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Chipotle

sjomansbiff Aug 3, 2009 12:13 PM

What do you guys think of chipotle? Do you like them? Hate them? Fresh? Not Fresh? Clean...so on a so forth.

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  1. mcel215 RE: sjomansbiff Aug 3, 2009 12:17 PM

    Chipotle's is extremely clean here in Woburn where I go.

    I can't eat them all the time, but I do love their chicken burrito's. They are a great value and huge, so I go for dinner when I go. And yes, there is a high turnover, so everything is really fresh.

    I am not crazy about their guac tho.

    1. c
      Claudette RE: sjomansbiff Aug 3, 2009 12:26 PM

      For fast, cheap, fresh, healthy, customizeable burritos, they can't be beat. I think that the one in Tucson (on Campbell) is slightly better than the others I've been to (in CA: Sunnyvale, Cupertino) but I haven't tried them all. That said, their burritos aren't as good as the ones at Chavez Market (in the SF Bay Area): their tongue, al pastor, carnitas, and barbacoa ones can't be beat.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Claudette
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        RobynS RE: Claudette Aug 15, 2009 03:27 PM

        Healthy? Have you seen the nutritional facts on their stuff? I do enjoy it on occasion but never thinking I'm getting anything along the lines of a healthy meal.

        1. re: RobynS
          sjomansbiff RE: RobynS Aug 17, 2009 06:35 AM

          "perceived as" would be better

          1. re: RobynS
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            ferret RE: RobynS Aug 17, 2009 07:10 AM

            Again, it's as healthy as you make it. Chipotle is far more conducive to healty eating because it's an additive process - you don't have to dissect their offerings to make it healthy, you simply add what you want.

            A burrito bowl (no tortilla) with rice, black beans, grilled veggies, chicken, salsa and lettuce is under 500 calories.

        2. i
          ilikefood RE: sjomansbiff Aug 3, 2009 12:29 PM

          White Rice. No Dice.

          The 2nd, & last, Chipotle burrito I had was >1/2 white rice. What are they thinking?... Oh, right--- Profit$.
          This was a couple yrs ago, so please correct me if they've changed the rice.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ilikefood
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            ferret RE: ilikefood Aug 3, 2009 02:04 PM

            I don't get posts like these. Chipotle's assembly-line process is completely transparent (unlike a lot of other fast food places). They add the ingredients right in front of you. If you believe you're being shortchanged somehow it's going to be very apparent - and if you don't think it's a product worth paying for then tell them so.

            1. re: ferret
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              ilikefood RE: ferret Aug 3, 2009 05:38 PM

              What a coincidence, I don't get posts like yours. Do you think that if I had spoken up, they would've made some Spanish rice for my burrito and then would've switched from white to Spanish in all their restos ? No, they probably would've given me my money back, still (evidently) be using white rice, and I still would've made my appropriate comment on this topic. White rice was the deal breaker for me-no going back. The abundance was adding insult to injury. I do agree, when not satisfied- SPEAK UP, and I will admit to failing at that sometimes.

              1. re: ilikefood
                viperlush RE: ilikefood Aug 21, 2009 08:46 AM

                But you control the amount of rice in your burrito by telling them no rice or less rice.

                1. re: viperlush
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                  ferret RE: viperlush Aug 21, 2009 09:20 AM

                  Don't bother. His Chipotle apparently doesn't take directions from customers.

                  1. re: ferret
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                    ilikefood RE: ferret Aug 27, 2009 05:32 PM

                    Since I chow downed on my 1st burrito I have tried to be true to the philosophy : Nothing bland should go in a burrito. Thank-you for suggesting ordering w/ no rice, but then it wouldn't be any more a burrito to me than 1 w/ white rice. The seasoned rice adds a component of flavors and texture that makes the burrito eating exp greater than the sum of its parts.

                    I should have mentioned, I live in the Los Angeles area with a pretty vast array of burritos available. I don't think I'm going out on a limb in writing: The majority by far w/ Mexican rice. My sympathies to those in burrito deficient areas where Chipotle may seem a decent choice. The other reason I have no use for Chipotle:

                    My take on Cipotle using white rice is basically: Rip Off ! Foisting an inferior product on the public for 1 reason- to save them money.

                    I need to correct my referring to authentic rice in a burrito as Spanish. Because of your responses I learned there's a difference between Spanish and Mexican rice:
                    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ind...

                    More Burrito education at:
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burrito

                    1. re: ilikefood
                      RetiredChef RE: ilikefood Aug 28, 2009 09:29 AM

                      “My take on Cipotle using white rice is basically.”

                      First of all Chipotle’s rice is seasoned, it is cilantro lime rice – this flavoring adds more depth to the burrito.

