Burritos at Salad Factory and the newly opened Chipotle [London]
I went with a friend this evening to check out the newly opened Chipotle on Charing Cross Road. The place was full of Americans, so you can tell it's authentic American food. ha! :)
I haven't been to a Chipotle in the US in a long time, so I'm not sure how it compares. But this was easily the best burrito I've eaten so far in London.
The menu is very simple - you choose your format (taco, burrito, salad, bowl), your meat (bbq beef, steak, carnitas, chicken), beans (pinto or black), toppings (various salsas), and create your meal. I had a burrito with the barbacoa (bbq beef), rice, black beans, guacamole, mild salsa and cheese. It was very tasty - the BBQ beef was a bit spicy, and very flavorful, though perhaps a bit on the salty side. The tortilla chips are also very salty (my friend says they are like this in the US as well), and I thought their salsas were decent but nothing too great. Overall though, the meal tasted just like it would in America, which I guess is the idea. The dining area is shiny and sleek, although there aren't a whole lot of seats. The sign on the restaurant isn't very big, so it'd be easy to miss it if you are walking down the road.
Prices are a bit more than in the USA. With guacamole, my burrito was over £8....bottled drinks are between £1-2, so one could easily go over £10 just for a burrito and a soft drink. I was annoyed that they did not have any tap water - when I asked, they said they couldn't give me any. Only bottled water.
Last week I had a burrito at the Salad Factory near Chancery Lane, which was a mistake. It was super bland - I had one with butternut squash and chicken, among other things....which was a nice idea, but it was quite tasteless, and was wrapped poorly so the whole thing fell apart halfway through. So while I didn't think Chipotle was perfect, it's a big improvement over places like Salad Factory.
If you're going for a burrito near Chancery Lane, you're far better off going to Daddy Donkey at Leather Lane Market (off High Holborn). It's only open weekday lunchtimes though.
As for Chipotle. I tried them out last week, and I'd have to agree it's probably as good a burrito as you can currently get in London. I get the feeling it's just a smidgen better than Daddy Donkey, but that's only because they have the advantage of a proper kitchen as opposed to a trailer.
I also might be favouring them slightly because there's actually somewhere to sit down, a roof and air conditioning.
Actually, looking just below there's the place in Westfield as well, which has nicer beans but I don't think their meat is quite as good.