I love newspaper food pages, what with their Bolognese sauce recipes and reviews of locavore bistros. They tell us how to eat well, and that’s something of real value. Putting thought into what we put in our bodies is never a bad thing.
That said, sometimes I just wanna grab some garbage food and shove greedy handfuls of it into my dumb face. There’s not much coverage of junk food in the food pages, and this feature seeks to remedy that.
In every biweekly edition of Pat Eats Garbage Food, I’ll review a different fast food item or convenience store snack and let you know what works and what doesn’t. (You’ll note I didn’t say what’s good and what’s bad; it’s all bad. That’s the point.)
■ The food: We’ve got a real corker of a garbage food for you this week. Yessir. It’s the Taco Bell Breakfast Crunchwrap — the bacon version —and it’s a whiz-bang, boom-shakalaka, homina-homina-homina, rama-lama-ding-dong of a drive-thru breakfast item. It is among the finest fast-food, uh ... sandwiches? No, it’s not a sandwich exactly. Finest fast food ... things.
■ The damage: $2.99, which seems high for anything at Taco Bell. Then again, back when I was growing up, a Taco Bell taco only cost 59 cents. And two of them, somehow, only cost 39 cents. So my perspective is skewed. Really, $2.99 is a bargain.
■ The other damage: 660 calories, 42 grams fat, 145 mg cholesterol, 1,280 mg sodium, 3 grams sugar, none of which is nearly as disconcerting as the mile-long ingredients list. There’s sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate, sodium benzoate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, disodium inosinate, and calcium disodium. And those are just the ingredients with “sodium” in the name.
■ Official description: There’s a very long, focus-groupy, aimed-at-hipsters, faux-absurdist rant about the Breakfast Crunchwrap at www.tacobell.com. It’s headlined “circles are for squares,” and it posits the vaguely hexagonal Crunchwrap shape as superior. I found this promo copy insufferable. Rather than pasting the whole thing in this space, here’s a context-free sentence: “A payphone, you ask?”
■ My description: It’s a hundred times better than the non-breakfast Taco Bell Crunchwrap and better than all other fast-food breakfast sandwiches except McDonald’s Sausage McGriddles. It’s ingenious in both form and function but also intuitive: bacon, eggs, cheese and hashbrowns all wrapped in a tortilla and pressed together. The only thing stranger than the fact it was invented at all is the fact it wasn’t invented thousands of years earlier.
■ How does it feel? Eh. Not great. Not terrible.
■ Will I eat it again? It’s hard not to eat one every day. So, yes.
■ Overall rating: 9 out of 10, among the finest items ever dreamed up by the deranged lunatics who create Taco Bell menu items.