Friday, September 6, 2013

Burrito Battles: Qdoba Mexican Grill

Round two at Qdoba Mexican Grill was a breakfast affair, and one I'd prefer to forget. It's been six weeks since my first visit to the M Street Qdoba in Georgetown; and moving east didn't seem to help improve matters. Although clean and affordable, Qdoba's not worth waking up early for... even if 10:30 AM is your idea of early.

Things went down hill fast, as soon as I met Qdoba's moody burrito maker. Definitely not a people person, she turned out to be stingy too... regular burritos may be cheap, but you get what you pay for. How stingy? Try five diced pieces of potato, and literally a small spoonful each of scrambled eggs, chorizo crumble and pico de gallo (mild salsa.) Who's tight with salsa? Looking back, I wish she'd been less generous with the chorizo: Have you ever had a Tina burrito from the supermarket? They usually cost less than $.50 and taste like paste. Tina's is a step above Qdoba's version. It's downright gross.

Service took a turn for the better, once I arrived at the cashier station. Polar opposite to the burrito maker, the cashier was both enthusiastic and polite: He even offered me a cup for water, without my asking. Too bad he couldn't make my burrito too. Grand total? $3.03

As you can imagine, there's plenty of room to dine before 11:00 AM (even near the corner of 19th & M.) The dining area was clean and tidy, although a tight fit in general. Most of the seats stools are squeezed together: I couldn't imagine eating here when it's full. It's roomier on the left side, but the seats are odd. One seat is at least six inches shorter than the one it's facing: You're literally looking down at your lunchmate, if seated against the wall. Sort of creepy, don't you think? Free Wi-fi is a plus, but it's terribly slow (even with only two other customers inside, neither of whom seemed to be using it.)

As usual, I probably sound harsh; but when you consider Boloco is only about a block away, it seems ludicrous to eat here. Sometimes it pays to walk that extra mile block.