Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.

Is a burrito a sandwich or not? If you didn't know, this was actually a huge debate in Massachusetts that went to trial, yes it went to court, in 2006.

Background Information

A Qdoba Mexican Grill wanted to open at the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury, MA and was having a hard time getting the lease for the open space approved.

According to Case Text, the reason that this was an issue was that there was a Panera Bread there, and in their contract they have, it stated that no one that makes more than 10% of their profits from sandwiches could be in the same plaza as them.

Now, I don't know about you, but I normally go to Panera Bread for breakfast foods and not for sandwiches. If I was going for lunch, sure maybe I would grab a half soup half sandwich, but I think more about bagels when I hear Panera.

Of course, Panera Bread fought that Qdoba is a sandwich shop due to the fact that they sell burritos. First off, Qdoba sells more than just burritos. However, this led to the debate, is a burrito a sandwich?

Qdoba via Facebook
Qdoba via Facebook
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According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a sandwich is "two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between." Think about a burrito for a minute, it's one tortilla that is filled with rice, beans, and meat. The key part is one tortilla, which is not two pieces of bread or cut in half and therefore could not possibly be a sandwich. This makes me question though if a quesadilla is a sandwich since it technically is two pieces of bread or one-piece folded in half.

The Result

Well, Panera Bread was not in luck, especially with Merriam-Webster's Definition. Fox News states that Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke of Massachusetts ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich and would allow for Qdoba to open at the White City Shopping Center.

Qdoba Mexican Grill did open in Shrewsbury at the White City Shopping Center, however, with a quick look at the White City Shopping Center directory, Panera is still there, but Qdoba has since closed its doors.

There are however two burger places, B. Good and Five Guys, located in the plaza. I guess the new question is: is a burger a sandwich? Since they are located in the same plaza as Panera Bread, I guess it is the same to assume that a burger, just like a burrito, is not a sandwich.

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