Chipotle vs. Panchero’s: A Battle on Beach Boulevard

By: Kiki Revels ’18

I recently moved to a neighborhood on Beach Boulevard, and if you know me, it’s no surprise that I was ecstatic to be only four minutes from the nearest Chipotle. I have been a loyal Chipotle customer for years now, and it is my go-to for quick Mexican food. However, just a few months ago a new strip of restaurants across from Chipotle opened up including Panchero’s — another walk down a line, build-your-own-meal, Mexican place. I went in with an open mind, but I expected it to not be anything special.

When I went for the first time, I got a chicken burrito with rice, pinto beans, grilled veggies, corn salsa, guac and lettuce. One thing I thought was noteworthy was that after they place all the ingredients you choose into the burrito, they mixed them all together before folding it. This to me made a HUGE difference as I wasn’t getting a full bite of rice one time and a full bite of guac the next. I enjoyed the flavors coming from the burrito, but something about Chipotle’s spices and use of cilantro appeals to me more, especially with their rice, guac and corn salsa (it is also a very different flavor than Moe’s).

The major edge Panchero’s has over chipotle is the tortilla. I’m not sure what they do differently than any other restaurant, but it has a certain taste and texture that is so delicious and forces me to get a burrito instead of my usual bowl. I also prefer their chips because they’re blue corn, and I find that flavor yummier than the typical tortilla chip. Though I prefer Chipotle, Panchero’s is a good competitor, whom I predict will gain more popularity as more open up around Jacksonville. My sister and I find ourselves craving Panchero’s over our beloved Chipotle, so I think that says something. If you’re ever on Beach, I suggest you give it chance and you may find your new favorite Mexican fast-food chain!

Image courtesy of Kiki Revels ’18.