Qdoba versus Panchero’s; the battle of South Duff

Mexican restaurants are plentiful in Ames to say the least. However, some don’t stay long. Diamond Dave’s that’s right, that empty space in the mall) used to be a restaurant, was closed in 2006. The latest casualty came during the infamous floods of ’08. The much loved O’Malley and Mcgees suffered lethal water damage and, in turn, closed. However, the total amount of Mexican restaurants has been kept in balance with the addition of two new Mexican grill joints on South Duff Avenue. Panchero’s is just a stone’s throw away from Qdoba. This leads to a tough decision if you are hungering for some Mexican. I faced this conundrum after viewing the riveting District 9. I walked out of the theater and saw the yellow glow of Panchero’s. I had my right turn signal on planning to go to Panchero’s until I remembered Qdoba. I was awkwardly stopped in both lanes trying to decide where to go. The indecision was killing me. So the next two days, I decided to go to each Mexican restaurant in order to crown the king of South Duff. Panchero’s I was excited to taste a fresh pressed tortilla. I had the strange notion that, somehow, fresh tortillas were the tortillas of the gods. It was a disappointment. When I forgot the fact that the tortilla was average, I started to taste the other important ingredients. The steak in my burrito was very chewy. Besides the beans, not a lot of the flavors were prevalent. It wasn’t very tasteful. I tried the steak quesadilla next. Nothing too special. The tortilla was less than average this time. They fresh pressed my tortilla a little too much. I do not enjoy my quesadillas burnt. This is what I got though. The service didn’t impress me either. When I ordered, they rushed to finish my order. They weren’t very talkative and just wanted my food done so I could leave. Qdoba The new kid in town had everything to prove. I was warmly greeted by who I can only assume is the manager. When I entered the line, the employees were friendly and helpful. They answered all my questions and helped me decide what to get. The burrito was packed neatly in tin foil. It looked a lot smaller in the foil than it did unpacked. It was very deceiving. The Qdoba burrito was much more flavorful than Panchero’s. I could taste much more than the beans. The melted queso adds a lot more flavor than the shredded cheese in Panchero’s burrito. This also made it a lot messier to eat, however. The quesadillas were much larger than Panchero’s. I got a chicken quesadilla this time. The chicken was very tender. It was much easier to eat than the steak quesadilla. When you come out of a movie or you’re just cruising down Duff, and you’re yearning for some Mexican, your decision depends solely on this: are you looking for good service? Are you willing to empty your wallet? How hungry are you? Qdoba has the service and it offers a lot of food for only about a dollar more than Panchero’s does. This has led me to give the crown of South Duff to Qdoba.