I have become, oh, a weeeee bit obsessed with Chipotle lately. As in, I had it for lunch four times last week. But my sisters say Qdoba is better, so I had it for lunch on the fifth day. Yes, I am a joy to be around after eating burritos five days in a row.
In order to conduct my taste test, I ordered just about the same thing at both places. At Chipotle, I had a pork and pinto bean burrito with tomato salsa, corn salsa, guacamole and lettuce.
At Qdoba, I had the pick two option, which got me a cup of tortilla soup, and a "naked" burrito with all the same ingredients I got at Chipotle, just in a bowl instead of a tortilla. The soup smelled absolutely delicious on the way home.
Prior to discovering Chipotle, I rarely ate Mexican food, because I can't eat cheese or sour cream, and that cuts out a large number of Mexican dishes found at fast food restaurants. (For many years I was in denial about my inability to eat dairy, but I have since decided that I will just not eat foods that have spectacularly adverse effects on my gastrointestinal system.) Skipping the cheese and sour cream usually makes a burrito kind of dry, so I just don't bother. I'm also not a huge fan of spicy. (I know, why am I bothering with Mexican food at all?)
Verdict? I liked Chipotle better. The tortilla soup, although torturing me with its yummy smelling goodness al the way home, was wayyyyy spicy. The naked burrito was...ok. Not bad. I would eat there again. But Chipotle was better....the seasoning was tastier, the beans and pork were moist and flavorful, and the guacamole had the perfect mix of lime and onion and no jalapenos. Yum!
I will admit that Qdoba does have a much bigger menu. Chipotle has burritos...and burritos. They do one thing very well. Qdoba has burritos and quesadillas and soups and salads and nachos and more cheesy things. But since I don't eat the cheesy things, half the menu was off-limits.
And the deciding factor....Chipotle is five minutes from my house, Qdoba is half an hour.