frances in the city

on a mission: walt disney & burritos
October 23, 2009, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Chicago!

I have a story I would like to share.
It has no pictures, no happy ending, a weak plot, and a lot of rain.
Not a particularly pleasant story. But one that should be shared.
If it’s too long, I’m sorry. You can deal. Or just not read at all.

Once upon a time, a 19-year-old boy named Nate decided to host a movie night at his apartment. Midterms had been rough, and he wanted to relive a simpler time in his past, a time when he was free from classes like economics and calculus and jazz history. An evening filled with Disney movies seemed like just the ticket. He and his friends could reminisce over the days of old! Eat popcorn! Laugh at clean jokes! In an attempt to save money, young Nate went to the Chicago public library’s website to reserve the movies for free! He made his selections and placed them on hold. A few of them were labelled as “In Transit” and one was still “pending“. A few days later, he took a girl he knew with him to the library, since he was not well-versed in the ways of the public library. She was. They looked high and low in the big library for Disney DVDs. There were none to be found, save for Tuck Everlasting (snore). Again, they searched the internet card catalog. It was there they learned the library in Lincoln Park had two classics on the shelves (PETERPAN! ROBINHOOD!). But first, they had to really exhaust their options at this library. They climbed the escalator (we don’t wait around, folks) to the second floor children’s library, where there were tiny tables and chairs and rows of bookshelves labelled “Picture Books” (I forgot about those). At first the librarians were a bit grouchy, but Nate and Frances’ sweet smiles and polite questions melted their cold hearts. A nice lady (is there like a dress code for librarians? They all look the same) told them that they could try calling the Lincoln Park library to see if they would hold the movies until they got there. She also gave them a map and pointed out the address and phone number. How helpful. Down the escalators they went, out the door and on to the subway. It was raining and kind of miserable outside, but they had to do what they had to do. Frances called the number of the library. The librarian was short in her answers, and somehow the call was dropped. When Nate called again, the woman was even more difficult. Terrible! Not to be discouraged, Frances and Nate took the train out to Lincoln Park and walked three or so blocks until they found the library. Again, they looked high and low, searching through the children’s DVDs and the adult entertainment DVDs as well. The reference librarian (the grouch from the phone, remember?) was even grouchier in person. She asked them questions like, “Did you check in all the usual places?” “Did you look it up on the card catalog?” Nate and Frances were frustrated to have their intelligence questioned, but they answered politely and graciously since they were afraid of her. It turned out that the DVDs had been returned several months prior and likely had been lost, a frequent phenomenon, according to the peachy librarian. They asked themselves, “If you lose the DVDs, why wouldn’t you just remove them from the system instead of leading people on?” But alas, the movies were nowhere to be found. They left the library with the promise of Blockbuster on their hearts. It just might work out. And besides, the Disney movie party wasn’t for a couple of days anyway.

Ok this narrative thing is getting hard. Let’s abandon it, shall we?
After our disappointing library experience, we went in search of Chipotle. Chipotle is like Dunkin Donuts. It’s everywhere, except when you actually want it. There’s got to be a better analogy for that. ANYWAYZ, we were in Lincoln Park, which is like a breeding ground for Chipotles, Starbucks, quaint restaurants, and yuppies. But there was no Chipotle near us, it was raining, and darn it if we just wanted a burrito. We spotted a Qdoba. They have burritos, we’d never tried it together, we thought we’d give it a shot. You can read the whole dang synopsis in the lines following, but if you want to skip out, here’s the part that matters: Qdoba is no Chipotle. It was disappointing.

  • The tortilla was wimpy, thin, and kind of sticky. Mine tore and let to even greater  burrito disorder. If you’ve ever seen me eat a burrito, you know that this is already a problem.
  • The employees were not very quick. They also needed to practice rolling burritos. It’s an art.
  • Stuff had been sitting under heat lamps for a long time. Granted, it was 5:00, which is a bit early for dinner, but come on. Put your game face on.
  • It wasn’t that satisfying. Chipotle is a hearty burrito. You finish it and think, “Wow! I just ate a lot of food! But I feel ok about it!” because it’s beans and rice and meat and vegetables. Very filling. This Qdoba nonsense just sat in my stomach and made me feel like I ate a tub of lard (assuming I knew what that feels like). Yes, I did order the queso burrito, so I was encouraging discomfort. But still! Queso should be a good thing!
  • Nate felt sick after. Game over.

If you have a strong opinion otherwise, I’d love to talk to you about it. But we were just not feeling it. Chipotle for Life.


Wow! I wrote a lot! You read a lot! Congrats! You are the best! Go eat a burrito! Or watch a Disney movie! Either will make for a magical weekend (except if its Qdoba).


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This is all 100% true…

Comment by Nate

That was a very moving story and I was in tears by the end of it! I hope you can find some Disney movies. If not, you could re-enact them. I bet you know more of the words to “Everybody wants to be a cat” than you think you do.

Comment by caromac

On the subject of Chipotle, a new one opened up very near my house. Maybe we should go ther when you next visit home

Comment by Gordon

I, too, was moved to tears–I thought I LIKED Qdoba! What a world, what a world.

Comment by cindo

You need to write a blog about our chipotle adventure on disney movie night

Comment by Mike

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