Review #1: Chipotle
When I walked into Chipotle early in the afternoon, the restaurant was moderately filled, with nearly half of the seats on its cafeteria style seating taken. Chipotle's seating is not like most restaurants, they have several large tables with about a dozen stools at each of them, which lends itself more to a social eating environment, rather than the more private tables at many other restaurants. If one so desires that experience, they have a few two and four seat tables off to the side of the restaurant. There was a bit of a wait in line to order my meal, but the employees worked quickly to serve each customer. Chipotle's menu is extremely simple, with a few choices in each section that add up to be an extremely customizable meal. You initially have a choice between a classic burrito, a burrito bowl which is basically everything that would go into a burrito spread out in a bowl, which makes it much easier to eat, and a set of three tacos. After that, you have a choice between two types of rice, white or brown, and two types of beans, black or pinto. Next in the assembly line is the choice of meat, Chipotle offers many different choices in this area, with the ability to mix and match different types of meat, and get an extra serving for a slightly increased price. They offer 4 types of meat, chicken, steak, barbacoa, and carnitas. There is not really anything special about the chicken, it's just grilled chicken. The steak is grilled to medium-rare, and is surprisingly good when compared to many other cheap(er) restaurants. The barbacoa is described on Chipotle's online menu as “Spicy, shredded beef, slowly braised for hours in a blend of chipotle pepper adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano until tender and moist”. The carnita is pork seasoned with “thyme, bay, juniper berries, and cracked black pepper”. Chipotle also offers a fifth choice which does not include meat for a slightly cheaper price. After the meat comes the choice of salsa, there are four options in this category. The mild salsa is a “Roasted Tomato Salsa” unsurprisingly consisting of mostly tomatoes. There are two options in
the medium category, one is the “Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa” consisting of corn, with poblano and jalapeno peppers, the other is the “Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa”, containing of tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and red onions. The hottest salsa that Chipotle offers is the “Tomatillo-Red Chili” which is made from “pureed chiles de arbol”, tomatillos, and various spices. As with the meats, you are able to add multiple salsas to a meal if you so choose. Next comes a variety of different ingredients, the cheese which is a blend of pepperjack and white cheddar, sour cream which is well... sour cream, romaine lettuce, and guacamole. After receiving my completed steak burrito with brown rice, pinto beans, the mild and the corn salsa, with sour cream and cheese, for just over $7, I found a seat at one of the large tables. I open my burrito, and dig in. The burrito is absolutely amazing, the burrito is wrapped well and doesn't fall apart while I eat, and all of the ingredients taste fresh. I had zero complaints about the burrito.