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Chipotle or Qdoba?

Never been to either of these, but both are close...is one better than the other?

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  1. Chipotle is in my opinion superior to Qdoba.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Janet from Richmond

      I LOVE Chipotle and I am from Texas. I lke their Chicken Tacos with fresh salsa and corn salsa. I really like their guacamole and chips too. After 1 visit to Qdoba I felt riped off and wondered what the fuss was about!!

    2. both are terrible,

      find a local tacqueria and you will do 10x better than anything these 2 spots could turn out on their best day.

      16 Replies
      1. re: swsidejim

        That isn't always an option...like here in Virginia.

        1. re: Janet from Richmond

          I would either go hungry, or change my dining plans if I was in that bad situation.

          1. re: swsidejim

            Maybe it's just the Chicago Chipotles...maybe it's Chicago's plethora of excellent Mexican and Sud Americano choices.

            My sentiments exactly. Sometimes you just have to say no. Chipotle's popularized the Mission burrito, a food abomination in my mind.

            I don't dig rice in my burrito(hated it when I lived in The Mission in the early 90's btw) and Chicago's Chipotles are hell on wheels...yes, you can request no rice, but if everything else is flavorless...what's to do?

            ...patronize a real taqueria?

            if you don't have access to one how about making your own?

            or, how about going without imo(not because it's a chain...because it's terrible) crap?

            1. re: aelph

              Both are mediocre... but in a pinch, I will eat at Chipotle... I go for a Bowl... with Barbacoa, Beans (Absolutely No Rice), Some Guac, Salsa & a beer. Its fairly authentic meal that way... but I certainly wouldn't eat Chipotle's food if I were in Mexico.

              Qdoba is not even worth mentioning.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                Smart man about the rice... that is why I won't go there, that Cilantro rice is awful..

                --Dommy!

                1. re: Dommy

                  I thought I was the only one who had a problem with the cilantro rice. I remember in college a Qdoba opened up and it seemed like the best thing in the world. One night I had a burrito (that was of course loaded with cilantro rice) and then had way too much to drink. Needless to say, I have never ate at a Qdoba, Chipotle, Pancheros, etc, again, and that was probably 7 years ago. Just the idea of the cilantro rice makes my stomach churn.

        2. re: swsidejim

          Neither are terrible. Are there better options? Sure, but Chipotle and Qdoba aren't bad options. That said, I prefer Chipotle by a wide margin if only for their carnitas, which are better than I've had at some local taquería's.

          1. re: beerambassador

            taste is subjective. To me they are both terrible. Luckily I have many tacquerias that make authentic carnita's.

            if you like them enjoy.

            1. re: swsidejim

              I so agree with swsidejim here, but I understand that some areas don't have as many options. Where I am, Chipotle and Qdoba wouldn't cross my mind as options for food for my dog, but if I had to choose one, it would be Chipotle. I sincerely have no disdain for "Chain Restaurants" in general at all. I make my opinions based on each place I go to. If I liked Chipotle, or qdoba, I would have no problem saying so. I've only been to qdoba once, and was amazed at what a rip off it was. I've been to Chipotle probably five or six times in my life, and would have to say it is a better value for that type of food, but I have no reason to settle for either in my area. I'd skip both, and go to mcdonald's or subway first. If you are ever in Chicago, you can look up some places that will net you better mexican food (same menu items) with better ingredients for about half the price, at a different place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for about a month. I'm not saying that I'm great, or I have a better life, or anything like that at all, I'm just saying that from a 'CH' standpoint, there would be really no reason at all for me to go to either. I'm sure you can say the exact same about certain foods where you're at that are far superior to Chicago, and you'd find it odd that someone would be trying to pick between two places that you consider horrendous since you can do much better all around you. Again, I really do not want to sound snotty at all, and I'm really not a snotty person in the least litrtle tiny bit, but I SO understand what swsidejim is saying here.

              1. re: swsidejim

                In Des Moines we have more than our share of mexican food, yet I have never had Carnitas. I recently heard of a couple of the nicer places that have good ones, but the taquerias don't seem to have them. Lots of good "marinated pork" tacos, just not the "fried crisp on the outside, tender and moist on the inside" carnitas that I've read about on CH, and so want to try. We are getting our first Chipotle here in a month or two. I've been looking forward to it just so I could grab a quick taco, and finally have Carnitas. It's Neiman Ranch pork, can it be that bad?
                I now think of the time years ago I ordered Swordfish at a local place, before we had a good local source for seafood, and the waitress asked, " have you ever had swordfish?", I said "no". She replied, " I wouldn't start here".
                Is this kinda the same thing?

                1. re: Bobfrmia

                  I hate to say it, but, yes. Awesome waitress.

                  1. re: Bobfrmia

                    Concur.... despite the reputation of Niman Ranch... from a purely gustatory perspective... no its not particularly good pork... and further Chipotle doesn't know how to make Carnitas. Personally... I don't think much about the Carnitas most U.S. based 'Hounds rave about. I climbed Everest & spoke with the Guru... I've had Carnitas in the town of Uruapuan... few in California have come close... but compared to Chipotle.... CA's taquerias seem like Uruapan,Shangri-La

              2. re: swsidejim

                Maybe I'm in the minority here with this thought...but just because something is a local tacqueria doesn't automatically make it better than Chipotle or Qdoba.

                That being said I think the only thing worth eating at Qdoba is their queso dip. Fan of Chipotle though.

                1. re: MDoodle

                  maybe you just have bad tacquerias around you. Any I have been to in my area have been 10X better than my "burrito" I had @ Chipotle.

