OT: BTB, Pancheros, Qdoba, or Chipotle?

Submitted by aaamichfan on February 22nd, 2012 at 8:36 PM

The board seems a bit dead tonight, so I figure this isn't a bad conversation.

I'm not someone who eats a lot of burritos, but I just had BTB for the first time in a while and it was a lot better than I remember. I've always thought Pancheros was garbage, and Qdoba has always been my favorite. Chipotle seems like basically the same thing as Qdoba, but not quite as flavorful. 

If I were to rate the local Ann Arbor burrito places, I'd go Qdoba, then BTB, then Chipotle, then Pancheros a distant fourth. I would always hear a lot of people fawning over Pancheros in the past and still have no idea why. 

Anyways, how would you rate the local Ann Arbor burrito selection, and can someone please explain to me what is so damn special about Pancheros?



February 22nd, 2012 at 11:35 PM ^

Pancheros, really. The best tortilla; it tastes like a pancake. Literally their tortilla tastes like a burrito. Pancheros is incredibly overrated.

Qdoba is solid and it definitely does have the most variety but it lacks something on the taste. The salsas aren't as good and their attempts at creativity, such as the Ancho BBQ Mole, fall short.

BTB has gotten better and from what I hear has the best veggie burrito. Also hear their Chimmy Chonga is really good but I haven't had the courage to try. Great and great atmosphere. Love the guys working their. Seen plenty of hispanic individuals eating there, although usually I am intoxicated when I go. Late night food there with my friends was one of our staples so it holds a special place in my heart.

Chipotle is clearly the best. It is delicious. Their roja salsa, hot salsa, is the best, and the Barbacoa is fantastic. Better than the pork at Qdoba. Their steak is the best although Qdoba does get close with the steak. I always get the best portions at Chipotle (unless you are at ones in Birmingham/Royal Oak). Plus Chipotle has the best quality food, particularly meat. They get the vast majority of their supplies from local farmers and strive for excellence. For those who appreciate farms with more natural methods of raising animals, free ranging etc., they primarily buy from them. Plus they had this festival in Lincoln Park Chicago which was awesome. Drank good beer all day, learned about food, and got a free burrito. In sum, it is clearly the best burrito place.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:13 PM ^

My opinion on this is pretty much worthless, but I'll share anyways.  I had Chipotle once and felt like I was having a heart attack and never had it again.  It was good up until I thought my life was going pass in front my eyes, but I felt it wasn't living up to its hype.  Qdoba is not bad, but nothing special and I wouldn't go out of my way for it.  Can honestly say I've only had nachos and chips w/guac at Pancheros so I have no frame of reference there.  Big Ten Burrito (I refuse to let Jim Delany play a role in naming my eating establishments) is the best A2 has to offer in the world of fast food burritos, IMHO.  That being said, I do love me some Baja Fresh over all of these options, but alas, I think Novi is the closest one to us. 

Well, I told you my opinion was pretty worthless!


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:06 PM ^

Qdoba has the best peppers and onions while the other chains' are slimy and nasty. 

I now live in Seattle, however, and oftentimes I get the craving for Pancheros bc it tastes a little different and there isn't one in sight.  Ahh....#whitepeopleproblems


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:07 PM ^

I graduated in 2000 and Panchero's was the place where hungry people went. I am not sure if "El Gordo" is still around but it was basically a burrito on steroids (3-4 regular burritos) for like $5, and it was actually pretty good. Maybe the quality of their food has gone downhill. Chipotle is allright and I never heard of this Qdoba place. The only other Mexican place I recall was Taco Hell, on East U, near the intersection of East U and South U.....29 cent tacos....score!!!


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

Chipotle BY FAR.  The steak is perfectly cooked (medium rare) and they have the best ingredients.  Their rice is definitely the best out of all the burrito places.  Qdoba has awesome nacho cheese but every time I eat there I feel like a fat piece of shit afterwards.  BTB is pretty good.  I haven't eaten Panchero's enough to give it a fair review.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

Qdoba. They win in a landslide over Chipotle to me because I prefer quesadillas over burritos, and Chipotle's quesadillas are garbage, right on par with BTB. BTB was really good when they first opened (my sophomore year), but they went downhill FAST. By the time I graduated a couple years later, I wouldn't eat there anymore. As for Panchero's... lol, this isn't the 90's.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

but I used to get a BTB chimichanga every single hockey and football weekend for two years so I'm split. I've never liked Pancheros. They're like 75% rice


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:17 PM ^

Pancheros - Awesome. I absolutely love this place and how they mix up the ingredients. 

