Battle of the Mexican Food Chains
December 19, 2017
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Battle of the Mexican Food Chains: Cafe Rio
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Cafe Rio, an often forgotten Mexican fast food chain, is constantly regarded as lesser than its big brand competition. The Olney restaurant has surprised students who have found its hidden treasures in both the menu and the environment.
Cafe Rio exceeds the expectations of an average Mexican chain. Many praise the restaurant for a more authentic feel and taste, as well as various options, compared to competing chains.
“The food at Cafe Rio is more ambrosial than the food at Chipotle and Qdoba,” junior Aliyah Awan said. “It has more of a Mexican taste.”
Qdoba is a popular spot for high schoolers due to the student discount given out on Tuesday’s. Cafe Rio offers special discounts on a variety of dishes every day of the week, not exclusively on Tuesdays like Qdoba. Specifically on Tuesdays at Cafe Rio, customers can get a burrito or salad for $5.99.
Chipotle recently introduced queso to its menu, to which many of even the restaurant’s biggest fans were left underwhelmed and disappointed. The queso was compared to cafeteria food and trashed across social media platforms. In comparison, Cafe Rio’s queso is a favorite of many.
“My sisters love queso so they took me there because Cafe Rio has the best queso they could find,” freshmen Brendan Stewart said.
For students choosing between these three Mexican food options, Cafe Rio is the best keep secret with its diverse and delicious menu.
Battle of the Mexican Food Chains: Qdoba
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Dozens of RHS students can be found flocking to Qdoba on Tuesday afternoons for their great Mexican food, and specifically their $5 burrito deal for students.
In addition to the well-known Tuesday deal, their menu contains options that are not at most Mexican-style food chains. Not only do they offer guacamole at no extra cost, but their menu also has soup options, hard tortilla bowls, wheat tortilla substitutes, shrimp and desserts.
The atmosphere at Qdoba includes friendly staff, a spacious environment with big tables so large groups can sit together.
“I always try to go to Qdoba on Tuesdays because it’s nice having a meal with all my friends,” senior Naomi Goldstein said.
Qdoba is also a frequent RHS fundraiser location, supporting several school organizations and clubs.
Another standout component of Qdoba is their multiple quesos to suit all students’ tastes, whether they be spicy or mild. Chipotle recently released their own queso to customers’ dismay. Many students described Chipotle’s queso as grainy and bland, affirming that it can’t compare to Qdoba’s creamy queso.
Between their strong menu, amazing Tuesday deals and expansive queso offerings, students look forward to hanging out with friends for a good meal at Qdoba, highlighting Qdoba’s own philosophy on their website.
“At QDOBA, our food philosophy lies in crafting thoughtful flavor combinations that will satisfy your biggest cravings and leave you counting down the days until you’re back for more.”
Battle of the Mexican Food Chains: Chipolte
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Chipotle Mexican Grill is an American chain of fast casual restaurants with Rockville locations in the Aspen Hill shopping Center, Wintergreen Plaza on the Pike and Pike and Rose.
It has grown to be a staple in American eating by consistently providing fast, quality, authentic Mexican food at reasonable prices.
Chipotle is ranked ninth as America’s favorite fast food restaurant, and is ranked No. 1 in Market Force’s list of quick-service Mexican restaurants, according to a March 2017 CNBC online article. It has been a staple in much of American fast casual eating with more than 3.64 million visits annually.
Many RHS students enjoy the quality, flavor and convenience of Chipotle. According to SimilarWeb.com, the average to-go Chipotle visit only lasts 2:57, which is a testament to the speedy and efficient service.
“ Chipotle has a different style than Qdoba and has many more sides than it. The quality of Chipotle is better than other fast food restaurants since it has fine ingredients and Chipotle definitely lives up to its expectations since the food is generally tasty, cheap and comes in great quantity,” junior Giovanni Gutierrez said.
It offers a diverse menu, which has expanded in recent years to be more vegetarian and vegan friendly with the inclusion of tofu. It offers a wide array of meats, beans, choices of white or brown rice, and many veggie, topping and sauce side selections.
“Chipotle is the best because the food is very tasty and it [is] very close to Mexican food,” junior Natalie Sanchez said.