As recently mentioned, Del Taco has introduced a new dinner concept featuring a main entree, rice and beans, plus chips and salsa, for one price. Call them dinner combos if you want, but the objective here is pretty obvious: Del Taco wants you to stop instead of driving past on your way to an upmarket Mexican restaurant. Here, we'll take a look at the Carne Asada Wet Burrito which, in addition to being a new Platos offering, is also a new burrito for the Del.
First off, there is enough food to justify the $7.49 meal price for most people. Especially when trying to choose a place to have a "proper" Mexican meal, psychologically those meals often are expected to include rice and beans. For me, personally, I'd prefer to skip those and add maybe a small second item, a taco or what-have-you.
The Carne Asada Wet Burrito delivered on its name but wasn't awe-inspiring. It's a medium-sized burrito - you can get bigger or smaller at Del Taco. And it's certainly smaller than something you'd get in a sit down restaurant. But it was presented nicely as the pictures attest. The sliced avocado are a nice touch and the sauce was generous. The meat, unfortunately, was tough and chewy - not something you look forward to. In fact, it was so tough that it broke my plastic fork while wrestling with the fork and a plastic knife to cut away some bite-sized pieces. Blame it on the dinnerware if you want, but you should not have to fight your dinner.
The sides were fine. Standard refried beans with a generous sprinkling of shredded cheese and rice with a couple dollops of pico. You get a tiny portion cup of salsa, not enough for all the chips but still appreciated. The salsa is a dark, smokey variety similar to one of the options at El Pollo Loco. The chips were warm in their little brown paper bags and, as you can see from the first picture, a bit greasy which is not bad on tortilla chips.
My personal preference would be to spend my $7.49 on separate items, skipping the rice and beans and mixing-matching some other menu items. But that is what I do for lunch. When I think about whether Del Taco has changed my attitude toward dinner the answer is no. Sorry, good try. We'll have to see if I am in the minority.