Thursday, June 03, 2010

And it's Chipotle (and In-N-Out)!

Visitors to the blog surprised me earlier this week by voting Chipotle as their Favorite Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant, along with (not a surprise), In-N-Out Burger.

What is Chipotle?  It's kind of like Subway, but with a burrito instead of a sandwich.  They do have tacos and salads and chips, but at Chipotle we all know it's about the custom-order burrito.  Don't get me wrong: I like the place, but among the dozen or so options laid out in the poll, I didn't expect it to take top billing.

My vote?  Five Guys.  After they started opening up different locations here in PDX, I became hooked on the occasional weekend indulgence of a bacon cheeseburger and fresh-cut fries.  Bacon & cheese hot dogs are also a must try.

My vote wasn't automatic, though, because of the West Coast's own not-so-fast food joint, In-N-Out Burger.  This place is awesome.  Burgers, fries, shakes.  All the good stuff!  In fact, someone apparently switched their vote from Five Guys to In-N-Out at the last minute to give it a tie for first place, much to my chagrin.  What's my problem with In-N-Out?  They won't open a location in Oregon.  If they will not stand by me and the fine citizens of the Beaver State, they don't get my vote.

Other fondnesses from the poll: Turkey, Bacon, Guacamole from Quiznos, chow mein from Panda, pizza from Sbarro, bagels from Panera (go get a dozen today).

Dislikes abound as well.  How about the hospital-like atmosphere at Baja Fresh?  It's actually almost identical to a typical Five Guys store, except they have food that matches their look.  Unacceptable.

Sonic and Taco Del Mar seem to be stuck on mediocrity, though I can't have a problem with TDM's Tax Day Taco Giveaway.

Boston Market still can't make it back to Oregon, but I remember the days when we used to get stuck in the drive-thru for 15 minutes while they finished baking meatloaf for some guy in front of us.  Drive-thru meatloaf?  So awesome and so wrong all at the same time.

Noodles & Co. is like Chipotle or Subway, but instead of a burrito or sandwich, the base menu item is a bowl of pasta (and it just don't work).

In case you actually made it to the end of this post (which I will immediately tag myself as boring), is anyone out there interested in a $10 gift card to the very popular Chipotle?  If I get 5 "I love this!" on this post, I'll take that as a yes and type up a special giveaway post.  If not, I guess it's not-so-fast burritos for me!

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