One of the perks of being a world famous food blogger, is that once in a while you get invited to big events put on by some of the biggest restaurant chains in the world. It's the food blogger version of walking the red carpet. Anyone who's anyone in the food blog world is there. So you can't pass these events up or someone might think you fell off your game. Well you know that the Fatguyfoodblog crew doesn't play like that. So when Qdoba hit us up with an invite to their latest shindig, you can bet I RSVP'ed, PLUS ONE.
Not only did Qdoba just open three new locations in Seattle, but they also just started offering a great selection of local craft beers and wine to pair with their food. On top of that, they have a new loaded tortilla soup. With all of this in mind, my lady and donned our red carpet outfits and hopped in the Fatguyfoodblog stretch Hummer and pulled up to the University Plaza location and got out like Brad and Angelina.
After signing a few autographs and posing for some pictures with people, we made our way inside. We were greeted by the awesome staff and directed to our seats. Almost at once things began being served. When the Assistant Manager Cody asked me which beer I would like to try, he took one look at the FGFB shirt I was wearing and decided that instead of just bring me one of the beers, he was going to bring me all of them. And the wine too. See, this is the kind of stuff that happens when you're sporting a Fatguyfoodblog t-shirt. This logo demands attention and is well respected in the food world. Those who own one will back me up. If you want to join the elite, you can get one here!
Now that I've successfully plugged our designer t-shirts, let's get back to the review. The first thing to arrive was the Loaded Tortilla Soup. Let me tell you, this is not an item I would have ordered usually. Why? Eh, I'm not much of a soup guy. If I go to a rad place like Qdoba that's rocking tacos and burritos all day, the last thing I'm thinking is soup. That's why it was such a great surprise. Chock full of fresh veggies and chicken with slabs of tortilla shell sticking out of it, you couldn't go wrong. Usually it comes in a massive tortilla bowl, but since we weren't that pumped about it beforehand, we asked for a smaller sample. MISTAKE. It was excellent. The drizzle of sour cream over it ended up being the proverbial icing on the cake. It's like your favorite taco, in soup form. I would 100% get this again.
Then came the beers. Three at first, Schwarzbier from Dru Bru, Boombox IPA from Hilliard's, and Dru Bru IPA. A few minutes later he added to that Manny's Pale Ale from Georgetown and the Dru Bru Kolsch. So many beers! My lady isn't one for beer so luckily they were all mine. As quick as I slugged them down they would bring another. I felt like Thor in a diner.
Of all of them I had only had Manny's before. But there wasn't a beer I had that I didn't enjoy. They told me which beers paired really well with specific tacos but I'll be honest, I glazed over. My plan was to just drink all the beers and eat all the tacos. I was surprised that I ended up liking the Schwarzbier so much from Dru Bru. I'm not usually a fan of darker beers. They end up being really heavy in my guts and make it hard for me to perform at top level. Aka: eat a lot of tacos. But this one went down smooth and wasn't heavy like I expected. I was pleasantly surprised.
When presented with the option of wine, I wasn't too keen on it because let's face it, I write for a blog called FATGUYFOODBLOG. I look like a barbarian. What do I want with wine? Ale? Mead? Fine drinks. I usually leave wine for those with a more refined taste. But when I heard it comes in a can and has a money on the logo, I told them to sign me the hell up. It's called The Infinite Monkey Theorem and they offered both red and white wine. I'll tell you what, if you're a wine snob, you probably won't be into this. If you're the opposite of a wine snob, this might be the wine for you. THERE'S A CHIMP ON THE CAN. A CHIMP! I feel like someone needs to tell Joe Rogan about this stuff.
Then a full run of the Knockout Taco's arrived. You may remember these from our review a little while back. This was a nice surprise, but what surprised me the most was when the Assistant Manager, Cody, delivered them and told us every single ingredient that was in each of the different tacos right off the top of his head. This guy is a Knockout Taco expert and blew my mind with his knowledge. When I praised him at being able to do this he shrugged it off like a boss. True professional.
The Knockout tacos didn't disappoint. Just like last time, the Two-Timer ended up being my favorite one. But a lot of these shined in ways that they didn't the first time around. I think the issue with the first time around was that we tried them literally days after they dropped. I don't think the crew at the location we went to really knew how to make them yet. This time around the Mad Rancher wasn't just a pile of lettuce. These were very well done and you know what? Beer went a lot better with them than fountain soda, that's for damn sure.
Lack of bacon was not an issue this time around. When bacon was on one of these, it was there in FORCE. Also, did I mention the wine had a chimp face on it?
A few fans came up to take selfies with me so I paused from the meal to duckface and throw up a peace sign or two. Signed a girls boobs, which my lady did not approve of. Then I went back to decimating this spread. I think between the two of us, we did a pretty good job. Also I drank lots of beer and wine so I was glad that the FGFB Stretch Hummer had a driver because if I drove home it would have probably looked like a scene from Mad Max: Fury Road.
As we finished up we were given our VIP gift bags. Inside there was so much Qdoba swag. I decided I needed to put a bunch of the stuff on at once and pose with the Qdoba Luchador. This new location is definitely one of the best Qdoba's I have ever been in. Not only is the layout great, but it has a very comfortable atmosphere and you can tell they spared no expense stepping it up to the next level. I really loved all the artwork and the soft lighting. Let's face it, any place that has a masked luchador wrestler on the wall is going to get a thumbs up from me.
|I blame this shot on all the beer.|
Cody Fasching, the assistant manager. Extremely nice and a damn Knockout Taco expert. If you walk into a Qdoba and see this dude working, you know you're in good hands. He also knew everything there was to know about the beers and wines. Assistant Manager? Qdoba, what's the deal. Jump him up to full on manager ASAP. Seriously.
Then there was Keith Johnson, the director of west region operations for Qdoba. He might be the high up brass of the company, but for this event it was all hands on deck and Keith was awesome. He had a lot of excitement about the different items I tried that night and you could tell that he knows more about this stuff than I could know in ten lifetimes. Awesome dude and he made a great amount of time to stop and chat with each of the VIP guests like myself.
As we said our goodbyes and made our way out the secret back exit to avoid the throngs of fans outside, I felt a slight sadness. Like when a really raging party dies down and everyone goes home. Luckily Seattle has plenty of Qdoba locations to visit, so I knew I would be back. Soon. Really soon. Like...maybe even the next day.
|Big thanks to Holly for being my +1!|
In the end, I have to say this was a great event that won't soon be forgotten. Got to try a bunch of great stuff, got to drink a ton of great beer and wine, and went home with some freebies. Not to mention getting to experience one of the newest and coolest Qdoba locations on Earth. If Qdoba ever has another one of these parties in my neck of the woods, you can bet I'll be there.
For more information on what Qdoba has to offer, check out their website! https://www.qdoba.com/
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This review was by Rich Brunelle, who currently lives with the lovely lady in the picture above and a giant cat that enjoys licking laundry.