Oct 13, 2013

Review: El Pollo Loco - Puffy Shell Tacos

El Pollo Loco's Puffy Shell Taco's main feature is a thick flour tortilla that has been lightly fried to puff up while retaining a "super-crisp" crust. They come in three varieties: Chicken & Chorizo, Chicken Avocado, and Chicken Guacamole.

They come two to an order for $5.49. I went for a mix-and-match with a Chicken & Chorizo Puffy Shell Taco and Chicken Avocado Puffy Shell Taco.

Sure enough, the shells have a light crispness to them from frying without being too oily. I wouldn't call them "super-crisp" though and they tastes like run-of-the-mill-tortillas otherwise, albeit somewhat chewier due to the frying. I thought they might be like a Taco Bell Chalupa shell, but they aren't nearly as fried and the Chalupa is more a flatbread rather than a tortilla.

The Chicken & Chorizo taco comes with shredded, flame-grilled chicken, pork chorizo, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, cabbage, poblano salsa, and pico de gallo.

The chicken was flavorful and juicy, but a little sparse. The chorizo added a bit of spice, but the cabbage was a little bitter. The poblano salsa didn't taste like poblano and managed an overwhelming tanginess instead. I didn't care for it.

The Chicken Avocado Poblano Puffy Shell Taco features the same chicken, cheese, and pico de gallo, but also comes with a lettuce blend, poblano cream sauce, and avocado slices.

The Chicken Avocado balanced out a lot better than the Chicken & Chorizo. I still couldn't pick out the poblano flavor but the combination of lettuce, cream sauce, and a lone buttery slice of avocado complemented the base ingredients in a familiar but enjoyable fashion.

Overall, my experience with El Pollo Loco's Puffy Shell Tacos was a mixed bag. I enjoyed the Chicken Avocado Poblano version but the not so much the Chicken and Chorizo. The shell was interesting but rather ordinary.

Nutritional Info - El Pollo Loco Chicken & Chorizo Puffy Shell Tacos (6.62 oz)
Calories - 400 (from Fat - 200)
Fat - 23g (Saturated Fat - 7g)
Sodium - 940mg
Carbs - 32g (Sugar - 1g)
Protein - 18g

Nutritional Info - El Pollo Chicken Avocado Poblano Loco Puffy Shell Tacos (6.67 oz)
Calories - 440 (from Fat - 230)
Fat - 26g (Saturated Fat - 8g)
Sodium - 970mg
Carbs - 32g (Sugar - 1g)
Protein - 20g


  1. I think that might actually be salsa verde. It would be tangy from the tomatillos, and does include some poblanos very often.

  2. Amusing that the square shape is a selling point.

  3. I think you're right. They listed it as "poblano salsa" though so that's what I put down. There was just too much of it and no strong flavor to counter it.


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