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Fast-food review: Taco Bell's Quad Steak Burrito is four times the bland

How does a fast-food franchise attempt to rebound after one of its main ingredients is called into question? If the restaurant is Taco Bell, it might try by unveiling commercials in which earnest-looking employees stand behind their beef - after ...

Quad Steak Burrito
The Quad Steak Burrito from Taco Bell. John Lamb / The Forum
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How does a fast-food franchise attempt to rebound after one of its main ingredients is called into question?

If the restaurant is Taco Bell, it might try by unveiling commercials in which earnest-looking employees stand behind their beef - after a report that the chain's beef isn't exactly pure meat.

It's a good, straightforward move - but who goes through a fast-food drive-thru looking for a heartfelt dialogue?

Rather, we seek out fast food because some new commercial pronounces its latest marketing gimmick, like something that touts the quantity (but not the quality) of meat.

Enter Taco Bell's Quad Steak Burrito.

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In all likelihood, the latest in big bites was planned to roll out long ago and its arrival just coincided with the ground beef blow-up. And it's a good thing the Bell isn't hanging too much hope to this blah-rito. Bigger is not always better, and in this case it's not even good.

When I first heard of the Quad Steak Burrito, I associated it with some kind of muscle tissue wrap. After trying it, the notion was firmly secured. The steak is tough and rubbery and barely flavorful. It wasn't until the very end of the burrito that I got to the "fire roasted salsa" - though it tasted like standard Taco Bell hot sauce.

The Bell took a beating after a January class-action lawsuit claimed the restaurant was guilty of false advertising by calling its taco meat ground beef, with the suit claiming less than 40 percent was actual beef.

Taco Bell rang back that the product was 88 percent ground beef and 12 percent seasoning, which includes 5 percent oats, caramelized sugar, yeast and citric acid.

Sure, the taco filling isn't 100 percent ground beef, but it's a heck of a lot tastier than 100 percent chewy, bland steak.

One of the things I like about Taco Bell is the relative affordability of many of the menu items allows for sampling of different flavors. Ringing in at $5.99, the Quad Steak isn't just a belt buster (690 calories), but a wallet waster.

Make sure you have enough for a soda because you'll need something to wash this out of your mouth. After all, it is four times that bad.

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

Related Topics: FOODRESTAURANTS AND BARS
For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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