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Aug 31, 2007 08:20 AM

L2M> Fourteen Days til the big burrito! (moved from Florida)


As much as I know you are in line at Rosa Mexicano right now, Dade's first Chipotle opens in 14 days (14776 Biscayne Blvd, 305-947-2779).

I called, they answered, and said, "September 14th."

So > I just took the day off... whoo hoo!

::Currently making the "Loser" sign on my own forehead::


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  1. So September 14th would mean around September 28th in Miamitime? I'm already preparing myself to walk the new employees though the steps of how to fold a burrito properly.

    1. You know, if Cheen-Huaye, a charming little place cranking out some solid Yucatanean food right down the street from there, goes out of business, I'm holding you chain-burrito-eating Chipotle groupies responsible!

      45 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Believe me, I'll do my best to keep both in business. Besides, Chipotle doesn't have micheladas.

        1. re: lax2mia

          OK Hounds -

          "Don't hate me because I'm a chain-burrito-eating Chipotle groupie..."

          Jeez Fro! I am Trying to be the Shepherd!

          Consider this a Public Service Announcement. Perhaps I do not live a life of righteousness and feel I must lead my fellow hounds astray. I am a she-devil. I know when starlets drive drunk and get caught, they must serve the community. This is my service.

          I confess that I have been stalking this strip shopping center in North Miami. I post about the progress (or lack thereof) being made on the very first Chipotle in Dade County. Maybe, like a WalMart or a Barnes & Noble opening in a town drives away the smaller and the worthier single-door-mom-and-pop places (yeah- I just watched "You've Got Mail" on cable again while waiting for HBO to hurry up and get Larry David back on the air), the opening of Chipotle might threaten nearby Cheen Huaye. I apologize in advance for this remote possibility, but it is my duty to the community and my perverse fascination with L2M. Great Minds - Great Bellies - yadda yadda.

          Here's the thing:

          I have been CALLING Chipotle. I got tired of the drive-bys. I got tired of the cracked glass, the boarded window, the "Burritofication in Progress" teaser banner. So I call like a jilted girlfriend who just wants to hear the sound of her ex-lover on the voicemail; who hangs up when he answers. I admit it, I call.

          This morning, on a Sunday before 9am, EJ answered. EJ is my new virtual boyfriend. He is the General Manager of the brand new Chipotle. And he told me that they are training Right Now. He told me they are opening Friday, September 14th. And I told him I took the day off. And do you know what he did? He laughed at me.

          I am in love.

          EJ said through his laughter that he wanted to invite me there on Thursday. He said on Thursday, September 13 (a lucky 13), from 11am-7pm everything on the menu is - F R E E. Except beer. He said he would be running around like a crazy man but to please come in and say hello. Because they are training Thursday for the Grand Opening Friday and Everything. Is. Free.

          And I said to my new love that I write a great deal on the internet and I would post this information unless he said not to. He said... "Please do. Please bring all your friends. We need to get ready and we will feed all your friends. Free."

          I will be there. I know - it is Rosh Hashana. Many hounds will be busy being righteous.

          I am just Trying to be the Shepherd.


          Cheen Huaye 15400 Biscayne Blvd. · North Miami Beach 305-956-2808
          (serves Sunday brunch and delicious sangria and micheladas too


          Chipotle Mexican Grill 14776 Biscayne Blvd North Miami 305 - 947-2779
          (say hi to mi novio nuevo EJ for me)

          1. re: advisor_Girl

            I like the way you write. You remind me of some of the columnists on Television Without Pity (the Chowhound of TV shows, if you will).

            If I was still living in Miami, I'd surely show up and join you for free Chipotle. We've had them in Orlando ever since I moved here almost three years ago, but I don't go enough...

            1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

              Thanks Lou>

              I am in trouble with the hounds for yearning for a new chain. AB still talks about Chipotle's "burritos as big as your head" that he feasted on while visiting Tampa. At this point, the promise of free Mexi is causing a great deal of anticipation (and perspiration) down here.

              If you have any advice on what to order, I yield to your 3 years of experience and wisdom...


