Good News: Nacho Fries are Back!

Bad News: They come with a nasty friend.


Taco Bell Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries Advertisement

Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries were released for the first time in 2018 with a limited run, quickly becoming the chain’s most successful product launch in its history. Regular french fries paired with taco seasoning and a side of nacho cheese dipping sauce—a beautiful combination of flavors that only lasted for a limited time.

Due to their popularity, Nacho fries have been re-released several times over the years since their 2018 debut and come back almost as quickly as they are gone. This time though, Nacho Fries are back with a real kick. Instead of the regular Loaded option, Taco Bell has collaborated with TRUFF (a specialty truffle sauce) to bring Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries. Customers can also add TRUFF sauce to any other dish for an additional $0.50. This promotion will last from October 13th for two weeks, or as supplies last.

 The real question is though… Is TRUFF any good? Are the fries this release any different than the ones from previous runs?  Well, to find out, I’ve ordered both a regular set of fries and the loaded option.

First Impressions

If I was tasked with eating fries that were thrown up on by a toddler, I believe this is exactly what it would look like. The loaded option was a disgusting hodgepodge of sauces and colors. Almost disgusted with itself that it is paired with the vibrancy of the sauces, the steak on top (which is replacing the usual beef that was originally on the loaded fries), appears gray and sad. The regular fries look soggy on first glance, but when tapped make a hard “click” sound- really letting you know that you are about to eat something more akin to a stale breadstick. When comparing the overall presentation to the advertisements, I feel so… disappointed.  Where are the tomatoes?!

Nacho Fries and Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries
Regular Nacho Fries (left) and Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries (right) -Photo Illustration by Stef Khartchenko

The Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries Experience

The first thing I noticed from the loaded fries is that they surprisingly smelled like nothing. A closer whiff gave me a pleasant hint of truffle. That, I assume, is from the TRUFF hot sauce completely soaking the entire bowl. Taking a fry without getting your hands messy is almost an impossible task and as the fries are absorbing the sauce, a mushy sticky disaster is all you get. If the bizarre, gooey, texture all over your hands, and the hard fries aren’t making you lose your appetite, just wait for the taste. I was optimistic going into this, as Taco Bell Nacho Fries are one of my absolute favorite sides from the chain, and their sauces are usually pretty alright. Never delicacies but definitely enjoyable. TRUFF sauce was not. With a bite, it overpowered every other flavor. No steak, no (delicious) nacho cheese, nothing, is capable of saving you. It may smell like truffles, but the taste is more similar to a buffalo sauce dish soap. The flavor just completely takes over your mouth, as all you can taste is the TRUFF. Only the TRUFF. The disgusting feeling of both mushy and incredibly stale fries in my mouth just made me feel nauseous. I had to stop eating, for my own sake. Moving to try a piece of steak, I was hit with the complete opposite experience. First the sauce was overpowering. Now, the steak is underwhelming. It tastes as bland as water, with a texture that disappears in your mouth; may as well swallow it whole. I searched the entire bowl for a tomato but to my dismay, there were none. I double checked my receipt on the off-chance I ordered it without, but no. They just didn’t give me any. 

Loaded TRUFF Nacho Fries – Photo by Stef Khartchenko

The Regular Nacho Fry Experience

On first glance, the regular Nacho Fries side appeared the same as every release they’ve had. That was, till I decided to actually touch them. They were hard. So hard, I could use them to play drums. Maybe the fault of my location of choice, bad oil, or some other mistake in the process- but the Nacho Fries from my memory were more often soggy than solid. Always a pleasant chewy experience that I was always unable to stop devouring. I was quite reluctant to eat them at that point but my worries aside, I chose to dip it in the Nacho Cheese. The bite was painful. The outer layer of the fry was a shell, hiding the dry inedible potato center. The only saving grace was the signature Nacho Fries seasoning. Sweet and salty and with a perfect zing, it transported me back in time to when Nacho Fries were my favorite food- but only for a moment.  Then, my saliva washed away the wonderful flavor and I was once again left with the horror of the overcooked french fries. I’m sad to say, but I could not finish these either. Which is honestly kind of sad, because that was supposed to be my dinner- I went hungry that night.

Nacho Fries – Photo by Stef Khartchenko

After Thoughts

I’m not entirely sure what went wrong here. Nacho fries have a history of being the best side at Taco Bell, and from my own personal experience they are the absolute best item on the menu. Why were the fries so bad this release? Several reasons I could possibly think of, but none I am certain are true. The fries in both the Loaded and Regular options were so stale they gave the impression that they were already cooked once before, then reheated once more before being given to me. The TRUFF sauce may have ruined the Loaded option, but the fries themselves should have been good. They were not. I always recommend Nacho Fries to people, but this year, I may have to pass.