Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Metro Denver is home to several fast, big-burrito restaurants: Chipotle, Qdoba, and Illegal Petes.

Chipotle, initially independent, then purchased by Macdonalds, then spun off is perhaps the largest such big-deeto chain in the US (around 1000 locations). The chipotle pepper used to flavor the burritos is at once both its primary draw and detriment (what if you, like I, don't like chipotle?).

Then there is Qdoba (which I first came to know as Z-Teca). I'm a fan of the grillled vegetables burrito (requesting both kinds of beans - black and pinto) along with pico de gallo sauce, shredded cheese and sour cream. Sometimes I'll add a Nantucket Nectars drink to the order.

Rita is partial to the chicken mango salad, which is available only during the summer months.

Qdoba is enough of a frequent visit that we each have our own Qdoba Card, getting "free" burritos/salads every tenth or so order of same. Happily there is a Qdoba nearby at the new Arvada Ridge center (in Arvada, but has a Wheat Ridge address -- go figure). It's one of more than 400 locations.

Illegal Petes has what I count as six locations in the Denver-Boulder area. We haven't visited IP's lately, but I remember it from it's Boulder (Pearl Street Mall) and Denver-16th Street Mall locations as dark, funky and every bit as tasty as Qdoba. Also, it's beer menu was much more extensive than either of the two, mega-chains, with margaritas, too.

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