We Tried The Lowest Rated Menu Item At Taco Bell. Here's How It Went

Taco Bell is a quintessential part of fast food culture as a chain that is so simultaneously loved and hated. People either feel strongly one way or the other about Taco Bell, creating a battleground for loyal fans or devoted haters with little room for a middle ground. Taco Bell has some pebble-sized gems hidden throughout the menu from the vegetarian-favored potatoes to the gone-but-not-forgotten Mexican pizza.

Most of Taco Bell's menu is palatable at best suited for the brave of heart and inebriated of mind with its questionable meat choices and eerily vibrant colors (looking at you Doritos Locos tacos). However, the most hated item on Taco Bell's menu is not what we would have expected given the lack of substance that would make it hard to form an opinion. When we asked readers what the worst Taco Bell menu item was, 38.21% said that the Cheesy Roll-Ups were the worst with the Power Menu Bowl and soft and hard tacos following close behind.

It was ultimately shocking since it's a quiet choice on the menu only indulged when the munchies are more powerful than the urge to put more money into your bank account. Compared to other stomach-churning options like bland beef tacos and Cinnamon Twists, it's hard to imagine that this lump of congealed cheese and processed wheat could be the worst of the worst. Hence, it's why we loaded up the camera and put on our investigative journalism hat to try it ourselves to see if it lives up to infamy.

Taco Bell's Cheesy Roll-Ups overview

You would have to try very hard to find something simpler on Taco Bell's menu than its Cheesy Roll-Up. Its ingredients are simple but not necessarily elegant –– a gourmet tortilla with a mysteriously blend of three cheeses and a slew of preservatives. It's slightly customizable with the option for extra, easy, or even no cheese(?) and possible additions like savory potatoes or nacho cheese sauce. 

We wouldn't necessarily say that it's a vegetarian delight but it's still one of the many vegetarian options available that give one solace in a world of frozen beef burgers and chicken tenders. At just one dollar, it's the cheapest thing on the value menu alongside the Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito, and Cinnamon Twists. It's also one of the most calorie-conscious items on the menu with only 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 430 milligrams of sodium. Right now, it seems like a solid option for the price but wait till you try it.

How does Taco Bell's Cheesy Roll-Up taste?

At first glance, it didn't look particularly appetizing and slightly resembled an quesadilla that was run over in the Taco Bell parking lot. There was immediate disappointment when unwrapping the roll-up similar to opening socks instead of a PlayStation on Christmas Day. It's like we wanted there to be more than expected like a secret sauce or an epic cheese pull fit for any Instagram boomerang.

But alas, disappointment was the leading flavor profile of the cheesy roll-up. It tasted exactly like described, tortilla and cheese, with nothing more or less ––  at least it was halfway warm. There was a light coating of cheese, just enough to be gluey in your mouth and in need for a Mountain Dew Baja Blast. It's actually almost hard to write about how it tasted since there was so little there to critique. At least if it was disgusting, we would be able to write a book's worth of insults and metaphors comparing it to food you wouldn't even feel comfortable serving on death row.

However, it was strangely comforting and what you would imagine as your first Taco Bell order as a baby or cheese-crazed toddler. However, growing up to be a verbose journalist, the lack of substance wasn't filling or fulfilling but instead resulted in just lactose-induced cramps and one extra pimple the day after.

Was the survey right?

Yes, Taco Bell's cheesy roll-up is incredibly disappointing and leaves you with a similar disappointment akin to stupid and mediocre high school decisions. But, does something disappointing automatically make it the worst? Apparently, Reddit thinks so in addition to Mashed readers. Numerous comments threw the cheesy roll-up under the bus as the worst item for its flavorless flavor profile pretending to be something more than just a crappy quesadilla. Other comments compared it to baby food due to its petit size or dog treats for every good doggo who loves Taco Bell as much as their human does.

Obviously, people, even Taco Bell admirers, vocalized their animosity towards this seemingly insidious menu item. However, it's painful calling it the absolute worst thing on Taco Bell's menu as if we can just forget that Taco Bell's breakfast menu from Hell still exists in the world –– arguably the worst fast food breakfast menu (though some writers may disagree). How can we just turn a blind eye at the soggy excuse for waffle tacos? Even the beef and steak burritos are more distasteful since you have to contemplate if a cow justifiably had to die for this poor excuse for a burrito. Even though it is bland and small, we can't say it's the worst menu item, but it's easily in the top five worst.

How could Taco Bell make its Cheesy Roll-Ups better?

Almost anything or any modification would make Taco Bell's Cheesy Roll-Up more satisfying. Even smothering it in one of the brand's signature hot sauces would numb the pain enough to make eating three or four Roll-Ups an enjoyable and filling experience. However, one of the easiest ways to make it better would be to follow the modification recommendations on the Cheesy Roll-Up page by adding spicy potatoes, chicken, more cheese, or including nacho cheese or Mexican Pizza sauce.

We also searched Reddit for possible recommendations for how people jazz up their least favorite menu item. Some comments suggested adding different sauces like creamy jalapeño or even your own personal emergency hot sauce used when encountering bland foods in the wild. One comment mentioned asking for the roll-ups grilled so that it gets those nice fake charr marks and prevents clumpy cheese disasters as we encountered. Or, you could unwrap it and fill it with other delicious treats like the constantly-disappearing Nacho Fries or even Cinnabon delights if the munchies are making you feel like you could compete on "Chopped." There are really no wrong answers, unless it's to willingly order more Roll-Ups because you love the feeling of being dissatisfied.

This is the best Taco Bell menu item

Now, we have established what the worst Taco Bell menu item is, but the best one is a little surprising. Even when researching, we definitely thought it would be the famously cringey Doritos Locos tacos or the iconic Crunchwrap Supreme. However, we were surprised to find that Taco Bell's Nacho Fries were the most sought-after menu item.

Nacho Fries were originally released in 2018 and proved to be a big ticket item for the Taco Bell image. Within the first five weeks after its launch, Taco Bell sold over 53 million orders of Nacho Fries surpassing Doritos Locos tacos in sales within the first five weeks of its launch (per Nation's Restaurant News). It's almost incredible how delicious these fries are from their semi-spicy seasoning, crispy exterior, and hard-to-forget nacho cheese dipping sauce. Despite being incredibly popular, Nacho Fries are hard to find as Taco Bell has repeatedly taken them off the menu since their launch.

Maybe the exclusivity is what makes people crave Nacho Fries –– regardless, it has fans waiting anxiously for the next time they see it in their local Taco Bell. When we tested the Cheesy Roll-Up for this article, there was a glimmer of hope that Nacho Fries would be there waiting to be added to the fast food cart. However, it's hard to say whether the lack of Nacho Fries or the Cheesy Roll-Up that awaited was more saddening, but perhaps we will never know. All that is left to be said it that Nacho Fries need to stay and the Cheesy Roll-Up can roll outta here.