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New Taco Bell Menu Item Combines Two Fast-Food Favorites

It's not Mexican Pizza, but the chain has added a menu item that's well outside its core Mexican offerings.

Taco Bell follows no rules. It's ostensibly a Mexican chain, but it has readily offered menu items that don't fit that tradition.

This is the company that decided that a Dorito  (PEP) - Get Free Report makes for an excellent taco. The Yum Brands (YUM) - Get Free Report chain has been as willing to build its brand around its variations of Mountain Dew as it has been with its many, many variants on tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and other Mexican favorites.

Taco Bell has used the marketing phrase "think outside the bun." That line made clear that the company offers something that McDonald's (MCD) - Get Free Report, Wendy's (WEN) - Get Free Report, and Restaurant Brands International's (QSR) - Get Free Report Burger King do not. But those differences really stop at the proverbial bun.

No bun-based menu item or, dare we say, hamburgers appear on the Taco Bell menu. The chain does, however, have its variation of another fast-food classic: the french fry.

Do french fries fit on the Taco Bell menu? No, not in any sense of classic menu food, but a chain that has used fried chicken as a bun doesn't seem fully bound by any interpretation of what its menu should be. 

Now, Taco Bell has a new variant of its Nacho Fries that is in no way traditional but should delight its fan base.

Taco Bell Nacho Fries Lead JS

Taco Bell Has a New Take on Nacho Fries

Taco Bell likes to take the same ingredients and find new ways to combine them. It does this across its entire menu, mixing and matching meats and toppings.

That makes sense in an era where menu simplification matters. With more people ordering for delivery and picking up at the drive-through, Taco Bell has engineered its menu to serve people as fast as possible. Its new Nacho Fries variant fits that model (and Mexican Pizza didn't).

The new limited-time-offer, Steak White Hot Ranch Fries. fits that model perfectly. It combines the existing Nacho Fries mostly with toppings that are already on the Taco Bell menu.

"The topped fry offering features seasoned fries topped with warm nacho cheese sauce, marinated grilled steak, diced tomatoes, three-cheese blend, reduced-fat sour cream, and new White Hot Ranch Sauce (made with buttermilk and ghost chili peppers), Brand Eating reported.

You can order the fries on their own or wrapped in a burrito. Taco Bell also offers a vegetarian version, which substitutes beans for steak.

Taco Bell Never Stops Changing Its Menu

While McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King have been adding and subtracting limited-time offers, Taco Bell has been the king of the LTO. The chain loves trying new ideas and it's perfectly willing to push boundaries.

It has done that steadily even after it pared down its menu due to the pandemic.

"We’re clearing space on our menu to create a more efficient Taco Bell experience," the chain said at the time.

But the company also made clear that a simpler menu did not mean that it would not be trying new things.

"While some old favorites may be retiring, the continued creativity coming from our Food Innovation Team is non-stop," Taco Bell said. 

And "while change is hard, a simplified menu and innovation process will leave room for new fan favorites, continued progress in categories such as plant-based diets, and even opportunities for the return of some classics on a limited-time basis."

Nacho Fries has been one of those innovations, as the chain has offered them in a variety of ways over the past few years -- and it's logical to expect more to come.