Is Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap a sandwich? If a sandwich is just food between bread, and a flour tortilla is a sort of bread, couldn’t you make the case that a Crunchwap — which is part burrito part… something else — is some sort of sandwich? While, according to NPR, the USDA considers a sandwich “meat or poultry filling between two slices of bread, a bun or a biscuit,” and excludes “burritos, wraps, and hot dogs” from that definition, which is frankly ridiculous, the state of New York considers a burrito (and a hot dog and a gyro) a sandwich for tax purposes, so in some jurisdictions, a burrito is in fact a sandwich.
Or maybe it’s, like a Pop-Tart — actually ravioli?
Still with us? Look, we get that this is a hard debate to have and the more you think about it, the more confusing it gets, but we’re not the only ones having it — a Massachusetts court had to actually rule that a burrito was not a sandwich when Panera tried to sue Qdoba from opening up a restaurant in a shopping center, so as far as we’re concerned it’s an open debate.
This got us wondering — is Taco Bell’s new Breakfast California Crunchwrap actually the ultimate fast food breakfast sandwich? There was only one way to find out, we had to eat the thing.
Taco Bell’s new Breakfast California Crunchwrap is, like many things on Taco Bell’s menu, actually a returning classic and not really a new menu item. Once known simply as the “AM California Crunchwrap,” the Breakfast California Crunchwrap consists of bacon, egg, cheese, guacamole, and tomatoes over a giant hashbrown wrapped in a big flour tortilla. It joins the roster of Crunchwraps that include a sausage and bacon variation, but in this case the jalapeño sauce has been swapped out for guacamole, and Taco Bell added diced tomatoes.
In theory, you can order this year-round since Taco Bell’s menu is entirely customizable, so for Taco Bell to pretend this is a new menu item is kind of shady. But we won’t hold that against them because this isn’t a review of marketing, it’s a review of the flavors — so let’s get into that.
True to its name, biting into the Breakfast Crunchwrap supplies you with a satisfying crunch as your tastebuds are treated to waves of salty, peppery, and smokey flavors. Bacon and guacamole dominate, with the guacamole adding a nice creamy buttery note to the smokey quality of the bacon. The finish is dominated by crispy fried potato flavors, equal parts greasy and buttery. The egg is practically non-existent, it’s mostly texture, but the tomatoes add a nice bright and sweet juiciness to the otherwise dry sandwich.
That’s right, we said sandwich — this thing is more sandwich than it is burrito!
The combination of crunch you get from the hash browns and bacon is unbeatable, and while I miss the spice of the jalapeño sauce in the OG Breakfast Crunchwrap, you could always just add that in free of charge. How does this stack up to our current breakfast sandwich champ the Sausage McMuffin with Egg? We think it beats it, and that’s saying a lot.
The Bottom Line:
The best breakfast sandwich in the fast food universe is arguably not a sandwich at all. The California Crunchwrap might not technically be new (or a sandwich), but it’s proof that Taco Bell has as strong a breakfast game as any of the competition.