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Bolocco vs. Qdoba vs. Chipotle

n
nasilemak Mar 17, 2010 08:24 AM

Which of the 3 burrito chains do you think is the best? Or are they all decidedly ho-hum?

  1. j
    joth68 Mar 17, 2010 08:32 AM

    Chipotle is the best of that bunch. Anna's and Boca Grande which are Boston specific chains are much better.

    1. SaraASR Mar 17, 2010 08:34 AM

      Boloco. Their new goloco salad options is great. They certainly have the largest selection of ingredients (love the corn salsa, black bean hummus, brown rice, white meat chicken, creamy slaw, tofu, I could go on). After Boloco, I go for Chipotle, although I find their food to be incredibly salty, even though I have a high tolerance for salt.

      1. b
        bakerboyz Mar 17, 2010 08:54 AM

        Haven't tried Qdoba but have tried Chipotle (once) and Boloco (Framingham/Natick location) several times. I actually found Boloco to be quite tasty, very nice flavor and seasonings and better than Chipotle.

        1. e
          emilief Mar 17, 2010 09:37 AM

          Had food from Qdoba(Wellesley location) and it was terrible.

          1. rlh Mar 17, 2010 10:11 AM

            I have consistently enjoyed Chitpotle (chicken) for the faux-burrito experience and think Qdoba is passable/edible, however, Boloco is an absolute "NEVER, EVER" for me for their burrito imitations - flavorless fillings, bad tortillas, and lukewarm at best each time I tried them (I mean the Pearl St. location downtown, BTW). The breakfast options are especially awful (as in I threw away a breakfast burrito and I never throw food away...) Maybe I need to try their salad options if I ever step in there again...and the staff seems friendly enough.

            Boca Grande, Anna's, Herrera's, and Andale are all superior (even if not truly destination-worthy) options for burritos.

            1. Suze123 Mar 17, 2010 11:08 AM

              I think you'll probably find opinions on this to vary widely. I go for Chipotle or Boloco (I love their lime-flavored filling...can't tell if it's in the rice or the salsa). Qdoba is ho-hum. And I honestly find Anna's gross. Chicken is always dark meat and slimy, beans undercooked, and there is no white meat option.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Suze123
                BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 17, 2010 12:30 PM

                There are definitely those who find the all-dark-meat chicken at Anna's a feature, not a bug...although personally, I almost always get either the carnitas or the pastor. I'm surprised that you've had trouble with undercooked beans, though, because if anything, my experience is that the beans can be on the mushy side. That might be because I usually go for the pintos instead of the black beans, though. But overall, I find Anna's serves perfectly adequate Mission-style burritos, at least at the one on Harvard Street in Brookline, which is just about the only one I ever go to.

                Of the three under discussion, I will occasionally eat at Chipotle if I'm just dying for a burrito and there are no better options, but Qdoba is pretty ghastly. What I've had from Boloco has been awful, but Allstonian recently suggested to me that the trick is to stay away from the more overtly burrito-like things so as to avoid disappointment at how non-burrito-like they are. Rather as Ralphie says, treat them as wraps and they're okay.

                What's the word on Felipe's? I'm quite a Flat Patties fan, but now that I think of it, I've never eaten at Felipe's.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                  chickendhansak Mar 17, 2010 12:46 PM

                  I know some prefer Felipe's to Anna's or Boca Grande. I had a stunning carnitas burrito there last time I went but that may have been a one-off. They have a self-service condiment bar which distinguishes them slightly from A and BG.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                    greenzebra Mar 17, 2010 01:00 PM

                    I have lunch occasionally at Felipe's, and I find it to be more-or-less on par with Anna's, depending on the day. The condiment bar is nice.

                    1. re: greenzebra
                      jgg13 Mar 18, 2010 07:38 AM

                      I believe felipes & annas are run by estranged members of the same family, although maybe that's felipe's & boca grande

                      1. re: jgg13
                        d
                        dulce de leche Mar 18, 2010 08:03 AM

                        I think it actually might be Anna's and Boca Grande.

