I really couldn’t bell-ieve it

Xicret menus, Xiqing Wang

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Rated 5/5 Belles





You’ve all read about how much the $5 Cravings Deal impressed me, so just imagine my xi-tement when I saw Taco Bell released a new $5 combo, the Naked Chicken Chalupa box. I’ll describe this item in greater detail later, but for now, just know that a Naked Chicken Chalupa is a chalupa with an all crispy chicken shell.

Taco Bell offers two choices for the Naked Chicken Chalupa box – mild and wild – with the variation in spice level seen in the Naked Chicken Chalupa, itself. Knowing my extremely high tolerance for spice and feeling particularly adventurous, I opted for the wild box.

I think that it’s also important to note that I did not actually receive a box. Instead the items came in a standard Taco Bell paper sack, which is perfectly fine, since it’s what’s on the the inside that matters. That being said, though, I almost want to claim false advertising because I was initially promised a Naked Chicken Chalupa box, not a Naked Chicken Chalupa paper sack. I feel super neutral about it.

This box contained one Naked Chicken Chalupa, one crunchy taco, one nacho cheese Doritos Locos Tacos, and a medium soda. Taco Bell is already reasonably priced, seeing as it’s fast food, but I wanted to see just how much I saved by purchasing this combo rather than buying all of the items separately. So, as always, while crunching a taco, I also crunched some numbers:

Naked Chicken Chalupa: $2.99

Crunchy taco: $1.19*

Nacho cheese Doritos Locos Tacos: $1.59*

Medium soda: $1.99*

Total: $7.76 plus tax

$5 Cravings Deal: $5.00 plus tax

*Prices according to https://www.tacobell.com/

This box’s value, if you recall, is actually less than that of the $5 Cravings Deal, which is only slightly upsetting. You’re still getting a deal by purchasing the box instead of buying the items separately, and in my opinion, the Naked Chicken Chalupa box’s composition is actually much more cohesive than than that of the Cravings Deal.

The Naked Chicken Chalupa is a new item at Taco Bell, and it’s a novel concept. Instead of the hard shell found in a traditional chalupa, the Naked Chicken Chalupa utilizes a crispy shell made solely out of breaded chicken to form the vessel for the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and (pause for drama) avocado ranch sauce (yes, you read that right).

Skeptical at first, I found the sauce to be a perfect complement to the slight kick of the chicken shell. I have zero gripes about the sauce; it was tangy due to the ranch and oddly light green due to the avocado, and I’m glad Taco Bell understands the importance of following culinary trends like the avocado craze. As a whole, the Naked Chicken Chalupa tastes freakishly similar to a McDonald’s McChicken without the bun and in that, it’s somewhat gimmicky. However, as a sucker for reconstruction, I do appreciate Taco Bell’s innovative use of what seems to be a standard spicy chicken patty.

The dependable crunchy taco and the Taco Bell staple, nacho cheese Doritos Locos Tacos, accompany the Naked Chicken Chalupa, forming a harmonious trio. With the progression of interesting shells, the content of this box seems well-thought-out and is conceptually, borderline genius.

Aftermath: I realized that while this box was of a lesser value than the Cravings Deal, I was able to eat my fill and still attend an hour-long jazzercise class afterward. This was a vastly different experience than the action (or lack thereof) that occurred post-Cravings Deal where I passed out on a couch from eating too much and slept for a couple hours.

Final verdict: To be completely honest, if I could be a Disney princess, I would most definitely want to be Mulan (duh). However, I do concede that in the realm of fast food, Taco Belle reigns supreme. Again.