                      #2 Mexican rice is WHITE rice that is seasoned primarily with tomatoes, dumping Mexican rice inside a wrap style burrito only to add a tomato salsa to it is nonsensical. Why double up on the tomato product???

                      As you said:

                      “The seasoned rice adds a component of flavors and texture that makes the burrito eating exp greater than the sum of its parts.”

                      I agree I like the added depth of the lime and cilantro to my burrito rather then lots of tomatoes.

                      Cheers

                      PS I lived and owned 5 restaurants in LA for over 30 years one of them was South-west/mex theme. Chipotles is not the best, but for a national chain they do a great job. Can you think of a better national chain in this category?

                      It also depends upon what you like – for a Burrito style wrap Chipotles offers a very good product, they are not a traditional burrito nor do they try to be, but I know that I can get a custom made wrap that is pretty darn good with hormone free meat and that’s a plus in my book.

            2. re: ilikefood
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              LikestoEatout RE: ilikefood Aug 4, 2009 03:22 AM

              I've been to a lot of mom and pop Mexican places that serve white rice so I don't understand the big deal. Chipotle is a place that you see and can control what you get from their offerings. I don't go because I have great local family owned places but the rice is not a deal breaker.

            3. r
              roro1831 RE: sjomansbiff Aug 3, 2009 12:33 PM

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/347027

              1 Reply
              1. re: roro1831
                sjomansbiff RE: roro1831 Aug 3, 2009 01:40 PM

                there you go!

              2. s
                shauben2007 RE: sjomansbiff Aug 5, 2009 02:40 PM

                One word: Carnitas!

                1. w
                  weezycom RE: sjomansbiff Aug 6, 2009 12:37 PM

                  I'm in Northern Virginia, and the three locations I've been to in this area are clean, the food is fresh, and there is a high turnover so the food stays fresh. I like certain combinations of choices I like better than others. A friend likes their steak -- I like the seasoning, but find the meat too often is gristly. I go for the chicken, usually, b/c they put a good char on it. The carnitas is very good. The chips are (I've noticed) liked better by women than men, but I've found that generally true with any chip that has some lime flavor on it.

                  You can make healthy choices (burrito bol with less rice & beans than usual, no cheese, no guac, etc.) or you can make it a calorie bomb (burrito with all that and then some) or somewhere in between.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: weezycom
                    mcel215 RE: weezycom Aug 6, 2009 07:08 PM

                    somewhere in between for the chicken burrito. ;)

                  2. m
                    MDoodle RE: sjomansbiff Aug 7, 2009 05:34 AM

                    i love chipotle, can't get enough of the guacamole. however - be prepared to consume some major sodium in that food. you can customize to the point of some respectable calories and fat, but the sodium is just really, really hard to avoid.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MDoodle
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                      dpan RE: MDoodle Aug 10, 2009 11:25 AM

                      I watched the guy behind the counter make a fresh batch of the white rice in the big steel bowl. It was shocking how much salt they put in that rice. I'm on high blood pressure medication so I have to pay attention to these things. Why can't they just leave the salt out of the rice? There's more than enough of it in the meat and the condiments. But nonetheless, I do like Chipotle and my kids like it even more.

                      1. re: dpan
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                        ferret RE: dpan Aug 10, 2009 02:56 PM

                        According to their website there's 160mg sodium in a serving of rice. More than zero, certainly, but not a lot more than in a packet of ketchup (or 1/6 of a tablespoon of soy sauce).

                    2. RetiredChef RE: sjomansbiff Aug 8, 2009 10:23 AM

                      If we drop the authentic or not BS (It’s not authentic, it’s burrito style wraps with Mexican style ingredients inside) and just talk about the quality, flavor and value of the food, then Chipotle’s ranks very high IMHO. In fact we do not have any where I live and it is the only fast food chain that I get a craving for. (The last time I visited my son in Pittsburgh he took me to one on the way to the airport - oh the joy!)

                      Unlike the other poster above I love the cilantro lime rice because you don’t want a Mexican rice when you are serving salsa with the burrito, there is not point to doubling up on the tomato and onion products.

                      All of Chipotle’s meat choices are excellent, corn salsa is very good and I like the ability to customize my order (less rice, more this more that, etc.) I also appreciate the hormone free meat and that they are trying to buy from local providers - yeah.

                      Con’s - Hey it’s fast food production and the custom orders can slow service down during the busy hours - get over it. No fresh cilantro options, however some stores do have it all you need to do is ask and flour tortillas for the soft tacos just do not work, I understand that 75% of American prefer flour, but it would not be very hard to have a corn tortilla option.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: RetiredChef
                        chris2269 RE: RetiredChef Aug 8, 2009 12:50 PM

                        I like Chipotle for all the reasons mentioned above. I really like thier hot Salsa.
                        My only wish is they offered whole wheat Tortillas as an option. I think it would drop the calorie count down on the burritos.

