A great debate: Chipotle v. Moe’s

In the silver-wrapped, all-natural corner, we have Spencer Hayden defending Chipotle.

Chipotle is the superior Mexican food chain. Its food is of a higher quality, while Moe’s meals often lack seasoning. The flavors and spices used in Chipotle’s food are natural and make its meals taste much better. Moe’s dry and flavorless chicken explains why they overflow their salsa bar with an assortment of salsas to make up for the unseasoned chicken.

Chipotle also has a wider variety of meats. They offer delicious options such as barbacoa, chicken, steak, carnitas and chorizo. These meats are more flavorful and better tasting than those from Moe’s.

Portion size plays a huge role in why Chipotle is far superior to Moe’s. While Moe’s believes they are being clever by naming its largest burrito the “Homewrecker,” they fail to acknowledge that it is not nearly the size of the average Chipotle burrito (Moe’s burrito weighs one pound while Chipotle’s are one and a half pounds). Though Moe’s does include chips in their meal price, unlike Chipotle, they don’t compare in quality. The chips at Chipotle have a sublime, salty lime flavor unlike Moes’ stale tasting chips. In addition, Chipotle’s guacamole — with its amazing blend of avocados, tomatoes and onions — is undeniably the best you will ever try in your entire life. Although it may be an additional cost, it is 100 percent worth it. Moe’s guacamole is subpar and not worth the extra fee while Chipotle’s is divine compared to Moe’s bland-tasting avocado mush. Also, even though Chipotle’s burritos cost a few bucks more, there is a lot more food inside each burrito at Chipotle.

Efficiency also plays a role in determining the best Mexican fast food chain. Chipotle is extremely fast and efficient compared to the long wait common at Moe’s; a wait that comes thanks to employees’ inability to hear customers over their loud grills in the back and their annoying “Welcome to Moe’s” catchphrase.

Chipotle stands out in ways beyond their impeccable flavor: their “food with supports local farmers, unlike Moe’s. In February of 2016 they pledged ten million dollars to help local farmers meet their safety protocols.

Lastly, Chipotle’s sleek and modern restaurant design is far superior to Moe’s. When one walks into Chipotle’s restaurants, they feel as though they are entering a fine dining restaurant that offers delicious, fancy cuisine. But, when you go into a Moe’s restaurant, it feels as though you are going into a lame pop concert with pictures of old musicians littering the walls.

There are endless reasons why Chipotle is the superior food chain to Moe’s, including the quality of food, the design of their restaurants, the freshness of their ingredients, and the flavorful meats that Chipotle has to offer. Comparing Chipotle to Moe’s is like comparing Nike to Skechers, USA to North Korea, the Patriots to the Browns, Supreme to Palace or even Apple to Android.

Spencer Hayden (left) and Ike Bryant (right). Photo by Levi Hencke

In the yellow-themed, free-chips corner, we have Ike Bryant defending Moe’s.

Moe’s is by far the better choice of Southwestern cuisine. First off, it is a cheaper option. Not everybody has the ability to spend more money on food of lower quality. That is why the average Moe’s is exceedingly more successful than the average Chipotle. While Chipotle has 2,205 locations compared to Moe’s 680-700, they only rack in twice the annual revenue. This means that three Chipotles make as much as two Moe’s, which shows how notably more popular Moe’s is.

Another of Moe’s assets that tops Chipotle is the taste of their food. While Chipotle may have better chips than Moe’s, they have nothing good to dip them in. Moe’s queso far surpasses Chipotle’s. The blend of three cheeses, diced jalapeños, and the creaminess all distract you from the below standard chips, which really aren’t all that bad. Moe’s entrees are much more desirable than Chipotle’s, including their burritos, stacks, tacos, quesadillas, and nachos. While the Moe’s burritos may be a slight bit smaller, they make up for the small lack of space with adding the highest grade ratio of ingredients, while Chipotle unevenly piles their ingredients onto a tortilla. Quality is always much better than quantity, and that is the difference between Moe’s and Chipotle burritos; who wants to bite into a messy burrito and take a large bite of tortilla and guacamole, expecting meat, beans, rice, cheese and more?

According to Jonathan Osborne, a sophomore at Carrboro High School, I’m not the only one who likes Moe’s better than Chipotle.

“The queso is better, more flavorful, and all of the foods in general are more flavorful and have a better quality. The meats are so much better including the steak and ground beef, and the rice is much better,” said Osborne.

Osborne’s favorite meal to order at Moe’s is the Wrong Doug, which he simply describes as “perfect.” The Wrong Doug is one of Moe’s stacks, and it perfectly balances the flavors of meat, cheese, beans, queso, lettuce and pico de gallo in between two crunchy corn shells and two grilled tortillas.

The final benefit of Moe’s is the restaurant itself. “Welcome to Moe’s!” is the first thing you hear when you walk into one of the restaurants. Moe’s creates a homey environment that makes everyone feel welcome when they eat there, and lets you efficiently watch your meal being made in front of you. Moe’s styles their restaurants to be like the rebellious spirits of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Their name literally stands for Musicians, Outlaws, and Entertainers, and it attempts to revisit the popular culture of those generations. Even if it’s not your style, they make up for it with their phenomenal food.

With the combination of their food, atmosphere and success, Moe’s is overall the better restaurant to dine at for Southwestern cuisine. While Chipotle boasts about the freshness of their ingredients, they sure don’t boast about the sixty cases of E. coli across eleven states that they served through their “quality food” to customers.

The next time you think of going to Moe’s or Chipotle, just remember: quality always beats quantity.