Taco Bell has always been the place to go to get your quick fix on a budget, and with their $1 Cravings Menu and its breakfast counterpart, the $1 Morning Value Menu, they’re more devoted than ever to giving you the best bang for your (literal) buck, all day long. But with such a plethora of great options to choose from, how can you decide which one is worth spending your dollar on? That’s where I come in! I’ve valiantly provided my services to you, trying all 20 of Taco Bell’s $1 items to let you know what’s Hot and what’s Not So Hot on this killer value menu.
I arrived at my local Taco Bell drive-thru at around 10am, so that I would have ample time to try their dollar breakfast options before the 11 o’clock switch. For starters, I ordered a Grilled Bacon Breakfast Burrito, Hashbrowns, a Cinnabon Delights 2 Pack, and Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus beverage, $1.00 each. I was served at the window by a very nice, attractive young lady named Serena, who smiled and told me to have a wonderful day. Excellent service! Without further ado, I parked and began to chow down. Here’s how the first round of delectable delights stacked up:
Grilled Bacon Breakfast Burrito– This is just a bona fide classic. A perfect breakfast burrito, beautiful in its simplicity. And what can I say? You can’t beat bacon! 5/5
Hashbrowns– Another breakfast classic, deep-friend to perfection. I daresay these may be the most delicious fast-food hashbrowns I’ve ever had. (Your move, McDonald’s!) 5/5
Cinnabon Delights– Nothing like a sweet treat to spice up a breakfast feast. And who doesn’t love the gooey, sticky deliciousness of Cinnabon? 5/5
Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus– Wow! What a tasty way to rev me up and jumpstart my day. This supercharged beverage got me ready to take on the day. 5/5
Wasting no time, I pulled back around into the drive-thru line to order my second course: a Grilled Fiesta Potato Breakfast Burrito, a Sausage Flatbread Quesadilla, a Bacon Breakfast Soft Taco, and—to keep the party going—another Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus, just a buck apiece. At the window, Serena immediately recognized me. “Back so soon?” she asked me, all smiles. It was becoming pretty clear that Serena was into me. I was flattered, of course, but she was a little too young for me. I explained that I was trying all the dollar items for an article I was working on, and she laughed. She must’ve been a little nervous—probably doesn’t meet very many journalists. Anyway, back to the food:
Grilled Fiesta Potato Breakfast Burrito– Something a little different than the first breakfast burrito. No bacon in this one, unfortunately, but still great in its own way. 5/5
Sausage Flatbread Quesadilla– A very breakfasty spin on a classic Mexican dish. Delicioso! 5/5
Bacon Breakfast Soft Taco– One word: bacon. Need I say more? 5/5
I was starting to feel a bit stuffed at this point, but it was nearing 11 and I still had three more breakfast items to go, so I steeled myself and persevered. Rounding out the breakfast portion of our feast, I placed an order for a Grilled Sausage Breakfast Burrito, a Mini Skillet Bowl, a Sausage Breakfast Soft Taco, and—aw, what the heck—one more Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus (gotta have something to drink, right?), all of this for—you guessed it—one dollar per item. Serena didn’t look quite as happy to see me this time. “Oh… you’re back,” she said, confused. “Yeah, I’m still working on my article. Seven down, 13 to go,” I answered. “Oh,” replied Serena. “I thought you were joking.” Joking? What did she mean? I was starting to realize that this Serena chick was a little screwy. Good thing I had decided not to ask her out. Really dodged a bullet there! But let’s get back to business:
Grilled Sausage Breakfast Burrito– I gotta admit, I’m not a big sausage guy. So for me, this burrito didn’t quite compare to the bacon variety. Still good, though. 4/5
Mini Skillet Bowl– Potatoes, scrambled eggs, nacho cheese sauce, and pico de gallo all in one bowl? Talk about a heaping helping of tasty goodness! I had a little bit of trouble keeping it all down, but under normal circumstances it would have surely hit the spot. 5/5
Sausage Breakfast Soft Taco– Man, I really shouldn’t have saved all the sausage stuff for last. That stuff was not agreeing with me. But that’s my fault. Can’t blame the taco. 4/5
11am rolled around, and it was time to move on to the standard menu. I was definitely feeling a little sick by now, and I was thoroughly jacked-up from all those energy drinks. I decided it was necessary to chasing that high, because—still only halfway through my mission—I didn’t want to risk crashing and blowing the whole thing. I couldn’t order any more of those wonderful Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus drinks at the drive-thru, since it’s apparently only a breakfast item, but luckily they sell them by the can at the 7-11 nearby, so I made a quick detour to load up on that good fuel, and then it was straight back to the drive-thru.
