Jul 11, 2014

News: Taco Bell's Cantina Bell "Evolves" Into Power Cantina Menu

Taco Bell is switching it up with their Cantina Bell menu by nixing some ingredients and focusing on the protein aspect with a new name: Power Cantina. Additionally, they've announced that they will test Power Greek Yogurt as well as Power Breakfast Bowls and Burritos.

The "evolved" Power Cantina Bell menu launches on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Instead of the previous focus on fast-casual quality ingredients, the menu touts more than 20 grams of protein and less than 500 calories per bowl or burrito. (The soon-to-be-departed Cantina Bell Bowls and Burritos clock in at 720-750 calories and 20-34 grams of protein per burrito and 510-550 calories and 14-27 grams of protein per bowl.)

So what's different? Corn salsa and cilantro dressing will not be found in the new menu and are being removed from the Taco Bell menu entirely (I really liked the corn salsa too!). In their place are shredded cheddar cheese, avocado ranch sauce, and reduced fat sour cream.

Additionally, the citrus herb chicken is being replaced with new "Fire-Grilled Chicken," which I was told is made with a new "Mexican-inspired marinade." It sounds like they're going back to a flavor profile that's similar to the pre-Cantina Bell chicken.

Basically, this leaves guacamole, pico de gallo, black beans, and Latin rice as the holdovers from the Cantina Bell menu.

So what's in a Power Cantina Bowl/Burrito? The Power Cantina Bowl features fire-grilled chicken or grilled marinated steak, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheddar cheese, avocado ranch sauce, and reduced fat sour cream on a bed of black beans and Latin rice. The Power Cantina Burrito takes the same, minus the black beans and rice, and wraps it up in a flour tortilla.

The suggested prices for the Cantina Power Burrito is $3.79 with chicken and $3.99 with steak (the Cantina Bell Burrito was closer to the $5 mark). The suggested prices for the Cantina Power Bowl is $4.99 for the chicken version and $5.19 for steak (that's pretty much the same as the Cantina Bell Bowl). There's also a vegetarian version (with extra black beans) at $3.79 for the burrito and $4.99 for the bowl.

If the Cantina Power menu sounds a bit familiar to some of you, they were testing a few versions of it last year.

Taco Bell will be looking to expand the "Power" concept with the test of the Power Breakfast menu out in Omaha, Nebraska come August 4, 2014. The Power Breakfast menu will include a Power Breakfast Steak Bowl and Burrito as well as Power Greek Yogurt.

The Power Breakfast Bowl features grilled steak, pico de gallo, and cheddar cheese, on a bed of eggs, while the burrito takes the same and wraps it up in a flour tortilla. The price is $2.79 each.

Power Greek Yogurt is sourced from a boutique Greek yogurt brand called "Three Happy Cows," and will be vanilla bean-flavored topped with granola. It contains 240 calories and 17 grams of protein. Pricing comes out to $2.49 a pop.

If the test goes well, you can look for it to appear nationally sometime in the first half of 2015.