Thursday, May 20, 2010

Trying to Understand Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill
27221 La Paz Rd.
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

So my friend Richard, super-hardcore-Chipotle fan, wanted me to review Chipotle. I knew going in what I was going to think about the place, but he persisted. Richard has even gone so far as to say, that if he could eat at one place for the rest of his life, he would want it to be Chipotle. Let's see if that would be a good choice.

Chipotle was founded in Colorado in the early 90's, and they are closing in on 1,000 stores. The food is prepared assembly line style. You choose between burritos, bowls, tacos, or a salads. You then choose the meat and toppings. So after going through the line, this is how it all turned out.

Here is the burrito before I cut into it. I chose the Barbacoa Burrito and added guacamole for an extra $1.65. The burrito was priced at $5.95, so that brings this to an $8 burrito after tax. I have paid more for burrito's, so an eight dollar burrito is no big deal. This one is good sized, but I have since learned that you can ask for double meat, and double wrapped burritos for the same price. Lets see what the burrito looks like on the inside.  

The few times I have been to Chipotle, I have always been disappointed with the amount of meat they dole out to you. This was no exception here. I will definitely ask for double meat next time. The extra guacamole that I got on this burrito made this one of the better burritos that I have ever had at Chipotle.

This is the inside of Richard's burrito. He always talks about how he loves the rice at Chipotle. In fact in his burrito he got double rice. I feel that the rice adds nothing to their food, but filer. The rice seems taste less to me.

Another complaint about Chipotle is that there is no heat in any of their food. Even with the hot salsa that I chose for my burrito, it really does not pack a punch. The only hot sauce that they carry is Tabasco, and that is just a poor man's Tapitio. 

I have been trying to figure out why people are so fanatical about Chipotle, and why I am not. The reason I dislike it, and probably the reason other people are so excited by it is, that it is Mexican food for the masses. It is safe Mexican food, that even seven year old girls would eat. There are no big flavors, and no matter what you get, it will all taste the same. 

Living in Southern California, I have become spoiled, and do not know what it like to live where I can not get good Mexican food. So, I think that is why I am so put off by Chipotle. I do not think I will ever crave this place, like my friend Richard here. 

Out of five peppers, five being best to zero being worst, Chipotle gets two peppers, (which is two more than they have ever used in any of their cooking, just kidding, I could not resist that one!).

For more information on Chipotle, click here:

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. I've gulped air with more flavor than the burritos at Chipotle. It's definitely a great place to bring the palate-impaired or for those who think McDonald's is Scottish cuisine.

  2. Very funny queerinmysoup! I could not agree more. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Rice in a burrito is blasphemy!

  4. I agree, as anyone would, that Chipotle is Americanized Mexican food. But, hello, I'm AMERICAN. I have no special affection for Mexican cuisine.

    Taken for what it is - an American fast food chain - Chipotle is OUTSTANDING. It's better quality than anything else out there.

    And if you the rice is "filler" you are insane.

  5. Richard, we will have to agree to dis-agree on this and other of your food choices. Obviously a lot of people like Chipotle, because there is soon to be one on every corner. But there are also McDonalds on every corner, but it is not because they have the best burgers. It is because they appeal to the masses, just like Chipotle. Thanks for the comment.

    Carissa, calling my jerkface filler, is one of the nicest things ever said about my face. Thanks!

  6. Double meat or double wrapped for the same price??!! That can't be right, especially at Chipotle. The older location on Trabuco used to be very generous with their servings, but that was awhile ago. Their burritos used to be like bricks and now they're a mere shadow of their former selves. They're burrito sliders! You want good portions and great prices? Chronic Taco.

  7. Xana, that is what I have heard from my Chipotle friends, but they have been wrong before. I will find out, but I have not been back to Chipotle in a long while, and really have no plans to go anytime soon. Too many good Mexican places to try. I have heard mostly bad about Chronic Taco, but I have not been there myself. Thanks for the tip.

  8. You're right, too many good Mexican places out there. When you get a chance, give Chronic a try and see for yourself. I've only been to the Dana Point and San Clemente locations and they've both always been good. I live down the street from Amber's, but haven't been in years. Your review makes me crave it again, so...thanks!

  9. I know this is an old post but I just stumbled on it and have to say I feel the same way. Now I think you could go to Chipotle and get a decent meal, don't get me wrong; but what I don't understand is the totally hypnotic fascination people have with it. That mystifies me. Except that I think it's almost like In-N-Out, where it too is good, but the unspoken consensus among the masses is that you better march right along with the belief that it is the most amazingly greatest thing ever.

  10. Christianz - Very well said, and a great comparison of Chipotle to In N Out. I could not have said it better myself. Thanks for the comment.