We Tried Taco Bell's Enchirito & Its Comeback Was Worth the Wait

The fan favorite is making its triumphant menu return now through November 30.

What a week. Donald Trump declared his bid to retake the presidency. The Washington Spirit's beloved Kelley O'Hara announced she's signing with New York's Gotham FC. Elon Musk upped the ante on his attack on Twitter, and Qatar banished beer from the World Cup two days before kick-off. If you're not sliding into the weekend like that no-bones pug meme, I'd love to know your secret.

But all is not lost, it seems. In a valiant effort to raise our spirits, Taco Bell announced it's bringing back the formerly discontinued Enchirito by popular demand (literally, they actually held a vote). From Thursday, November 17, through Wednesday, November 30, Enchirito fiends can once again get their fix from their local Live Mas purveyor. But does the sauce-laden delicacy live up to the hype? Or, perhaps, was the election stolen, as Double Decker Taco truthers might claim? There's only one way to find out.

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What exactly is the Enchirito?

The portmanteau-loving masterminds behind Taco Bell’s ever-evolving lineup are at it again with this hybrid enchilada-burrito creation. It’s basically a soft-shelled beef and bean burrito, smothered in a layer of melted cheddar cheese and a heaping dose of red sauce, and served steamy hot in a plastic lidded takeout container. Why did I specifically mention that the burrito is soft-shelled when all burritos, by definition, must come wrapped in a soft flour tortilla? Because I wouldn’t put anything past the establishment that created the Crunchwrap Supreme. Stay gold, TB.

First impressions

The little package arrives overflowing with sauce. A thick sheen of melted cheese glistens beneath a maroon sea. Popping open the lid, the sauce immediately drips onto my white kitchen counter, prompting my wife, mid-Chalupa, to throw several brown paper napkins my way. There’s no containing this monster, especially after I deploy an entire packet of fiery Diablo sauce atop the gooey mess.

The aroma is muddled at first, a blend of salty cheese and savory tomato with just a hint of the spiced beef hibernating deep inside the tortilla's white folds. A fork alone doesn’t do the job, at first sliding easily into the liquid surface before becoming entangled in the burrito’s gummy casing. Arming myself with a knife, I'm able to section off a small bite. A divergence from Taco Bell’s standard on-the-move fare, this is definitely a two-hand job. I pity any fool who tries to take on an Enchirito from the driver's seat.

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Putting it to the (taste) test

Let's just preface this by saying that I'm not one to oversalt my food. Sure, I cook with ample salt, but I can't remember the last time I required a salt shaker at the dinner table. And that goes double for fast food, which I more often than not find too salty, a sodium-packed gut punch that leaves my taste buds crying out for hydration. But my initial thoughts on the Enchirito? This puppy needs some salt.

Maybe it's my palate—"the spicier the better" has long been my mantra—but the Enchirito seemed surprisingly lacking in overall flavor. It appeals to the masses, bringing little heat to the table and instead prioritizing a wholly inoffensive, ketchup-like tang. It's not unpleasant, just somewhat lacking. I expected more of a kick.

The texture, on the other hand, is on the dreamier side. It's like sinking your teeth into an edible mound of down comforters, each layer squishier, plumper, and softer than the next, like a baby food turducken, but in a good way. While the toothsome ground beef at the dish's center provides a nice contrast to its velvety sheathing, my only qualm was the overwhelming nature of the Enchirito's mostly uniform mouthfeel. Sprinkle a handful of crunchy, bite-sized corn chips on top, though, and you've got a deal. One can only hope a Fritos collaboration looms on the horizon.

Should you get it?

When it comes to the bang-for-your-buck factor, the Enchirito is tough to beat. It runs a mere $3.79 a pop, contains a respectable yet modest 350 calories, and I couldn't even come close to finishing it in one sitting. You might as well get in on the action, especially if you like your fast food mildly spiced, stewy, and filling. Just don't forget the napkins (or a knife and fork).

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Meredith Heil is the Editorial Director of Thrillist Travel.