Review: Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito from Qdoba

My name is Dustin and I am an addict. I am addicted to the bountiful feast that is Qdoba. If you do not have a Qdoba in your area then the term ‘less fortunate’ was actually created to describe you specifically. They have it all. Burritos, nachos, quesadillas, tacos, beer (I know, right?) and a bitchin’ Three Cheese Queso that I regularly have to restrain myself from drizzling all over my open mouth and face.  Now that your minds eye has been properly abused with that terrifying image, I am going abruptly switch subjects to talk about burritos.  I went with the Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito.

The Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito is described like this:

Inspired by Mexican molé, the sauce in this BBQ burrito is slightly sweet, with spicy chiles, hickory, smoky mesquite and just a hint of chocolate.

This burrito was huge. I actually weighed the thing before I tore into it… 1.2 pounds. I cannot say that I am surprised as I frequent Qdoba well, frequently, but I can say that regardless of your feelings on burritos, barbecue or Qdoba, that is an impressive figure for a single entree. Moving on. Ordering this burrito, made right in front of you Subway style, you have several important decisions ahead of you. You get your preference of chicken or pulled pork (I chose pork due to the fact that I am partial to the Chicken Queso Burrito and usually get chicken), cilantro-lime rice with black or pinto beans (I chose pinto), your choice of five different salsas of varying intensities (I opted for no salsa in light of the fact this burrito comes standard with ancho chile BBQ sauce.) I also added cheese and sour cream, declining the guacamole and/or grilled vegetables.

Feasting, I savored each bite of the tender, juicy pork. I generally opt for chicken or beef dishes, but the pulled pork was surprisingly appetizing. The barbecue sauce was sweet, slightly tangy and added just a hint of spice. The best way I can describe it is as a tingle. Nothing painful, no real heat, but you could tell that there was a little pepper hiding amongst all that deliciousness. The rice was thoroughly cooked, not overly done and had a hint of lime flavored with tiny bits of cilantro. On this specific burrito I feel that the sour cream was a mistake. It diminished the flavor of the barbecue sauce, gave the whole burrito a strange, sodden texture and just did not mesh with the other ingredients. The cheese was flavorful and slightly melted from the heat of the rest of the meal. It held the burrito together somewhat, thought due to the size and the ingredients used there was still some inevitable mess.

I do still prefer my old stand-by, the Chicken Queso Burrito, but the Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito was a nice change of pace. As always, I would have liked more spice, however an adventurous soul could certainly fix that with Salsa Roja or Fiery Habanero Salsa. I mistakenly added sour cream which detracted from the overall appeal of the entree, but aside from that, I was very pleased with my Tuesday night dinner. I got a heck of a lot of food with great flavor and a large drink for under ten bucks. I highly recommend trying out this burrito, if for no other reason than to sample their wares and get you wondering about what other creations lie in wait for your next visit.

Pros: Lightly spiced barbecue sauce can appeal to everyone, savory pulled pork, high quality AND high quantity ingredients.

Cons: I imagine this baby is much better without the sour cream

Taste: 9.00/10
Value: 9.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: $7.19

Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10

More Info: Qdoba.com
Nutrition Facts:
Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito (w/ pulled pork, pinto beans, rice, sour cream, cheese and ancho chile BBQ sauce)
Calories – 1140
Total Fat – 36 grams
Saturated Fat – 17 grams
Cholesterol – 135 milligrams
Sodium – 2700 milligrams
Carbs – 149 grams
Sugars – 18 gram2
Dietary Fiber – 15 grams
Protein – 54 grams

36 comments on “Review: Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito from Qdoba

  1. Chefprotoss says:

    The about page proves its usefulness today, haha.

    Nice review dude. Nice pics too. I think a lot of us have been scratching our heads at how to get good pics of a mission burrito.

  2. Chris says:

    The Qdoba in my town offers free drinks to students that present ID. They are also very active on Facebook. I’ve received numerous free entrees just from participating in their discussions and entering small contests.

