In a move to counter the rising popularity of premium Mexican fast food chain Chipotle, Taco Bell has launched a new expanded ‘gourmet' menu that includes more premium ingredients like whole black beans, cilantro rice, fire-roasted corn salsa and pico de gallo.
Developed by chef Lorena Garcia, known to US food TV audiences for her appearance on NBC's America's Next Great Restaurant, the expanded menu called Cantina Bell launches July 5 across the US and includes eight new recipes including:
- Whole black beans with Mexican spices
- Cilantro rice with onion, garlic, and parsley
- Citrus and herb-marinated chicken with tomatillo
- New guacamole made with Hass avocados, jalapenos, cilantro and tomatoes
- Fire-roasted Corn salsa with red and green peppers and spices
- Creamy Cilantro Dressing
- Pico de gallo, diced tomatoes and onions with cilantro, lemon juice and vinegar
- Vegetarian versions of salad bowls and burritos
While the new menu items come in at $5 or less, Cantina Bell is seen as a response to its major rival Chipotle, which uses sustainable ingredients for its foods and offers a more premium version of fast food Mexican fare.
Chipotle has also expanded internationally, adding outposts in London and Paris.