Years ago, Taco Bell told us it was "thinking outside the bun" by furnishing the fast food eating public with alternatives to burgers: taco, burritos, chalupas and gorditas -- all served on some variation of a tortilla. However a couple of months ago, the company rethought its ideas of using bread -- just not in bun form -- when it introduced chicken flatbread sandwiches. And now that Taco Bell has embraced bread with that product launch, the company is continuing the trend with beef -- steak specifically -- in their new Triple Steak Stack sandwich. Here's how it rates:
The Claims: According to Taco Bell's website, the new Triple Steak Steak is a "warm, soft flatbread layered with a triple* portion of 100 percent USDA Select marinated, grilled steak and a delicious, melted three-cheese blend." The "triple" adjective denotes the fact that it has three times the amount of steak when compared to a Steak Taco. Calorie count: 690.
The Verdict: B. The last time I reviewed a "new" Taco Bell item, I was a bit cynical at the use of that trite word of advertising copywriting. Usually when Taco Bell introduces a "new" item, it's nothing new; it's basically the same old ingredients, with one minor tweak, thrown together, and then given a new name for marketability. Not that what it is doing here isn't also a mere reshuffling of inventory -- especially since the company has flatbread laying around -- but for some reason, the Triple Steak Stack does in fact, feel "new" when compared to their usual faux Mexican fare.
As I sampled the Triple Steak Stack, I couldn't help but compare it to a Philly cheesesteak sandwich instead of Mexican food (or Taco Bell's version of it anyway). The steak is chopped, just like a proper cheesesteak, with melted cheese oozing all over it -- just like a proper cheesesteak. It's even in bread, not a tortilla. In my mouth, it tastes like a Philly cheesesteak, and one that isn't half bad either. However, I'm not going to go as far as claim that "Taco Bell is making decent Philly cheesesteak sandwiches now;" I know there are some hardcore Philadelphia boys out there who would be outraged and kick some ass if they knew their hometown sandwich was associated with Taco Bell. I'll just make the analogy that the Triple Steak Stack is to Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, as the other Taco Bell food items are to real Mexican food. In the end, it may not be the real thing, but it's salty, it's filling and cheap -- what chain fast food is anyway.