    Qdoba is introducing a whole wheat tortilla this month which I am excited to try. I wonder when they’ll hop on board the brown rice train?

    • JF says:

      Here in Colorado, Chiptole does the same. The first time I had Chipotle was in Boulder, CO, so a lot of college students taking advantage of that.

      I have no idea who offered this first, but if I had to guess…

  3. simon says:

    All the Chipotle Fans out there Qdoba is by far better than Chipotle, with the aforementioned Three Cheese Queso, their fresh taco salad shells, and tasty meat and salsa choices. I love Qdoba and have been lucky to be near one each time I moved. I love that BBQ sauce but my favorite item there is their seasonal Mango Peach Taco Salad.

    • sirfuller says:

      i always say if you combined the best attributes from the two, you’d have a great chain. So you take the variety/depth of Qdoba’s menu and their salsa with Chipotles meats, guac and chips.

      Where I live, the Q and Chipotle are across the street from each other so it is always a hard decision. Qdoba usually wins.

    • Colin says:

      100% agreed. I’ve had both and it bums me out that the only thing in my area is Chipotle. Qdoba is WAY better and has a way bigger menu.

    • Starkzilla says:

      I have to disagree. I’ve tried them both and every time I’ve found Chipotle to be less dry, have more fillings, and overall tastes better. Perhaps in your state it’s different!

      • JF says:

        Agree with you. I don’t eat at either place often, and while Qdoba is closer to me, I’ve always found Chipotle to be far superior.

        I wish when people make comparisions (not just here, but elsewhere) they would provide specifics on why they feel one way or the other.

      • Eve says:

        I agree with you. I live in downtown Philadelphia and for the first two years of my stay here there was NO Chipotle but two Qdobas within .5 miles from my apartment (one of them across the street!). I kept trying Qdoba to quell my Chipotle cravings but it just didn’t do. I actually had to get on the subway to go to the one Chipotle by U Penn. There are now two Chipotle restaurants near me and I can’t get enough. :)

  4. SkippyMom says:

    Very well written Dustin. I have to agree with Chef. Nice pics too. That is a huge burrito and I would never have thought to put pulled pork with bbq in a burrito with rice and cheese, but I can definitely seeing it work and definitely W/O the sour cream.

    I will have to see if we have a Qboda here. I doubt it, but it does look similar to Chipotle. I wonder if it is?

    Hope to see another review from you soon. Take care.

    • Mich says:

      Both restaurants were owned by the same people and basically, aside from a few changes, have the same menus and the same unhealthy food peddled as not being “fast-food” fat/calorie/sodium bombs.

      • ChrisW says:

        Wait, are you saying that Qdoba and Chipotle are owned by the same company? If so, that’s completely untrue and I don’t know who told you that, but they were full of crap.

      • Chefprotoss says:

        Qdoba is owned by Jack in the Box. Chipotle is owned by Chipotle. No relation at all.

      • JF says:

        Absolutley not. What is your source? And if you’re going to make comments like this, provide sources.

        They have no relation whatsoever.

    • JF says:

      That has always been my biggest complaint about Chipotle. I love thier food, but their burritos are more like a meal for two. I wish they had a smaller (less calorie dense) version of those.

  5. Dustin says:

    Thank you both, Chef and SkippyMom. I do have to agree with Simon. While they are somewhat similar, my vote will always go to Qdoba over Chipotle for the very reasons listed above.

  6. Steve says:

    I’ve driven by a Qdoba many many times and have never gone in. I thank you for this review sir. next time I will stop.

  7. kikurage says:

    Good review Dustin. I am looking forward your next review.
    Pics are very good, I found the ingredients well.

  8. MrGinghamShirts says:

    While Qdoba has a more varied menu and options, I think Chipotle edges out on having a more flavorful base ingredients (their rice and chicken stand out in my memory).

    Plus, Chipotle also carries Chipotle Tabasco sauce which is completely delicious.

    • simon says:

      But Qdoba has Cholula, which is an authentic, expensive mexican hot sauce. Blows any tabasco sauce out of the water lol

      • Ryan says:

        Im a fan of Cholula… but since when has it been expensive?

