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Chipotle v. Qdoba: Which Does Skutt Catholic Prefer?

A look at student favorites from each chain

Chipotle+and+Qdoba+both+have+locations+just+minutes+away+from+Skutt+Catholic.
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Chipotle v. Qdoba: Which Does Skutt Catholic Prefer?

Chipotle and Qdoba both have locations just minutes away from Skutt Catholic.

Chipotle and Qdoba both have locations just minutes away from Skutt Catholic.

Photo by Tom Hermanek

Chipotle and Qdoba both have locations just minutes away from Skutt Catholic.

Photo by Tom Hermanek

Photo by Tom Hermanek

Chipotle and Qdoba both have locations just minutes away from Skutt Catholic.

Tom Hermanek, Managing Editor

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Until recently, fast-casual mexican food chains Qdoba and Chipotle could be differentiated in one concrete way: Qdoba has queso. However, as of Chipotle’s mid-September launch of queso in the metro area, the gooey, spicy cheese dip has become yet another point of similarity between the two chains.

Even before this latest development, the two chains have ultimately, from a customer’s point of view, been very similar. They both offer customizable, order-at-the-counter Americanized Mexican options at a price point of $7-9 an entree. Despite this, each chain has developed its own loyal, cult-like following.

Photo by Tom Hermanek
Knockout Tacos set Qdoba apart, says senior Ben Altman. Above, two Drunken Yardbird tacos, which are among the ‘knockout’ options.

Senior Ben Altman, a member of team Qdoba, says that Qdoba offers delicious options with which Chipotle simply can’t compete. “[In addition to burritos and bowls,] Qdoba also has these things called the knockout tacos which are absolutely delicious,” says Altman. He cites his two favorite “knockout tacos”: the Mad Rancher (topped with grilled chicken, bacon, guacamole, picante ranch, lettuce, pico de gallo and cotija cheese, per Qdoba’s website) and the Gladiator (Grilled steak, bacon, pico de gallo, lettuce, Mexican caesar dressing, cilantro and cotija cheese).

Additionally, Qdoba offers multiple types of queso as well as entrees such as tortilla soup and Mexican gumbo, whereas Chipotle has a more simple ordering procedure. Chipotle diners start by choosing a burrito, burrito bowl, salad or tacos.

Senior Stevie Yaghmour is on team Chipotle. “The ingredients they use just seem so much more fresh than [Qdoba’s],” Yaghmour says. “Generally, I get myself a burrito. I fill it up with [barbacoa] beef, pinto beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, hot salsa, and a bunch of guacamole.”

It’s important to note that Yaghmour pays around $2 extra on top of his $7 burrito for that guacamole, while Qdoba customers pay nothing additional for guacamole. And now that Chipotle has queso, Yaghmour will have to fork over another dollar and change if he wants a scoop on his burrito, while Qdoba throws in the melty cheese for no additional cost.

Ultimately, it’s a question of whether one is willing to pay a bit extra for a better entree, Yaghmour believes. And if you are, then you belong at Chipotle.

As for the queso, though, Altman says that Chipotle’s cheese falls short. He thinks that all of Qdoba’s queso varieties are better than that of Chipotle.

Tom Hermanek - Managing Editor

Tom became a member of The Flightline in January of 2015. He is a senior who is involved in mock trial and swimming. Off campus, Tom spends his time with friends or working at Starbucks. You can email him at [email protected]

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Chipotle v. Qdoba: Which Does Skutt Catholic Prefer?