                  I am all for Chipotle & the like, it keeps the lines at my tacquerias shorter.

                  1. re: MDoodle

                    You are 100% absolutely correct. That statement, however, has nothing to do with what swsidejim wrote. I certainly agree with you though.

                    I've never had anything other than cheap, chewy, salty, overcooked garbage meat from a chipotle. I'd love to get each of the Chipotle fans to my favorite 'joints' so they could understand that carne asada is supposed to be tender, juicy, flavorful, char grilled skirt steak, and not salty stewed chuck steak; Carnitas is pork fried in lard; barbacoa should be far to succulent and rich to have more than a little bit; tacos should be served on two griddle or grill warmed corn tortillas, and stuffed full of enough meat to use the second tortilla; flour tortillas were never meant to be steamed until they are a gummy, gross mess... And the list would go one if you were to only experience what real "fast mexican food" is. I know, I know, these places are targeting consumers on a more global level, so it has to appeal to kids, and older folks alike just like Mcdonald's does, but I just can't for the life of me understand the draw. Do folks really overcook meats until they are a chewy mess like that at home?

                    1. re: gordeaux

                      That's why I get a vegetarian bol there...i don't like the meat or tortillas, for the exact reasons you list. I like the rice, the salsas, fajita veggies, guac, etc. Fine tacquerias here...unfortunately, none within walking distance from my office. Work with what you've got, is my philosophy. Hence - the veggie bol.

                2. Personally, I like them both....Chipotle is more of a burrito place and Qdoba has a broader menu......they're both near me and it depends on my mood which one I go to....

                  1. If you live in Chicago, etc., more power to you, but I done think the OP asked about what superior food you can get in your town. He/she asked about chains on the board designated for such topics.

                    To get back on track - of the two, I like them both for different things. The carnitas and the chips at Chipolte are better, IMHO, but I prefer the salsa at Qdoba. But I think either is a decent option for a fast-food'ish Mexican lunch and both are FAR superior to Taco Bell and the like.

                    1. Overall, I'd say Chipotle is better than Qdoba. Chipotle's carnitas and barbacoa are better than the meats at Qdoba. Chipotle's guacamole is better than Qdoba's. Now that Qdoba has dropped the Chicken Mole burrito from their menu, the only thing there that I really like is their tortilla soup. Neither place is great.

                      1. I prefer Chipotle's carnitas and barbacoa, but Qdoba does make a decent chicken which I prefer to Chipotle. Qdoba also has a wider selection of salsas & sauces, but Chipotle has better ingredients from a taste and sustainablity preference. Since you are close to both, why not try them both? Anyone who thinks these places are terrible has not had a truly awful burrito.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                          I had a truly awful burrito, at Chipotle, it set the bar as low as it could be.

                          Now I know better.

                          CH is about people expressing opinions on food both positive an negative, it would be useless if it was a one sided love fest.

                          1. re: swsidejim

                            Truly awful would be rancid meat with moldy cheese wrapped in a stale burrito. I sincerely doubt this describes the average Chipotle burrito. It may not be the best of the best of the best, but it is not truly awful.

                            1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                              No, I have never consumed rancid meat and moldy cheese burrito.

                              I did have a chicken burrito from chipotle that had dry, flavorless chicken, clumpy, falvorless rice, and sour salsas.

                              Neither are acceptable.

                              1. re: swsidejim

                                That would be a bad burrito, but using the term truly awful is a bit of a hyperbole. I have had many good burritos there and know many people who have also had many good burritos there. Your opinion - though completely valid - is in the minority.

                                  1. re: swsidejim

                                    I live in LA where we have some of the best tacquerias in the country and still would not consider the burrito at Chipotle awful by any stretch. Sorry that you had a bad experience, but I agree with Sacto that I've had far worse burritos than the ones at Chipotle (I actually like Chipotle when I'm in the mood for a mission-style burrito). And I agree with Dommy that Q'doba just seems a little grimey, at least the one near me.

                        2. Oh man...I for one feel qualified to answer this question.

                          For a long time, I loathed Chipotle and would rant to friends that Qdoba is wayyy better and far superior. I LOVED Qdoba's tacos and Chipotle's paled in comparison.

                          But I've finally realized that they just have different strengths. Qdoba's tacos ARE better but Chipotle does make a killer burrito. So it depends which food you like more.That's my two cents.

                          1. My main issue with Qdoba is that it's scuzzy. The one here's counter is always a mess. At Chipotle they clean up after themselves or have a better 'spooning' techinique...

                            --Dommy!

                            1. Chipotle does make a point of sourcing quaity, organic ingredients though, or at least they are good at getting press coverage about it. There was a Post article not too long ago about how the Charlottesville, VA Chipotles are now getting their pork exclusively from Polyface Farms, of Omnivore's Dilemma fame. Oh look, I found a link

                              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                              1. In my experience, they are the same. We also have a Moe's. I can only compare the burritos that weigh in excess of 16 oz. However, Qdoba offers the best breakfast burritos around.

                                1. They each have their strong point depending on what you're looking for. I love the nachos at Qboda (order the chips on the side. I always ask for rice and beans. The queso is amazing!) but don't care for the burritos or tacos very much. Chipotle has better burritos, I think, but be prepared for a little heat as their rice has something in it that makes it have some kick.

                                  Granted, neither of them is "authentic", but I don't think they claim to be so it doesn't bother me.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Nachoman45

                                    Chipotle's rice is made with cilantro and lime juice, which gives it that tanginess. I make rice with their recipe all the time now, and here is one version of the recipe: http://www.recipezaar.com/147335