Thursday, May 31, 2012


Two locations in Northwest Arkansas:

2005 Promenade Boulevard in Rogers
603 W. Dickson in Fayetteville

Food                Very good
Service             Very good
Price                Under $10 per person
Tip                   No—buffet style

When you are looking for upscale alternatives to traditional fast food lunches in Rogers and Fayetteville, an intriguing spot for vegetarians and vegans alike is Qdoba.  The food is prepared fresh, you can mix and match ingredients to have almost any kind of taco or burrito prepared, and the food is ready almost instantly.

The first time you come to Qdoba, you will stand in line to order from a group of Subway like sandwich artists that craft your creation to order.  For vegetarians, there are a couple of standard options that I like:  the vegetarian burrito and the grilled veggie burrito.  The difference is that the grilled veggie burrito comes for a fixed price with grilled vegetables and your choice of beans, rice, cheeses and salsas.  The vegetarian burrito comes standard with guacamole for a fixed price.  You can mix and match ingredients in almost any way you want without incurring extra charges, as long as you don’t try to put guacamole and grilled vegetables on the same burrito.  That will cost you.  A  vegetarian burrito is $5.99 plus tax, while a grilled veggie burrito is slightly more.

What do I usually order?  The guacamole is fresh and delicious.  I look forward to it so much that I most always opt for the vegetarian burrito.  I start with one ladle of rice, one ladle of pinto beans and one ladle of black beans.  The servers look puzzled when I say that I do not want cheese or sour cream.  I have the impression that most people do not pass up that little fat blast.  Instead I move right on to corn salsa and green salsa.  Then I finish off the burrito with guacamole.  Just so you know, this is a monster burrito.  They do not skimp on the ingredients.  I have to tell them to confine the rice and beans to one ladle each.  I would guess that they add at least a half cup of fresh guacamole.  Don’t even think about supersizing, or god forbid, ordering two.  One burrito will easily feed a large man—speaking from personal experience.

There are many more things for a vegetarian or vegan to sample here, and I intend to get to them all eventually:  tacos made to order, three cheese nachos, taco salad, mango salad and Mexican gumbo.  I have actually had the Mexican gumbo.  It’s perhaps best described as a soup style burrito.  Nice on a cold winter’s day, but in general I would prefer my burrito the old fashioned way.

Plenty of establishments serve up Mexican food made to order, but not this with this quality and this attention to allowing the customer to mix and match ingredients to create their own bliss.  Qdoba is not only high quality, but it’s also fun and convenient.  You can read more about the standard menu fare and creative mix/match choices on their website

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