This week, I reached out for Steak Rattlesnake Fries at America's No. 1 Mexican-style drive-through, Taco Bell, with 5,600 restaurants running for the border — in every direction. Before we dig into these fries, let's get one thing straight: There is no actual rattlesnake meat in these fries. It's just a name to grab your interest. Like "Monster Tacos" at Jack in the Box … let's hope so, anyway.
Here's the Steak Rattlesnake Fries breakdown: a heap of Nacho Fries topped with pieces of marinated steak, nacho cheese sauce, jalapeño peppers, and creamy jalapeño sauce.
Total calories: 450. Fat grams: 28. Sodium: 1,150 mg. Carbs: 39 g. Dietary fiber: 5 g. Protein: 12 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $2.99.
The Bell is the latest national chain to dump on fries. Wendy's started the trend with Baconator Fries. McDonald's recently climbed aboard with Cheesy Bacon Fries. Of course, Canadians have practically made poutine — fries covered with cheese curds and brown gravy — their national side dish.
My local favorite: the Tex-Cajun Virgin at BB's Café. You get a mess of shoestring fries made even messier with lots of queso, gravy, and roast beef.
It's a mystery why anybody would alter the state of french fries. Take McDonald's, by far the best thing on the menu is a large order of delicious, crispy, salty fries. Y-U-M. Forget the Quarter Pounder or Big Mac, the No. 1 combo meal at McDonald's should be two orders of their "World Famous Fries," and for dessert, another order of fries. Chick-fil-A is famous for its chicken sandwiches, right? The top seller at Chick-fil-A? It's those irresistible waffle fries.
Taco Bell introduced Nacho Fries last year as an LTO (limited time only) special. This is the third time TB has brought these fries back, and this time, the fries are jacked up with cheese and plenty of heat. The fries already have a blend of "Mexican spices," now they've added slices of pickled jalapeños and spine-tingling jalapeño sauce. Ladle on smooth nacho cheese sauce and pieces of lean steak, and you've got a satisfying lunch or dinner.
But let's be honest, these were made for 3 am, when as Jim Gaffigan would say, there's still time for one last bad decision.
Steak Rattlesnake Fries also come in a hand-held burrito, lots neater for eating in your car.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.