                        1. re: chris2269
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                          LikestoEatout RE: chris2269 Aug 9, 2009 07:30 AM

                          For that reason, I order the burrito bowl, no tortilla. But I haven't gone to a Chipotles in 4 years or so, just too much food and I have a nice little mom and pop place that I can go to and order al la carte.

                          1. re: chris2269
                            sockii RE: chris2269 Aug 21, 2009 04:48 AM

                            Whole wheat vs. flour doesn't necessarily drop the calorie count that much. It does increase the fiber amount, though.

                            1. re: chris2269
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                              dpan RE: chris2269 Aug 21, 2009 04:56 AM

                              I'd prefer that they offer corn tortillas because 1- it's more authentic, and 2- it has less carbs.

                            2. re: RetiredChef
                              goldy12 RE: RetiredChef Aug 29, 2009 05:38 PM

                              The day they opened the 1st Pittsbugh-area Chipotle in Robinson was the best day... Prior to that I had to get my Chipotle fix when I would travel home to Minneapolis. I agree- it is the only fast food chain I get a craving for.

                            3. sjomansbiff RE: sjomansbiff Aug 10, 2009 12:48 PM

                              Did i see them grilling chicken thighs? that would be amazing and worth giving the chicken a go!

                              1. j
                                Jacey RE: sjomansbiff Aug 21, 2009 10:17 AM

                                I think Baja Fresh tastes so much fresher, "cleaner" and all around better. It's also healthier (their meats are leaner).

                                California Tortilla is my favorite, though.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Jacey
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                                  ferret RE: Jacey Aug 21, 2009 10:47 AM

                                  Not sure how you reach the conclusion that the meats are healthier at Baja. If you look at Chipotle's data, their pork, chicken and steak portions weigh in at 4 oz. and each have the identical 190-calorie count. Steak and chicken have 6.5g fat and the pork is 8g. The shredded beef barbacoa is 170 cal and 7g fat. BajaFresh doesn't break out the individual ingredients, but substituting steak for chicken appears to add 60 calories and an additional 8g fat and (Hormel) pork adds 40 calories and 7g fat.

                                  As far as your personal tastes go, well there's a reason why Chipotle and Baja Fresh both seem to be doing well.

                                  1. re: ferret
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                                    Jacey RE: ferret Aug 24, 2009 06:44 PM

                                    The chicken is a mix of white and dark meat there. At baja it's only white meat.

                                    1. re: Jacey
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                                      ferret RE: Jacey Aug 24, 2009 08:42 PM

                                      Sorry, but you said "their meats are leaner" initially. So you meant "their chicken is leaner"?

                                      1. re: Jacey
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                                        dpan RE: Jacey Aug 25, 2009 04:27 AM

                                        I would prefer that it's all dark meat as it's tastier. White meat is tasteless and tough. YMMV.

                                  2. i
                                    insomnia RE: sjomansbiff Aug 25, 2009 01:11 AM

                                    To me, Chipotle is all about all antibiotic-free meats, free veggie fed pigs, chickens, hormone free cows, increasingly more organic beans. Plus it tastes good!
                                    It's not about fat/calorie comparison. It's about eating more naturally, and less industrialized food.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: insomnia
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                                      mlgb RE: insomnia Aug 25, 2009 05:17 PM

                                      To me Baja Fresh is much,,,well,,, fresher.

                                      I don't care for the steam table approach to food.

                                      However in a pinch I will go to Chipotle.

                                      1. re: mlgb
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                                        ferret RE: mlgb Aug 26, 2009 08:00 AM

                                        I respect your steam table aversion, but a steam table is the ideal way to keep foods hot and retain their moisture. Chipotle's meats are more of the braised variety and this is the best way to keep them hot. I know your impression is that it somehow means it's old, but they cook fresh all day long and constantly replenished. As I've no doubt pointed out elsewhere in this forum I've actually been to Chipotle close to closing, with no other customers present, when they had a half-full container of rice in the prep area but assembled a new batch pretty much just for me because the one on the steam table was no longer "fresh".

                                        There's also a mom & pop Asian take-out around the corner from my office that does a very brisk lunch business. If it wasn't for the steam tables it would double or triple the wait time for each order and during peak hours they're swapping out new trays of food every 10 minutes or so. Doesn't make it less fresh.

                                        1. re: ferret
                                          m
                                          mlgb RE: ferret Aug 27, 2009 03:44 PM

                                          If you're a carnitas burrito type then I understand it won't make much difference, but if like me you like grilled chicken steak or shrimp then it's worth it to wait 10 minutes for freshly-cooked when ordered at BF.

