Apr 24, 2013

Review: Taco Bell - Cantina Steak Burrito

Taco Bell's Cantina Steak Burrito was recently updated with new, thick-cut marinated steak. In addition to the steak, the burrito features Latin rice, black beans, romaine lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, corn and pepper salsa, and creamy cilantro dressing.

My local Taco Bell has them on the menu for $4.99 each.

You might notice the grill marks on my Cantina Steak Burrito; that doesn't come standard, but you can request it on any burrito on the Taco Bell menu. I like the extra crispiness it adds to the tortilla.

The Cantina Steak Burrito is pretty much the Cantina Bowl, but wrapped up in a flour tortilla.

The steak is an improvement over the previous version. In feel, it's not as squishy or rubbery and has some meat texture to it. Where the old steak was seasoned similar to Taco Bell's ground beef, the new one offers more of a departure with a different set of spices and the slight hint of heat.

While lettuce might be fine in a salad wrap where it's mostly accompanied by cold ingredients, it doesn't work so well in a burrito with warm steak, beans, and rice. It wilts and/or steams pretty fast, which is not so great and that's what happened here.

The rice and beans worked out well and each offered a different flavor: a bit cilantro lime for the rice and an earthiness from the beans.

I saw the guacamole, but it got a bit lost in the shuffle tastewise inside the burrito. The same thing occurred with the cilantro dressing.

I would have liked more of the corn salsa and less of the pico de gallo. The corn salsa and pico de gallo were a bit unevenly distributed, which resulted in some very tangy bites.

Overall, I didn't like the Cantina Steak Burrito as much as the Cantina Bowl. It was a little too busy with ingredients and sometimes overwhelmed by its stronger flavors (mostly tanginess). The Cantina line was created with the bowl in mind and it shows a bit with the burrito, which is shoehorned into a more portable alternative.

Nutritional Info - Taco Bell Cantina Steak Burrito (458g)
Calories - 780 (from Fat - 250)
Fat - 28g (Saturated Fat - 7g)
Sodium - 1900mg
Carbs - 98g (Sugar - 7g)
Protein - 33g


  1. I hate rice. I wish they would ditch the rice as it is just a cheap filler. Then again I could just ask for no rice in mine. Everything from Taco Bell seems to be unevenly distributed. That is one thing they should work on

  2. Yeah, that's why I prefer the bowl. Can just spoon the ingredients out. I prefer the Taco Bell burritos with fewer ingredients; they tend to work out better.

  3. I absolutely love the chicken cantina burrito and bowl I order without the black beans perhaps I am an unsophisticated simpleton but I much prefer TB burrito and bowl to Chipotles although they are good as well,,TB=Yummy

  4. i got the cantina bowl when it first came out and was right away overwhelmed with an intense sugary sweetness.

    its as if they made a decent tasting fresh salsa and then said, "ok now lets add sugar to it".

    i contacted taco bell to tell them about my dissatisfaction, and would have tried again if they offered to replace it, but they did not.

    not worth the $4 imo. if you're going to taco bell, dont pretend its not fast food.

  5. I got a drive-thru local Mexican place that has legit ingredients and flavors, no fillers, for less than that POS burrito. Any major city should. I'm never eating at TB again.

  6. I just tried the veggie cantina burrito and I was surprised that I liked it. I rarely grab fast food, being a vegetarian there isn't much to choose from. I had low expectations anyway since it's fast food. I'm happy that they offer a better option than bean burrito ad lettuce and tomato. It's a lot of food to have in one sitting great to split with someone.


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