                        Felipe's is good. They have horchata and Jamaica tea, and good condiments. More options than most. It's tasty, straightforward.

                        It's slightly cheaper than Chipotle, but Chipotle uses only humanely raised meat and has strict principles about sourcing ingredients, so the extra dollar or two is worth paying. Their burritos are usually very good--that's almost all that's on the menu.

                        1. re: dulce de leche
                          BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 18, 2010 10:59 AM

                          Yes, it's Anna's and Boca Grande. Felipe's is owned by the same guy who owns Flat Patties, just upstairs from it.

                2. Matt H Mar 17, 2010 11:31 AM

                  I have them ranked as 1. Chipotle 2. Bolocco 3. Qdoba (distant 3rd) I find the first two to be comparable, but a slight edge to Chipotle, and keep in mind it does vary from location to location.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Matt H
                    g
                    Gordough Mar 17, 2010 12:35 PM

                    "I have them ranked as 1. Chipotle 2. Bolocco 3. Qdoba (distant 3rd)"

                    This is the correct answer.

                    Also, I really want to like Ana's and Boca over Chiplote but the meat is highly inconsistent and often inedible.

                  2. r
                    Ralphie_in_Boston Mar 17, 2010 11:31 AM

                    I'm not much of a fan of either place but of the three I prefer Boloco. The trick (for me) is not to even consider their products burritos, but "wraps" . Makes it more palatable for me.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                      b
                      baldbert Mar 17, 2010 01:22 PM

                      Who's better, George H Bush, George W Bush, or Jeb Bush? Too many better options around here to go to any of the 3 you mentioned. Plus, Boloco's burritos have more calories than a Big Mac. I tried Chiplote's steak burrito last week for the first time and it was just average but huge. In a pinch, I'll go to Boloco (the Thai wrap thingy) but you couldn't suck me through the doors of Qdoba with a giant vacuum cleaner.

                      1. re: baldbert
                        w
                        weezycom Oct 18, 2010 01:54 PM

                        +1 on the Qdoba appraisal. I had my first and (I hope!) last one over the weekend.

                    2. elbev Mar 17, 2010 01:40 PM

                      Why even bother?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: elbev
                        a
                        astrid Mar 17, 2010 01:49 PM

                        agreed. none of them are good.

                      2. z
                        zhlmmc Mar 17, 2010 02:12 PM

                        I had the fist burrito in my life in Qdoba. I think it is pretty good. And I can use my student id to get discount.

                        -----
                        Qdoba
                        5 White St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                        1. almansa Mar 17, 2010 05:30 PM

                          Of the three I'd only do Chipotle, simply for the quality of the meats.

                          1. digga Mar 17, 2010 05:50 PM

                            I admit, I've had two experiences at Boloco (Harvard Sq and the old Davis Sq location) and both were good. I ordered the Thai tofu "wrap" both times and it was tasty. Honestly, I was not seeking authenticity but a good, cheap, and responsible-ish meal both times. Boloco filled the bill.

                            -----
                            Boloco
                            82 Water St, Boston, MA 02109

                            1. Kirs Mar 17, 2010 05:56 PM

                              Chipotle. Chipotle. And more Chipotle. Then again, I'm a Denver girl and they originated there, so I have a softspot for them. As a vegetarian, Chipotle's veggie bowl/burrito is one of the best fast food options out there.

                              Oh, and I'll happily join the Anna's hate club. I do not see the appeal. At all.

                              1. g
                                grant.cook Mar 18, 2010 07:49 AM

                                I'd hit Chipotle because they have all the Tabasco hot sauce flavors handy to dump on your burrito. I appreciate the variety that Bolocco is trying to provide - sort of the alternate take on burritos, but I am a burrito purist, so don't stick tofu and beans sprouts inside it and tell me its a burrito..

                                But I'd always prefer Anna's or if in the Porter Area, Tacos Lupita..

