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Dec 16, 2007 06:10 AM

Chipotle--Davis Square

I went to Chipotle on Thursday in the midst of that storm we were having. I ordered a shredded beef burrito with the corn salsa and the hot salsa. The burrito was as cold as it was outside, the corn salsa was super sweet, and I have yet to taste anything hot. I would give it a 2/5 on the heat scale. My DC ordered a grilled steak burrito with mild salsa because she is allergic to spice ;-)...wouldn't you know her burrito was about 3-4 times hotter than mine to the point where she had to eat plain tortilla chips in between bites to calm her taste It was easily a 4/5 heatwise. Iw ould probably NEVER go here again and just walk the extra block and a half to Anna's the next time I am in Davis Square.

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  1. Have to agree with you about Chipotle - tried it a couple of weeks ago, and I've been waiting to hear if it had gotten any better. Alas, sounds as if this isn't the case. I had the same problem with the burrito being cold on the inside. The place offers absolutely nothing that would make me go back.

    1. While my sole experience at the Davis Square Chipotle was a little disappointing I still think the place is worth checking out. I've eaten at the Everett location numerous times and always had good experiences. The green tomatillo salsa is excellent for those who want a flavorful spice that isn't overwhelming...if you like it really hot get thier hot sauce you will be satisfied. Also keep in mind that some of the meats are spiced and have some kick to them so if you don't like the heat check on that. Adding guacamole is expensive but they give you a large amount and it isn't the pureed watered-down stuff found at most places...its also free if you get the vegetarian burrito. My only critique of both locations is they don't steam the burrito shell long enough to really soften it up. Chipotle also uses all-natural meats so thats one more bonus. I'm not sure that it's quite as flavorful as Anna's in general but it seems cleaner and healthier which can be nice if you're a regular. Hopefully the Davis Square location gets thier act together so we have two good burrito choices there.

      1. For Chipotle fans, there is one almost ready to open on Beacon Street in Cleveland Circle. About 4 doors down from a Boloco in part of the old CVS space.

        7 Replies
        1. re: lergnom

          And there's also a big one set to open in Harvard Sq.

          1. re: lergnom

            I'm particularly excited by this one. I hate Boloco, so I welcome Chipotle to the neighborhood.

            In Davis, however, where there's an Anna's (my favorite) so close, it seems a little silly.

            1. re: pamalamb

              Too bad about Chipotle in H. Sq when there's already a good local burrito place: Felipe's.

              1. re: chilibaby

                i tried felipe's once and found it wildly sub-par. that was awhile ago, so maybe things have changed, or maybe that was an off night etc.. but going on experience thus far, i'm very happy to see chipotle come in.

                1. re: autopi

                  I'd encourage you to give another try. I usually go for the burritos w/guac and have found them consistently more flavorful and fresh than the perenially popular but bland/dull Boca-Annas variety. They are small, but then again, they are also cheap.

                  1. re: chilibaby

                    i went and gave felipe's another try, on your suggestion. definitely much better than i remembered, so thanks for the prodding. i'm glad to have it back on the radar screen for cheap & quick eats. however, the tortilla did taste a bit off (sort of industrial-y)--probably a one-time thing. for me, i'd say it's a toss up b/w felipe's & anna's & chipotle; i'd be happy to go to any.

                2. re: chilibaby

                  Yeah, but the owner of Felipe's also owns the far superior (and consistently packed) Flat Patties just upstairs, so I don't worry about his bottom line.

            2. I'm surprised there has been no talk of a Chipotle location downtown. I think it would do pretty well considering that there are lines out the door nearly every day at Qdoba and Boloco, two places that I find inferior to Chipotle.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Gordough

                I'll join that - I have tried a few things at Boloco - it's gross compared to pretty much any other burrito place in my opinion, smaller in size and $1.50 more in price.

                1. re: Gordough

                  There are two better options downtown already:
                  1. The Herrera's Cart in front of Macy's (and their full size restaurant, a few blocks away)
                  2. Andale, corner of Summer Street and Surface Road.

                  Personally, I like some of Boloco's Asian-flavored wraps. I never really through of them as a place to get a burrito.

                  1. re: patiofixture

                    Thanks for the recs - I have passed the cart by Macy's but never really felt confident about the quality.

                2. I grew up in Denver, and ate at Chipotle there all the time. After relocating here I sorely missed my regular burrito runs, and found that none of the local choices were as good as what I was used to... So I was pretty excited when I heard that Chipotle was coming to Davis Square. Alas, after two visits -- a horrible first try and a slightly better second -- I will not return to that location. I don't know if it's the result of becoming a larger chain, or if it's just this location in particular, but something has clearly been lost along the way. This is certainly not the Chipotle I remember... Everything from the quality of the food to the way they're carefully measuring everything is distinctly different from what I expect of Chipotle. My wife ordered a veggie burrito and the person behind the counter -- with the manager standing behind, watching over her shoulder -- actually counted the number of chunks of grilled zucchini, and removed one after finishing the count. We're not sure what the magic number of chunks is, but I've never seen anything quite like that before...

