a flat circle, but it has a mound of Taco Bell-looking stuff on it. It looks like a bean taco, just flat. It's like an open-faced turkey sandwich, but it's a taco."
How it tastes: "I won't lie to you, it's alright. It's not bad, it's just nothing thrilling. I would consider it safe. If you're just like, 'I'm going to roll the dice on the dollar menu', go with this."

Taco Bell's Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla
Lee Breslouer

9. Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla

What's in it: Shredded chicken, three-cheese blend, flour tortilla
What he thinks is in it: "Chicken, perhaps it's spicy. Got some red-looking spicy stuff."
How it tastes: "It's okay, but I could sit and chow on this when my appetite is enhanced. It is right now. It's really enhanced now, especially because I haven't eaten in eight hours. A long time."

Cheese Roll-Up
Lee Breslouer

8. Cheese Roll-Up

What's in it: Flour tortilla, three-cheese blend
What he thinks is in it: "I don't know. I'm bad with this stuff. That's just a tortilla. I don't know what the heck's in it. Those things are a mystery -- you never know what could be in there. Excited to try it and see what it is."
How it tastes: "It's just cheese! Pretty sure it's just cheese. It's good. It's what you'd expect. But it's good, I like it. Just tastes like cheese in a tortilla. Nothing else to say about it."

Taco Bell's spicy potato soft taco
Lee Breslouer

7. Spicy Potato Soft Taco

What's in it: Crispy potato bites, cheddar, lettuce, creamy chipotle sauce
What he thinks is in it: "Is that a tater tot? It's not the same, I can tell. It's close though. Looks kind of standard otherwise. Lettuce, cheese. I don't know what the sauce is. Fast-food sauce is usually good."
How it tastes: "I like the sort-of tater tots. It's like a tater tot taco. Is tater tot a trademarked word? Is that a company? I don't know. Either way, that's what it reminds me of. This is a tater tot taco. Try saying that one fast. Which is interesting.

The sauce is good. It has a kick to it, because otherwise you've got the tortilla, the potatoes -- you've got a lot of starchy stuff going on. It's nice to have a tangy sauce."

cheesy bean and rice burrito
Lee Breslouer

6. Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito

What's in it: Beans, cilantro rice, warm nacho cheese, creamy jalapeño sauce, flour tortilla
What he thinks is in it: Cheese, beans, and rice
How it tastes: "I like cheesy. Cheesy's a plus. If you want me to be stonery about any of this sh*t -- I think stoners like that sh*t. Cheesy, gooey sh*t. They eat cheese in a can, for God's sake. Tastes exactly what I expected it to. It's a burrito. Beans and cheese and rice. You can eat this in the morning and be fine. I like this because it's standard and safe-feeling."

Taco Bell beefy mini quesadilla
Lee Breslouer

5. Beefy Mini Quesadilla

What's in it: Seasoned beef, creamy chipotle sauce, three-cheese blend, flour tortilla
What he thinks is in it: "Looks like the carne version of the other one [the shredded chicken quesadilla]. The thing I like about Taco Bell is their cheese -- their cheese is all mushy. I like that. Like this? This looks mushy. That's good. I don't know if that's how Taco Bell would want me to say it, but I appreciate it."
How it tastes: "There's a kick to it that comes out more in the beef one than the chicken one. I like this one more. I'm happy this is what was in those tin foil wrappers -- like, we were looking at them wondering what was in there. It's good stuff."

Taco Bell's Caramel Apple Empanada
Lee Breslouer

4. Caramel Apple Empanada

What's in it: Pastry pocket, apples, caramel sauce
What he thinks is in it: "I don't know what's going on in there. I'm excited to find out, but I have no clue because it's hidden in the pocket. It's hard to tell because I knew it was gonna smell like this. It has an apple smell to it. It's gonna be good, but I'm wondering if it's a standard one, or if there's going to be some surprise to it that makes it Taco Bell's version. I'm going to find out because I'm going to eat it."
How it tastes: "It's like apple pie -- caramel, something. It's caramel-y. Isn't that what I'm tasting? I like it. This would make good ice cream, actually. I love these kinds of things, so I'm a big fan of this. Plus, I really like apple and caramel."

Taco Bell's cinnamon twists
Taco Bell

3. Cinnamon Twists

What's in it: Puffed corn twists, cinnamon, sugar
What he thinks is in it: "Air. It's basically cinnamon on air, and it's crunchy. It's crunchy air with cinnamon. It's good, though."
How it tastes: "These are the standard. The classic. They've been around for -- I don't know how long Taco Bell's been making them, but I remember them from at least the mid-'90s."

Taco Bell's beefy Fritos burrito
Taco Bell

2. Beefy Fritos Burrito

What's in it: Beef, Fritos, cilantro rice, warm nacho cheese, flour tortilla
What he thinks is in it: "Definitely rice. I don't know what these guys are (points to Fritos)."
How it tastes: (Editor's Note: this took place before I told him what he was eating) "Dude, what is that? Oh my God, what is that? I don't know how to explain it. It is something. Dude, I'm having a moment here and I can't remember what it is. You know what it is? (Editor's Note: I sure did!)

Ok, going to eat more. Oh -- it's freaking Fritos! That's awesome. This is stoner food. When you make a burrito and you put Fritos in it, dude? That's awesome, I love Fritos. I told you it was going to take me a minute. I had a moment of like, 'what is that?' It was kind of softer because of the cheese and stuff, so it wasn't as crunchy. Still good, still crunchy. See, that I like. That, I think, is thinking. Taco Bell was thinking there. They were like, 'Let's throw Fritos in a burrito'. The Frito Burrito. They're onto something. Dude, that's stoner food. Putting Fritos inside a burrito works. Good job, Taco Bell."

Taco Bell's Cinnabon Delights
Lee Breslouer/Jennifer Bui

1. Cinnabon Delights

What's in it: Pastries filled with Cinnabon frosting, cinnamon sugar
What he thinks is in it: "Little cinnamon balls. Looks like a dough ball rolled in cinnamon."
How it tastes: "It's great. The surprise in the middle is great. In theory, I should've known that was coming. Because if you ordered that, you'd know it. Now I'm looking at the package and seeing Cinnabon -- basically it's a Cinnabon. It's Cinnabon icing. This is fantastic. Cinnabon anything is fantastic. The icing is the icing. I really like these. It's just dough with icing inside of it and cinnamon.

It's really good. It's also good stonery food. I'm going to eat the other one, if you don't mind. (Editor's Note: I kind of did, because I would've liked to eat it. Instead I took one of his ice cream sandwiches, which was also a good choice.) I didn't know it was coming, so I bit it differently not expecting stuff to shoot out. It sounds weird saying it, but you get my point. I wish there were more than two in the bag."

Lee Breslouer writes about food and drink for Thrillist and thinks Cinnabon should open a mini-store inside of Taco Bell. Follow him at @LeeBreslouer for more brilliant ideas.

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