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Drive-thru Gourmet

Jack in the Box packs the savory snacks with new tiny tacos

Jack in the Box packs the savory snacks with new tiny tacos

Drive-Thru Gourmet - Jack in the Box tiny tacos
Fifteen tacos — you decide how many bites.  Photo courtesy of Jack in the Box

This week, I reached out for a pack of Tiny Tacos from American's runner-runner-runner-runner-up (that means No. 5) burger joint, Jack in the Box, with 2,200 restaurants mostly across the western half of the U.S. These little tacos are perfect when you want to eat 15 of something — and still want to walk out of the place under your own power. 

Here's the Tiny Tacos breakdown: 15 deep-fried mini-tacos that are shaped like potstickers, or pierogies, or raviolis, or a hundred different kinds of dumplings, depending on what part of the world your family came from originally.

Jack's Tiny Tacos are filled with a creamy ground chicken concoction, served with a little tub of avocado lime dipping sauce. C'mon Jack, only one tub of sauce? That ain't gonna get the job done. 

Total calories: 350. Fat grams: 13. Sodium: 55 mg. Carbs: 45. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 12 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $3. Jack also has Loaded Tiny Tacos with lettuce, cheese and taco sauce dumped on top, packing 470 calories and 22 fat grams, for a buck more. 

Tiny Tacos are made for tiny people to eat for lunch, or big people to pop like Pez at 3 am with six of their best friends crammed into a 2004 Corolla with 250,000 miles on it. Obviously, we're not talking salad bar here, but they sure taste pretty okay.

The corn tortillas emerge from the deep fryer all crispy and hot, the chicken filling has some flavor and the avocado lime dipping sauce is strong. They're crunchy, and if you crunch the numbers, they're five for a dollar. You can barely get Hershey Kisses for that these days. 

There's a couple of drawbacks, of course. Tiny Tacos are not shrunk versions of Jack's regular tacos, which are packed with ground beef instead of chicken, plus cheese and lettuce. Those are extra good and cheap. Each Tiny Taco is two bites small, so you're going to wind up with crumbs all over the place — your pants, your car's floor mats, your desk at work.

More important, because they're two bites, it's a dangerous invitation to double dip into the avocado lime sauce. If you're sharing, double dipping is a strict, disgusting, and possibly unhealthy no-no. Proceed with caution. (Hold on, I almost forgot who my readers are, nobody's sharing nothing at Jack in the Box.) 

Tiny Tacos were test-marketed last summer in Dallas last summer, but don't hold that against them. Blame Clowny. 

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Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.

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