Last week foodies were all aflutter over news that Arby’s was testing a preposterous-looking “meat vegetable” carrot (dubbed the marrot) made from sous-vide turkey breast. It was meant to poke fun at plant-based burgers: Instead of meat made from veggies, Arby’s was making headway into veggies made from meat.
The fast-food realm is no stranger to crazy concoctions, but this one took the (carrot) cake. Meatless alternatives at the fast-food level are a welcome thing. Meat carrots are not. Burger King, meanwhile, has rolled out something we can all get behind: tacos. Available nationwide, BK's Crispy Taco seems aimed directly at fans of the infamous, but wildly popular Jack in the Box taco. (Recall the 2017 Wall Street Journal story with the headline "Americans Eat 554 Million Jack in the Box Tacos a Year, and No One Knows Why.") Based on a recent tasting, Jack in the Box needn't lose even a moment of sleep over BK's problematic venture into Tacolandia. In fact, JITB is poised to reassert its drive-through taco supremacy by test-marketing mini versions of its tacos. Currently available in Austin, Dallas and Fresco, Calif., the teeny tacos are offered as five for $1, or 25 in a $5 taco box that comes with three dipping sauces. Bring it. <strong>RECIPE:</strong> How to make a casserole with Jack in the Box tacos, on HoustonChronicle.com We compared the new BK tacos to Jack's tacos and to the classic crunchers from Taco Bell, another fast-food taco staple. Read it and weep. <img alt="Two of the new Burger King tacos. Verdict: Not good." data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/04/20/41/17893466/3/420x0.jpg" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/04/20/41/17893466/3/420x0.jpg"></img>
BURGER KING CRISPY TACO
<em><strong>Construction:</strong></em> A mound of seasoned beef deep-fried in a white corn tortilla shell with shredded lettuce and cheese and "savory taco sauce." <em><strong>Taste:</strong></em> The beef was oddly seasoned and left an oily, off-putting taste in the mouth. The flavorless pale corn tortilla was super greasy and the lettuce haphazardly chopped. The company's photos of the taco look absolutely nothing like what we were served. Hugely disappointing. <em><strong>Great with:</strong></em> BK's onion rings <em><strong>Bonus points:</strong></em> None. Demerits for not having packets of hot sauce to augment what the kitchen puts in the taco. <em><strong>Price/calories:</strong></em> $1/170 <em><strong>Grade:</strong></em> F <img alt="Two Jack in the Box tacos with curly fries is an ideal fast-food meal. The tacos, still two for little more than a dollar, are perfection." data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/04/20/41/17893476/3/420x0.jpg" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/04/20/41/17893476/3/420x0.jpg"></img>
JACK IN THE BOX TACO
<em><strong>Construction:</strong></em> Spicy meat filling inside deep-fried corn tortilla filled with spicy sauce, triangle of American cheese and shredded lettuce. <em><strong>Taste:</strong></em> Fans of these tacos have a manic devotion to the (mostly) crispy fried packets that are a road food staple and a favorite post-bar pigging-out option. The tortilla/meat/cheese/lettuce merger is one of perfect balance and comforting textures. <em><strong>Great with:</strong></em> Seasoned curly fries <em><strong>Bonus points:</strong></em> If you order inside the restaurant, the tacos come out hot and fresh on a tray instead of suffocating in the paper envelope of drive-though. It's a revelation. <em><strong>Price/calories:</strong></em> $1.19/344 (two tacos) <em><strong>Grade:</strong></em> A+ (dine-in), B+ (take away) <img alt="Taco Bell's classic crunchy taco is a fast-food favorite for good reason." data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/04/20/41/17893444/3/420x0.jpg" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/04/20/41/17893444/3/420x0.jpg"></img>
TACO BELL CRUNCHY TACO
<em><strong>Construction:</strong></em> Savory, seasoned taco beef in crisp corn tortilla shell with shredded cheese and lettuce. <em><strong>Taste:</strong></em> The bedrock of this high temple of econo-Mex that isn't really Mexican at all. But these are the crunchy tacos we grew up with and will always have a place in our fast-food heart. Cannot be improved. Not even Crunchy Taco Supreme. <em><strong>Great with:</strong></em> New Nacho Fries <em><strong>Bonus points:</strong></em> Unlimited packets of taco sauces in Mild, Hot and Fire. Do not bother with the unappetizing Diablo. <em><strong>Price/calories: </strong></em>$1.29/170 <em><strong>Grade:</strong></em> A <em><strong>Greg Morago writes about food for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Send him news tips at [email protected] Hear him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn about Houston and Texas barbecue culture.</strong></em> <strong>HUNGRY?</strong> Find recipes, food news and restaurant reviews in our weekly <strong>Flavor </strong>newsletter <strong>delivered to your email here</strong>.<strong></strong><em><strong><br></br></strong></em> <img style="border:0px" src="https://i0.wp.com/cukupmakan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/bbbanner728x90-179.gif?fit=728%2C90&ssl=1" width="728" height="90" alt=""><br>All copyrights for this article are reserved to <a href="https://www.houstonchronicle.com/entertainment/restaurants-bars/article/Testing-Burger-King-s-crispy-taco-How-does-it-14114199.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">food</a>