Qdoba is a Mexicanish restaurant that has been around for awhile and in the past, when I was a young lad, I had been there a time or two and was surprised that they offered no nachos. NO NACHOS!?!? That’s right, there are never enough interrobangs to express the questions and exclamations behind a Mexican place that doesn’t have nachos. I figured that at a restaurant where they don’t even put a “U” after the “Q” in their name perhaps not having nachos isn’t that strange. I never returned. Until last week. And they now have nachos.
When I say that they have nachos, it’s mostly true. A more accurate description would probably be that they have some of the ingredients you would put on nachos and are trying to make the best of them. The base consisted of chips, beans, and a more than your average number of meat toppings. So far so good. Next came the 3-Cheese Queso (Which apparently took 47 attempts to “reach gastronomical gold” if their website is to be believed) and a salsa topping. Still not too strange. Lastly comes their other topping choices, which were lettuce, sour cream, guac, shredded cheese, and fajita/grilled veggies. That’s all. Talk about bland.
And of course all these extra toppings cost extra (save the lettuce, but nobody wants that) so I went casual, or should I say blandsual. Because it was bland. I certainly wouldn’t call them good, but fairly I can’t call them bad either, so they fall into the dreaded and forgettable land of meh, which in a way is even worse than bad. At least a bad order of nachos you can tout as being horrible in so many ways, but a meh one there’s really nothing to talk about. You could go eat it, or you could not and it really wouldn’t make a difference other than that you would or wouldn’t be hungry later.
Oh, one thing that wasn’t bland, the “homemade tortilla chips”, but that was because they tasted like they had been dipped in the Dead Sea and then dried. Describing them as the saltiest things I’ve eaten, after salt of course, is minimal hyperbole at best. There was literally piles of salt at the bottom of the bowl when I was done, and even the queso couldn’t drown those out. Perhaps a horse/cow/deer with a natural salt deficiency might find them tolerable, but not I.
And now for a fun aside: A local Qdoba was also involved in the landmark court case where it was determined that burritos weren’t sandwiches. As copied from Wikipedia:
The company was recently involved in a lawsuit in which Panera Bread attempted to invoke a clause in Panera's contract with the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, to stop the opening of a Qdoba Mexican Grill. The clause provided that Panera would be the only sandwich shop in the shopping center. Panera argued that burritos and other tortilla-based foods were, in fact, sandwiches. Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke ruled against Panera, concluding, "A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans." However, the Qdoba in Shrewsbury has since closed, while Moe's Southwest Grill and Chipotle Mexican Grill remain open across the street.
I go to that Moe’s all the time! And in summation, between Moe’s and Qdoba, you should be going to Moe’s too, since they’ve heard of words like “flavor” and “topping variety”.