                                          I also like having a salsa bar, which isn't offered at Chipotle.

                                          1. re: mlgb
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                                            ferret RE: mlgb Aug 27, 2009 03:56 PM

                                            As I said there's a reason both do well, I just bristle a bit at the suggestion that one is "less fresh." It's not like I have a financial stake in the business, but I don't think people who are unfamiliar with either chain should be misled.

                                            1. re: ferret
                                              m
                                              mlgb RE: ferret Aug 27, 2009 08:18 PM

                                              Perhaps I should have said "fresh-tasting". I'm not trying to imply that Chipotle will make you sick, only that it has a cafeteria-buffet quality vs. a just off the grill quality.

                                              I do understand that if your putting a lot of stuff together in a burrito it probably matters less. I usually don't order burritos anyways, usually the soft tacos. And BF had a torta recently that was very good.

                                              1. re: mlgb
                                                RetiredChef RE: mlgb Aug 28, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                BF = Barfo Fresho, right?

                                                I’ve had the displeasure of eating at Baja Fresh many times and have had less then lackluster meals in all but one. They are inconsistent; their food can sometimes be very bland and flavorless. I have had Burnt dried out meat, spoiled salsa, dirty restrooms, extremely long waits (over 30 minutes) etc.

                                                When comparing like styles of food I find Rubio’s to be much better then BF. Matter of fact El Pollo Loco is better then BF, imho.

                                                Comparing Chipotle’s to BF doesn’t make sense in my mind, they are two different styles of food. Chipotle’s specializes in burrito style wraps filled with Mexican ingredients – it would a fairer comparison to put Chipotles up against Qdoba.

                                                In the end it comes down to taste and your preference, Chipotles has always had a better tasting, hormone free proteins, they are usually fast, restaurants are clean they are consistent. This is anecdotal but I have known many people who like BF and then try Rubio’s and Chipotles and like both of those places better. I have also seen BF close up after 6-12 months when one of the competitors moves in close to them.

                                                However on Chowhound there appears to a loyal following to BF – so to each his own.

                                                Cheers

                                                PS Chipotles offers salsa’s they are behind the counter and made into the wrap, or put on top of your bowl, etc, you control how much, how many different types or you can get it on the side.

                                                PSS I'm in a snarky mood today.

                                                1. re: RetiredChef
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                                                  mlgb RE: RetiredChef Aug 28, 2009 09:03 PM

                                                  Yes I agree they are different styles although they both pitch themselves as healthy Mexican. I guess I am lucky in that the two BFs near me are always clean and the food is always good. I have the opposite experience with my closest El Pollo Loco. I think it just depends on how good the manager is.

                                                  So totally underwhelmed after one visit to Rubios.

                                                  We have a local chain Hole Mole that's better for the Baja style Fish Tacos etc than Rubios.

                                                  On road trips we are happy to go to either Chipotle or BF knowing what we will get. But at home I will drive right past two Chipotles to get to the BF.

                                                  .

                                        2. re: mlgb
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                                          Jacey RE: mlgb Aug 30, 2009 07:28 PM

                                          agree

                                          1. re: Jacey
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                                            emilyb27 RE: Jacey Sep 1, 2009 01:16 PM

                                            warning: look at the nutritional information of Baja fresh menu items. There sodium, fat, calories, were crazy high. And most of the items contained trans fat. They may not use microwaves but there stuff is not that good for you. I even did a comparison to Taco Bell based on nutrition and Taco Bell has less calories or fat (not that I like Taco Belll, that is the epitome of junk for me).

                                            It just really opened my eyes.

                                            1. re: emilyb27
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                                              mlgb RE: emilyb27 Sep 1, 2009 03:41 PM

                                              If you put cheese in any burrito it is going to have fat, saturated fat, sodium and calories. If you eat a giant flour tortilla it is going to have huge calories.
                                              If Chipotle posted their nutrition information, which they DONT you would see the same.

                                              Which is why I usually have the soft tacos with grilled shrimp, mahi or chicken that Baja Fresh offers, along with lots of salsa cruda...none of which I can get at Chipotle.

                                              BTW the transfat under burritos is asterisk-ed
                                              asterisk (*) identifies the entrees that have naturally occurring trans fatty acid exceeding 0.5 grams per entree unless otherwise noted. ( Just guessing, it's probably the cheese or sourcream).

                                              1. re: mlgb
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                                                jules1026 RE: mlgb Sep 4, 2009 06:50 PM

                                                Actually, Chipotle DOES post their nutrition information. http://www.chipotle.com/ChipotleNutri...

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