With all of rice, tortilla, sour cream, and cheese - you can definitely increase the bland factor. I get a bowl with lettuce on the bottom and then a little rice. I also ask for multiple salsas to get different extra veggies as well as for the various spice levels.
Personally I skip the sour cream, go light on the cheese, and if I want guacamole get it on the side so that I can add the amount I want as opposed ot having a large glop in the middle.
I don't live in the US now - but that is one meal that I always make sure to get when I visit my parents. As well as "more authentic" Mexican. I see the two as being second cousins as opposed to closer relations.
I went yesterday for the first time. The place was crowded with college students and I was in sensory overload and didn't know what to order, so I went with my old standby - hard tacos. What can I say; I love them. I ordered two of the barbacoa tacos with lettuce, medium salsa, cheese and guac. I liked the taco shell; it was crunchy and light and tasted fresh and the barbacoa meat was flavorful and generous (and was identifiable as meat). The one taco pretty much filled me up but I have to say that the salsa was a watery, drippy mess and it was an effort not to get it on my clothes. I asked for some foil and a bag to take the other taco to go and by the time I got home it was mush, even though I had taken pains to pour as much liquid out of the thing before packing it up.
As far as fast-food Mexican it was okay, but memorable? Not really. I'd forgotten all about it until I read the title of this thread. I hadn't even thought about a "next time".
It is high protein food and it can be healthy and good for you and tasty
I eat this after working out quite a bit
Get the burrito bowl with , pinto beans, pepper and onions, sour cream, and mild salsa, and lettuce
That bowl will fill you up and still have good flavor
It is important to skip the cheese and rice and no corn salsa or you will have to many calories
Give that a whirl for healthy with flavor and if you drink a lot of water the sodium levels while high aren't that big of an issue
I too go about once a week. Do not go into it expecting it to be like real Mexican food though... it's good and flavorful, but not the same as Mexican food. I think that's where a lot of people get hung up. That being said, I don't find the flavors to be bland at all, and I did not grow up in a homogenized "white people" neighborhood or anything like that, so it's not like my palate is used to bland food. I'm pretty plain with my order though.. I get a bowl with white rice, steak, hot salsa, and cheese. The other salsas are very good too but I like it hot. I usually get it to go so by the time I get to where I'm going to eat it, the cheese is nice and melty. I mix it all together before eating it and it's delicious and filling, and all for under 500 calories, which you can't say about any other fast food place pretty much. Since I'm on a limited calorie diet, Chipotle has been a godsend for me.
And the tortilla is more like 300 calories, not 200 :)
As I understand it, you are close. The tortilla is at least 300 calories, alone. A regular carnitas burrito will run you close to 1200 calories, maybe more. That said, I LOVE chipotle and partake often. It's an indulgence and no where near healthy as far as I'm concerned. I think it's really tasty and partake as much as my body will allow it.
Yup if it you pile it all on, it's not that low calorie, but no worse than a bacon cheeseburger and fries from a similar fast casual restaurant and much better quality of ingredients most likely. If you're curious, I use this site to add up the calories :) http://chipotlefan.com/index.php?id=n...
The other thing that was a little surprising to me was the amount of sodium in the salsas. But, I'm not about to stop having those! Just no chips.
I love Chipotle and even love the gummy tortilla ;-) I go at least once a week and have a variety of things I will get. My go-to it a vegetarian burrito with a small amount of rice, black beans, green salsa and guacamole. I seriously love their guac.
Other items in my rotation:
Burrito bowl with white rice, pork, green salsa
Burrito bowl with white rice, chicken, corn salsa, small amount of sour cream
Crunchy tacos with shredded beef, green salsa and lettuce
As has been pointed out, my only gripe is that the cheese is bland and gets lost in the shuffle. I leave it out as an easy way to cut back on calories that aren't missed.
I love the bowls as well, and usually stick the the fajita veggies with no rice, black beans, guac and corn salsa.
Sometimes I order the chicken tacos, with soft corn tortillas. You can pick flour or corn. I load those up with beans, lettuce, chicken, and salsa. Quite light actually.
Only been there a couple of times as there is no Chipotle in my area, nor anywheres near. I love love LOVE the bowls. Like a previous poster, not a fan of burritos with the huge floury wrap, but the bowls. Ah...the BOWLS. I love it so much I've made Chi-faux-tle at home with the help of online copycat recipes. It doesn't turn out exactly the same but close enough to enjoy. Mmmmm....Get a bowl, barbacoa, lime cilantro rice, beans, top with salsa, sour cream, cheese -- one of my faves.
I'm hopelessly addicted to Chipotle.
