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!