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Oct 23, 2006 04:42 PM


Just opened a branch in the MD suburbs, Rockville to be exact. What is recommended, if anything? How does it compare to Baja Fresh, or our local California Tortilla? And how do you pronounce it??

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  1. I think it's a step down from Baja Fresh and Chipotle. To me it seems bland.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Janet from Richmond

      I agree. Qdoba is not as good as Baja Burrito (same as Baja Fresh), Chipotle, or Tijuana Flats (Florida chain).

      1. re: starbucksbrew

        I find Qdoba to be superior in taste to Chipotle, personally; especially the chicken mole and the rice. I am, though I'm enamored of Chipotle's buying and sourcing practices.

        I have only eaten at a Qdoba in does very well compared to Baja Fresh also in Virginia in my estimation....but I've also eaten at Baja Fresh in California and there's no comparison. The produce is so superior that Baja Fresh in CA blows away both the Chipotle and Qdoba meals I've had back East. Of course, it also blows away the Baja Fresh back East, too.

        If I'm in Virginia, though, I'm going with Qdoba.

    2. There's one down the block from where I work.

      Good for a quick bite.

      I actually think it's a bit better than Baja Fresh. Burritos are good, esp. the chicken mole.

      It's funny, but they are owned by Jack in the Box.

      15 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I agree its better than BF, but then what isn't? It's not as good as Rubio's. Ipsedixit, do you go to the one at 7th and Hope?

        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar


          And during lunch time, it can get quite crowded.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            So far, I've always been able to find a seat, but barely. Which is much better than La Salsa at 5th and Grand!

            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

              Ipse? It sounds like a Hungarian word.

            2. re: ipsedixit

              Ipse, not to hijack the thread, but are there any good traditional Mexican places in the vicinity that are open for lunch?

              1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                There is, but it really depends on your definition of "in the vicinity."

                One place I really like is EL ANTOJITO, which is on Broadway and 8th St., just a bit south of the Jewelry District.

                I always go for the sopes. They make them fresh to-order (with fresh masa!), smeared with refried beans, topped with melted cheese and covered with chorizos. Messy, but good and only $2.

                Qdoba, BF, Rubios ain't got nothing on these guys.

                Call ahead and they'll have your order ready when you arrive, either to eat-in or take-out.

                Heck, I might go right now ...

                El Antojito
                824 South Broadway
                (213) 688-0885

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Well, I'm at Sixth and Olive which is close enough for me, but I took an early lunch today. Can you get them with something else istead of chorizos? I'm not a fan. Otherwise that sounds great.

                  1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                    You can get it with beef, chicken or chorizos, or just refried beans, cheese and guacamole.

                    They also have great tacos, burritos not so much IMO. But give it try and see for yourself.

                    Owners are very friendly - so just ask if there is something you want but don't see.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      ipse, I think I'm gonna go today you want to meet up?

                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                        Would love to, but I have a lunch meeting today.

                        Sorry, perhaps some other time.

                        Enjoy yourself and report back.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Well, it's a bit of a shlep at lunchtime, but well worth it. I did't order ahead because I wanted to be sure I could find it(and it's tiny - I'd call it "half a hole in the wall"). I ordered 2 sopes and 2 tacos ala carte, and they gave me samples of the cantaloupe and watermelon juice while waiting. They didn't put any melted cheese on the sopes, though - maybe you have to ask? Anyway, very good! I'll definitely go again.

                          1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                            Yup, tell them exactly what you want on it.

                            What kind of sopes/tacos did you end up getting?

                            Glad you enjoyed it.

                            Regarding the shlep ... better to work off all that good eatin' ...

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Beef/beef with guacamole on the sopes and verde on the tacos.

            3. re: calabasas_trafalgar

              BF is nothing great but way better than Rubio's, IMO

              1. re: honkman

                I disagree completely. Love Rubio's, would't go back to Baja Stale without a gun in my back...

          2. I agree with Janet that it's bland. It's pronounced Kew-Doba.

            1. I don't think it's that bad, actually. I've only tried an unadventurous chicken burrito, though. The rice they use isn't the yellow rice you might normally see, but white, and it has a slight lime flavor I think is appealing.

              1. I usually get a naked chicken mole burrito from there because I don't like the gummy flour tortillas that those type of places have. The tortilla soup is one of the better things on the menu at Qdoba. The spicy and extra spicy salsas are pretty hot. Needs to expand their menu to include pork.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Chimayo Joe

                  Second the tortilla soup. A little bit spicy and a surprisingly complex set of flavors.

                  In general, I've had better luck at Qdoba sticking to the basics. The chicken is nicely seasoned, the salsas are fresh and adequate (if not stellar).

                  My biggest gripe with Qdoba (and Baja and Chipotle) is that the tortillas are just plain bad (bland and yes, gummy). You'd think that even an Americanized Mex place would make it a priority to have great tortillas (Taco Cabana, for instance), but it seems to be perennially overlooked.

                  I know that the two big selling points of Fresh Mex are (1) reasonably cheap and (2) reasonably healthy, but I'd gladly pay an extra buck or accept an extra few grams of sat fat for a tortilla with some flavor.

                  1. re: finlero

                    I find that while the Taco Cabana type tortillas are great, they're not very authentic in terms of texture.

                    1. re: amkirkland

                      If you mean authentic as in "just like you'd find in Mexico", you're probably right. That said, it seems to me that *none* of the chains in this thread are aiming for authentic insomuch as Fresh Mex or Tex-Mex.

                      FWIW, a Hispanic friend of mine living in New Mexico waxes ecstatic about her grandmother's preferred tortilla recipe: flour, water, and (wait for it...) Bisquick.

                      1. re: finlero

                        I always hate to be the one to throw out the "authentic" card. I think what someone likes it what is right. I buy Taco Cabana and Don Pablo's tortillas by the dozen, especially for fajitas, but I also like the kind the fresh mex places use for such an application.

                    2. re: finlero

                      You could forgo the tortilla all together and get what they call the "naked burrito" ...

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Yeah, I could, but I seldom do. I'm more of the "complain-about-it-but-order-it-all-the-time" school of thought. Even if the tortilla isn't so great, I miss it when I don't get it.