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Hot Take of the Day: Chipotle Over Qdoba All Day (And Twice on Sunday)

I believe this wholeheartedly.



I get the appeal. I really do. Qdoba has a slightly more affordable menu. It specialized in queso long before Chipotle or other fast-Mexican food places even thought about queso. And, of course, its menu has more depth.

But I’m sorry to inform you that Chipotle is better. So, so much better.

It’s not just the taste. It’s the quality, the freshness, the entirety of the Chipotle experience. It all trumps Qdoba. Let me explain.

1. Chipotle’s options > Qdoba: OK, Qdoba, props: your menu is more than just a bowl, a burrito or a salad. The tortilla soup isn’t awful. The three-cheese nachos: also not awful! And shouts to you for going with a breakfast menu. That is very cool.

But guess who also does breakfast these days? Taco Freaking Bell!

Sorry, I don’t need my fast-Mexican to offer breakfast. I just need you to have good burritos, good meats and at least one go-to option. Qdoba has none of these. They are the encapsulation of a restaurant that is a jack-of-all-trades but master of none.

Chipotle, on the other hand, has the goods. The chicken bowl with brown rice, black beans, guac and lettuce is a mood. It’s all you want in a fast, simple mexican grub. I don’t need breakfast from Chipotle because I have breakfast at home or have coffee for breakfast like a normal human. And especially so when Chipotle’s lunch/dinner is this solid and reliable.

2. The delivery: Every once in awhile, I’ll catch a Chipotle employee slipping — and then I will ask for a little more chicken. It happens. But by and large, the Chipotle experience, I’ve found is consistent. Not Chick-Fil-A consistent — but consistent. You know what you’re getting, and there’s never any surprises. I’ve personally found Qdoba to be quite the opposite. I don’t always get it exactly how I want it. Sometimes there’s such a thing as too much queso (which sounds absurd, I know). And sometimes they stuff a friggin burrito so fat it instantly crumbles. Not cool! And also: not my beloved Chipotle!

3. The guac difference: Remember the great avocado shortage of last year, when guac prices skyrocketed into a second mortgage? Yeah, that wasn’t cool. I avoided Chipotle like the plague then.

But now guess who’s back: avocados, baby! And they’re affordable. And because they’re affordable, that means guacamole is also back. That’s the Chipotle drug of my choice. Qdoba offers it, and it’s … fine. But if I’m paying $10 for a meal, I need something more than fine. I could have the Chili’s 3 for $10, for crying out loud! I don’t need meh guacamole. And that’s why Chipotle is the ultimate winner here. The guac is fantastic and never is meh. It’s the final touch on an exquisite dining experience that I, for one, will always stan over Qdoba. Sorry.

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