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 11:20 PM ^

I actually like Pancheros the most, although its mainly a factor of it being the closest. I always order the chicken burrito bowl, so the salsa has a big impact on the overall taste since you're able to mix everything around to your liking. I just prefer Pancheros salsa over Chipotle's.

I'm not the biggest BTB fan. The first time I had it I thought it was the greatest thing ever, but I was also pretty drunk at the time. After trying it sober it lost a lot of its flair.

That being said, if its after 2am I'm going to South U Pizza.


February 22nd, 2012 at 11:33 PM ^

The whole wheat tortilla on a giant burrito is so good.  I always go with a veggie burrito, so I suppose I might be missing on the low quality meat.  Still, the diablo sauce is the best part.  Far superior to any of the sauces at the othe burrito joints, imo.


February 22nd, 2012 at 11:44 PM ^

Don't care for BTB.  I like seeing my burrito made in front of me.  Anytime I've requested anything different at BTB they fuck it up. 

If I'm drunk, Pancheros.  For lunch/dinner, Chipotle.  I wish they were open late and next to bars.  I've never had Pancheros sober.  Qbdoba is too far.


February 23rd, 2012 at 12:05 AM ^

Burritos: Chiptole > BTB = Pancheros >> Qboda

Quesadilla: Pancheros wins hands down. The fresh pressed tortillas make the whole damn thing. I've had BTB once and it just seemed normal...though their green sauce is probably the best dipping sauce.

I love Chipotle though because their ingredients just seem so damn fresh compared to every burrito place i've ever been to. I personally feel Q can't wrap their burritos ever because the tortilla they use keeps falling apart and cracking, and their ingredients are only so-so.

The school also took away BTB from north campus about 3-4 years back and replaced it with Burrito Joint....quite possibly the worst move in history. Those north campus BTB burritos were legen----WAIT FOR IT---dary.

Thanks for making me hungry now.


February 23rd, 2012 at 1:01 AM ^

1. Authentic burrito
2. Find a friend and get a pizza
3. Use cost of one campus burrito to make several delicious burritos in your house
4. Campus burrito


February 23rd, 2012 at 2:19 AM ^

It was the once legendary two pound burrito at Pancheros.  It was okay I guess, but nothing that special.  Then again I always thought Bell's pizza was the greasiest stuff on earth.  So my opinion may be in the minority.

Maximinus Thrax

February 23rd, 2012 at 7:21 AM ^

I am not sure if that was before they changed their whole menu around.  I know it was around that time.  They used to have good greasy burritos with beef that still had fat on it, raw onions, and the beans were different too.  Then they changed everything.  The beans got watery, the meat got a lot leaner and drier, their salsas changed, and they installed the tortilla press or whatever that is.  When that machine works right, it gets you a nice fresh tortilla.  When it is operated incompetently it yields a wet mess that will definitely burst on you.   The place definitely went downhill at that point in my opinion.  Sorry to be that guy though


February 23rd, 2012 at 2:53 AM ^

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


February 23rd, 2012 at 4:32 AM ^

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Burrito Joint - See above comments about Pierpont Commons. I made the mistake once too.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Maximinus Thrax

February 23rd, 2012 at 7:15 AM ^

I agree that Tio's is shit..  Basically iceberg lettuce, beans that always seem to need some water, too much cheese, and ground beef.  It is a suburban mom's interpretation of Mexican food circa 1985.  And it is apparently ridiculously popular.  It won best Mexican restaurant like every year I lived there (1997-2002) in several publications.  To be fair, there was not a lot of competition, but Sabor Latino should have beaten it easily once it opened.  That did not appear to be the case however (yes, I do realize that Sabor Latino is "pan-latin-american" cuisine).


February 23rd, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

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.

The Wonderful 135

February 23rd, 2012 at 10:14 AM ^

I never went to Qdoba or BTB on campus.  I was always a Panchero's man. 

That said...

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. 


July 22nd, 2014 at 9:34 PM ^

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