By Mireya Rodriguez |Staff Writer|
Qdoba Mexican Grill, located only 30 minutes away from campus in Upland, is your Chipotle away from Chipotle. If you are a Chipotle fan, you will love this look-alike.
Positioned on the corner of a shopping center, Qdoba—pronounced Kew-Doh-Bah, according to Qdoba’s official twitter—can be found nestled next to a frozen yogurt shop among many other little shops and restaurants.
Cute little round tables with white umbrellas are located outside the restaurant by a small porch.
Open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Qdoba serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a design-your-own setting, you can start by choosing between a taco, burrito, bowl, nachos, quesadillas, taco salads, or Mexican gumbo.
As I love burritos, but not the calories that come with flour tortillas, I chose a healthier version, a tortilla-less burrito, otherwise known as a bowl. There were a plethora of ingredients to choose from.
To continue, there is a choice of grilled adobe chicken, tequila lime chicken, ground beef, pulled pork, grilled steak, and shredded beef. Next comes the choice of rice, white cilantro or brown.
After choosing chicken and white rice, as I can not sacrifice taste for calories, I selected black beans instead of pinto.
I chose black beans because they are lower in calories compared to pinto, and taste pretty similar in the bowl.
The big difference between Chipotle and Qdoba comes next: sauces!
You can choose up to 2 of these delicious sauces: 3-Cheese Queso, Queso Diablo, Ancho Chile BBQ Sauce, or Smoky Chipotle Cream Sauce. To match the chipotle flavored chicken at Chipotle I got chipotle sauce.
Veggies are optional, but you can choose from guacamole or grilled fajita peppers. When you are almost done, the choice of salsas comes next.
From Pico de Gallo, Salsa Verde, Fiery Habanero salsa, Roasted Chile Corn Salsa, and Salsa Roja, I made the safe choice of Pico de Gallo as that is usually the least spicy.
To top it off, there is a choice of cheese, shredded lettuce, diced jalapenos, sour cream, tortilla strips, and bacon. I only chose lettuce and tortilla strips to finish my customized bowl.
Once I was done creating my bowl, I chose a fountain drink to complete my order. There was a “freestyle” Coca-Cola machine, to tie it all together.
The employee who created my bowl and the cashier were both friendly and smiled throughout the whole process.
From the counter I took my tray to a little booth to finally eat my fantastic bowl. From the crunchy tortilla strips to the creamy Chipotle sauce, my bowl was delicious and definitely hit the spot.
“Better than chipotle, straight off the bat. They have tons more options, better toppings, hotter salsas, and to top it off….guac is free!!!! You won’t be disappointed!” stated Yelp user Leo. T.
Done with my bowl, I threw away my trash, and refilled my fountain drink to go. That was the end of my Qdoba experience, although full, it left me hungry to come back again.