Taco Bell takes a new approach to attracting customers

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Taco Bell is trying its hand at something a lot different than its customers are used to. Famed Latin chef Lorena Garcia is lending her name to an all new line of menu items with ingredients like citrus herb marinated chicken, cilantro rice, and black beans. We asked Denver’s own TV chef, Jenna Johansen, to give us her take on the items.

First up was the chicken cantina bowl.

“That’s not bad guacamole for fast food guacamole,” Johansen said, tasting the bowl. “That rice is a little overcooked. And that corn salsa is very sweet. For the money I’d rather go to Chipotle, where I see them grill the meat and I know the rice is fresh.”

Next up was the cantina burrito.

“I taste the citrus, I taste the marinade, it’s a lot juicier than what was on that salad,” Johansen said. “I think that chicken is pretty good. I’m embarrassed to say it, but the chicken is pretty good.”

Chef Garcia’s name is plastered across these new items and they look different from anything else at Taco Bell. Would this chef eat them again?

“I would give this a solid B,” she said, pointing to the cantina burrito. “I would give this salad a solid B-minus.”

Johansen said the items were far better than she expected. Taco Bell hopes customers will feel the same way, and they’re betting on that with a guarantee: if you don’t like it, they’ll replace it with something else.

The new menu items all come with chicken, steak, and vegetarian options. The bowls and burritos will run you $4.79 while the steak options cost $4.99.