Taco Bell breakfast menu: The biscuit taco joins the waffle taco.

Taco Bell Tacos Keep Getting Less and Less Taco-Like

Taco Bell Tacos Keep Getting Less and Less Taco-Like

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Sept. 5 2014 4:39 PM

Taco Bell Tacos Keep Getting Less and Less Taco-Like

jalapenohoneybiscuit
Name that sauce.

Courtesy of Taco Bell

Some five months have passed since Taco Bell debuted its new breakfast menu complete with its star item, the waffle taco. The syrup-drenched fold of meat and eggs shot Taco Bell into the fast-food spotlight and quickly became the chain's most talked-about item. In recent months, though, the allure of the waffle taco has started to wear off and interest in Taco Bell (at least as tracked by Google Trends) has declined. Which might explain why the Yum! Brands company is now testing a fresh take on its earlier success.

The biscuit taco, as the new item is called, is rolling out in a handful of locations near Orange County and Los Angeles. A company briefing describes it as a "warm, flaky, golden brown biscuit that happens to be shaped in the form of a taco." The biscuit taco can come with egg, cheese, and bacon or sausage for a breakfast flavor or crispy chicken with gravy or honey for a Southern take. The chicken varieties also get a drizzle of Taco Bell's "NEW signature jalapeño honey sauce," which we can only assume is the gelatinous orange goop displayed in the sample photo atop this post.

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Whether the biscuit taco is in fact "warm" and "flaky" is hard to judge from the photo (having not tasted one, Slate will withhold judgment). But one thing can be sure: The biscuit taco is evidence that Taco Bell's taco-branded products are becoming less and less taco-like. Could this signal an existential crisis for the Taco Bell taco? Sure, the waffle taco was a stretch. But the fast-food breakfast wars were raging and Taco Bell needed something that stood out. And with its more pliant shell, fold of meat, and topping of eggs and syrup, at least the waffle taco kind of looked like a taco. The biscuit taco does not. In fact, it sounds like something that would be better off on the morning menu at fellow Yum! Brands chain KFC, perhaps alongside the a.m. original recipe platter or the waffle and eggs. The biscuit taco is many things. A taco is not one of them.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.