Taco Bell (few sentences that begin with "Taco Bell" end well) is moving forward on plans to cover the nation in waffle tacos. We are now in the age of the waffle taco. You probably feel the completely understandable urge to deny it, but this is the reality we have chosen.
Let's clear up something before we proceed. Taco Bell's waffle taco is not a taco. The mere act of folding one foodstuff inside another does not a taco make. A hot dog is not a taco. A gyro is not a taco. One would think that "taco" status is contingent upon the inclusion of at least one "Mexican" ingredient. But Taco Bell, which has built its empire on simulated Mexicanness, doesn't even try. The waffle taco is just eggs and sausage folded into a waffle. That's Old World, bros.
But let's try and stay positive here. Yes, the waffle taco age is upon us, but it's just beginning! Right now we have a unique opportunity to guide the waffle taco from it's protoplasmic stage to something higher. Something more evolved.
So I made my own waffle taco.
STEP ONE: Texture. Spongy waffle, sausage patty, scrambled eggs -- just kind of a grease-slicked mushy mess. The waffle, obviously, has to stay, but I'm not entirely sure what can be done on the texture front there. It has to be able to fold, which would preclude any crispiness, so for now we'll just have to make do with a soft waffle.
The sausage, however, is outta here. In its place, a couple of strips of thick-cut bacon, fried crisp to add some substance and textural variance. The scrambled eggs are sticking around, but I found a way to give them some texture while simultaneously helping to fulfill step two, which is...
STEP TWO: ¡Viva Mexico! Into those scrambled eggs I threw some rajas de chile poblano. You take a poblano chile, roast it over an open flame until it's thoroughly blackened, sweat it for a few minutes in a sealed plastic bag, peel it, seed it, devein it, and slice it into strips. They add a little bit of heat and a good roasted chile flavor. Also, it's a vegetable. Hey look, Taco Bell! A VEGETABLE.
More Mexico: bits of queso fresco crumbled into the waffle, a sprig of cilantro for garnish, and -- my favorite contribution to this affair -- a dressing made from two parts maple syrup and one part Valentina hot sauce. The sweet-hot combo is kind of weird but it works really well and is thematically appropriate.
And it made for a pretty damn good waffle taco. It was one of those situations in which you know all the component ingredients are good, and you're just hoping they'll turn out to be more than the sum of its parts. At the very least, it had to be an improvement over what Taco Bell is slinging.
That's a low bar, granted, but in the age of waffle tacos, this is how we're going to survive -- maybe even thrive (but probably not).