                                1. m
                                  mparfitt Mar 18, 2010 09:39 AM

                                  I prefer Chipotle -- like others, for the quality of the meat, and the fact that it's humanely raised (for the most part). The new restaurant on Comm Ave is a nightmare, though: all the servers ooze that fake friendliness, but they forget to listen to the reply to their questions, and they can't get the proportions right in the burritos. You'll get a quarter cup of beans and a cup of salsa. So my vote would be for either (a) Chipotle at a location other than Comm Ave or (b) Boloco.

                                  1. Bob W Mar 19, 2010 08:23 AM

                                    You should throw Baja Fresh into the mix.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Bob W
                                      c
                                      calabasas_trafalgar Mar 29, 2010 07:47 PM

                                      no.

                                      I go to Chipotle for the crispy tacos, not burritos.

                                    2. Vexorg Mar 19, 2010 04:54 PM

                                      I've never had Boloco before (I think there's one or two around here, but they're well out of the way of where I go) but here's how I'd rank what's around here (in no particular order:)

                                      Baja Fresh: I'll go for a Bean and Cheese Enchilado Style burrito (with chicken occasionally, but even the bean and cheese by itself is some ridiculous amount of calories so that doesn't happen often) every once in a while, but haven't been too impressed with the rest of the menu. For the most part it's good, but tends to be inconsistent.

                                      Qdoba: Used to be better. They took my favorite item off the menu (the Chicken Mole burrito) and I haven't been going nearly as often since then.

                                      Taco Del Mar: They were around here long before any of the others showed up, but they keep tinkering with the menu. They slipped a bit in quality when they went national, but have been recovering some lately. This is one of the relatively few closeby lunch options to where I work, so I end up here fairly often.

                                      Chipotle: Decent burritos (I especially like the Barbacoa), but there just seems to be a certain pretentiousness to the place that seems a bit off-putting.

                                      1. woodleyparkhound Mar 30, 2010 10:01 AM

                                        It was interesting to read through these comments. I've never had (nor have I ever heard of ) Bolocco, but unlike many other posters here, I greatly prefer Qdoba to Chipotle. There is a Qdoba conveniently located next door to a movie theater I patronize. Sometimes, I want a snack to tide me over until the move is finished. I only ever get one thing there - a single black bean soft taco with no rice and nearly all the non-meat toppings they have except that vile corn mixture. I love that they have fresh lime slices, so I can drench it in lime juice. I also like the fact that it only costs about $2. I've only eaten at Chipotle a couple of times, but I find it to be way over-salted, plus they don't sell a small $2 snack, which I what I want on those rare occasions when I eat at a chain like this. The other place I like for all the same reasons I like Qdoba is California Tortilla. I'm not saying this is great food, nor would I go out of my way for it - but for a $2 snack in a convenient neighborhood, these places can't be beat - at least in the neighborhoods I'm talking about.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: woodleyparkhound
                                          BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 30, 2010 12:16 PM

                                          Boloco is a (very) small Boston-only burrito chain. All of the other obscure places mentioned (Anna's Taqueria, Felipe's, Boco Grande) are also in Boston/Cambridge. Why this Boston-specific thread was moved into Chains, I have no idea.

                                        2. r
                                          raleighboy Mar 31, 2010 09:32 AM

                                          So much depends on location. For example- the Northeastern Boloco outshines the Emerson Boloco in such a drastic way, that it makes it impossible for me to actually declare a winner. Qdoba is good for anything but burritos. Nachos, tacos, quesadillas, I'd gladly go to Qdoba. Where Boloco shines are its kinds of burritos that stray away from the traditional. I'm all for ethnic purity in food, but I have to admit I'm quite the fan of the buffalo burrito at Boloco (with the crisp celery- so perfect).

                                          Chipotle, I can't honestly judge because I haven't had it while I've been in Massachusetts. It wouldn't be fair to compare a North Carolina Chipotle experience to a Mass one. And if you're bringing in chains outside the Boston area, my vote will always,

                                          I repeat, ALWAYS- go to Moe's.
                                          You can't beat a Joey Bag.

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