Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Burrito Bashing

This past weekend, I succumbed to the effervescent lure of Chipotle's. I am always up for a quality burrito, and they are usually hard to screw up. Chipotle's is a chain of Tex-Mex style food which is touted as "Gourmet Burrito's and Tacos". With a plethora of burrito joints in South Florida, would Chipotle measure up to it's competition? I'm afraid not.

When you enter the place, it is striking with its brushed steel and cherry wood decorations. The pigmented cement floor and the ergonomic rolling garbage cans are all extremely attractive and make for an inviting wait in line. The Generation Y staff was enthusiastic and aimed to please. They definitely had the right attitude.

They offer up the 4 basic types of meat (pork, steak, chicken, shredded beef), as either a burrito, taco, salad or fajita. Then add your choice of black or red (pinto) beans, and some plain white rice. As you move down the assembly line you are offered 4 toppings, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and cheese. They do offer one small spoon of fresh guacamole for an additional $1.50. They are lacking in additional toppings. Where is the fresh or pickled jalapenos? No lemons or limes? No cilantro? No onions?? No salsa bar? Forget about the cucumbers and olives. This is where they really fail the test.

Onward to the table, and lets eat! The chicken burrito we ordered was just okay, the chicken was on the dry side, and the rice was very bland, and tasteless. The chicken salad was similarly dull. The high point of the meal was the guacamole. We ordered the guacamole and chips for a nominal charge of $2.50. The guacamole had a a nice texture and was fresh. The chips on the other hand, were inedible. They were cooked with so much salt that they were impossible to chew and swallow.

Overall, I was not impressed with Chipotle's, Their web site touts 114 positive reviews and gives the impression of gourmet dining. I would not recommend eating here with so many good and great options available such as Moe's. If they got their act together, the place has potential. Unfortunately, they get the proverbial "Thumbs Down" today. Give Chipotle's a pass. If you have not read my review of Moe's click here for a great Tex Mex gastronomic experience.

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