Saturday, March 22, 2008

Panchero's plans Grand Forks store

Panchero's Mexican Grill, a fast-casual restaurant chain, is planning to open a location in Grand Forks in the near future. Panchero's already has a restaurant in Bismarck and a Fargo location recently opened. Panchero's specializes in fresh-made tortillas.

I'm not sure exactly when this restaurant will open, but I would imagine it would be in the next year or two. Any ideas where the local franchisee could put this new restaurant? Have you ever been to a Panchero's? If so, how would you rank it among the other Mexican fast-casual restaurants such as Qdoba, Moe's, and Chipotle?

29 comments:

OUWxGuesser said...

Fresh tortillas are always a good thing... kinda bummed it's just another fast-casual burrito bar, although I'll alwyas welcome more options (assuming they can employ enough people). I consider Qdoba *slightly* better than Moe's, however, Moe's is better economically (you get chips with Burritos). Haven't been to Chipotle or Panchero's so I can't comment on them.

thewanderingjew said...

Sigh...still no cure for a Chipotle addiction.

Anonymous said...

I went to a Chipotle for the first time yesterday and I must say it was not good at all. very suprised because I have heard so many good things about it. didn't seem to have that much of a menu selection either.

thewanderingjew said...

anon@11:11:
What wasn't good about it? Were the napkins too small?

I've tried my fair share of Mexican restaurants and I can safely say that nothing beats a Chipotle burrito or taco. Their menu is limited for a reason--they strive to provide the best quality and service out there. Take a look at their efforts to source much of their food organically and naturally-raised and you'll never want to go back to Qdoba again.

On that note, I've found Qdoba's corporate mentality and customer service to be less-than-stellar. I have yet to run in to a Chipotle employee that wasn't happy or interested in their customers. This is across the board from the line cook in the back of their restaurants to the guys in their corporate office.

Anonymous said...

A Chipotle would be good in town, but I love Baja Fresh. We're too far east for one of those to open though. As far as a non-chain, if anyone else has been to Rocket Burrito In Billings, that place has all of these chains beat! A good local fresh-mex place would be great!

Anonymous said...

Until they bring in a Chevy's restaurant, there is no hope of even decent Mexican food here. I've had better Mexican food in Northern Europe compared to what you can get here.

Anonymous said...

Chevy's? You've got to be joking, right? Might as well put in an Applebee's for barbecue.

naturalplastics said...

Chipotle is the exact same thing as qdoba with a smaller menu. Even their decor is the same.

I think it'll do fine - hopefully better than tortilla flats. I also hope it isn't put on 32nd... maybe somewhere near the hotels on 42nd or on highway 2? Possibly south washington?

OUWxGuesser said...

I'd like to see a burrito bar downtown... then again that could be dangerous since it would be within walking distance!

Anonymous said...

I ate at Chevy's in downtown Minneapolis and ordered their daily special which was blue marlin tacos. Not only was the marlin grilled to VERY well done but it wasn't even fresh fish. I realize Minneapolis is in the middle of a continent but even the toasted frog and sanders manages to fly in fresh seafood to North Dakota. To make a short story long, Chevy's was one of the worst meals I have ever paid for in my life and I would not be disappointed if Grand Forks never opens one up!!!

dale said...
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Anonymous said...

I'd like to see it go by campus. Maybe in that strip mall with Beyond Juice.

akm said...

Dale, you're kidding right? None of the existing places we have qualify as real Mexican food, so we still need a Mexican food restaurant. I'm guessing that another big burrito joint won't fill the bill, however I will still welcome it if it's not on 32nd, because it's better than yet another pizza/burger joint.

dale said...
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akm said...

The other one was Paulo's.

Anonymous said...

I have been to all but Moe's, and I thought Panchero's was the best of the group. I was at a Big Ten school when Panchero's went in probably more than 10 years ago. The food was a little more traditional Mexican than the other chains, but this was before Panchero's was much of a chain. The Panchero's I visited was significantly better than Qdoba, and a little better than Chipotle, which I like okay, but find to be a little sterile. Panchero's would be a nice option, but what we really need is a fresh donut shop.

Anonymous said...

Tortilla flats was one of the most disgusting restaurants I've ever eaten at. Paulo's was awesome!

