Last update: December 2012
Other locations: Saginaw (original), Ft. Worth (Fossil Creek - coming soon)
*** Watauga location is closed. The others are still open.
The burrito craze started back in the 1990s, and the city of Denver (where we lived full time back then) was ground zero for this food movement. So at times it seems I've almost grown up with the concept. Both Chipotle and Qdoba started in Denver and still represent the major brands in this market . The formula was simple, yet effective. The assembly line method was used. First they'd steam your tortilla, then you'd get the cilantro lime rice, followed by black or pinto beans, and finally a meat. Then you choose your salsa and other toppings, pick up a drink cup and off you go. Just about every burrito copycat place from then on used this formula with minor variations.
It was inevitable, but what if you wanted more options? Enter stage left Freebirds, and a whole new slew of parameters were introduced to the process. It wasn't enough to just be offered a flour tortilla. Now you can choose what kind of tortilla you want. Cilantro lime rice? What if you want something different like Mexican rice? Now you can get it. And so it goes.
Bad Azz Burrito is modeled after Freebirds. And why not? Qdoba found great success after Chipotle. On this visit I tried the cayenne pepper tortilla with cilantro lime rice, pinto beans and grilled chicken. So I didn't really venture far off the norm - though I did try the pork green chile first. This is a staple of the Colorado diet, so I was curious how they'd do. Not very good I'm afraid. The green chile was mild and the pork was chewy. So that's why I opted for the chicken which looked great. And it was - a delicious seasoning is applied. I was a little disappointed in the salsa offered for the burrito. They have only two options. I asked which was hotter, and she said the green so I had that slathered on my burrito. But I asked for a side of the red just to compare. I loved the flavors, but neither are very fiery. In this day and age, I think that's necessary. Qdoba, Chipotle and Freebirds all offer seriously hot sauces. One unique gimmick I do like from Bad Azz is the use of the conveyor toaster, similar to Quizno's or Schlotzsky's. This ensured my meal would be hot upon serving since it had cooled off while being prepared.
I like Bad Azz Burrito. I really do. It's a place I'll go once in awhile, but I don't think it's as good as the aforementioned chains. What do you guys think? Am I wrong?