Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chain Reaction

While the proliferation of chain establishments along Chelsea's famed 8th Avenue has been lamented by many (there really are Starbucks at 22nd, 20th and 16th streets), my inner-child-of-the-suburbs tends to be more concerned that the shops that go in being good rather than one-of-a-kind. (No more bank branches or nail salons!) So when the famed Bright Food Shop shuttered its doors last year, I have to admit I wasn't all that heartbroken. While the rest of the world had a major hard-on for its Asian-Mexican diner "fusion fare," I couldn't ever quite get a handle on what the hell was going on inside the adorable corner eatery. (French toast? Great! Oh, wait. With a caramelized jalapeno syrup??????) Eventually word got out that a Mexican restaurant was moving in and my inner-Southwestern said, "so far, so good." Before long, though, signs with way too high production value screaming COMING SOON -- QDOBA! were in the the windows and I started to suspect that this was indeed another chain moving in along the boulevard of broken gay dreams -- just one I'd never heard of. Sure enough the company's Web site explains that Qdoba is a Denver-based burrito joint started back in 1995 that was purchased by Jack in the Box in 2003.

So I'm reaching out to my readers around the country. Ever been to Qdoba? Is it anything to get excited about? My friend Sebastian overheard two middle-aged women outside the place howling, "it's a chain, and it's terrible" before walking away in a huff.

As I said, I'm no snob. But truth be told, if it's not anything special then I'd rather they just call a spade a spade and put a Jack in the Box in there. Nothing beats those two tacos for 99 cents -- especially after a night of drinking.

14 comments:

Joey7777 said...

I wouldn't mind ONE Jack-In-The-Box in the NYC area. Those tacos and eggrolls are delicious. And the Jack-In-the-Box man is such a cool retro-type logo character.

Peter said...

hey there KW, Qdoba;s is alright. Think Chipotle's with more 'fanfare'.

Terry said...

I've gone to some here in St. Louis and they are okay. I normally do not like Mexican/Southwest type foods but among this type of restaurant, it is one of the better.

jordanboston said...

We call it Q"no"ba... If you like dry-ish burritos then this is the place for you. Don't get me wrong--it's not Taco Bell. But it's nothing to get excited about.

Steve said...

Kenneth, Qdoba is a good place for quick food. It's similar to Chipotle. Check out this blog post: I'm a veteran of Qdoba. Enjoy your location when it opens. Steve
http://obscurityknocks-steve.blogspot.com/2007/04/9-years-of-qdoba.html

Anonymous said...

Q'doba is good food. One just opened in our neighborhood in St. Louis, MO, and my partner and I go there frequently. We see a lot of other gay and lesbian couples there as well.

JR

Rusty said...

I don't think you'll be disappointed. Qdoba and it's fraternal twin, Chipotle both serve huge "San Francisco style" burritos that are supposed to be made from pretty high-quality ingredients. I've only eaten at Qdoba once, but we have two Chipotles nearby, and the food's pretty addictive. Of course, we're in a college town, so the young clientèle tends to help the atmosphere. . .

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's like Chipotle's, but with more variety and MUCH better tasting tortilla chips.

Dave said...

There's actually a location at 34th and 3rd. It's OK, at best. I would put it right in between Taco Bell and Chipotle in terms of cleanliness and quality.

JackPacker said...

If you're addicted to cheese and ground beef like me, then put on your party dress for a conveniently located Qdoba! I like it better than Moe's, but I'd single out a Chipotle before I went to Qdoba's if it was convenient. It's not some dream come true, to-die-for, write-home-about-it kind of situation, but odds are - you'll enjoy it if you try it.

So Left I'm Right said...

Jacques dans la Boite Ultimate Cheeseburger = Ultimate Drunk Food... but seriously, NYC is now essentially a big food court like at any suburban mall. The Starbucks-ization has gone too far, and it's very boring. You can't go anywhere without a Starbucks, Duane Reade, bank, another Starbucks, CVS, bank, bank, possibly ANOTHER Starbucks, etc. The individuality and creativity of New York is quickly disappearing. That's not to say there are still many great independent restaurants, bistros, cafes, etc. Seek them out, patronize them, leave the chain burritos for those nights staggering home from the club.

John said...

Having lived in Denver, Qdoba and Chipotle are around about as much as McDonald's and BK. I prefer Qdoba...try the chicken queso burrito. And I also agree about the comment on the tortilla chips, too.

Dillon said...

I'm a CO native and have had the luck of being able to try both Q'Doba and Chipotle and while I prefer Chipotle for its ingredients, Q'doba has the Queso that brings me back again and again. Not to mention some random memories (we used to call ours "Queer-doba" cause they took a particular liking to our group of friends). But then again, I don't have any experience with the area you're in so I don't know what else there is around town but I'd give it a try.

jasfeb2000 said...

"I'm So Left I'm Right" is, well......right. Qdoba is crap, fake Mexican at BEST. Try the taco truck that opens pretty much every night on the NE corner of 14th and 8th. THe food is awesome and authentic. The only thing is that they open at midnight and it's just that...a truck. But a clean one!! I live right above and, after more than a few cocktails glue my face to the glass to look down and see if it's open. Never disappointed!

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