BTB - cheap with value. Nice spot, especially at 2 AM

Qdoba - most selection and probably best overall burrito joint

Chipotle - good, but I wouldn't choose it over any of the three above. 

Moes - awful. I literally hate this place because you have to get your salsa on the side and for some reason it annoys me when you walk in the door and they say, "welcome to Moe's" in a weird non-welcoming way. 


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

I kept trying all of the above as much as I could until BTB killed the rest.

Food of choice: chicken quesadilla on whole wheat with guac and hot sauce inside. Trust me, it's TREMENDOUS.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

I loved BTB, but when their prices rose to over 5 dollars for a burrito while the quality of the meat dropped (you would get bites of gristle, fat, and mystery texture all the time in the Quesidillas), I tried the other places. I like Pancheros tortillas...delicious. Chipotle is the only one where if I eat it, I will need to know where a clean bathroom is within a few hours. Qdoba is simply ok.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:27 PM ^

Pancheros - Haven't had in probably 3-4 years and was kind of meh from what I remember.

BTB - Same as above excpet it was pretty good

Qdoba - Takes my vote hands down. Really great meats and their queso is so good. Their breakfast burritos are also pretty damn good.

Chipotle - Lots of my friends keep telling me how much more they like it than Qdoba, but every time I decide to give it another try I just decide I'll stick with Qdoba.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:31 PM ^

But my stomache always agrees with it badly the next morning and I usually find a piece of steak in there that I cannot fully chew. 

So when sober: Chiptole

When drunk: BTB


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:37 PM ^

BTB hands down, they definitely load you up with sour cream and guacamole.  I used to live on Packard and Hill, so was there a few times a week (especially late at night haha).  Moved out to Boston almost three years ago and still can't find a place that matches up.



February 22nd, 2012 at 9:42 PM ^

I had one experience at Pancheros before they came to AA (1991?). After a night of drinking, the roommates and I had a contest to see how many 2 pound burritos we could eat. I lost explosively in the midst of my second burrito.

Also I prefer fitted caps.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:44 PM ^

BTB >>>Panchero's>Chipotle>Qdoba

For me. When BTB added the shredded chicken i couldn't get enough of it and still can't. The juices that you get when they take out a scoop and put it into the burrito are so good. I also like their hot green sauce the best out of any of the other hot sauces but Panchero's is very good also.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

I've had much better in other ares. The best burrito I've ever had was at some small place just south of San Diego. Still though, you have to work with what's readily available(this applies to many aspects of the college experience).

Chester Cheetah

February 22nd, 2012 at 9:47 PM ^

I used to love the Pancheros on South U until they tried charging me for queso on my burrito that I didn't order.  I NEVER get queso yet the cashier and the assembler insisted that I got queso, even though I watched them make it and queso did not go anywhere near my burrito.

So I'm going to go with Moe's.  They serve beer there, after all.


February 22nd, 2012 at 9:53 PM ^

Panchero's has the fresh tortilla. Not sure why this hasnt been copied... It makes a huge difference and is really a great touch.

Qdoba has great queso sauce, and in has nothing generally wrong with it.

Chipotle has the best meat across the board... chicken is great there and the carnitas are actually really good as well.

BTB - enjoy the hot sauce, and the shredded chicken, but always wish they did more with the tortilla.

Also, Baja Fresh is also a strong option, I enjoy the grilled touch.


I will say that all of the above are some sort of Americanized version of a classic burrito, but they are all pretty damn good. I find that taquerias have great tacos, and enjoy them wherever I am (just in Costa Rica, Mexico City a few years back, San Diego, etc)... but sometimes they also have dirt meat and minimal effort...

As for Chicago, where I live, I like to go and get me some Goat tacos and soup...




February 22nd, 2012 at 10:03 PM ^

After a night of drinking a bunch of us naturally went to BTB around 3 AM.  They guy in front of us ordered some churros. The cook grabed the churros, sans glove, and tossed them in the deep fryer.  The guy who ordered them threw a fit and demanded the cook put on gloves and toss in a new batch of churros.  Now if you've ever been to BTB at that time you know it's good and crowded.  The abuse we gave that guy for bitching about something that was about to get fried to shit caused him to leave without his food.

I know, I know cool story bro, but to this day the churro guy's actions bewilder me. 


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:06 PM ^

This is just ridiculous.  Qdoba or Chipotle is better than Pancheros?  That's like coming to New York and choosing McDonalds instead of Shake Shack.  Makes no sense.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:06 PM ^

Best burrito I ever had: Del Taco. They're no longer in the midwest, and are somewhat nasty, but the Del Beef burrito with Del Inferno hot sauce is one of the singularly most satisfying things I've ever eaten. A flour tortilla with seasoned beef and grated cheddar and that's it. Get an order of crinkle cut fries, and there's nothing better. 