              1. re: advisor_Girl

                I, for one, love the Barbacoa. But if it's free, bring a couple friends, order a lot of everything, and try it all!

                1. re: advisor_Girl

                  You are cracking me up. All the meals on our first trip to Miami were based on your rec's (Thanks BTW!!). I'm so surprised at this turn of the intestines!!! There is a Chipotle with in walking distance of our place near MCO and I've never been impressed, considering you have a Baja Fresh down there.

                  Is it true that they were once owned by the McDonald's Corp?

                  1. re: NY P8ntball

                    Micky Dee's has an investment in this place, however Chipotle has maintained their distance and control of the concept. Note they do not franchise, then again neither does Starbucks who I later heard "license" their stores. Not sure what the difference is? Last time I went to their site, a few years ago now, there was NO mention of Micky Dee's.

                    The place does burritos justice...

                    1. re: netmover

                      Actually, McDonald's bought the chain, grew it and it prospered, then spun it off as an IPO maintaining abour 40 percent of its shares, if memory serves me on the percentage.

                      We are bleseed with them here in o'town.

                      As for personal recc's, the soft tacos with their wonderful, usually Neiman Ranch pork carnitas, red beans and the cilantro rice, extra cheese and guac on the side.


                2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                  I'm happy to say I've never eaten at a Chipotles. They do serve a function however; they keep the gabachos out of the little tacqueria's, which helps to keep them authentic.

                  Viva la Velveeta! (Hey, that aught to be Darden's new theme when they get around to opening a Texican restaurant)

                  1. re: bkhuna

                    hahahahahaha lol

                    It's decent gabacho really is...but I hear you loud and clear!

                    give up your authentic taquerias Bkhoona. Tenga la bondad!!!

                    1. re: netmover

                      Never! I'll die with a panucho in one hand and a bowl of menudo in the other.

                    2. re: bkhuna

                      Seems like you've thrown down the gauntlet my friend. If you're such a big fan of tacquerias (isn't it spelled "taqueria"?) please list some of your favorites. I think all of the excitement around Chipotle is because of the lack of decent little taquerias. But if you've never had to duck into a Chipotle then you must have a pretty good list going.

                      As an aside, I believe McD's IPO'd Chipotle and made bank.

                      1. re: lax2mia

                        Aha, bkhuna's silence speaks for itself (probably assembling a monster list as I type this... I can only hope.) FWIW, there appears to be a number of little Mex joints up here in Broward, but I've only tried A Todo Taco thusfar (ATT is a combination restaurant/boutique on State Road 7 in N. Lauderdale that probably sells more blue lizard skin boots than burritos, but I dig it...)

                        1. re: lax2mia

                          nice take LAX...he must be bluffing. This site is dedicated to the furtherment of good chowerias. You either bring something to the table, or you do not. What you gonna do Kahoona?

                          1. re: netmover

                            "But if you've never had to duck into a Chipotle then you must have a pretty good list going". Actually, the list is pretty short, for while there aren't many stand alone tacquerias, there are many, many little markets where they prepare food in the back. I've eaten at many of them and honestly don't remember their names.

                            But if it's a list you want, then here it is, the places where I've found good tacos, menudo, and other down home foodstuffs from Mexico.


                            1. re: bkhuna

                              You are the real deal BKhuna! Nice can I get you to do some research down here in South Florida? The pickings are slim, which is why everyone has their toes tingling about a Chipotle opening...eeeegawd, but I must sadly say, I too am looking forward to it because it's probably the best gabacho version I have ever eaten.

                              Here are a couple places for you to try if you ever find yourself on the Dixie Hway in Pompano: Dona Raquels (straight out of Michoacan), and La Fondita where they feature the Pastors ala Shwarma, oh and they WILL take a picture! I guess they got that 'tarjeta verde' thing worked out!

                              1. re: netmover

                                Yeah, but you’ve got the Creole and Cuban thing going that we find lacking up in Alta Florida.

                                12 years ago you couldn't find Mexican food in Orlando. Oh we had Tex-Mex, venerable institution like Amigos and Don Pablos, all too happy to load you down with shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and sour creme (sounds kind of like Chipotles, but I digress). But the little ethnic hole in wall with the No Habla stare looking back from behind some mysterious caldron of wonderfulness was missing.