        • Raiders757 says:

          I have the same question. The stuff is cheap in my neck of the woods. Damn good stuff as well.

      • MrGinghamShirts says:

        No Qdoba here carries that hot sauce. Might be a regional thing?

      • alexg says:

        It’s Tapatio people! Go into where the Mission Burrito was invented, San Francisco California, and you will find Tapatio sitting at the tables.

  9. JF says:

    Where are people coming up with both Chipotle and Qdoba having the same owners?

    No, I have not done a lot of research, but basic knowledge and simple Google searches show there is no relation.

    I do live in Colorado now (not from here originally) but Chipotle was the first, Qdoba copied the idea.

    I’ve eaten at both and prefer Chipotle to Qdoba (despite my personal opinions of Steve Ellis, and yes, I have met him).

    I’ve never been impressed by Qdoba, but do agree they have a more expansive menu, but in regard to the two, Chipotle is better.

    I still wish (and commented on this in another Chiptole review) that they had smaller burritos / fajitas.

    • alexg says:

      Sorry they both copied all the thousands of “Mission Burrito” style places that popped up in Northern California the last few decades. This style of burrito originated in the Mission District of San Francisco. Just happened that the founder of Chipotle copied their “homegrown” ideas and started his chain. There is nothing original about Chipotle or Qdoba, or burritos from Colorado.

  10. Adam says:

    I Qdoba but I like Chipolte too. However my favorite is Freebirds, which is a local Texas chain. It is far superior to both, in my opinion. It’s worth a stop in you are ever in Dallas, Austin or College Station.

  11. Garcia says:

    I must try this. A hint of chocolate? I’m intrigued.

  12. Seeker says:

    Three cheese queso. That’s all I needed to hear. I’ve tried Qdoba twice, once in the past too long ago to remember and a second time trying a pretty good burrito but it was lacking in size and a bit more expensive than my usual go-to Taco Del Mar(I realize most regionally are crappy but the one nearby has a strict owner who makes sure of great quality). I gotta try that on a burrito and/or nachos also because it’s so close but rarely gets business.

    Since their menu has changed to a build-your-own, I’ll have to try the burrito in this review that looks very good. Good call on no sour cream though as it tends to make the burrito mushy fast. Also a better option than Chipotle here as it keeps skimping more and giving people food poisoning.

  13. Rachel says:

    Qdoba is my choice for two reasons: 3-cheese queso and, more importantly, Tortilla Soup. It is out-of-this-world deliciousness, and I have gotten most of my friends hooked on it. Some just order a side of it to dip their burritos into now. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out.

  14. jilly from philly says:

    Chipolte>>>>>>qdoba in my humble opinion. Qdobas burrito was dry flavorless & expensive. Rice was undercooked horrible. Went only once but im not one who enjoys being subject to repeat offenders.

  15. alexg says:

    Here’s some history lessons for people who think Colorado’s Chipotle invented the “Mission Burrito” with it’s assembly line fixings.

    http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/08/05/brief-history-mission-style-burritos

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_burrito

    And the only hot sauce that truly makes sense for this type f burrito and that’s why it’s in every Mission Burrito place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapat%C3%ADo_hot_sauce

  16. john says:

    Qdoba used to have a fantastic mole’ sauce back when we had bunch of Qdoba’s in GA. They pretty much left our market and when I had the fortune of finding one on my travels, I was sad to see that it was no more, and had been replaced by this BBQ-y tasting stuff.

    It was pretty tasty, but was a far cry from the mole’.

  17. April says:

    qdoba is far superior. no one makes better tortilla soup.

  18. StuartB says:

    Hold on…Qdoba has flavor?? I may need to go back and visit again since last year…

  19. Chris S. says:

    Awesome site. I put away hundreds of Qdoba burritos during my time at Pitt. I will admit I didn’t experiment too much with these specialty burritos though. The basic chicken burrito with pico and sour cream was a must-have at least once a week. Chipotle on the other hand is tasteless garbage.