BTB gets props for the whole wheat tortilla... and now Chipptle has brown rice. So good... i can't decide
OT: BTB, Pancheros, Qdoba, or Chipotle?
For you downtown types, the rolled sandwiches at Eastern Flame.. kavi rolls?.. or some such... are great, cheap drunk food. Nothing like spicy chicken tikka in a roll at 3am
I think a better conversation would be the shittiest burrito in Ann Arbor. I was an undergrad from 2005-2009. You should probably mention when you were in Ann Arbor because a shitty burrito joint will not be in business long, unless you're located near Granger and Packard (I'm looking at you, Burrito Joint). Well anyhow, my shitty burrito joint Top 5 would be (in descending order of shittiness):
- West Quad's Burrito Stand - I'm pretty sure there was a direct pipe that lead from each vegan in East Quad's toilet to the West Quad Burrito Stand. There is no way actual steak or chicken could taste that poorly.
- Rio Wraps - in business on E William St circa 2008-2009ish, they did have a $2 taco day, but their burritos also tasted terribly. I'm a huge fan of tortillas that did not sit in a bag in the back of a Chevy Nova for 3 months, which may be why I'm a bigger fan of Panch than most here.
- Burrito Joint - See above comments about Pierpont Commons. I made the mistake once too.
- Tio's - Nothing made me angrier than seeing Tio's on Man vs. Food and having friends from out of town ask if we could go there when we went up to A2 for a game this past fall.
- Salsarita's - Open for about a year and a half, the "burrito cantina" was located a few doors down from Bar Louie on E Liberty, and was slightly better than the above mentions in my opinion. However, they suffered from being in a shitty location, and having their cook dump an entire cannister of Morton's into each one of their marinades.
I was actually a fan of Rio Wraps. Thought their burritos were pretty decent, and perfect for lunch during class in Mason Hall. But I do agree that Burrito Joint is awful, but somehow still open.
The burrito mantra: "Queso Queso Queso" - it's the great leveler. Without it Chipotle will always be second tier.
But anyone ever heard of Tijuana Flats?
Important factors for me:
Availability of queso
Availability of ground beef
Availability of chimichanga.
I think being raised on Taco Bell as 'mexican food' has endeared me to ground beef. The steak and barbacoa is always very mystery-meat-ish at these burrito places. You never know what you're going to get when you bite into a chunk of meat (fat? grissle? chewy tendons? who knows!). So because of that, I have an affinity for Tio's, Moe's, and in the DC area, California Tortilla. I also sometimes like a chimichanga, and that's really what I like Tio's for (not so much their burritos). Chipotle's small menu annoys me (no queso or ground beef or chimichanga) although I like their standard burrito well enough.
I never went to Qdoba or BTB on campus. I was always a Panchero's man.
I now live in VA, and there is only Chipotle out here. Let me put this to rest once and for all. I would walk back to Ann Arbor to get a Panchero's burrito. Chipotle sucks. They make good chicken tacos, but their burritos are the worst things ever. I miss you Panchero's.
Since all are the same idea, if I lived in Ann Arbor, I'd go BTB every time. It's local at least (although I doubt they buy local produce and meat).
I miss the place that used to be on William(?) called the Burro.
Baja Fresh would get my vote, but Qdoba is a very close second.
So I was at Pancheros today and found this old thread on my phone. I've always had a good impression of Pancheros and had a hard time understanding why so many people bashed it... until today. I think I figured it out:
tacos > burritos @ Pancheros
I usually get the tacos @pancheros. Of all the things on their menu, their tortillas & carnitas are certainly at the top of their quality scale, and I normally get carnitas tacos. Today I decided to try a chicken burrito and it was very average. Their chicken is nowhere near as good as qdoba and the rice is not very good period. So next time at Pancheros try tacos with carnitas and I think you'll have a much better opinion of their food.
All that said, here is my order:
Qdoba > Pancheros > Chipotle > BTB