Chipotle Crushes in Battle of the Burritos
A Comparison of Two M Street Staples
Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 16:02
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." However, I am almost certain that Jefferson was not thinking about Mexican restaurants. For years, M Street has played the role of battlefield between two contenders from south of the border: Qdoba and Chipotle. Although on the surface, this rivalry seems to be another Pepsi-Coke, Burger King-McDonald's or even Georgetown-George Washington (this is where you laugh), in actuality, one's palatable preference represents a dietary dilemma of gastronomical proportions. Not until the Georgetown community as a whole accepts Chipotle as the superior restaurant will sanity resume its presence at 37th and O Streets. In order to show the weak of heart and stomach the true path to burrito nirvana, I shall delve into details of my experiences at both establishments, examining the very fabricos of these "Texican" eateries.
Like the hundreds of misguided souls on campus, I too headed to M Street two weeks ago to partake in the discounted comida in order to see what this hokey pokey was all about, but unlike the diners in Qdoba, I was undercover. After waiting in line for three-and-a-half centuries, I finally arrived at the counter and ordered a steak burrito with sour cream, cheese, corn salsa and lettuce. After paying a few hard-earned dollars for this newborn baby-sized burrito, I was able to secure a seat near the window. I like to watch people watch me eat. I tore off some foil and took a large bite. My initial reaction: wet. Talk about piso mojado. Why is my burrito wet? I excused this disturbing reaction and continued to critique my culinary prey. The more I ate, the more I realized that there was something missing: flavor. How is it that grilled steak and the like could be rendered tasteless, especially to a man with an acute sense of taste? I was confused, distraught, underwhelmed and scared.
Being the dedicated cilantro scholar that I am, one week later I decided to continue my research. It was seven o'clock, high time for high burrito enthusiasts flocking to M Street for some more of that bargain bread. Unlike the masses, however, I walked past Qdoba and entered Chipotle. Instantly, it hit me. I discovered the one good thing about "half-off Qdoba": half the line at Chipotle. Unlike the compañero down the street, I didn't lose years of my life waiting in line for the Henry Ford of culinary assembly lines to ready themselves for my order. To maintain a platform to compare the two restaurants, I ordered the same thing as I did at Qdoba. Fun fact: You pay full price one more day a week at Chipotle, but you get a free fountain drink with your GOCard seven more days a week than at Qdoba.
I found a seat in a booth, ripped off a piece of foil and attacked. Burrito bliss. The tortilla was warm, the corn was incredibly sweet — or can that savory nectar be from the meat? — the lettuce was crispy, and don't get me started on the steak. It was succulent and spicy. Although the rice was salty, it was balanced by the luscious sour cream. I sat there enjoying every bite in a burrito-induced trance, thinking about the preposterous idea that Qdoba could be better than Chipotle.
Are those who believe Qdoba to be the better restaurant doing so because they've never been to Chipotle? Are they just angry that they haven't been accepted into the prestigious Chipotle community that so many seek to join? Or are they simply delusional? I understand that many students are on a tight budget, and trust me, this Guide Editor is not rolling around in any type of dough, but I can't seem to buy into this belief that Chipotle is in second place. One of the main arguments that I've heard on the streets is, "Steven, Qdoba has queso!" Well folks, I looked into this "queso," and honestly, it's nothing more than glorified Cheese Whiz.
At the end of the day, is this contest between two pseudo-Mexican restaurants worth the hassle of argument? With all of the bleak economic conditions, international conflicts and structural flaws in our society and government, is it in good taste to discuss the Battle of the Burrito? Yes. People need to understand that if they truly believe that Qdoba is better than Chipotle, then they should have declined their acceptance into Georgetown University and chosen the more fitting route of living at home in their mother's basement, hoping that one day they might figure out why the moon revolves around the Earth. My opinion is rough, but so is life.