Saturday, July 14, 2012

Homemade vs. Qudoba vs. Chipotle

For my parent's anniversary I tried to make a Chipotle-esque meal.  Our family is a big fan of Chipotle's veggie bowls.  And their chips.
However, a Qudoba opened in town a few weeks before my parent's anniversary and I was curious to see what they had to offer.  Turns out they didn't have much.  I really, really wanted to like Qudoba, because the 'local' Chipotle is an 2 hour drive round trip.  The Qudoba is only 10 mins. away.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed by Qudoba.  Not only are the portion sizes half the size of Chipotle's - Qudoba is more expensive and the food is very flavorless.
I tried Qudoba twice, because I wanted to believe that the first time was just a bad mistake.  The 2nd time I took some 'authentic Mexicans', as in friends visiting from Mexico.  They also thought the food was flavorless and we all walked away disappointed and still hungry.

I wish I had weighed the 2 meals!  The Chipotle one was MUCH heavier.  The round bowls are deceiving.
Qudoba: Veggie/Naked bowls $6.29 each + .69 for veggies (stupid) = $6.98
Chips - $1.99

Chipotle: Veggie bowl $6.25
Chips $1.25

After eating the Qudoba meal I was still hungry.  I could only eat 1/2 of the Chipotle meal.  
I did the testing on 2 different days - to be fair ;)

So could I make Chipotle at home???

Well, I tried.  I made a Cuban black bean recipe that had green olives and chocolate in it.

I had corn, olives and queso fresco - which is tasty with lime squeezed over it.

And I made fruit salad.  Bonus fruit salad ingredient picture!

I sauteed onions in achiote oil - achiote paste and olive oil.  It makes a tasty red oil.

I pan seared peppers and onions.  Plus added a little bottled smoke flavor to give them that grilled smokiness.

And we had a delicious meal.  BUT I would still drive 2 hours to eat Chipotle.  It just can't be replicated!  Or replaced!

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