Both Qdoba and Chipotle have been in business near our house for years. We don't go all that often, maybe once every few months, but when we've wanted a big old burrito wrap (or bowl), we always ended up in the nearby Chipotle. However, Qdoba recently moved about a quarter mile down the road on the corner of one of the busiest intersections in the area. The short move definitely seems to have helped business, as it's always hopping. It got us in the door, and we can now do a Qdoba vs Chipotle comparison.
Qdoba Vs Chipotle
OK, I'll admit, part of what got us there was that we got a coupon in the mail. A good ‘Buy One, Get One Free' deal will work anytime. But after we went, it made us realize that we'd been missing out!
It was pretty darn good! It wasn't perfect but it definitely made the list as far as places we'd visit now and then.
Here are some of the things we learned:
Qdoba has Queso
Chipotle is very well publicized for offering only fresh ingredients. So they don't offer anything the lines of gooey melted cheese. Well, as much as I like fresh ingredients, I also like gooey melted cheese, so Qdoba gives you that option. They have a couple of different varieties and they'll put it on willingly for you.
Qdoba has free guacamole
I don't like guacamole, not even a little bit, but my wife does, so regardless of my preference, it's coming home with us. Chipotle charges you a couple of bucks for a side of guac, where Qdoba feels that it's part of the experience, so you get it at no extra charge.
Limit the rice
One thing that both my wife and I did was say ‘both' when they asked what kind of rice we wanted. They have two kinds. I think that they basically doubled the amount of rice as both of ours seemed to have a LOT of rice. Next time, we'll either stick to one or ask for both but note that we don't want as much.
Get some spice
I like a little spice but nothing overly spicy. As such, I didn't order anything that was spicy, and I probably should have. You can get spicy queso, spicy salsa, and I think even one or two of the other things has some spice. I got them all non-spicy and I realized that while what I had was tasty, it could have used a little bit of zip that would have come from getting something with a little extra spice. Next time, I'll order either the salsa or queso with spice.
Don't forget the basics
There's a lot to choose from when you get your burrito. You can choose the type of meat, all the veggies, what kind of queso, salsa, etc. I totally forgot to get sour cream, and realized it when I came home to eat. Drat! I love sour cream with my Mexican food. Luckily we had some in the fridge, but considering it's all included, I will make sure to get it next time.
So Which One Wins?
Quite honestly, the differences between Chipotle and Qdoba were so minimal that if you did a blind taste test, I would probably struggle to figure out which is which. For us the determining factors are where we might have a coupon as well as which one is more accessible. Believe it or not, the side of the road makes a big difference where both are located.
In the end, both can be considered, though we have been at Qdboa a lot more, as they've been more aggressive with coupons.
Readers, have you been to Qdoba? What do you think? Any ordering tips or secrets that I should know about for next time?