Mexican food meets campfire treats?
What El Pollo Loco created that should never have seen the light of day!
By Ommi Milner
So it’s Saturday and if you’re like me, finishing up a long day of work and too tired to get all gussied up to go out, you’re probably planning a semi-eventful relaxing night in. So what do you do? You call over a few pals and freak out because you know they’re going to be hungry! I didn’t want to seem like a terrible host, but I was too lazy to cook. So I did what any respectable host would do…I went through my paper waste bin and looked through the junk mail coupons to see what kind of deal I could get. In this case, El Pollo Loco had a 3 course family meal that I couldn’t turn down for $20. They also offered a strange looking but curious little desert that they called the Mexican s’more. In the advertisement it looked quite appealing, but boy was I fooled.
Lets just start out by saying that this little chocolate tortilla wrapped confection’s shape looked oddly familiar (if you’ve ever ordered Taco Bell’s crunch wrap supreme you’ll know what I’m talking about) and the inside consisted of what makes a s’more delicious; graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow. However, let’s just say that the main offender was the chocolate tortilla. It had the consistency and flavor of school grade chocolate covered paste and was quite off setting. The only reason why most consumers would continue to torture their taste buds with the “treat” is to get to the contents inside. Once you get to the meat of what looks like s’more vomit, you can’t help but to gradually squeeze out the gooey marshmallow, gram cracker, and chocolate filling leaving behind the limp grayish brown hull that encased it, making the chocolate tortilla quite pointless.
I can’t blame el Pollo Loco for trying something different, and of course, “for a limited time only”. There are tons of other fast food oddities that once briefly graced fast food menus. Burger King’s bacon sundae (enough said). Taco Bell’s Bell Beeffer, which was literally just a taco supreme in a bun. McDonalds once tried to cross over into Italian cuisine by coming up with McSpaghetti and tried to get festive by inventing the mostly green dye flavored Shamrock Shake for Saint Patty’s day. Pizza Hut even did a number by introducing its crown crust Cheeseburger Pizza, which is basically a bunch of mini cheeseburgers encased in a crust that looks like a spaceship, no kidding. Literally every fast food chain has tried to think outside their hypothetical bun in an attempt to corner the market, or venture into the three course menu zone.
I know it’s just one of many marketing gimmicks to briefly use consumers as guinea pigs prompting them to buy test items under the guise of “limited time only,” but El Pollo Loco missed the mark. Flame broiled chicken is what they do best, and tortillas are best eaten when housing meat cheese and veggies. So if you do decide to visit this fast food chain, steer clear of the chocolate mess they call Mexican s’mores, unless you plan on using it as a way to euthanize your neighbors annoying dog.
Published December 8th, 2013
Ommi Milner has been writing for print since 2011 contributing articles to Flip XY Magazine, and providing content for Black Chicken Studio's, Academagia: The Making of Mages.