Diving right in, I ordered myself a Beefy Fritos Burrito, a Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla, a Cheesy Roll-Up, and an order of Cinnamon Twists—seriously, can you believe all this great stuff is just a dollar? Maybe my food fatigue was starting to show, because Serena seemed a little hesitant to hand me my bag this time. She even tried to give me a lecture: “For liability reasons, I should inform you that we do not recommend that you consume this many of our products in one sitting.” I just rolled my eyes and told her that I’m a professional food reviewer for a very important website and I know what I’m doing, and she reluctantly gave me the food. Can you believe this girl? I just met her and she’s already trying to tell me what to do like she thinks she’s my girlfriend or something?? If this was her way of trying to attract me, it definitely wasn’t working. It’s like, hello, I’m trying to do my job here, okay, sweetheart? Speaking of which:
Beefy Fritos Burrito– The name says it all. Beef. Fritos. Burrito. A truly inspired work of genius. So freakin’ delicious that I almost didn’t notice how painful it was to force the whole thing down. 5/5
Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla– It was getting difficult to make a fair judgment as I grew more and more sick to my stomach. About halfway through this quesadilla, I threw up on myself a little bit, freeing up just enough room to comfortably stuff the rest of it down. I’m pretty sure it was delicious. 5/5
Cheesy Roll-Up– My heart was pounding now. I don’t know if it was the strain on my arteries from all this greasy food or the high dose of Mountain Dew’s patented energy blend, or maybe both. Either way, I’m a professional, and I had a job to do, so I shoved that hunk of cheese and flour on down. All I could really taste now was my own vomit, but I think it’s safe to assume that this probably isn’t the best thing on the menu. I mean, come on, it’s a tortilla filled with cheese. 4/5
Cinnamon Twists– This is where my memory starts to get a little fuzzy. I don’t have a clear recollection of actually eating these things, but I’m pretty sure I remember crying a little. So, I don’t know, but this seems like it would be hard to screw up. Everyone loves a sweet, cinnamony treat, right? 5/5
Desperate to get this whole thing over with, I went ahead and decided to order the remaining six items all in one go: the Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito, Spicy Tostada, Beefy Mini Quesadilla, Triple Layer Nachos, Spicy Potato Soft Taco, and Caramel Apple Empanada—amazingly, each only costing one U.S. dollar. Serena had become deeply concerned now. “Are you alright?” she asked me. “Do you need help? Is there somebody that we can call to come pick you up?” I took great exception to these insinuations, and I let her know it. With Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus coursing heavily through my veins, I was feeling some pretty serious rage, so I may have been a little out of line. I felt kind of guilty when Serena started crying, but frankly, it was pretty unprofessional of her. “Why are you doing this to yourself?” she pleaded. “You don’t have to do this!”
I don’t know what happened next. Everything went black. I heard screams. When I came to, I was in the ICU with multiple bone fractures. I no longer felt sick, which I later learned was because I had had my stomach pumped, and also because I was on a lot of morphine. A doctor told me that I was lucky to be alive. “Where’s my Beefy Mini Quesadilla?” I asked. “Where’s my Spicy Potato Soft Taco?! I wasn’t done yet! I need to finish!”
“Sir, you’ve had quite enough of that stuff today,” said the doctor, very condescendingly. “What you need right now is to get some rest.”
“You don’t understand!” I shouted. “I’m a journalist. I’m on a very important assignment. I have to get back to Taco Bell!”
“You can’t leave here, sir. You’re in very serious cond-”
I’d heard enough of this. I couldn’t let this know-it-all doctor get in the way of my mission. My readers were depending on me! I ripped out my IV and my catheter and bolted out of there. I didn’t know where my car was (I later found out that it had somehow gotten totaled), so I had no choice but to proceed on foot. I ran clear across town in nothing but my hospital gown, making a few stops along the way for more Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus, finally arriving back at my neighborhood Taco Bell.
Serena spotted me as soon as I walked in. Before I could approach her to apologize for the misunderstanding earlier, she went back and spoke to her manager, who met me at the counter. I tried to ask him for an order of Triple Layer Nachos, a Spicy Tostada, and a Caramel Apple Empanada, but he very rudely cut me off.
“I’m sorry, but we can’t serve you,” said the manager.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Don’t you know I’m a very important journalist, and I’m writing about your establishment? I’m trying to help you!”
“I appreciate that,” he said. “But I’m afraid I can no longer serve you.”
There must have been some kind of miscommunication here. I asked to speak to Serena so that she could clear the whole thing up, but he told me that Serena did not want to see me, which was obviously a lie. If he had seen the way she was flirting with me earlier, he’d know how ridiculous that was. I started shouting her name, trying to get her attention, and the manager gave me some B.S. about how I was disturbing his customers and I needed to leave before he called the police.
Unbelievable. And to make matters worse, due to some sort of clerical error, I’ve now been banned from every Taco Bell in the tri-county area. So I won’t be able to finish this article right now, unfortunately. I guess I’ll have to make it a two-part feature. But don’t worry: as soon as I talk to Serena, I’m sure I can smooth this whole thing over. She’ll probably be off soon. I’ll just wait for her outside.
CORRECTION: This article erroneously claims that the Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus energy beverage is a breakfast-only item. In actuality, Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus is available for purchase at any time of day. We sincerely regret the error, and we will take this information into account in future Taco Bell reviews and other Taco Bell-related content.