                                In the last few years (we got a Mexican Consulate now) there has been an explosion of folks coming not only from Mexico, but Central America. It's always the first thing immigrant’s do when they come here; they set up business to sell food from back home.

                                Our bellies are happier for it.

                              2. re: bkhuna

                                Very nice list Kahuna, thanks for that!

                                Your mention of Pahokee reminds me of the time I got lost there and found myself stuck behind a plantation bus disgorging a load of workers. Seeing those tough-looking folks with such complete exhaustion on their faces was a real eye-opener, like much of Pahokee.

                                It's good to know that they have great place to eat.

                                1. re: Semprini

                                  Excellent list. You have now ticked off my S.O. the next time we go to Orlando because I'll be dragging her to one or more of these places. Are any of them stronger in certain items than others?

                                  1. re: lax2mia

                                    Three words for Orlando Mexican.


                                    Garibaldi Square.


                                      1. re: bkhuna

                                        No, not familiar with Roberto's? Que es?

                                        Beto's is a two-store chain open 24/7/365 with big, cheap and authentic Mexican food for take out or eat in -- even drive through.

                                        Garibaldi Square has two or three locations, also authentic -- menudo and camarones on the wekend -- small enough to be quaint and flavorful and cheap, big enough to be clean and provide good service for many repeat neighborhood customers.

                                        Not claiming they are necessarily the best, just that that both do what they do extremely well and are in convenient enough locations for me.


                                        1. re: Bob Mervine

                                          I've been curious about Roberto's Taco Shop as well. It's a chain from California and apparently they have a branch in Hialeah on W 49th St. There's also another one I think down in Homestead - but I'm not too sure? And additionally, it's supposed to be open 24/7 as well. Has anyone tried Roberto's?

                                          1. re: mialebven

                                            It's's a San Diego Chain...right up BK's alley, although from the looks of his down and dirty list, this place, may not stack up seeing how it is chain food. Don't get me wrong, it's among the best taco joints in Dade, but it ain't no Dona Raquels! The local guy has stores in Hialeah, Delray and I want to say West Kendall, actually I am not sure about the WK store, he does have a few here in the Gold Coast. It's still a long long way from BM and you BK up in O-Town, but worthy of a stop if you are in the hood.

                                            1. re: netmover

                                              Oh I wouldn't say that. I lived in The City Beautiful for 10 years and ate at countless Albertos, Robertos, Robertito's, Los Panchos, etc. etc. etc.

                                              I lived right across the street from an Albertos out the back gate at Camp Pendleton. After midnight, the illegal help would come in and do the prep work for the day shift. At that time of night, everything was cooked to order. On Friday nights when I would get off at midnight, I'd stop by on the way home and get a either amachaca, shiken, or carne asada burrito.

                                              It just dawned on me: The name Beto's is short for Alberto. Alberto's was my favorite place in San Diego and Beto's is my favorite place in Orlando. Talk about your Cosmic Debris!

                                              I doubt the Roberto's mentioned in the thread is part of the Roberto's empire in San Diego. I may be wrong.

                                              1. re: bkhuna

                                                It is part of the chain wierdly enough. It's smack dab in the middle of Hialeah and has been for years. The fifth largest city in the state populationwise and about 85-90% Cubano. One of or "the" highest % latin big cities in America. The cuisine would probably cross over better in Buffalo though to tell you the truth. The local franchise owner is expanding his wings up the Gold Coast. I went to their web site and it makes mention of only four stores in Cali, but the take out menu at the store shows dozens of stores in Cali and elsewhere. They could definately use an upgrade on their web site or I found an imposter Roberto site? The menu looks the same as the one in Hialeah. Could be they only list their corporate stores on their site?


                                                Google roberto's taco in either Hialeah or Delray and you'll get plenty of feedback.

                                                1. re: netmover

                                                  It's probably the only 24 hours Mexican restaurant in South Florida now that I think of it. But I haven't yet tried the place. Someone should check it out for sure!

