Will Taco Bell’s Cantina Bell Menu Make You Feel Less Guilty For Bingeing At 2 A.M.?

We originally reported on Taco Bell testing its “Cantina Bell” menu, the fast food Mexican chain’s attempt to rise above quickie burritos and tacos back in January, and now those upscale offerings are officially headed for restaurants on July 5.

In a bid to compete with Chipotle, which uses fresh ingredients, Taco Bell’s Cantina Bell menu will try to lure in eaters with a new marketing campaign highlighting its new high-falutin’ image, reports AdAge.com.

A major part of that campaign will involve Miami chef Lorena Garcia, who created the menu. And while the menu will include fresh ingredients like black beans, fire-roasted corn salsa, cilantro rice, pico de gallo and other Chipotle-esque items, true to Taco Bell form, the prices will be lower than at the rival chain.

Beyond trying to cater to healthier options sought by consumers, Taco Bell is also apparently trying to nab more female customers and according to parent company Yum, “make us more mainstream with male and female target audiences.”

Can you picture rolling up after a night out and going for citrus-herb marinated chicken, black beans and pico de gallo, or will the $0.99 taco still rule?

Taco Bell Rolls Upscale Cantina Bell Menu Nationwide [Ad Age]

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  1. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    “make us more mainstream with male and female target audiences.”

    …ummm…because you have the hermaphrodite market all wrapped up?

    • Mah Freedoms says:

      I think they might be trying to say that it’s popular with both men and women?

  2. crispyduck13 says:

    I remember seeing commercials for this a looong time ago, like last year. Hasn’t this already been a thing?

    • dush says:

      Yeah they had that lady who supposedly lost a bunch of weight eating only taco bell.

      • FatLynn says:

        No, that was the “fresco” option, I think.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Yeah, but it was the same damn thing. They’re so out of ideas over there they figured they’d just give that concept another go while also assuming we forgot about round 1.

          They really should just stick to shit like Doritos Tacos. Know your strengths.

          • FatLynn says:

            This comment cracked me up.

            If they want to appeal to women, perhaps they should introduce some kind of pink breast cancer themed taco this October.

            • crispyduck13 says:

              Yes I can see it now – pink pop rock dusted taco shells filled with your favorite Taco Bell fixins. Proceeds benefit the Pink Taco Belles charity for breast cancer.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              Isn’t it sad that colouring your product pink for a few months and donating money to a miserably inefficient charity is a sure-fire way to raise sales dramatically?

            • Misha says:

              That’s a sure-fire way to NOT appeal to this particular woman. Pinkification go!

          • The Cupcake Nazi says:

            The fresco concept wasn’t anything like this. All fresco style did was replace the cheese, sour cream, and other toppings with a diced veggie topping, mostly of tomato. It didn’t purport to use any particularly fresh or wonderful ingreedients, and didn’t change any of the other standard contents of the items.

  3. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    In the future, all restaurants are Taco Bell.

  4. Blackadar says:

    Neither. The $1.50 Doritos taco will still rule.

  5. Tarceinus says:

    Does fresh mean healthy? I know it’ll be healthier than normal Taco Bell food (not hard, a 5 layer burrito has over 100 calories per layer), but that doesn’t keep them from loading this food up with all the salt and sour cream and cheese that they can. Maybe Morgan Spurlock can kill himself eating Chipotle for our edification.

    • alana0j says:

      Fresh doesn’t equal healthy just like “all natural” doesn’t equal healthy. Sadly, many Americans are not smart enough to differentiate.

  6. Smiley Massacre says:

    The only thing I can ever imagine is rolling up after a night out and seeing the miserable look on the employee’s faces when asking for anything, because that always happens.

    • FatLynn says:

      I was recently telling my friend about a terrible experience at taco bell, and he looked horrified as replied, “you actually went INSIDE?”

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        LOL I ALWAYS go inside. Every time I go through the drive-thru there, they fuck up my order. Every time!

  7. framitz says:

    This has got to suck something fierce… the menu was designed by an idiot in Florida?
    No way Jose.

  8. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    I really doubt this will improve Taco Bell’s overall image. At least where I live (Chicago suburbs) there are enough taquerias open late that Taco Bell is not the first choice for Mexican food after a night of drinking and/or partying.

  9. Lucky225 says:

    I don’t feel guilty binging at 2am anyways, now if the taco bell here would stay open that late I’d be pleased. I hate Podunk, America :(

  10. pgh9fan1 says:

    I think this is the start of the franchise wars where Taco Bell wins out. Soon every restaurant will be Taco Bell.

  11. Dagny Taggart says:

    Does this mean Taco Bell with actually cook in this restaurant instead of reconsituting everything with hot water? What a concept!

  12. drjayphd says:

    I’m only allowing this if they bring back the cantina tacos. (Hey, we don’t have much in the way of taco trucks in northwestern CT, so I have to take what I can get.)

  13. unchainedmuse says:

    They’ve had this here in Kentucky for awhile now and I love it. The chicken Cantina Burrito is incredible and MASSIVE. Is yummy!

  14. Mark702 says:

    * Binging not Bingeing

  15. TVGenius says:

    Nah, I’ll stick with the cart on the corner selling lengua tacos.

  16. dangermike says:

    “A gourmet burrito bowl” ?!?

    If it’s gourmet, it sure as hell shouldn’t be sloshed into a bowl.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Yes. We all know how no black-tie restaurant has ever used a bowl for anything, ever.

  17. mbz32190 says:

    I don’t think it’s going to work. Whenever restaurants try “healthier” menu options, guess what? People (overall…gross overstatement) don’t buy it…they go for the burgers and fries and 89 cent tacos. Not to sound all high and mighty–I eat fast food, including Taco Bell when I need something fast, cheap, and full of calories. It’s like the “lipstick on a pig” effect.

  18. sweaterhogans says:

    When I go to Taco Bell, I’m craving some junk food doused in fire sauce. I love taco bell, but if I want a “real” taco I’ll go to one of the dozens of taquerias around the city. I

    f they really want to win my heart they should add back the ingredients they have slowly taken away over the years. About 15-20 years ago the mexican pizza had a lot of actual toppings like onion, tomato, olives, and cilantro. Now you only get about 4 cubes of tomato.

  19. sweaterhogans says:

    When I go to Taco Bell, I’m craving some junk food doused in fire sauce. I love taco bell, but if I want a “real” taco I’ll go to one of the dozens of taquerias around the city.

    If they really want to win my heart they should add back the ingredients they have slowly taken away over the years. About 15-20 years ago the mexican pizza had a lot of actual toppings like onion, tomato, olives, and cilantro. Now you only get about 4 cubes of tomato.