My history with Chipotle dates to the University of Maryland, when there was one walking distance from my grad school apartment. I'd never heard of it before and my roommate and I pronounced the word wrong for a while. AH. So it has good memories, but it loses out in the head-to-head comparison now.
Although this has nothing to do with why I like it less, at the Chicago Chipotle a random guy engaged me in conversation about my burrito. I was sitting there, with my toddler, wolfing this thing down and the guy, possibly homeless because he came in to just use the bathroom, talked to me about it twice -- on the way in and out. It was so weird.
|From robertrazrblog on Flickr|
I first went to Qdoba in Manhattan, and my favorite part was -- and still is -- the queso, which Chipotle doesn't offer. Also a plus for me now is that Qdoba has a kids' menu, which Chipotle does not. That means Jane can get a cheese quesadilla, beans or apple sauce, and a milk jug. Her options at Chipotle are severely limited. I guess I could try to feed her a taco? (In Chicago I just went next door and bought her a cheese sandwich -- wow nutrition on vacation).
My second favorite part of Qdoba is the beverage station, which is a new thing. They're also available at Noodles & Co. and Burger King -- the machines that give you lots of options for each drink. My pick is cherry vanilla diet Dr. Pepper.
Looking at their websites I see Chipotle offers alcohol, although I've never actually had a margarita there. (And that might be enough to sway my vote the other way, if I were dining without Jane that is. Mama loves her margaritas even more than queso!)
Back in BR I have access to both restaurants. Neither is particularly convenient, although the Qdoba is near Whole Foods and Chipotle is on the north side of campus where I never go. There used to be a second, ultra-convenient Qdoba near our old apartment, but it's closed and turned into some kind of bistro. Gag.