O, hai! It's winter, so I'm virtually jobless until spring, so, if you haven't noticed, have more time to explore lunch-time eats in Wilmington.
Big dining news in Wilmington! The California-style burrito chain, Qdoba, recently opened in downtown. Now, before you jump down my throat for reviewing a chain restaurant, let the person who has never eaten at a chain restaurant cast the first biscotti. [long pause] That's what I thought.
Personally, I've been waiting a long time for Qdoba to open (it teased us for, like, ever), and from the looks of what I saw when I visited, a bunch of downtown workers have, too. Wilmington's downtown dining scene is getting better, but is still lacking some basics that most large and medium-sized cities take for granted.
As a big-time rice eater, I crave big-ass, rice and bean burritos, so welcome Qdoba to downtown. I've only visited Qdoba once, about four years ago, and my only memory of the experience was of a disappointingly bland burrito.
There's a basic rice and bean burrito, a 3-cheese burrito, and a grilled veggie burrito for me to choose from. I like mine basic (rice, beans, salsa, cheese, and guac), but, remembering the blandness, added the poblano pesto sauce (additional charge) to my burrito.Large, but not overwhelming.
Qdoba does not have a salsa bar for you to load up on salsa, onions, and cilantro to augment your burrito. They have bottles of hot sauce, but that's all.
The burritos are barely wrapped. Ideally, you want a generous, snug wrap of foil around that baby to hold everything in.
The poblano pesto is supposed to be made of roasted poblanos, cilantro, almonds, garlic, and pine nuts, but, really, tasted of nothing more than a green salsa, and had a watery consistency. It did add a little heat and garlic, though.
The burrito maker forgot the guac.
The cilantro lime rice served in the burritos sounds enticing, and, even though it's studded with tons of cilantro, didn't taste like much. Were my taste buds on vacation that day? And the every-grain-of-rice-separated instant rice at Qdoba is one of my pet peeves. There is something very unsatisfying about rice grains that are separated. Rice grains should stick together! (Or, at least, that's how I like them.)Just like my experience at Qdoba, I find most big-ass burrito chains soulless and unimpressive (non-chains, not necessarily), but just can't resist rice and beans in a steamed tortilla every once in a while.
Is there a big-ass burrito chain out there that kicks ass for you? Note the word "chain" in that question.
837 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801