I wish someone from Mexico would move up here & open a real mexican restaurant. Then people would have more to get excited about than a microwaved burrito from Paradiso's.

Justin said...

I'll take my Mexican food Americanized thank you very much... Maybe you get spoiled by the first thing you try but growing up in Grand Forks there were only two "real" Mexican restaurants, LaCampana and Mexican Village, my favorite still is LaCampana even after living in Minneapolis and currently Sioux Falls. The "authentic" Mexican food I have had was a bit of a turn off for me, I guess I like my Americanized version better.

dale said...
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akm said...

Paulo's was the first place I ate at when I moved here. We got a picture of their typical clientele when they kept warning us how spicy everything was. The funny thing was, it wasn't that spicy, but they must have gotten a lot of complaints about it. I concur with Dale that the first few times were great, but after a while it wasn't as good and was really empty. I wonder why it didn't last. Do you think people here are that averse to Mexican food?

naturalplastics said...

I like my mexican food americanized too. I've been there, and I'd much rather eat at qdoba or paradiso.

Anonymous said...

Chipotle Mexican Grill is an incredible gourmet and organic eating experience for a fast food restaturant: which is exactly what discriminating consumers want. Taco Bell, Taco Time, or Taco John's eaters wouldn't appreciate it's food, so they don't compete aginst that market. (It's like: do you buy your coffee at Valley Dairy or at Starbucks?) Qdoba is decent, but not in Chipotle's league. Moe's Southwest Grill is also O.K., but not as good as Qdoba, and has struggled financially (it was recently sold to private investors to improve its food/management).

There are legions of Chipotle addicts out there (in larger cities - Denver for example) that won't touch any other mexican place unless its very upscale and sitdown. Chipotle's growth has been incredible: same store sales increase year-over-year and it's lines extend out the door at lunch time at most stores almost every weekday. Qdoba and Moe's don't have that popularity. Chipotle is expected to have several thousand stores within a few years and will be international in scope - their product is that good (taking off like Starbucks did 15 years ago).

Qdoba is owned by Jack in the Box, a hamburger chain mostly based from California to Texas. Jack in the Box has over 2500 stores, including 400 Qdoba stores. Chipotle has only 700 stores, but because Chipotle is growing so fast and each restaurant has such high sales (and profit), the value of each Chipotle store is effectively 5.4 million. The value of each Qdoba/Jack in the Box store is effectively 0.6 million. With its emphasis on organic food and natural meats and high taste standards, Chipotle has a chance to be a restaurant version of Whole Foods Market. Since McDonalds spun off Chipotle two years ago, Chipotle (CMG) has gone from $42/share to as high as $165/sh (now at like $114). Jack in the Box (JBX) did well from 2004-2006 (largely based on Qdoba's growth), but last year Chipotle really overtook much of Qdoba's market in California and elsewhere and JBX stock price has dropped (from $35 to $25).

Note: because I noted the number of Chipotle addicts in Denver, was able to take advantage of the price run up. Chipotle isn't a fad like Krispy Kreme.

Matthew said...

Chipotle isn't a fad like Krispy Kreme.

This I would like to see empirically shown. It looks like a fad to me.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder why it didn't last."

I heard it got raided by the INS; many of its workers were undocumented.

Anonymous said...

I remember that place in the Grand Cities Mall right after the flood - - She made terrific salsa! I wonder what ever happened to her.

And speaking of great little places of the past; anyone else remember a pre-flood sandwich shop that had baklava on the corner of Washington and Campbell? The cheese buns are now at Amazing grains but they are not the same.

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis and St. Paul have great Mexican restaurants. The ones that have been listed here are all a joke.

Anonymous said...

"Minneapolis and St. Paul have great Mexican restaurants. The ones that have been listed here are all a joke."

That would be a great post for the Twin Cities Life blog.

~Blondie~ said...

We need a Good Mexican Rest, in a good location to make it in this town now. Have to say i don't have any idea what a good Mexican rest is. I grew up in the town all my life. I need to get out more!

Anonymous said...

Rule number 1 in Mexican food. Burritos do not have GRAVY. Rule number two. Tacos do not come with hamburger in HARD SHELLS. Best type of burrito is a carnita one followed by a pastor one.