THE EATBEAT: Customers can pick and choose their flavors at QdobaWith the steady stream of customers who seemed to know what they wanted, we figured they get their fill at Qdoba for a reasonable rate. Our food was a just little more than $7 including tax and without the cost of a fountain drink or beer. And it made up two meals.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
I stood back and studied the menu. It had been a while — something like a year or two — since I ate at the quick Mexican food place called Qdoba.
This was a Sunday afternoon outing with friend Susie Shaft (SS). We decided to go the route of the Naked Burrito. Naked in Qdoba talk means you skip the shell (and the extra calories). You just get the bowl.
I was quite proud of myself as I made quick decisions along the line. It was sort of like going through the line for a Subway sandwich.
“Bowl?” “Big,” I said. “Beans — pinto or black?” “Black,” I said. “Vegetarian, chicken, pulled pork?” “Pork,” I said. “Cheese?” “Grated.” Then, there were decisions about salsas.
I asked for a mild sauce on top of this concoction, and I found the taste was sharp and pleasing. Especially nice was the taste of cilantro. The whole bowl was a delightful Mexican fare. The only problem, as SS soon pointed out, was “this is too much to eat.”
I agreed. So, nimble SS hopped over to the serving counter and asked for covers for our plastic bowls, so we could take half our food home. Another time, we agreed, we would ask for a minibowl or a child’s portion.
We sat at one of the metal-topped tables that are lined up in Qdoba. We were on a comfy bench, but there was a cool breeze when someone came in the door. Another time, we agreed we would sit away from that, unless, of course, when summer returns.
There is a choice of seating on perches at a long bar or at tables. There are a few booths. The place is colorful with a blue, a green, an orange and a yellow wall. There is a mural on one wall showing Mexicans surrounded by cactus and peppers. Real Mexicans might be amazed to see food served buffet-style.
We looked around and agreed that this seems like a hangout for the young people. However, there were some mature peoplehere and there. And customers kept coming at a steady pace.
We noticed a Five Star Bus with a Canadian license plate stop out front. One person in line said there aren’t any Qdobas in Canada and wanted to try it. Canadians are adventurous about food.
With the steady stream of customers who seemed to know what they wanted, we figured they get their fill at Qdoba for a reasonable rate. Our food was a just little more than $7 including tax and without the cost of a fountain drink or beer. And it made up two meals.
On future visits, I would try a smaller food order, something less filling. We could see from the menu board that there are smaller portions.
In March, Qdoba is offering street tacos made of shredded beef or pork on a tortilla. Three of them come with a side of barbecued beans and lime wedges for $4.99.
This is not a dessert place, so forget your sweet cravings. You will find cookies and brownies, though.
The restaurant has been around for six years. General Manager Shelly Riepe said the chips and salsa are homemade, and the meats are prepared in the kitchen. Qdoba has 24 to 27 full- and part-time workers, who serve burritos, taco salads, tacos, grilled quesadillas and handmade tortilla chips along with kids’ meals for those 12 and younger. Fountain drinks start at $1.49. And domestic as well as imported microbrew beers are available.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.