Jul 28, 2014

Review: Taco Bell - Chicken Cantina Power Bowl

Taco Bell's Chicken Cantina Power Bowl is an update to the now-discontinued Cantina Bowl and features marinated, fire-grilled white meat chicken, romaine lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, avocado ranch dressing, shredded cheddar cheese, and reduced-fat sour cream, on a bed of Latin rice and black beans.

It cost me $4.99 for a bowl.

What's new here is the chicken, avocado ranch dressing, cheese, and sour cream. What's gone along with the old bowl are the citrus herb chicken, corn salsa and cilantro dressing.

The new chicken was a little dry in some pieces, had a more subdued tang, and lacked the herby seasoning of its predecessor. It's really a move back to a more "Taco Bell" taste profile. For whatever reason, my chicken was buried under the lettuce.

The avocado ranch dressing is mostly ranch with a touch of creamy avocado. It's got more punch than the cilantro dressing and is also a more familiar flavor.

The cheese and sour cream adds a very standard Taco Bell one-two combo that finds itself in probably half the menu, if not more.

What's really left to offer a bit of a different flavor than the typical Taco Bell taste are the black beans, pico de gallo, and guac, and they do a decent job of it.

Overall, what's really happening is the new Cantina Power Bowl brings the Cantina Bowl back into the homey confines of the typical Taco Bell "taste." While it still tastes pretty good, it does narrow the band of available ingredients and flavors on the menu and in the bowl. It's not going to win Taco Bell any new converts, but should please the rank and file.

Nutritional Info - Taco Bell Power Cantina Bowl - Chicken (370g)
Calories - 490 (from Fat - 180)
Fat - 20g (Saturated Fat - 6g)
Sodium - 1270mg
Carbs - 49g (Sugar - 3g)
Protein - 29g

For reference purposes, I've included the nutrition info for the previous bowl below (you'll probably notice that the "Power" prefix is more marketing rather than signifying any substantial protein increase):

Nutritional Info - Taco Bell Cantina Bowl - Chicken (438g)
Calories - 560 (from Fat - 200)
Fat - 22g (Saturated Fat - 3.5g)
Sodium - 1520mg
Carbs - 64g (Sugar - 4g)
Protein - 26g