Along with many of the new chicken related breakfast items that Taco Bell released last week, they also had several normal menu items. The biggest being the new Chickstar, which comes in three flavors: Mango BBQ, Bacon Ranch, and Chipotle.
It appears that Chickstar is going to be a big deal for Taco Bell going forward. The name has been trademarked, which meals we are likely to see Taco Bell experiment with the Chickstar in the future.
The Taco Bell Chickstar is very much like the Crunchwrap in size and ingredients. The major difference is the two large pieces of breaded chicken that count as the protein. Taco Bell describes it as:
“A warm, soft, flour tortilla filled with new premium all-white-meat crispy chicken that’s marinated in bold Mexican spices, rolled in a crunchy corn tortilla coating, and crisped to perfection combined with flavorful bacon, Spicy Ranch sauce, real cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes and then wrapped up and grilled for maximum portability.”
We have seen the Crunchwrap get made into many different incarnations in the last year, including the heavily marketed AM Crunchwrap as well as the Crunchwrap Sliders late last year. The Chickstar isn’t anything new, but the large pieces of Chicken can add another dimension to what Taco Bell does with the “portable lunch”.
I ordered the Bacon Ranch Chickstar and paid $3.99.
Overall, the Bacon Ranch Chickstar tasted much like the Bacon Ranch Crunchwrap Slider, with the large pieces of chicken being the major difference in flavor and texture.
The two chicken pieces are breaded with a tortilla chip outer layer, which gives the extra crunch. It is a unique texture that I haven’t seen with other chicken pieces before. Unfortunately some of that crunch was lost with the layers of tortilla shell encasing the chicken. The flavors on the chicken are really good too, with the typical garlic and onion.
I really love the flavor of the ranch sauce and bacon combination. The flavors really go together well with the lettuce and tomatoes and give the entire thing a “chicken wrap” taste like something I’d get from Wendy’s. It is no doubt that with this offering, Taco Bell is trying to branch out into other markets, and this is an excellent addition. It is like a chicken salad in a wrap. Most of the ingredients work well, however the cheese just didn’t stand out. It disappears with the strong flavors from other ingredients.
My major complaint with the Bacon Ranch Chickstar is the unevenness of the ingredients. With the large pieces of chicken, you don’t get a smooth consistent flavor and texture from one bite to the next. Some bites had no chicken, while some were almost only chicken. Another downside to the Cruchwrap food delivery method is I tend to eat it vertically instead of horizontally. I found that the first half of the Chickstar is drier, as the ranch sauce has moved to the bottom, while the last couple of bites are almost all ranch sauce. This isn’t a major complaint, but it is a problem I’ve had with other Crunchwraps that use a thinner sauce. Also I probably would have preferred smaller chunks of chicken over large slabs, but I am just nitpicking here.
Overall, I think Taco Bell really nailed the Bacon Ranch Chickstar, just as I felt they did an excellent job with the Bacon Ranch Crunchwrap Slider. My only sticking point is the price. At about $4, the Chickstar is not the typical value I have come to expect from Taco Bell. I understand that the ingredients are more premium in quality; however I would feel much more comfortable ordering this again at a price point of about $2.99. When I spend $4 at Taco Bell, I expect to walk away completely full, and after this, I had to supplement my hunger with a Doritos Locos Taco.
FastFoodWatch.com Grade: 3.5/4
If this were a dollar cheaper, I would have given it a solid 4 or 4.5, but it loses points on price. Overall it was very delicious, and I’m impressed with the taste of the chicken. I might splurge and try the Chipotle version, because I think I would personally enjoy that even more.
Taco Bell Bacon Ranch Chickstar Nutritional Information