Qdoba Mexican Grill — Special sauces and custom burritos create a whirl of excitement!

Qdoba Mexican Grill, in Temecula’s Promenade Mall area, opened a few months ago and this new kid in town is creating quite a stir. Not an ordinary “quick service restaurant,” their food is superior, due to the abundance of unusual ingredients. I have to say that it’s the best Mexican food I’ve eaten with a plastic fork.

Manager Robert Lopez notes, “The food we serve is not traditional… signature sauces and flavors are what makes this eatery unique.”

Another aspect that sets them apart from the majority of quick service restaurants is that their dishes can be customized. You don’t just order what you see on the menu. It’s a little more complicated, and it’s that complication that makes the dining experience a delicious one.

Any Qdoba burrito starts with a base of rice. Their “Cilantro Lime Rice” is sensational with just a hint of cilantro and lime. Then the choices begin. Diners have a choice of beans – either pinto beans (with an earthy flavor) or black beans which have a similar, but stronger flavor. Then you add the meat.

The establishment offers five meat choices: flat iron steak, pulled pork (slow roasted for six hours in spices), shredded beef (slow roasted for seven hours in a secret Qdoba marinate), grilled chicken and ground beef.

The toppings are added next; and diners have a choice of stir-fried vegetable mix (yellow squash, zucchini and red bell peppers), pico de gallo, roasted chile corn, tomatillo salsa verde, salsa roja, and… for those who really want an off-the-chart fiery experience – the habanero sauce.

The “Ancho Chile BBQ Burrito” is enhanced by a sauce made with ancho chiles, which has a molé-like flavor, with the sweet taste of chocolate and the smoky hint of hickory and mesquite. Ancho chiles are actually dried poblano chile peppers that were first grown in the state of Puebla, México. Why they aren’t called “dried poblano chiles,” I’ll never understand. The heat of this chile varies a bit, but it is mostly considered a medium heat chile.

Another sauce that gets people talking is the “3-Cheese Queso.” Used alone with freshly made tortilla chips, you can taste the subtle chile flavors (poblano and jalapeño) as well as Monterey jack, American and cheddar cheeses. This delicious sauce was developed in Qdoba’s own kitchens and has a fairly mild flavor. It’s what makes the “Queso Burrito” Qdoba’s top seller.

Diners rave about Qdoba’s Mexican Gumbo soup. Taste-test it for yourself and discover why they’re all raving. It’s made with a base of tortilla soup to which rice, beans, and a choice of meat are added. Just a warning – it’s spicy and rather hot.

It will take you a while to sample all of the food choices available at Qdoba, but look at it this way – it will be a lot of fun trying!

Qdoba Mexican Grill is located at 40788 Winchester Road in the Promenade Mall area of Temecula. For further information call (951) 296-0572 or visit the website www.qdoba.com.

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