Monday, October 11, 2010

Chipotle vs. Qdoba vs. Taco Bell

Mexican food is, undeniably, the best food on the face of the earth. Secondly, no matter how long humans survive on this planet, there will always be cheap people who don't want to pay for a sit-down Mexican meal. Thirdly, the majority of the human race is lazy and doesn't want to cook delicious Mexican food every day. Fourthly, Mexican food is hard to really cook right unless you somehow know what you're doing. Therefore, we, as cheap, lazy, and unskilled, people of Earth, are left with 3 choices worth noting: Chipotle, Qdoba, and Taco Bell.

But which one to choose, you say. Well, I'm about to tell you which one to choose. Have some patience. You must choose wisely lest you look like a fool, being found at the wrong burrito joint. The criteria that I will set forth for determining which burrito joint to choose includes Taste, Texture, and Authenticity.

Growing up in Alaska, the only cheap mexican food I had ever had was Taco Bell. It was one of my favorite fast food places, even above McDonalds, believe it or not. When you hear taco bell, we all know what you're thinking. Absolutely delicious undisclosed objects within a tortilla. You know what 2 very mexican things Taco Bell reminds me of? Chorizo and Barbacoa. I've only had authentic Chorizo once in my life. It was technically New Mexican, but close enough. It was amazing! Ridiculously amazing. Chorizo is made from all kinds of random pig parts that I don't even want to inquire about. Barbacoa, which means Barbecued, was originally prepared from goat's head and sometimes cow's head. Sounds great huh? In the same fashion, Taco Bell has embraced this Mexican idea of eating strange meats that you don't want to ask about. Therefore, Taco Bell is in the running for the Most Authentic Award.

Now, since I've been away from Alaska, the state has moved up in the world. Anchorage now has a Qdoba. Have you ever fed a dog peanut butter? It's the most hilarious thing you can do to a dog and it can either be considered cruel or extremely kind. Dogs absolutely love peanut butter, but the problem is, they have poor skills in moving food around their mouth. The peanut butter gets stuck to the roof of their mouth and it bothers them like nothing else. They have this amazingly delicious substance stuck in their mouth, but it's stuck on the roof of their mouth and they can't eat it. They eventually get it, but only after much effort. This is the closest parallel I can think of for Qdoba. Their food tastes good. It's different from Chipotle and Taco Bell, but the taste is good. The texture is what sets Qdoba apart. They absolutely are obsessed with Sticky. Sticky tortillas and sticky rice. Now, sticky is not my preference. The tortillas stick to the roof of a mouth like a dog eating peanut butter and the rice is just gooey. This texture makes the eating of a Qdoba burrito less than optimal. Qdoba's pride and joy, however, is the Queso Burrito. Even Qdobas strongest opponents often say that Qdoba is gross, but their Queso Burrito is Okay. I used to be one of these Qdoba haters, but I was converted to a Qdoba-is-okayer after tasting the queso burrito. For this reason, Qdoba is in the running for the Cheesiest Burrito award.

Freshman year of college I walked all the way from Golden to the capital building in Denver. That's about 13 miles. I did it as part of the Ore Cart Pull, which is an E-days tradition at Colorado School of Mines. This is an arduous trek, full of ghetto streets with large pavement cracks and cars passing at 30mph. Many people can't make the entire walk without stopping at multiple bars to take shots. And some people have so much difficulty, they have to take a Camelback full of gin and tonic to help ease the pain of the 13 mile walk. You can imagine that I am extremely proud to say that I made the walk 3 out of 5 of the years I was at Mines without a single drop of alcohol in my system (although I often had residual sassafras and sugar from an overdose of root beer which certainly helped). Those other 2 years were spent in bed because I was too lazy to go on the walk. Well freshman year, we made it after running for an entire mile to the capital. For some reason people think it's epic to run the last mile of the walk. I was dead when I got there, but I was greated with the most wonderful gift the ole' school of Mines has gifted me: A Chipotle Burrito. Yes, this is a better gift than my diploma and even my master's hood that I'll surely sew onto my black Target hoodie after graduation. Chipotle has the perfect inexpensive burrito. It tastes amazing and has amazing texture. I really don't have much to say about it. It's not incredibly authentic, but it's amazing.

It should be quite clear that my recommendation for inexpensive burritos would be Chipotle (or Chipoltee if your name is Jelly Roll). While Qdoba is incredibly Cheesy and Taco Bell is undeniably authentic, Chipotle's burritos win the award of Best Inexpensive Burrito Ever. Out of all of the combinations you can have, their best, in my opinion has the following in it: Black Beans (Frijoles Negros), Fajitas(Fajitas), Barbacoa (non traditional), Pico De Gallo (Rooster Beak), Green Chili (Chili Verde), Monterey Jack Cheese (Queso), and Lettuce (Lechuga).

Challenge of the day: Go eat a chipotle burrito and then run a mile. It's called the Burrito Mile.

1 comment:

  1. As the heir of New Mexicans, I must protest your assertion that the green stuff they serve at Chipotle is green chili. That stuff is made from jalepenos, tomatillos, and cilantro. There are three reasons this decadent topping can't be called green chili:
    1. Jalepenos- while they are grean, real green chili requires the use of the longer peppers grown in places like Hatch NM.
    2. Tomatillos- I will tell you that a New Mexican would protest adding a filler other than pork to any salsa
    3. Cilantro- New Mexicans generally hate that stuff because its used as a flavor instead of a spice. As a result, they pretty much just ask for the roasted, diced, and stewed green chili to put all over the burrito.