We’ve never been to Chipotle (probably because we have some really good Mexican places nearby) but their TV ads seem like they could be worth a try.
What’s great at Chipotle? We’re most likely to do takeout, so what travels well?
I might get more feedback with a regional post but they seem to have locations in several parts of the US, so I’m trying this way first.
While it looks like their food is freshly prepared, they can’t do refried beans or Mexican rice. And compared to “really good Mexican places”, their food is tastless. Way too much pale rice in their burritos, serious up charge for under-seasoned guac, no long braises for chicken or carnitas, salsas are ho hum… and everything is just bland.
Try them once, by all means, but I would only go there if it were the least worst option. The guac’s pretty good. Everything needs a lot of hot sauce. I always feel like I’m paying a fair amount of money for mostly rice.
My kids love it. My gi tract does not
I usually ordered a bowl. Light on the rice. Chicken, black beans fajita veggies. Picko, corn, green salsas and just a splash of the red hot salsa. Topped with lettuce and cheese on the side. I would get several lunches out of one but those days are behind me now.
I’m one of those people who will boycott a business on principle - and my principles can be quite diverse. I refuse to eat at a Chipotle because the founder/owner once was on Shark Tank/Apprentice type show and I thought he was a real A******.
We have oodles of great Mexican and Tex-Mex in Austin, but when I was working, every now and then someone would say, “Let’s go to Chipotle.” So off we went. It is quick, not crazy expensive, and can be moderately healthy. Even though everything tastes pretty much the same, I tinkered with my order and finally settled on two tacos (carnitas, chicken, tempeh, whatever) with grilled onions and peppers, a stripe of sour cream, red sauce, a bit of cheese, and some lime. I usually shook Tabasco chipotle on it, too. Glass of water.
I have never seen the charm. Tasteless rice and beans, under flavored meats. But you get a lot of food on a plate which, I suspect, explains much. They are good at greenwashing.
Chipotle is to American-Mexican fast food as Panda Express is to American-Chinese fast food.
How good it is really depends on your perspective and expectations.
We had them up here early on, and DD2, and later, SIL really loved them for awhile, then because of all the recalls for food borne illness, became disenchanted. I liked them occasionally, especially that I was able to customize my burrito bowl for however I was eating at the time. Now, the company has been sold, and has gone from mediocre to pretty bad, IMO. H brought us a couple to go bowls a few months ago, giving me my choice between shredded pork or beef. Wisely I chose the pork…what there was of it anyway. Not too tasty either, just meh. The rest consisted of mostly lettuce, then rice, a few black beans, very scant cheese, and maybe a teaspoon of guacamole, as well as the pico de gallo. It wasn’t flavorful, satisfying, or even filling. I then took a bite of H’s beef, which was so tough and awful I spat it out. It was one of those meals where you’re looking around for something else to eat pretty quickly. I’d have to be pretty hungry or desperate to eat there again. DD2 & SIL feel the same way too, BUT, your experience could be different.
I won’t go to Jimmy John’s for the same basic reason. From what I’ve read, the owner is an a****** too
I don’t know anything about Jimmy John’s Restaurants or their namesake but will have to look into them. As far as I know there aren’t any very close to me.
I have met Peter Cancro, founder of Jersey Mike’s several times and he seems very nice.
H tells me Jimmy John’s is pretty mediocre, but I haven’t tried it. Will take his word for it. He was never thrilled when they showed up in boxed lunches for work meetings.
I like the Barbacoa bowl, with fajita veg, a mix of salsas, a bit of rice, and maybe pinto beans. Not something I would get locally, but I’d get it on the road in the US in a place I wasn’t familiar with.
I might get guac if I planned to eat it within an hour or so, but usually I don’t eat it all at once.
After reading the above comments I had to think about the last time I tried it, and can’t remember, but probably at least once since March 2020.
Thank you for all the input. It appears that the ‘bowl’ is what would make them different from the Mexican counter-type place we frequent here, but that place makes a great tostada which is likely pretty much the same thing. Chipotle is probably going to be a pass.
I don’t have Chipotle often, but bowls are what I get from there, either carnitas or barbacoa. Last time I was there I tried their new chicken al pastor and didn’t think it was better than carnitas or barbacoa or even the chicken it replaced on their menu. Maybe it varies by location but the guacamole from the Chipotle I go to is very good. It’s as good as guac from most of the traditional Mexican restaurants here. I only do takeout from Chipotle and prefer tortilla chips other than what Chipotle has, so I just get the guac. Santitas are the grocery store tortilla chips I buy. Those are pretty salty which makes up for the not salty enough guac from Chipotle. Haven’t had much else from their menu. I’m sure I had a steak bowl at some point but i must have not liked it enough to keep getting it. Had a sofritos bowl out of curiosity when they introduced their tofu sofritos offering. Better than I expected it to be but I think I’ve only had that once. Disliked their burritos from the first time I had one. Gummy tortilla and that combined with rice in a burrito is just too much carbs for me.
Proximity rather than the quality of food is why I get Chipotle occasionally.
Chipotle isn’t Mexican but Mexican adjacent. The food is fine for fast food. Better than most alternatives. I usually go with salad rather than bowl. Steak or chicken. Some fajita vegetables and pinto beans. Pico, salsa, corn and cheese. It’s quick and easy and cheap. Maybe more than the hole in the wall Mexican place you go to where the food is better but then again that place doesn’t have locations everywhere you go.
And for those who are talking about owners and such, this is a public company. There are no owners other than public shareholders. The founder lost his job because he could not longer manage what the company had become. As to him being an asshole, well I don’t know the guy but I will tell you that I’ve yet to meet a CEO founder of a large company who wasn’t a bit of one. Nice guys don’t build giant companies. Watch the documentaries about the food that made America. Pretty much full of assholes. Hershey, Heinz, Kroc, Kellogg, Post, Candler.
I recall that he is a big game hunter.
If I want a big awesome sandwich I’ll go to Jersey Mike’s almost every time. Otherwise I go to Arbys. But usually Jersey Mike’s.
I totally agree one likely has to be aggressive to turn a small business in a corporate giant. In the particular case this was a show that was supposed to mentor small restaurant owners and he was just mean and mean spirited. It’s all about context.
I still boycott several companies that are no longer run/owned by the original founder. It’s a thing with me. I figure they may still own stock and I don’t want to think I’m adding to their wealth.
Never been. I’ll be interested in the comments to see what I’m missing … or not missing.