                                                  1. re: netmover

                                                    Hot Damn! Road trip this weekend. Folks out here don't appreciate the wonder that is the Southern California taco shop.

                                                    Imagine having a city with a hundred Beto's, only better.

                                                    1. re: netmover

                                                      I checked out the web site and to tell you the truth, this place may be called Roberto's, but it's not the only Roberto's in San Diego.

                                                      Similar situation to Original Ray's Pizza in New York.

                                              2. re: Bob Mervine

                                                Bob, don't leave me hanging on. What is this Roberto business?

                                                1. re: bkhuna

                                                  I have no idea. Never been to Roberto's, never heard of it until this thread.

                                                  Sounds like I would like it, however.

                                                  Don't think Beto's has any connection with it. Beto's owner is a local guy who doesn't (or pretends he doesn't) speak English. I've tried to interview him on the phone with an interpreter without any luck. He apparently doesn't want anyone messing in his business . . .


                                        2. re: Semprini

                                          Actually, there are a quite a few places in the Pahokee/Belle Glade area. Mexicans and Central Americans have, for the most part, displaced the indigenous minorities. I don't get down that way very often, but I plan on hitting up a few more markets/food stalls as when I can.

                                          The reason places like Tijuana Flats and such can operate so successfully in Orlando is that most folks from Orlando are like Biff and Brittney Whitebread, and have a fear of walking into some little dive in Azalea Park or OBT where no one looks or talks like them. Call it fear or call it ignorance, that's what makes it so difficult to eat cheap and tasty in the land of the homogenized mouse.

                                          The key point to remember in all of this is that to enjoy good authentic ethnic food, you have to go where the ethnics go.

                              3. re: advisor_Girl

                                Loved the post, visrgrl. Although I live in Tampa, were I a Miamian I too would drop everything for free corporate burritos and the chance to meet an interesting fellow chowhound.

                                Keep us posted.

                                  1. re: advisor_Girl

                                    Thanks AG. A friend and I went earlier and both had free burrito bols. It was a quick, decent meal. I'm about to drive to a heavy duty Rosh Hashanah meal and am lamenting the fact that I stuffed myself earlier!

                                        1. re: netmover

                                          "Did You Ever Know That You're My Hero?"

                                          I read somewhere that methane gas is causing a hole in the ozone layer. Last week some talking head on NPR said that America's obsession with factory farming and methane from massive feed lots of commercially raised livestock causes an increase in Global Warming.


                                          It's Chipotle.

                                          There can be absolutely no ozone over my house today. I am afraid to go outside for fear of skin cancer. Chipotle is Wind Beneath My Sheets...


                                          If you guys know the dynamics of a "dutch oven," you'll understand why AB and I are hardly speaking this morning.

                                          The official Grande Opening of the First Chipotle in Dade County starts today at 11am. First 100 in line get a free t-shirt, a free burrito coupon with the purchase of today's lunch and a chance to win free burritos for a year.

                                          I'd weep for those poor polar bears but my eyes are still burning.


                                          1. re: advisor_Girl

                                            Come on! A true chowhound's stomach would've built up a tolerance already!

                                            I went at around 6. The line was out the door and around the store. The crew was amazing though. They were going through the line like fiends. Managers were pleasant and the place was clean despite the chaos. I have to admit though, it's the smallest Chipotle I've seen. Means they'll have to open more.

                                            1. re: lax2mia

                                              I think you'd have to nut's to wait in a line for Taco Chipotle Tijuana Bell Flats but hey, I'm certifiable half the time.


                                              p.s. How's their menudo?

                                              1. re: bkhuna

                                                I think you'd be nuts to sneak into the back of some nondescript market in the middle of nowhere to get "not sure what's in them" tacos. But to each his own.

                                                1. re: lax2mia

                                                  I am; I do.

                                                  If we only had little push carts on the steets I'd be happy. Man can not live by pasturized, processed, cheese food product alone. Some of the tastiest things I've had in my life and travels came from places that many wouldn't think of.

                                                  But, as you say, to each his own.

