May 2, 2024

Review: Taco Bell - Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries

A plate of Taco Bell's Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries next to a quarter.

Taco Bell's Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries feature seasoned fries topped with slow-roasted chicken, nacho cheese sauce, three-cheese blend (cheddar, pepper jack, and mozzarella), Secret Aardvark Serrabanero Ranch Sauce, pico de gallo, and reduced-fat sour cream.

An order cost me $5.49.

The new Secret Aardvark Serrabanero Ranch Sauce had a cream color that was lightly tinged with green. It's a mix of Secret Aardvark's Serrabanero Sauce (which is made with tomatillos, green serrano peppers, and green habanero peppers) and ranch.

Side view of Taco Bell's Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries.

I thought the sauce would be grassier from the Serrano peppers but it was mostly tangy and creamy with a light sweetness and mild fruity note. The spiciness of the sauce fell somewhere between mild and medium in terms of heat. It didn't make for a big difference from Taco Bell's previous spicy ranch-type sauces given the similar base but there were slight differences here and there.

In addition to the new, limited-time sauce, Taco Bell's Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries were notable for the inclusion of new slow-roasted chicken and pico de gallo from the Cantina Chicken menu. Previous topped nacho fries usually included steak or ground beef and diced tomatoes.

The chicken was lightly seasoned. The flavor was hard to pick out with stronger notes from the other ingredients but the texture was great. The meat was tender and juicy with a nice toothy bite to it. It is much better than Taco Bell's grilled chicken. However, it was lukewarm here in a way that made me wonder if I would be paying for it on the toilet later.

The pico de gallo didn't feel or taste any different from when they previously offered it with the Cantina Bell menu. It wasn't overly mushy and contributed a fresh tanginess and some color from the bits of cilantro (a deep green has been largely missing from Taco Bell menu items since they got rid of green onions). I also got just a bit of a bite from the onions.

Taco Bell's nacho sauce was creamy but rather mild as it's largely overshadowed by the other Serrabanero Ranch Sauce and even the sour cream. I've eaten quite a bit of it with all the various limited-time nachos and nacho fries that Taco Bell has put out over the years and have found that it shines best when paired with one or two other ingredients or just eaten plain with chips. There's a touch of heat and jalapeno flavor to it that just disappears when pitted against stronger flavors. The little shreds of cheese fare similarly. It would need to be piled on to offer more than just texture.

The inclusion of sour cream is a bit of a head-scratcher as there are already similar creamy and tangy elements between the nacho cheese and the Serrabanero Ranch Sauce. It ended up taking away from the main characters of the dish. If any of you guys are for the inclusion of sour cream, I'm really curious as to why.

A forkful of Taco Bell's Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries.

I haven't had a lot of luck with Taco Bell's seasoned fries. More often than not they're not all that crispy when I get them. The seasoned fries offered a nice flavor with underlying tender potatoes but the crust was more soft and crispy and they weren't all that hot (which meant they had probably been sitting in the warmer for a while).

Overall, Taco Bell's Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries were a mixed bag for me. Less would have been more here. Just fries, chicken, Serrabanero Ranch Sauce, pico de gallo, and more nacho cheese would have highlighted the ingredients better and would have felt more like nacho fries.

Nutritional Info - Taco Bell Secret Aardvark Nacho Fries
Calories - 510
Fat - 32g (Saturated Fat - 6g)
Sodium - 1160mg
Carbs - 42g (Sugar - 3g)
Protein - 15g

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