Egg McMuffin, meet the Waffle Taco. Taco Bell is readying for the launch of its national breakfast menu on March 27

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NEW YORK -- Egg McMuffin, meet the Waffle Taco.

Taco Bell is readying for the nationwide launch of its breakfast menu on Thursday March 27, with items such as the A.M. Crunchwrap, designed to appeal to its fan base of younger men.

And the chain says breakfast will be available from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. - a half-hour longer than McDonald's offers its Egg McMuffins.

Breakfast will be served at 5,500 locations. Toledo was a test market three years ago for the breakfast menu.

The Waffle Taco is a warm waffle wrapped around a hearty sausage patty or flavorful bacon, with fluffy scrambled eggs and cheese, and served with a side of sweet syrup.

The A.M. Crunchwrap features classic breakfast tastes of fluffy scrambled eggs, a golden crispy hash brown, melted cheese and flavorful bacon (or a hearty sausage patty or premium thick cut steak), all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla.

Taco Bell President Brian Niccol says the chain intends to be a "strong No. 2" after McDonald's.

McDonald's has long been the fast-food leader in the mornings, with its popular Sausage Biscuits, Hotcakes and other items pulling in roughly 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales.

But the chain has been facing stiffer competition in recent years, with competitors such as Starbucks and Subway rolling out breakfast sandwiches as well.

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