First, I want to say that I had intended to write this post over a week ago. However, work has been quite hectic and I’m just getting around to writing it. 😦
Just about a month ago, Abby, the Wisconsin marketing manager at Roaring Fork, the franchise group of local Qdoba restaurants, reached out to me via email to invite me try a new menu item – the smothered burrito. Abby had done her homework and had read my blog. She shared personal experiences that aligned with the “She Ordered What?” concept, and I appreciated her initiative and outreach. I also invited her to write a guest post sometime, if she’s so inclined! 😉
Abby advised me that Qdoba was introducing the smothered burrito on December 8th, 2015. She offered me two entrees, an order of chips and guacamole or queso, and two drinks in exchange for trying the new item. I gladly obliged, and the loaded reward card arrived on December 5th – just in time to try the item as it “dropped” on the menu. (or, that was the original plan!)
Typically, when I go to Qdoba, I order the burrito bowl because the standard burritos are packed so full of the delicious ingredients that I end up using my fork and knife anyway. So, why not just go with the bowl? And, I love the burrito bowl, for the record!
However, when I walked to the local Qdoba yesterday (just before noon), I knew I was going to try the smothered burrito. I walked into an empty shop and was warmly greeted by Taliyah. I advised her that I wanted to try the new smothered burrito, and asked her to talk to me about the newest menu item. Taliyah politely agreed, advising me that the smothered burrito is built from a smaller tortilla than the standard burrito. Then, it’s a similar process: choose your rice (white or brown), your meat (chicken, beef, steak or pork), and then your sauce (tangy verde, smoky chipotle cream, or bold red chile). The other ingredients (lettuce, salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc.) are added after the burrito is rolled.
I had asked Taliyah if I could taste two of the sauces, and she graciously offered me two small cups with a chip to taste the tangy verde (made of tomatillos and mild peppers) and the bold red chile (made with toasted red chiles, with a bit of sweetness). I opted not to try the smoky chipotle cream (creamy, with smoky chipotle peppers) this time, but I’m sure I will soon! Both sauces I sampled were tasty, but I decided to go with the tangy verde sauce. In an effort to keep the integrity of the taste, or maybe because I’m boring, I chose to have the tangy verde both inside the burrito and over top of it.
From there, Curtis took over and started building my smothered burrito. He was also incredibly polite and helpful. These are his hands at work! I chose white rice (after an internal battle, thinking brown rice would have been the healthier option – but I wanted the cilantro in the white rice!) and chicken – with the tangy verde, of course! I also decided to indulge and have the sour cream and cheese on top – because why not!
There was a bit of confusion when I went to use the rewards card to pay, but that was worked out quickly. Alex was working the register, and just like the other employees, he was quite polite and professional too.
So, about that smothered burrito…
I enjoyed the extra pop of flavor the tangy verde sauce added to the burrito. It wasn’t overpowering, but it added just enough kick with the peppers. The cool addition of lettuce and salsa was a nice juxtaposition against the piping hot burrito. Let’s just say that the whole meal just “hit the spot”.
I’m very grateful for the invitation to try a newer menu item at Qdoba, and I was really impressed with the service Taliyah, Curtis and Alex provided me. This might be one of the friendliest staffs I’ve come across in recent times! Thank you all for a delightful lunch experience (you too, Abby!).
(side note: I appreciate that Qdoba doesn’t discriminate against folks who express themselves through body art or piercings. The employees remain professional despite not always fitting the traditional image of professional appearance.)
As for the smothered burrito, I highly recommend it. I will add a note that my male (and generally quite hungry) colleague was a bit bummed that the smothered burrito is smaller than the traditional one and that the ingredients actually inside the smothered burrito are limited compared to the standard burrito. As long as you know that, I think you’ll really enjoy the Qdoba smothered burrito!
If you’ve tried the newest item on Qdoba’s menu, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment.