Is a burrito a sandwich?

Is a burrito a sandwich?

The Panera Bread Co. bakery-and-cafe chain says yes. But a judge said no, ruling against Panera in its bid to prevent a Mexican restaurant from moving into the same shopping mall.

Panera has a clause in its lease that prevents the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury from renting to another sandwich shop. Panera tried to invoke that clause to stop the opening of an Qdoba Mexican Grill.

But Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke cited Webster's Dictionary as well as testimony from a chef and a former high-ranking federal agriculture official in ruling that Qdoba's burritos and other offerings are not sandwiches. The difference, the judge ruled, comes down to two slices of bread versus one tortilla.

[ LJ Poll 866525 ]


41 Responses:

  1. deificar says:

    Might I add, my hunger finds this post most delicious.

  2. spike says:

    And what about the monotreme of the sandwich world, the "open sandwich"?

    • Sure, one slice sandwiches exist, but don't we all agree that children are better served by two slices?

      • g_na says:

        What is that little creature in your icon? It looks awfully strange/cute.

      • spike says:

        Well, by that token, shouldn't a three-slice-of-bread club sandwich be even better for them?

        P.S. There's something extra amusing about this for me, since our daughter is being raised in a household with three loving parents: me, my wife, and our girlfriend (of six+ years now)

        • If you look below you will see my proposed Constitutional Amendment. A triple-decker counts since "a substance" includes bread. A triple-decker is definitely better than an open-face sandwich. I believe that there are many instances of multi-slice sandwiches in the Bible.

    • dougo says:

      Or french toast.

    • elegantelbow says:

      My favorite bbq restaurant serves a "steak sandwich" which is a steak with a piece of texas toast next to it. I keep telling them that the menu is a liar. Maybe next time I will bring a sharpie.

  3. I am worried about all this talk of redefining what a sandwich is. I propose a Constitutional Amendment defining a sandwich as a substance between one slice of bread and another slice of bread.

    • larisaka says:

      Must be precise here:
      defining a sandwich as a substance between one slice of bread and another slice of bread including both slices. Or at least one, in which case it becomes "the open sandwich"!
      P.S. Bread slices must be perfectly flat. If bread bends around the filling even slightly - the sandwich is in danger of becoming a burrito, and we must not allow that.

    • sc00ter says:

      Can alternative configurations be called a flour based union?

    • taffer says:

      Only if the slices are the same colour and brand, otherwise it will destroy the sanctity of sandwich-making.

    • telecart says:

      That definition may very well include the entire universe.

  4. dougo says:

    If you allow burritos and shawarmas then you'd have to allow moo-shu, crepes, calzones, corn dogs, and man-on-dog love.

  5. hollyqueen says:

    What is Shawerma?

  6. sir_bissel says:

    Huh, for some reason I thought it was about the quesodilla.

    Mmmm q'doba...

  7. defenestr8r says:

    if ind the discrepancy in the burrito: shawerma and shawerma: burrito results puzzling.

    and that is a sentence that i am fairly certain has never been constructed before.

  8. zwol says:

    A McMuffin is not food, and therefore cannot be a sandwich.

  9. dr_memory says:

    Inexplicably missing from your poll:

    Guava: donut?

  10. zonereyrie says:

    This is local to me, which just makes it all the more amusing.

    I've never seen a Qdoba before, let alone been to one. There is a Moe's Southwest Grill literally across the street from White City Plaza... and, now that I think about it, a Taco Bell/KFC across the intersecting street... so it isn't like there is a burrito shortage in the area.

    But I'll certainly try Qdoba just because I think Panera acted like dicks in trying to block them. The same plaza already has a Friendly's, a Bugaboo Creek steakhouse, a sushi joint (Osaka), a Chinese place, and more. So I don't know why Qdoba was such a big threat.

    (I've always been kind of amused by the name 'White City' for that matter. Turns out there used to be an amusement park there by the same name. It is on the shore of Lake Quinsigamond.)

  11. nightrider says:

    I find it most intriguing that at the time of this posting:

    8 respondents belive that . . .

    shawarma = burrito
    burrito != shawarma


    No... wait. I forgot, you're <lj user=jwz> LJ-post subscribers. Nevermind.
    (Yes, yes, I realize the irony in this insult. Now shut up and go play more WoW.)

    • swaz says:

      think about it

    • merovingian says:

      I took the colon to mean "is a member of the set."

      So, shawarma could be a subset of burrito, but not the other way around.

      Like this:

      SOCRATES:A HUMAN? (Yes/No)
      HUMAN:A SOCRATES? (Yes/No)

      ...which brings up the important next quetion:


  12. merovingian says:

    Lavash Sandwiches: the missing link that establishes the connection between burrito and sandwich?