The Quesalupa from Taco Bell has been one of the most hyped items of Taco Bell’s release. We first learned about it early last year from a trademark filing. Since then, it was tested in Ohio and has been slowly pushed back until it got its big “Super Bowl release.” Was all the hype worth it? We’ll find out.
While the Quesalupa is nationally available today, I got in on the presale and had one on Saturday. The Quesalupa has regular taco ingredients inside a Chalupa shell with melted cheese baked inside. Taco Bell describes it as “melted pepper jack cheese stuffed inside a flaky, crispy shell…layered with seasoned beef, crisp lettuce, real cheddar cheese, sour cream and diced ripe tomatoes.”
I picked one up for $2.99.
The Qusalupa is interesting, because I think the shell could be a new delivery system that affects future items.
Overall, the size is about the same as a regular Chalupa, that is to say, slightly larger than a regular crunchy taco. The inside ingredients are identical to a Crunchy Taco Supreme, although I did enjoy this quite a bit more than a Taco Supreme in that the Chalupa shell is flaky with a softer consistency like a flour tortilla.
I’m not going to rehash the flavors inside the shell, but I did want to mention that I think the flavor combinations with the cheese inside the shell went together well. The Quesalupa is filling. I do want to speak at length about the shell itself.
The cheese inside the shell is uneven. I expected the cheese to be inside the shell completely. Unfortunately, the cheese is only around the bottom around the crease of the shell. The sides of the shell had no cheese at all. This made each bite around the bottom delicious, but the bites around the top were cheese-less. Furthermore, the amount of cheese was very thin. You can see from my pictures below, but you can see how thin the shell gets. I expected more cheese inside.
The shell itself is not a typical Chalupa shell. It is more of the consistency of a flour tortilla in how flat and pressed it is than a Chalupa shell. I love flour tortillas, and I did enjoy this, but it lacked the crunch I was expecting, and ended up being quite flaky.
As for value, I think the price was too high, although they were close to what I’d consider acceptable. I think they should have charged $2.49 or even up to $2.69. I think it is a similar price point to the Cheesy Gordita Crunch.
Overall, with as much hype as the Quesalpua had, I do think they missed the mark. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a delicious addition to the Taco Bell menu. The flavors really work well together, and it is very filling. The cheese baked into the shell was somewhat lacking, and probably more of a novelty. It didn’t quite elevate the overall experience.
However, that being said, I do think they could use the Quesalupa as a starting point to some other unique items. One of my complaints was the lack of anything crunchy. You maybe could layer this with a hard taco shell on the inside. I would also like to see the Quesalupa shell with maybe spicy chicken chipotle taco ingredients added in. Hopefully Taco Bell can use what they learned to make something greater.
Fast Food Watch Grade 4/5
I might be a little too generous with my score, but I do appreciate the effort in innovating their brand. I would eat this again, although it doesn’t quite hold a candle to the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, or more importantly, the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch. The Quesalupa was delicious, but the hype might have made it something it couldn’t have possibly reached.
Taco Bell Quesalupa Nutrition Information
Sodium: 890 mg