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Thursday, March 17, 2016

happy food: wine and tacos at qdoba

If the question is "Do you want to go out for Mexican?" The answer is always yes. Ideally, we would be at a little place by the beach where the Baja tacos and ice cold beer with lime can be enjoyed while   looking out over the water. But Boston or Seattle, L.A. or Orlando, there is always that Mexican joint that knows exactly how to make the perfect guacamole and whose tortilla chips are perfection.

I discovered a new favorite place. Last week I stopped by the new Qdoba Mexican Eats for an event celebrating their new Seattle location near University Village. On a rainy and cold day, after a long day, guacamole, chips and beer were a welcome start. L and I are guacamole enthusiasts. Qdoba's guacamole (made on location each day) is bright, creamy and fresh. Bonus:  Qdoba doesn't charge extra for guacamole or queso added to any entree. Nice touch.

The day was so cold and damp that I spent most of the it shivering in meetings. Soup seemed ideal.  I started with the loaded tortilla soup (vegetarian) which can easily be a healthy option by leaving out the crispy tortilla, cheese and sour cream. The soup was hearty and next time I'll get it without the extras. It stands well on its own.

I followed with the Bohemian Veg Knockout Tacos (shredded cheese, black beans, corn salsa, guacamole, salsa verde, minced onions, cilantro and cotija cheese). Often, since I don't eat meat, I find that vegetarian entrees are an afterthought. Not this taco. It's hearty, fresh and filling. I brought home the Two Timer Knockout Timer for L and he loved this take on a pulled pork taco.

A note on the beer and wine. At this location they served canned wine from The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery as well as local draft beer from Dru Bru, Georgetown  and Hilliard's. I tried the Schwarzbier from Dru Bru which had a nice citrus finish that paired well with the guacamole and chips. The White Wine from Infinite Monkey Theorem (pineapple/peach/papaya notes) aligned well with the Bohemian Veg taco. It was perfect.

In addition to the new bold flavor menu, if you visit Qdoba (600+ restaurants in 47 states), you'll also see that they've updated their restaurants. It doesn't feel like a fast food restaurant.  (The music, by the way, is actually pretty great too. Kudos to the music programmer. )

I loved the new Qdoba. The environment was relaxing and comfortable, the price points were fair and the food was hearty and fresh. It's happy food. In fact, we're going back again tonight.

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