Andrew on Zomato
9 years ago
09/15/2013, 05:43 AM
Chipotle: Fast Food Flunk or Phenomenon?. Located extensively around the Southern Region, in every city from Los Angeles to San Diego, Chipotle is everywhere, making the generic excuse that a restaurant is too far away unusable. Very distinctive in appearance, the store’s massive sign plainly but perfectly bears the diner’s single word name, “Chipotle”, in enormous fashion, making it almost impossible to miss. Picky mothers, my own included, may be deterred by the usually cold climate of the restaurant, so if you’re taking those particularly sensitive to a “chill”, casually tell them they will need to bring along a jacket. Contrast to most conventional Mexican restaurants, Chipotle is fashioned in a modernist style, with a largely metal interior, containing metallic booths and chairs to coincide with the theme. The walls of the restaurant are strewn with black and white, with the occasional colored pictures of abstract art along with the company’s logo, a chili. There really is no age limit at this fantastic grub spot, and during the several times I’ve eaten there I have spotted everything from screaming children, too young to realize the awesome delicacy they are consuming, to very “mature” adults that look like they could barely waddle back to the car from which they entered the restaurant. Typically, however, it is teenagers that adorn the seats of the Hispanic phenomenon’s interior, usually conversing with friends and enjoying their incredible meal. A sizeable reason why Chipotle is so popular is because of its cost; the price is rather cheap, and I guarantee it will be the most filling meal you have ever eaten if you try anything off the extraordinary menu. The price can range, for a single person, from $5.25 to roughly 10 dollars, depending on the condiments and drinks purchased along with the course.
Though all the items on the menu, be it very few, are incredibly delectable, it is the burrito that is Chipotle’s signature dish. Directly quoted from those who have eaten the Mexican masterpiece, “Like Heaven in a tin foil wrap”, or, “Literally the best thing you’ll ever eat”. Even if you have eaten there before, the process of ordering causes both saliva and anticipation to build as you slowly shuffle forwards towards the subway-esque bar used to craft the burritos, gazing at the heaps of steaming meat being perfectly positioned on the customer previous’ food. Finally, arrival at the counter will provoke the genesis question from the hospitable staff “What kind of meat” The next stage of your burrito’s conception is adding on either brown or white rice, spotted with green cilantro leaves that leave bursts of flavor inside your mouth hours after your meal is finished. Added next are toppings, which include pinto and black beans, an awesome source of vegetarian protein packed with flavor that will dot your burrito’s innards, sour cream and guacamole, both deliciously creamy add-ons freshly prepared at the restaurant, and fajita vegetables, which are sweet and spicily colorful ways to add a taste explosion in every bite of your meal. Also, various spice levels of salsa, lettuce, and even seasoned corn pieces may be fused in the heaping creation that will causing your taste buds to overload from the essence of contrasting yet delicious flavors. Finally, after what can seem like hours, your burrito is wrapped in its temporary tin foil home, awaiting a vigorous consumption from the lucky soul who purchased it.
Because it has a more fast-food restaurant feel, Chipotle sells no conventional appetizers, as all food is ordered and received at the same counter. If one is incredibly famished and craves more than just the 1000 calorie plus burrito, they may opt to order a quesadilla or single taco off the kids menu as a “side” along with the main course. Chips are also available for purchase, but be wary when purchasing, as they have a slight lime cover flavor, which may deter some from buying them. In my own experience, I have never had any room for more food after eating at Chipotle, and I consume an astronomic amount of calories each day. Keep that in mind if you’re a light eater and have never been to the place before, and make adjustments on your food’s toppings and sides accordingly.
Not to be demeaned by the powerful presence of the burrito, Chipotle’s other menu items are 99% as amazing, but lack the 1% that makes them the restaurant’s signature meal. The burrito bowl, a spinoff of the burrito, as one can probably assume, is a cluster of all the toppings imaginable that would fit with a Hispanic meal, mixed with the same gigantic portion of meat, beans, and rice of a normal burrito. All it really lacks is the traditional tortilla wrapping of its more popular sister food. The variety of eating all the same ingredients the burrito contains with a fork can be much simpler and more enjoyable to some who are pickier about which toppings they like mixed together for the perfect bite. For those looking at a very traditional Mexican dish, the tacos are a great option, and healthier too, as it is far harder to pile on elaborately non-nutritious toppings on the smaller surface. Only two condiments are allowed, so one must be very careful in mixing and matching those they would think would create a taste bud sensation. Though I personally have never eaten the tacos before, I have had friends eat them alongside me, and even though I was bloated from my own burrito, my mouth still watered at the simple yet seductive appearance of the crispy shelled beauties, steaming until the last bite was taken. My friend also remarked afterwards, through many burps, at how amazing they were, so I am sure that this alternative to the monstrous burrito would be good for the less hungry. However, I’d recommend against going to Chipotle on anything but an empty stomach, as the portions are massive, and the ingredients of the food are whole grain, packed with protein, and extremely filling. Least filling of all the menu items is the salad, which can also, if requested, have every topping that the burrito bowl has, making it useless, as the only item it has the burrito bowl doesn’t is lettuce. Plain and simple, no one goes to a Mexican restaurant to order a salad, and I would recommend against getting this waste of menu space and purchasing one of Chipotle’s world renowned burritos.
Overall, Chipotle is an amazing restaurant for either lunch or dinner, and I would recommend it to both reluctants and Mexican food addicts alike. The drawbacks, be it few, are its generally low temperature, which might bar those sensitive to cold from as thorough an enjoyment as possible. The massive portions which can be ordered are also a drawback to some, who might have gone in looking for a lighter, less filling meal. Likewise, the lack of variety on Chipotle’s menu could be an inconvenience, and may cause going to the restaurant an excessive amount of times to become redundant. But even with these few minor flaws, Chipotle truly stands out as an incredible restaurant for people of all ages and taste preferences. The signature burrito dish is unbeatable, and can be customized to any one person’s unique standards. Friendly service adds on to my final recommendation of chowing down at your local Chipotle as well; I have never encountered an employee at the restaurant who wasn’t genuinely kind and attempted their best to make my eating experience the pinnacle of dining experiences. If you haven’t already, make sure this Mexican fast-food phenomenon tops your list of places to eat, and I promise you won’t regret your decision of dining at Chipotle.