Taco Bell Is Cutting Even More Menu Items, Including the Mexican Pizza
If you thought your favorite order was safe after the previous cuts, you'd be wrong.
When Taco Bell removed more than a dozen items -- and its beloved potatoes -- from its menu in August, fans savored their last orders, mourned the losses, and tried to find comfort in favorites that survived the cuts. But if you thought your go-to order was safe after the major menu revamp, we're sorry to report that you'd be wrong. Taco Bell announced yet another round of cuts on Thursday, including the Mexican Pizza.
Taco Bell is officially saying goodbye to a handful of menu staples, starting on November 5. The removals are "the finishing touches" on the chain's new, streamlined menu and will clear the way for the launch of "new innovations," according to a spokesperson. In fact, Taco Bell is actually giving us four menu additions just as it takes several others away.
But first, the cuts.
Here's the full list of items leaving the menu:
- Mexican Pizza
- Shredded Chicken (Shredded Chicken Soft Taco, Shredded Chicken Burrito, and Shredded Chicken Quesadilla Melt)
- Pico de Gallo
The list of cuts is mercifully shorter than what we saw with the previous round of farewells on August 13, but T-Bell diehards -- especially Mexican Pizza fans -- are certainly in for some disappointment. The chain hopes that its new 3 Doritos Locos Taco Combo, which will replace the Mexican Pizza Combo, will make the loss sting a bit less (we'll see about that). Oh, and Taco Bell also claims that eliminating the relatively big and boxy packaging it uses for the Mexican Pizza will reduce the company's environmental impact. Currently, it uses about 7 million pounds of the packaging material per year in the United States.
The Shredded Chicken option will be completely removed from the menu, effectively killing the three aforementioned menu items built around it. If you want chicken, you'll have to go with the menu's standard chicken, like in the regular Chicken Quesadilla.
As for pico de gallo, the company said it'll be replaced by its fresh diced tomatoes. So, if you're ordering something Fresco Style, they'll swap out the cheese and sour cream for diced tomatoes.
If there's a sliver of good news here, it's that the chain is giving everyone a solid two months to order and mourn before the items are gone. More importantly, a Taco Bell spokesperson confirmed to Thrillist that this is the last round of menu cuts we can expect this year.
Like with Taco Bell's previous menu cuts, the backlash to this round of unfortunate changes was swift. In the hours after the news emerged, fans raged on social media and presumably wrote strongly worded letters to Taco Bell corporate. But others who Live Más also launched change.org petitions demanding the company reverse the overhaul and spare their favorite menu items from the fast food in memoriam reel. There are already petitions to save the Mexican Pizza and the Shredded Chicken Burrito, and there will likely be more.
As for the items joining the menu, the list is short, but Taco Bell hopes the newcomers will help fill the Mexican Pizza-shaped hole in your heart.
Here's the full list of items joining the menu:
- Chicken Chipotle Melt
- Dragonfruit Freeze
- Green Sauce
Taco Bell said the Chicken Chipotle Melt, which rolls together grilled chicken, chipotle sauce, and cheddar cheese, will arrive as a permanent fixture on the Cravings Value Menu for $1, starting on November 5. The Dragonfruit Freeze will also join the menu, but with an earlier launch date of September 24. Green Sauce, a previously discontinued fan-favorite customization, will return to "select markets" on November 5 with a "new and improved recipe" featuring flavors of fire roasted green chilies, pureed jalapeño, and hatch green chiles. Finally, the Quesalupa is coming back, but as a test menu item only at Taco Bell locations in Knoxville, Tennessee, for now.
Wait, so why is the Quesalupa going through the test menu process when it's already lived on the national menu? A Taco Bell spokesperson said it's because the cheese it uses has been upgraded and will now include both pepper jack and mozzarella. They also said retesting something that's been off the menu for a few years is normal.
“We’re constantly evaluating ways to provide a more efficient restaurant experience, and have already begun to see progress from streamlining our menu,” Mike Grams, Taco Bell's president and global COO, said in a statement. “While we know fans may be understandably sad to see some of their favorites go, this evolution of our menu truly paves the way for fresh new ideas. The creativity and innovation in our kitchen hasn’t slowed down at all, and we look forward to rolling out new fan favorites.”
With any luck, Taco Bell's rumored fried chicken wings will be among the "new fan favorites" arriving soon. Or maybe the tortilla-crusted fried chicken tenders that were supposed to debut earlier this year.