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Pat Eats Garbage Food: Fries and cheese (and sodium and fat!)

taco bell nacho fries

Taco Bell Nacho Fries: $1.29 worth of delicious goodness!

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: It’s Taco Bell Nacho Fries this week. Regular readers will note that Taco Bell is featured in this space more frequently than other fast food joints. There’s a reason. Nobody is more dedicated to the garbage-food aesthetic. While other chains are offering, like, bacon-Swiss steakhouse burgers or fresh-cut onion rings or whatever, Taco Bell is over here going, “Uh, why don’t we put the Fritos IN the burrito,” or, in this case, “How about fries — wait for it — with nacho cheese?” God bless Taco Bell for knowing itself and its customer base.

The damage: $1.29, which is a steal.

The other damage: 320 calories, 18 grams fat, less than 5 mg cholesterol, 630 mg sodium, 35 grams carbs, 2 grams sugar, which isn’t really all that bad. (This is a side item that accounts for more than a quarter of your recommended daily sodium and fat. But, hey! Only 2 grams sugar!)

Official description: “Crisp, boldly seasoned fries served with a warm Nacho Cheese dipping sauce.” Also: “We know. … You love the Taco Bell Nacho Fries as much as we do, however, soon they will be gone. Check your local participating Taco Bell locations near you to see if and where they are still being served.”

My description: They’re great. I mean, they’re fries with nacho cheese on them. So they’re great. What’s funny about the official description is the trumped-up scarcity angle. “Better get those Nacho Fries now before Taco Bell stops selling them. Certainly there’s no other way to accomplish the fries-and-cheese combo. They really cracked that code.”

How does it feel? It feels fine if you just get the Nacho Fries. But nobody’s going through the Taco Bell drive-thru and ordering one $1.29 item. Gotta get the other three-quarters of your daily sodium and fat.

Will I eat them again? If I can find them. I understand they’re quite scarce.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10. They’re neither novel nor complex. But they are fries with cheese.

Reach Pat Muir at

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