My relationship with food has evolved quite a bit since college. My friends will tell you stories of the fancy Thai food I found too spicy to eat (I settled in miserably with a bowl of white rice); my brother used to laugh at my aversion to salsa as he downed bottles of hot sauce. In addition to appreciating what most people know of as “flavor”, I’ve also developed a deep respect for local and sustainably farmed foods. So while college-me was not a fan of Chipotle, it seemed only fair to give them another chance.
The hubby and I headed in for dinner one night. Chipotle follows the standard counter top assembly model. You place your order and follow your food as it is constructed answering questions. Brown rice, yes to cheese, pinto beans, shredded beef, the mild chunky salsa. At least those were my answers. The hubby opted for brown rice, cheese, black beans, chicken, medium salsa, and sour cream. We added two drinks and an order of chips and guacamole at the register. I admired the efficiency of the prebagged chips as we paid.
We filled up our drinks and scouted out the tables. Most of the seating was in the form of high stool. There was a sprinkling of low stools and a few booths, one of which we snagged.
Settling in for our meal, I indulged my habit of starting with the sides first. The chips were wonderful. Made from white corn, they were crunchy, lightly salted, and (best of all) sprinkled with lime juice. The accompanying guacamole was smooth and creamy with a sprinkling of onion and cilantro. My only real complaint was that while the chips were plenty for two people, the amount of guacamole was more suited for one.
Our burritos were solidly sized, falling into the “hearty meal” category for the hubby and the “eat half” category for me. My beef was tender, the rice medium grained and firm. The mild salsa consisted of chunks of tomatoes, cilantro and onion. My overwhelming impression however, was that the burrito was too dense. I finally connected the dots and realized what was bothering me was the fact that I just don’t like rice in my burritos. It makes them too heavy and texturally even. Clearly, groking this fact before I answered the rice question during assembly would have been helpful.
My own rice-in-burrito-hangups aside, the food was fresh and well prepared. In addition to burritos they offer tacos, salads, and bowls. The assembly line approach is vegetarian friendly and they offer an array of juices as well as soft drinks. The burritos alone won’t tempt me back, but I could pretty much live off those lime enhanced chips so I won’t protest if the hubby wants to go.
Total for the meal: $20.57 (includes two burritos, two soft drinks, and one order of chips and guacamole)
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