Qdoba is one of those places I always forget about. I don't know why but they just don't stay on my mind like that Windsong song in the commercial. Qdoba is one of those upscale casual places the corporations are trying to push these days. The ingredients are a little better, the ambiance is a little nicer and the prices are a little more. It's still counter service and you get your own drinks but pay about a buck or two less than comparable sit down and save the tip. In these tough times it sometimes just makes sense.
Qdoba is all about burritoes, tacos and no tortilla versions of Tex-Mex/Mexican. They are basically the same as Chipotle and Freebirds except their menu pushed you toward certain flavor combinations rather than letting you make them up yourself. The Queso Burrito only has beef or chicken, the Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito only has pork or chicken. You get the idea. They have the same rice, beans and all the different veg to finish the creation so you still get to make like you like it. I had the Queso Burrito and Steph ( She's Fed Up in Austin ) had the Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito. They were both served up fat and full of delicious fresh ingredients from the same person that made them. All with a smile. So far, so good. We filled our drinks and found a table. I grabbed a bottle of Tabasco on the way just in case I wanted to turn up the heat.
I found the beef to be tender and in little chunks. They put plenty in the burrito but I wouldn't say it's too much. The lightly seasoned rice wasn't mushy so that was good and the pinto beans had a little seasoning to them which added an extra level of flavor. The pico de gallo and lettuce tasted fresh and the jalapeno salsa had a little heat to it along with a nice spicy flavor. It was a flavor sort of between salsa for chips and salsa to sauce a burrito. I thought the burrito as a whole was well balanced. I did end up using the Tabasco. Maybe I'll try their Habanero based sauce next time. I usually find those just hot with not much flavor but hey maybe Qdoba will surprise me.
Steph had the Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito. It was too big for her to finish but she did enjoy it. Steph had the pork which looked nice and moist. She didn't mention it being tough, like at Chipotle, so that was a plus one for Qdoba. She gets her burritos rather plain so only the rice, black beans and a little cheese to go with the pork and BBQ sauce. The only complaints were her tortilla was a little wet and it was too big to eat by hand. My tortilla was a little wet too but it was nice and fresh otherwise. Maybe they just left it in the steamer a little too long. And they are big. I had to eat mine like a typewriter. Start at one end and move from left to right. It worked out pretty well for me.
Now you've probably been thinking, what's up with this naked thing? Well, at Qdoba they cater to the low carb people so you can get most anything without the tortilla. They just put it in a bowl. That's probably not a bad idea for the Grumpy Fat Man to consider. Maybe I'll try a naked burrito next time.
Until tomorrow keep your chips dry and your salsa muy caliente...