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:15 PM ^

This thread is probably one of the more interesting I've read.  Most individuals that I have talked to swear by Qdoba or Chipotle and shit on Pancheros and BTB (unless drunk).  To see such love for Panch and BTB is indeed strange to me.  I guess we can all agree that Burrito Joint is shit.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

You guys are insane, Chipotle is the best by ten thousand miles. Farm raised, free range meat, at least the majority of it is. The hot sauce is actually hot, you get the choice of brown or white rice, guac is also good. 


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:32 PM ^

Chipotle is by far the greatest restaurant on the face of the earth.  I eat there at least 4 times a week.  The food is healthy and delicious, and doesn't break the bank.  All of their ingrediants are from local farms, and you can taste it in the food.  The guacamole at Chipotle is to good to be compared to any other Mexican restaurant.  I got in on Chipotle stock in 2008, buying 10 shares at $55 dollars a pop.  It's now ballooned to nearly $400 per share!  I own 5 Chipotle shirts, 2 Chipotle hats, and even guacamole flavored chapstick.  When the Chipolte festival came to Chicago on October 1st, I was there.  While those other restaurants are good, and Q'doba is second in my books, none of them remotely compare to the quality, and taste of Chipotle.


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:24 PM ^

I'll take 'em all on any given day.  Different flavors for different times.

The only reason I dislike going to Chipotle is because somebody is inevitably going to pronounce it "chip- oll -tay" while you're there.  I swear, half the world becomes dyslexic with that word.

Look Up_See Blue

February 22nd, 2012 at 10:29 PM ^

BTB is solid, I remember the days of BTB late night after the bars.  Now I live in Nashville, there is no BTB, although there could be.  Here, I love Qdoba.  Nothing beats the Queso Burrito with Chicken.  Chipotle is nice cuz their meats aren't packed with steriods and hormones if you feel like eating on the healthy side.  Damn i'm hungry, and I can't eat cuz it's Ash Wednesday and i'm fasting.  


February 22nd, 2012 at 10:46 PM ^

Pancheros has been around the longest in A2 by far.  In the 90's, Pancheros made the burritos with meat, refried beans and the rest of the veggies(lettuce, tomato, and what not but no rice).  The El Gordo, a 2lb burrito but bigger at 2am, was a mainstay of the late night drunk crowd.  The Pancheros in East Lansing also produced the same food.  In the early 2000's, the Pancheros were bought out by a large holding company and turned into a chain.  Basically all of the Qboda, Chipotle, and what not are the same except for some spins on ingredients.  They are chain restaurants that you will find some are better than others. 

The El Gordo is a legendary burrito that the Fab Five, Charles Woodson, and other Michigan legends have been witnessed eating in the 90's. 


February 23rd, 2012 at 10:27 PM ^

Pancheros - Used to be great. They cooked it up, made the tacos two tortillas on the grill with melted cheese between them. Then became like the rest in great part. Fresh warm tortillas (that you can buy separate even) does make it special still.

BTB - Was good when it was grat value. Not anything special now.

Qdoba - Varies. One on Main a lot better than one on Wastenaw. Queso and chips are where it's at.

Chipotle - The best meats, spicy, flavorful. But limited menu. Kinda pricey for amount of food you get.

Moe's - not particularly good, but Queso, and has all you can eat Tacos on Tuesdays.

Musket Rebellion

February 22nd, 2012 at 11:06 PM ^

People confuse the Pancheros on campus with Pancheros as a whole. The Pancheros on South U is the only Pancheros worth eating at at all. Something about it, probably its proximity to greatness, makes it delicious. I've never had a great burrito at any other of their locations. 

I'd go like this:

1. BTB

2. Chipotle

3. Pancheros (on campus)

4. Qdoba

I think Qdoba overcooks their steak, and that's what I usually will get. The steak nachos with medium salsa at BTB are absolutely killer. Chipotle fueled my grad school years (at a different school, alas) and their barbacoa tacos are solid, especially with the corn salsa. 

Anyone in PDX on here ever eat at King Burrito in NoPo? Some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. You can get a burrito the size of your forearm for $4.


February 22nd, 2012 at 11:17 PM ^

BTB changed their pico about 2 years ago (thicker cut tomatoes and onions) which I did not really like and made the burritos noticeably different. I still think they are #1 though.

The 24 hour mexican food places out west (Romiro's, Filiberto's, Rolberto's, Los Betos, etc.  ... all with the same menu) are sorely missed in the midwest.  It's not that they are high quality, just significantly different from all the above mentioned places in AA. Those places are legit, esp. the ones in Arizona.