Qdoba Mexican Grill is rolling out new Mini Street Tacos today to locations nationwide as a limited-time offer that taps the flavors of traditional Mexican street fare.
Ted Stoner, Qdoba’s head chef and director of strategic product development, said the street tacos were inspired by his visits to Mexico. They also compete with the more authentic street tacos offered by food trucks in various cities across the United States.
Stoner predicted Qdoba’s street tacos would appeal to guests looking for a more healthful option or a smaller-portion alternative to the chain’s popular burritos.
The dish includes three tacos made with four-inch corn tortillas filled with Qdoba’s signature slow-cooked pulled pork or shredded beef, topped with red onion and fresh cilantro, and served with a slice of lime. A plate of three comes with a side of Ancho Chile BBQ beans for a recommended $4.99.
Stoner said an order of the three mini tacos contains 330 calories for the pork version and 360 calories for the beef. By comparison, a three-taco order of the signature tacos made with flour tortillas is 420 calories with the pulled pork and 510 calories with beef.
Last year, Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell rolled out a more authentic “street” style Cantina taco limited-time offer, as did the 156-unit Taco Cabana chain, owned by Syracuse, N.Y.-based Carrols Corp.
Stoner said Qdoba was testing its version of street tacos when Taco Bell’s Cantina tacos offer came out. “When we saw Taco Bell doing it, we figured the marketing would drive more awareness,” he said.
Qdoba’s street tacos will be available for about two months, varying by market, he said.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].