The restaurant with the funny name is finally open in Minot, and looks to already be a hit if the steady stream of customers is any indication.
Qdoba Mexican Grill opened its doors July 18 and offers a unique take on Mexican food to go along with its unique name. Chad Thompson, owner/operator of Qdoba in Minot, said the name is invented and doesn't have any special meaning. For those wondering how to say it, Qdoba is pronounced Q-doe-bah.
The restaurant is located in the former Hollywood Video building at 1700 S. Broadway. The phone number is 420-2936. Hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Thompson said Qdoba makes its Mexican food much like a submarine sandwich restaurant makes subs. Customers go through a line, pick out the exact ingredients they want, and watch as the meal is made on the spot.
"As a guest, you're going through and you're building whatever you would like," Thompson said.
"It's an assembly line," he added. "Each team member has their duty, and that's kind of what they do and they pass it along."
He mentioned that you can eat at Qdoba every day for an entire year and have something new each day because of all the different combinations of sauces, salsas and meats available.
Food is constantly being freshly cooked all day long as guests walk through the door. With all the cooking that's done, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything that wasn't as fresh as possible.
"We cook a lot, and you can see when you walk in. We're grilling chicken steak all day, every day. So the product is fresh, we're not cooking today's product for three days from now," Thompson said. "We're cooking it all the time, every day.
"We cut our own corn tortilla chips every day. They're made daily, we toss them with lime and salt. We hand-smash avocados every day for guacamole. Fresh pico de gallo (salsa) every day."
Other items Thompson mentioned that are made daily include the adobo-marinated chicken and fresh cilantro-lime rice.
One of Qdoba's signature flavors is its warm 3-cheese queso sauce, which is used on the queso burrito.
"The 3-cheese queso sauce is phenomenal," Thompson said. "I always joke with people, they're like, 'What's that?' 'Well it might change your life,' that's what I tell them. It's just amazing."
This is the fourth Qdoba to open in North Dakota. The other three locations are in Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo.
Qdoba is still hiring to fill out the staff, and Thompson said anyone interested in applying can stop at the restaurant and speak with a manager. There are plenty of part- and full-time positions available for line servers and cooks.
"It's very fast paced," he said. "You won't get bored when you're working because there's always something to do."
There are around 22 employees at the moment, and Thompson said they have been doing an incredible job operating the store during its opening week. With several positions yet to be filled, Thompson couldn't praise his employees enough for filling in where they are needed and giving Qdoba's guests the best experience possible.
"The staff has been great," Thompson said. "The staff has been really good. For as busy as we've been, they've just hung in there really nice."
The opening day for Qdoba was very busy, to say the least. Thompson said the lines have been solid from open to close. He notes business so far has been pretty close to what they expected, and might even be a little more than what was projected before the doors opened that first day. With this kind of start, it looks like the future for Qdoba is just as bright as the flames flaring from the grill.
"It's been great, business has been great, our guests have been very great for coming to see us and for just being patient with the lines," Thompson said.