But Panera Bread Co. feels certain that a burrito is, in fact, a sandwich... at least when it helps them limit competition to one restaurant in their fast-casual chain.
Panera sued their landlord to try and stop a Qdoba Mexican Grill from opening in the same shopping center because they had a clause in their lease preventing the landlord from renting space to another sandwich shop.
The judge ruled against Panera, deciding that a burrito is not a sandwich. Duh!
more from the AP:
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.
"A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans," Locke wrote in a decision released last week.
In court papers, Panera, a St. Louis-based chain of more than 900 cafes, argued for a broad definition of a sandwich, saying that a flour tortilla is bread and that a food product with bread and a filling is a sandwich.
Qdoba, owned by San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc., called food experts to testify on its behalf.
Among them was Cambridge chef Chris Schlesinger, who said in an affidavit: "I know of no chef or culinary historian who would call a burrito a sandwich. Indeed, the notion would be absurd to any credible chef or culinary historian."