We are apparently fighting the Quesadilla Wars now

cross section of Chipotle quesadilla
Photo: Dennis Lee

We’ve spoken at length about the Chicken Sandwich Wars, and we’ve even dedicated several thousand words to the less dramatic Fast Food Breakfast Wars—but did you know that America’s restaurant chains are waging a third war right before our eyes? Yes, it brings me no joy to report that we are in the midst of the Quesadilla Wars, according to Business Insider.

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Of course, we should have seen the signs. They were right in front of us the whole time. How could we possibly have thought of the new Chipotle hand-crafted quesadilla as some sort of fluke? Were we not suspicious that mere hours later, Taco Bell heralded the return of its beloved Quesalupa? Business Insider connects all these tacks with red string for us to share a larger industry snapshot.

BI notes that one reason Chipotle has resisted adding a quesadilla to its menu is that the item takes longer to construct than customers have come to expect from its ultra-fast burrito assembly line, but the company has reportedly sped up the process, shaving an original three-minute timeframe down to 30 seconds. Still, it takes a separate assembly line to pull off, and that’s part of why you can only pre-order the item in the app rather than requesting one as you stand in line. It sounds like a lot of extra trouble, but that twofold assembly line tactic means that Chipotle stands to see a serious sales boost by offering quesadillas. And if that boost is seen in the next earnings report, you know what’ll happen: a thousand more imitators will flood the market.

Or maybe it’s not the quesadillas themselves that will ripple across the fast food landscape, but rather the way we order them. Are we going to see the dawn of a bold new era in which we can’t order any of our drive-thru favorites without downloading an app, handing over personal info, opting into a rewards program, securing a wifi connection, being asked to update the app to the latest version, and having the maps function within the app suddenly lose functionality right as we’re about to place our order? The future sure is annoying to imagine. Just pass me some Huel.

DISCUSSION

By
Brick HardMeat

Perhaps it goes without saying, because if you’re eating at Chipotle you’ve already given up, but...

Don’t eat at Chipotle. Don’t eat at Qdoba, or Baja Fresh, or Moe’s.

I don’t hate these places. I’m not looking down at them. The food is satisfying.

But depending on where you live, chances could be pretty good that there’s a locally owned place making the real fucking thing, by someone who grew up making it and eating it themselves. You’ll know they’re legit if they have lengua or cabeza on the menu. Or, if you had any cojones, you’d order the tripa.

If you’re really lucky, you can give the burrito a break and get a torta. Or a half dozen tiny tacos, with some raw onion, cilantro, and lime. Wash it down with some horchata. It will be the culinary highlight of your day.