                  I'll have to give another branch a try at some point, but my experiences at the Davis Square one have pretty much drained my enthusiasm.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                    Agreed entirely. In addition, they don't seem to be capable of making the burrito hot (temperature, not spice). In our three trips there, we've gotten cold tortillas and unmelted cheese every time, and let me tell you a cold flour tortilla is not a thing of beauty (cold Spanish tortilla is different). We're not going back. Anna's is ok, Boca Grande is good, and Lupita and TLM are great (all on a Boston scale); no reason to go to Chipotle.

                    1. re: DavisSquare

                      Actually, the cheese is not supposed to be melted in a Chipotle burrito. That's a key thing, and one of the reasons I personally dislike Anna's. It totally changes the texture and flavor of the burrito the melt the cheese like they do. Of course, this is no excuse for the tortilla and the rest of the burrito being cold -- that's certainly not a good thing. The cheese should be warmed and softened by the heat of the rest of the burrito... but not melted. :-)

                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                        chipolte's and boloco shouldn't even be allowed in Davis square. Anna's is far superior in every way and you're not supporting corporate america. Bring on the taco trucks!

                        1. re: trev80

                          Chipotle and Boloco are the least of Davis Square's problems at this point. How about the huge new building with CVS and BSC, right smack in the middle of the square? Nothing like ripping the charm right out of a place and turning it into every other square in the city. Not to mention that there are far bigger corporations already in Davis Square. McDonalds? Dunkin Donuts? Starbucks?

                          Whether or not Anna's is far superior is a topic already covered here in more than one thread, but I wouldn't say that you're lessening your support for "corporate America" if you eat there instead of Boloco -- although Boloco is certainly a bit bigger than Anna's, it's not huge. Chipotle, you might have an argument for, although the chain is no longer owned by McDonald's, so at least if you dine there you can rest easy knowing that you're supporting a smaller corporation than if you eat some McNuggets across the street.

                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                            Or, you could just buy shares of CMG and support yourself by eating at Chipotle.

                          2. re: trev80

                            Eating at BoLoCo (BOstonLOcalCOmpany) doesn't support "corporate America".

                            However, I think Anna's and Boloco both make inferior products.

                            1. re: Prav

                              "BOstonLOcalCOmpany" is actually a national chain. I was in LA last week and walked up to a wrap place in the food court of a mall--I realized I was reading Boloco's identical menu. I asked if that company also owned Boloco and they said yes. So much for local.

                              Please yes! Taco trucks! Oakland style.

                              1. re: PayToPark

                                Wow, this is news to me! Very interesting.

                                1. re: PayToPark

                                  Apparently Boloco is a chain that started in Boston and is in the process of going national:

                                  1. re: PayToPark

                                    i asked a manager yesterday at the berklee boloco on mass ave about this, and she told me that they partnered with some franchisors a few years ago and ended it nearly 2 years ago. the partners had to change their name, but were able to keep the menu items. She did say that boloco is still only in Boston and New Hampshire but would one day go outside of New England.

                                    plus, if you read the various postings from boloco on certain blogs, they are clearly local.

                                2. re: trev80

                                  chipotle does over $1 billion in sales, 700 locations or something like that, worth like $4 billion. not big compared to mcds, but huge compared to almost every other place you can choose to eat. not that this changes opinion on the food, for better or for worse.

                            2. re: davis_sq_pro

                              "I sorely missed my regular burrito runs" then just go to Taco Bell...guaranteed to give anyone the "burrito runs"

                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                I lived in Tucson for awhile - we loved the Chipotle's there! They were tasty, clean, not greasy, and huge - my daughter and I were seriously addicted to them. (No one ever measured out the ingredients there, either.)

                                So much about this type of establishment depends on management. Too bad...

                                1. re: threedogs

                                  I grew up in Phoenix, and also like Chipotle as a sort of Boston touchstone to the Southwest; I'd say that of the big three Fresh Mex chains (rounded out by Qdoba and Baja Fresh), it's the best by a fair margin. Big points for getting the black beans right, as well as their terrific, spicy green salsa.

                                  I'm not claiming that it's exactly good, and it's certainly not very chowish, but it fills a void for me that nothing else in Boston seems to. I have nothing against local burrito competitors Anna's or Boca Grande, and certainly nothing against Tacos Lupita or Angela's that can clearly claim the authenticity high ground. But Chipotle has a certain...something. I like threedogs' use of the word "clean"; that's getting close to it, but it's somehow more esoteric than that. Heck, for all I know, part of the allure may be the strip mall vibe of the place, which certainly is reminiscent of the exurban sprawl of a large Southwestern city.

                                  One way or another, I'm struck by the irony that Chipotle's apologists on the Boston board are mostly folks who have lived in the Southwest. Who'da thunk it?