Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear...You: The Neighborhood Qdoba Restaurant

Dear Qdoba,
I know you have been wondering why I stopped coming to see you! After all, you are right across the street from my abode. It was so convenient. There was a time that I would make a weekly appearance to sample your pleasures! The people who work for you were beginning to know my name and my preferred dishes! Why would such a comfortable relationship have to come to an end?

The fact is I needed to lose some weight! I was pushing two-hunny! My musculature was beginning to disappear like dictatorships in the Middle East. My man-boobs were beginning to rival Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy’s for sheer voluptuousness. My waist was beginning to display more jiggle than an episode of Boardwalk Empire that features Paz de la Huerta prominently. The final straw was a visit to the doctor for a physical. She inserted a syringe into my arm. She drew some blood. She went to look at the results. And then she straight up came back into the room and asked who was getting my film collection once I’ve moved on. Evidently she too liked films by Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock, and was eager for a bequeathing.

Seriously though, Qdoba, it wasn’t that bad! But she did recommend that I change my diet a little bit and work out more. Wifey took care of the diet. She got me on that South Beach jawn. For a while, it seemed like all I was eating was oatmeal for breakfast, lettuce for lunch, and pistachios for dinner. Beer was cut down pretty drastically too. While previously I had been consuming it as if it was being funneled through an intravenous tube, I have since cut down to only consume the sweet, sweet nectar on the weekends and not in such high volumes (a.k.a., enough to knock out a horse without the use of tranquilizers). On the workout tip, I started getting my weight-lift on every other day. When I wasn’t pumping the proverbial iron, I was going for runs either solo or with Lil’ Saucy in tow for extra resistance. I stepped up my basketball regime as well. Instead of playing my usual one night per week, I tried to get the occasional two evenings in. Now, I play once per week, with the game taking place outdoors, meaning the summertime temperatures will ensure optimum calorie-burning.

I have good news, Qdoba! I have lost twenty pounds!!!! The running, while being hell on my fragile tootsies, has ensured an overall trimming of the physique. The basketball has helped provide a much-needed flexibility in my core. And the weights? Well, the guns are blazing! The delts are like boulders in the Rocky Mountains! The triceps could cut glass…just by looking in the general direction of said glass. Meanwhile, the pecs have been rejuvenated and restored to their originally intended shape, which is to say very much unlike the torso of Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, which is where I seemed to be headed (the legs still look like that of a chicken or rooster). Let’s just say, Qdoba, ladies have taken to propositioning me on the street. Sure, they are usually badgering me for my credit card number to try and save some seal, or dolphin, or other such sea creature from extinction, but still they have been propositioning me all the same.

My undeniable sexiness aside, I have been missing you! The incredibly huge tortilla-stretching burritos. The nachos with enough salt on them to flavor the Atlantic Ocean. The queso sauce that could choke an artery like The Boston Strangler would a lady circa 1962. I know all of these things are horrible for me, but the problem is that when they are going down they are JUST. TOO. DELICIOUS! So, after a break that lasted three-plus months, I returned to you last night. I had tired of wheat pizza, wheat pasta, and wheat buffalo wings. I wanted manly sustenance. So I got in my car and drove the 500 feet or so to your establishment. I walked through the doors. The smell of authentic Mexican spices (cough…) wafted to my nostrils. I surveyed your menu, despite the fact that it never changes and I get the same thing every time. I spoke my order to the burrito-maker-person behind the counter.

“Steak ancho chile BBQ burrito, sire.”

The first link in the chain steamed my burrito-housing mechanism. He asked my bean preference (I always bet on black!). He lovingly distributed the steak and the beans and the rice and the BBQ sauce before handing my dinner off to another eager artisan of burritomanship! My salsa preference clarified, she moved on to cheese and sour cream. I OK’d the cheese and ruminated over the sour cream. In my heart, I knew it was wrong. A heaping slab of fatty cream? Nothing could be good about my affirmation to this query. I fixed my lips to utter the word “No.”


I was shocked, as my brain seemed to have taken over my body movements. At this point, I was on a collision course with disaster. My depravity had reached such depths that, when I spied out of the corner of my eye a deal that would allow me to purchase chips and a drink for a meager sum, I automatically said “I’ll take that deal.” I steadied myself for an onslaught of salty badness. But an interesting thing happened.

The cashier lady did not ring up the deal. She gave me the soda for free, but neglected to give me the chips. As I sit here, I still wonder: Was this a sign, an indicator of poor hearing, or a conscious decision on her part that she came to through observation of my aura?

“Forgive this gentleman’s trespasses! He knows not what he does! Spare him the sodium-strewn corn triangles, and set him upon his blissful, non-nutritious way.”

I don’t think I have to tell you that this shook me to my core. My faith in the path of righteousness and food that tastes sh!tty, but is good for you restored, I passed over the Dr. Pepper that was calling from the fountain and poured myself a Diet Coke instead.

Why am I doing this, Qdoba? Why am I tossing my newly found, svelte happiness in your face? It is not to hurt you. It is not to denigrate the enjoyability of your delectable offerings. NO! I enjoyed the food. I slathered it in Cholula and ravaged it like a former Sumo grand champion fresh off a desert island. I savored the taste of your steak! I wallowed in the magic that was your habenero! But as I stared at the last bite, as I considered the wonders that would be this climactic chomp, I made myself one promise, and it is one that will be kept solemnly and with great diligence.

“Qdoba, see you in 2012.”


717 S. Trooper Rd.
Audubon, PA 19403

Qdoba Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

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