                                            2. re: advisor_Girl

                                              Too much info.... LOL

                                              Was it all worth it???

                                              1. re: yomyb


                                                Was it worth it? It was FREE!

                                                Honestly - We had a great time.

                                                There are lots of reasons to play hooky from work. I admit to taking Ferris Bueller Days more than most. But sometimes I need to be out waiting in line to try the First Chipotle in Dade County (if only to be able to make you guys laugh at me).


                                                The burrito I ate was served on a very moist tortilla. The dry and paper-like wrap on some can be a little off-putting and the Chipotle folks have figured out how to keep them moist. The filling choice on a regular "Burrito" includes cilantro-lime rice and red beans (AB got the beans and we all know where THAT took us). I opted for a "Fajita Burrito" which features a scoop of cilantro rice and fajita-style grilled peppers and red onions in lieu of beans. Because there was a line out the door, the grilled onions and peppers were not cooked enough and that's where I was able to exact my revenge on my little Dutch boy.

                                                We tried the pork carnitas (they offer shredded beef barbacoa, chicken, steak, or vegetarian too), one of 4 chunky salsas, lettuce, guac, sour cream and cheese. 3-4 people stand and roll the ingredients to your specifications. As L2M mentioned, the service was quick and friendly in spite of the fact that they worked like fiends from 11-7 for all of the free-food fanatics. I found the manager EJ and he remembered our call. He was working hard and still found time to check on us twice!

                                                AB had been raving for months about the Tampa Chipotle. He mowed down his lunch like a champ. I thought the place was fast-food fun. Because the restaurant is just seconds away from Cheen Huaye and Paquito's, I would be hard-pressed to tell you to go there. The wonderful burger place Twenty One Toppings is half a block away too. I mentioned the Chipotle opening to the Twenty One Burger chef's brother and he wanted to hit the free day as well... Why?

                                                It's a novelty. It's Gabacho Ground Zero. Who cares? We had fun.


                                                1. re: advisor_Girl

                                                  It sounds like a nice time.
                                                  But I refuse to eat a burrito that is filled with rice.
                                                  San Loco on South Beach is still my favorite.
                                                  It isn't authentic either, but it sure is good.

                                                  "Burrito Grande, extra stupid, please".

                                1. Wow, a 41 post thread on the opening of a chain restaurant?!?!
                                  I love you guys!!
                                  I love this place!!

                                  Now I want a taco....

                                  1. Has anyone noticed the new Chipotle under construction in South Miami on US1? I spotted it while driving yesterday and my freak-out nearly caused a 10 car pile-up. I also inflicted some hearing damage on Mr. Loves To Eat, who I was talking to on the phone, when I shrieked "CHIPOTLE!!! CHIPOTLE!!!" into his ear, interrupting whatever it was he was talking about. I was on my hands-free device, so please don't yell at me.

                                    It is in a stand-alone building just a bit south of Sunset Place; I believe it used to be a Krispy Kreme. I have been an avid checker of the Chipotle website since moving to Coral Gables from Chicago three years ago (I even emailed the company telling them that South Florida was sorely lacking in the burrito department and promised that my husband and I would go at least twice a week...maybe a stretch) and there is still no mention on the site of this South Miami branch opening. But there is a sign up. If anyone has any inside info, please enlighten me!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: paulalovestoeat

                                      dear lord when is this going to open!??!?!?!?!?

                                      i haven't had a chipotle since I left DC on 9/11/01. Fateful day for 2 reasons.

                                      1. re: sprmario

                                        If it's anything like the North Miami Beach one be ready for a wait!

                                        1. re: lax2mia

                                          i saw it too!!! i also freaked out. i didn't even know the Krispy Kreme had closed. South Miami is complete now!

                                          1. re: jessicam29

                                            I went the other day to Chipotle and it was dreadful. Ordered a chicken burrito bowl and the chicken was all fat and gristle. A big yuck. Such a disappointment. Sniffle.

                                    2. Looks like there's going to be 2 Chipotles in Dade. I passed by the old Krispy Kreme on US1 and SW 63 ave, and there was a Chipotle sign.