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Taco Bell, Chelmsford review after Kent branch announced for Chatham Dockside

By Rebecca Tuffin

Ahead of Kent's first Taco Bell opening in Medway next month, we decided to try out the Mexican-inspired cuisine for ourselves.

The American fast food chain will be opening its 40th UK restaurant in Chatham Dockside on May 15 and will serve classic favourites such as burritos, quesadillas and of course, tacos.

We sent our editorial apprentice, Rebecca Tuffin, along to a branch in Essex to see if it really is something to taco 'bout.

Rebecca tucking into a beef taco
Rebecca tucking into a beef taco

I've always been a fan of Mexican food - who does not love a big bowl of nachos piled high with fresh salsa, creamy guacamole, covered in melted cheese?

But I was not really sure what to expect of the popular brand, founded by Californian Glen Bell in 1962, as I headed to Chelmsford.

I just hoped for something spicy, meaty and with lots of cheese.

A beef taco and the Beefy Melt Griller
A beef taco and the Beefy Melt Griller

Welcomed by smiley employee, Edward, I asked for the best-selling thing on the menu.

In Chelmsford, this is the Beefy Melt Griller.

The popular Crunchwrap Supreme, a beef taco and a chicken quesadilla were also on my order (I did not hold back).

So, let us get down to what this is really about - did it taste good?

Edward and his colleague in Taco Bell, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford
Edward and his colleague in Taco Bell, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford

Salty beef, rice and melted cheddar wrapped in a white flour tortilla, the Melt Griller is simple but pretty tasty.

At £1.99, I would definitely pick one of these up again as a quick snack.

Tortilla chips and fresh iceberg lettuce is what gives the Crunchwrap Supreme its name, stacked on layers of more seasoned minced beef, tomatoes and cheese. This time, the tortilla was folded into a hexagon, just to mix things up a bit.

It is a steeper £3.99 but I like that there is lots of crisp salad - it really freshens it up.

Churros with a caramel dip are £1.39 (I ate one before taking the photo)
Churros with a caramel dip are £1.39 (I ate one before taking the photo)

The beef taco is good but could have done with some guacamole or sour cream.

However, I was later told all of these toppings can be added at an additional cost.

The chicken quesadilla is probably my favourite sampled Taco Bell dish. The tender chicken pieces are flavoured with a Mexican spice mix and - you guessed it - there is lots more hot, stringy cheese.

To finish off my meal, I got the churros.

These complimentary treats were appreciated as I have a very sweet tooth.

Deep-fried strips of golden batter dusted with sugar and cinnamon and a caramel sauce for dipping - normally at a price of £1.39.

They are not quite as soft as the ones you get at beach fun fairs, but still - very yummy.

All in all, it was a tasty snack which took less than two minutes for staff to prepare.

The Mexican-inspired eatery also offer a range of vegetarian options, replacing meat with refried beans.

So, if you fancy something different from the usual fast food burger or pizza, I'd taco chance and head down to Chatham Dockside next month - you've guac to try it out for yourself.

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