I get either a burrito or a bowl with rice, fajita veggies, barbacoa, medium corn salsa, cheese, guac, and sour cream. If I'm really loading it on, add an order of chips and guac. Be warned -- the burrito is seriously dense. They are lovingly referred to as "5 lb baby Jesus" burritos in the office.
Chipotle is the only fast food I (occasionally) eat. I prefer the bowls as well. My standard order is a carnitas bowl with brown rice, lettuce, beans (black and pinto), and mild tomato salsa. Much saltier than my usual tastes, but really good.
The cheese is okay, but with all the other flavors it gets lost -- not worth the extra sodium on top of what's there.
I get two solid meals out of one bowl :)
I thought I really disliked chipotle the first time I had it and couldn't figure out why people love it so much. The real discovery is that I HATE burritos. I think they are dry and awful and that big nasty flour wrap on it just is not tasty to me, no matter how/where it's made. It's gummy and nasty and I don't care for it.
When I started ordering the BOWLs at Chipotle, I was surprised how much I loved it. And since I am a supporter of their conscious sourcing, I was happy to become a more regular patron. If you are just starting out, I suggest a grilled chicken or carnitas (pork) bowl. I think they are really good. The pinto beans are my fave, they have a smoky flavor because they have bacon in them, and then you pick your own toppings from the salsas they have (mild, medium, hot, plus a corn salsa) and guac or no guac, sour cream and cheese or no. Lots of combos even though the menu looks relatively small.
Oh, also, their food is really salty and though tasty, does have a lot of calories. If you are looking to cut the salt and fat, go for the brown rice (most have this now, instead of their white/jasmine rice), black beans and skip the sour cream, cheese and guac. I got that a lot when I was dairy free due to BFing and it was still very tasty.
>> I think they are dry and awful and that big nasty flour wrap on it just is not tasty to me, no matter how/where it's made. It's gummy and nasty and I don't care for it.
This is my personal theory, founded on my first hand experiences with the restaurant, and with the people I know who eat there. Your mileage may vary.
I'm here to tell you that fresh, well made tortillas are not gummy and nasty.
What you're identifying is the elephant in the room. It's the dirty little secret that people like to ignore and explain away without holding Chipotle accountable (as you did...) which is:
Chipotle's food really isn't very good.
It's poorly executed, under-seasoned Ameri-Mex, passed through the additional blanding filter of the Midwest.
The success of this restaurant chain is really surprising to me. One would think that with salsa as the #1 condiment in America, you'd think we'd have moved beyond this kind of thing at least a decade ago.
Why aren't more people across America calling Chipotle out on this little problem of overly salty, gummy burritos, and bland food?
Here's my personal experience with them. A Chipotle opened down the street from my office, and it was an immediate hit with my coworkers. I gave it a shot (twice). I took a bite of my barbacoa burrito (the one described by the Latina counter worker as "the spiciest" of the meats.)
First reaction: The same awful gumminess of the steamed tortilla, just as you describe it.
Second reaction: The utter blandness of everything else. Crunchy vegetables (but watery and bland), bland meat, with salt as the forward flavor. On my second visit I had the grilled chicken bowl, which had CHAR! + SALT! as the forward flavors-- blunt and not nuanced in the slightest. The subtraction of the gummy tortilla and the addition of smoky char were both positive changes compared with my first terrible experience, but it was still an awfully sub par, unseasoned bowl of food.
To add insult to injury, when I went to the counter to ask for some chipotle en adobo to spice up my sad burrito, they told me they DON'T HAVE ANY. Seriously? The NAME OF YOUR RESTAURANT IS CHIPOTLE and you don't have any chipotle?! Sheesh.
It's like going to Burger King and finding out they only sell hot dogs.
It appears to me that the founder (a guy from Indianapolis) picked an exotic sounding name, figuring most people that eat there won't ask or know what chipotle actually is.
Before dismissing this idea, consider the context and genesis of the Chipotle concept.
It's 1993, Denver, Colorado. It's probably fair to hypothesize that most of their customer base had no idea what an actual chipotle was, or even how to pronounce the word. (I know I wouldn't have.) So he picks this exotic, attention getting name to entice non-Mexicans (read: well-intentioned, internationally curious, but unworldly white people- which includes a large group of people who don't know or don't care what good, well seasoned Mexican food actually tastes like). It was a hit, and now they're a force of nature-- so much so that they've convinced people in my great city of Los Angeles (where there is no lack of excellent, flavorful, well-seasoned Mexican food) that their bland stuff is worthy of my coworkers' lunch dollars. It boggles the mind.
Please know, I'm not bashing Ameri-Mex as a concept. In the right hands, Ameri-Mex can be delicious. My only point is that in Chipotle's hands, it is not. I believe it's all smoke and mirrors. The emperor's new clothes.
In case you can't tell, I'm not a fan.