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Nov 4, 2013

Taste Test: Del Taco - New Epic Burritos

Del Taco is coming out with new Epic Burritos starting this Thursday, November 7, but I got to preview them early at Del Taco headquarters in Lake Forest, CA.

The new burritos are meant to compete with similar fast casual options i.e. Chipotle and will be a permanent part of the Del Taco menu. As such, the new burritos range from 14- to 18.5-ounces in weight making them among the largest burrito offered by the chain. The tortilla for the new burritos are also new and are meant to deliver more flavor including "buttery" notes and a "toasty" flavor when grilled.

The burrito will be offered at $4.99 each.

The Epic Burrito line up consists of three burritos: the Epic Fajita Burrito, Epic Steak and Potato, and Epic Chicken Chipotle Ranch.

The Epic Fajita Burrito was the first burrito I sampled. It features a filling of freshly-grilled chicken or steak (mine came with chicken), fire-roasted bell peppers and corn, pinto beans, cotija cheese, Fresca lime rice, black beans, sour cream, and guacamole.

There's a lot of flavors going on with the fajita burrito and they worked well together. The corn was surprisingly pronounced with a strong sweetness. The bell peppers retained a bit of fibrous texture and the beans provided an earthy base. The chicken was tender and flavorful. The guacamole was a bit hard to taste though.

Next was the Epic Steak and Potato which is a ball thrown straight down the middle to Del Taco's core demographic. It comes filled with freshly-grilled carne asada steak, Crinkle-Cut fries, chipotle sauce, bacon pieces, freshly-grated cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

"Steak and Potato" is an apt name for this one as they are by far the most prominent flavor. The steak could have been more tender but had a really nice texture and a fair dose of seasoning that pairs really well with the fries. The fries weren't crisp though. Fortunately, there isn't much in the way of sauces beyond the chipotle so that it's unlikely that the fries would get soggy before you ate them. The bacon while also not crisp adds bit of smokiness.

The cheese and sour cream don't figure into the burrito very much and offered a light touch of flavor.

I can't help but wonder if having an open-ended burrito would help the fries and bacon stay crispy.

Last, I tried the Epic Chipotle Chicken Ranch Burrito. It features marinated grilled chicken, rice, chipotle and ranch sauces, bacon pieces, freshly-grated cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, guacamole and handmade pico de gallo salsa.

The Epic Chipotle Chicken Ranch is my least favorite of the three burritos. While the rice has a nice flavor, it comprised about half of the burrito filling, which was way too much. The main flavor beyond the rice that I picked up was mostly the sauces. Between the two, all the other ingredients felt a bit lost in the shuffle.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Epic Steak and Potato Burrito and Epic Fajita Burrito out of Del Taco's new Epic Burrito line. The Steak and Potato really delivers on the meat and potatoes without too much in the way of distractions, while the Fajita Burrito is a bit opposite in offering a lot of different flavors and textures that were well-balanced. I'd skip on the rice-centric Chipotle Chicken Ranch though.

To promote the new Epic Burritos, Del Taco will be offering a free medium drink to customers who purchase an Epic Burrito between November 11 and 20, 2013.

Nutritional info
Epic Fajita Burrito – 940 calories
Epic Steak & Potato Burrito – 1020 calories
Epic Chicken Chipotle Ranch Burrito – 1160 calories


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19 comments :

  1. I love the McRib! I love the BBQ tender taste I get when I devour one of these. I still say it should be on the permanent menu.

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  2. What are the calorie amounts going to be? also, I am hating on the foil wrapper; there is nothing less appealing than food wrapped in tin foil.

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  3. Adding a McRib to your value meal for a buck is a steal!

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  4. I'll look into it and will post the calories if possible.

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  5. Why can't we have these year round like they do in other countries?

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  6. I hope this continues and gets more popular. Lets see habanero slices next year.

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  7. thank you :)

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  8. I asked Del Taco's facebook page and they just gave me this phone number 800-852-7204. The number is to a comment line and for their Del Taco gift cards.

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  9. Haha. I'm still waiting to hear back myself.

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  10. So do they offer you the Free Medium drink with or without coupon?

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  11. Take a look at this, and tell me if you still love that "mcrib" gross http://gothamist.com/2013/11/12/this_is_what_a_mcrib_actually_looks.php

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  12. I tried The McRib a couple of years ago and the sandwich I received was sort of luke warm. Luke warm pork leads to Trichinosis in my mind, so I requested a replacement "hot" sandwich.


    Unfortunately after waiting about 15 minutes I received an even colder pork specimen. As a self respecting southerner I realized how frivolous this experience had been. I then proceeded to grab a real (pulled) pork sandwich to ease my frustration.

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  13. The price was not $4.99 here. I paid $6.79 for a Epic Fajita Burrito. It was great and the free medium drink helped but expensive for the price.

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  14. The McRib has not been available in Northwest Ohio this time around.

    This story may be the explaination:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/no-national-launch-mcrib-amid-155818423.html
    At least the local Burger King has their rib sandwich around here and it's only a buck.

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  15. I'll update the post accordingly. Thanks!

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  16. I got the calorie counts and posted them above.

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  17. I have eaten the Chipotle ranch burrito, taste great - couldn't find the calorie count anywhere and then i found this site. My biggest complaint with Del Taco was that all of their burritos barely had anything in them. These level the playing field.

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  18. So I have eaten the Chipotle ranch burrito, taste great - couldn't find the calorie count anywhere and then i found this site. My biggest complaint with Del Taco was that all of their burritos barely had anything in them. These level the playing field.

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