Battle of the Burritos: Chipotle, Qdoba, Salsarita’s

Story by Anaya Truss-Williams, Online Managing Editor

In a perfect world, all burritos would be made equally. But we don’t live in a perfect world and commercial burrito places are often a hit or miss.

On social media and our daily lives, it is not uncommon to see debates sparked regarding “the best food” at commercial Mexican restaurants. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina are often the top contenders.

Following a face-to-face debate with my older sister over which restaurant is the best, I decided to review all three restaurants.

I chose to review Chipotle first because it has had a reputation of fresh ingredients and quality food for as long as I can remember, but my recent visit to Chipotle disappointed me in the restaurant chain. With great anticipation, I marched into the Chipotle on S. Kings Dr. and ordered a burrito with pinto beans, lettuce, white rice, sofritas, sour cream and roasted chili-corn salsa.

Though the burrito had few ingredients, it had a gaping hole and did not stay together. I thought that because I did not get as much as I usually do, the burrito would be more sturdy because it was not stuffed, but once the lady rolled the burrito, a hole developed. This burrito was far from the Chipotle I knew and loved. Though the rice and salsa were amazing, the entree as a whole was not very satisfying. Some of the ingredients didn’t have a lot flavor and tasted as if they lacked seasoning. Another downfall of the burrito was the lack of sour cream distribution, the sour cream was consolidated to just the center, I think that if it had been applied via a bottle and spread out, the burrito would have tasted significantly better.

At Qdoba, I got a taco salad with white rice, pinto beans, cheese, guacamole, fajita veggies, lettuce, sour cream, mild and corn salsa. Qdoba’s menu had a lot of variety, more than Chipotle, but less than Salsarita’s. The best thing about Qdoba was that guacamole and queso came at no additional charge, unlike its competitors. Qdoba had a lot of distinct menu items like its taco salad/bowl. This restaurant did an exceptional job at distributing ingredients so that they weren’t each just consolidated in small areas.

At Salsarita’s, I ordered a burrito with black beans, Spanish rice, shrimp, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, mild salsa and mild corn salsa. The burrito was sturdy and all ingredients were evenly distributed. The one thing that I didn’t enjoy was the Spanish rice. It was a bit gritty and didn’t have as much flavor as Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice. The order at which Salsarita’s added ingredients was peculiar to me, going to Chipotle for years has caused me to be a firm believer in lettuce going before salsa. At Salsarita’s, salsa was added before lettuce, I believe that if my lettuce was put on before salsa, it would elicit a better taste.

The ingredients at all of the restaurants tasted fresh, but Chipotle had the best rice and salsa, Qdoba the best beans and Salsarita’s the best menu and ingredient variety, protein options and best food overall.

It’s settled, Salsarita’s has the best burritos.

I recommend that everyone goes to Salsarita’s Cantina to try a burrito or burrito bowl, especially on a Monday night, to take advantage of the $6 promotional price.