A few weeks back, I got together with a group of friends from high school. We went back and forth about where to eat before the movies, and my vote for Hooters was vetoed. What can I say? I’ve never been, didn’t know there was one so close by and I’m certain this is a good “bucket list” item to cross off my list of restaurants to visit. I did, however, get promised a raincheck. So where did we eat? Chipotle. Another place I’ve never been to before.
We grabbed a table as soon as we walked in, and since there were a lot of us, we opted to go order in shifts so as not to lose our table. When it was my turn to go, Beth offered to help me out.
“I need a chaperone to order?” I asked.
“Well, you might.”
She was right. I was completely lost when I looked at the menu board, It’s not exactly self-explanatory. After I figured out the basic concept, it reminds me a little of Quiznos and Subway. Even though you might order an Italian sub, the employee waits as you tell them each item you want in it, you know?
Chipotle is a Mexican restaurant (as if you didn’t already guess), with an emphasis on fresh and clean flavors (holla!). Everything is made to order and not sitting around congealing. A+ for that. They have burritos, burrito bowls (same concept, but without the tortilla), salads and tacos, along with the requisite chips, a variety of salsas and guacamole.
I opted for a salad. Heck, the whole table did, we’re such good girls. And I piled it with kidney beans, carnitas (braised and shredded pork), fresh salsa and a sprinkling of cheese. No dressing. And so not needed. I might have inhaled the whole bowl. It was so good, and completely guilt-free clean eating. Love.
Now the chips. I do believe the chips deserve a mention all on their own. They were sitting in a warmer, in individual brown bag servings, and they were so good that we might have had four bags at the table. They are sprinkled with a sea salt, which totally speaks to the saltaholic in me. More flavor impact, less salt needed.
This is a Coke joint, and drink refills are free. There is a very reasonably priced kids’ menu, with four meals available, only one of which was over $4, and they include a side item, chips and a drink.
The first Chipotle restaurant opened up in 1993, and they have a heavy slant towards sustainability and integrity when it comes to food and its producers. All their pork and chicken is 100% naturally raised (and 85% of their beef), and six years before it became trendy, Chipotle started using zero trans fat frying oil. Their black beans are 40% organic, and as of 2007, they stopped using cheese and sour cream that contains rBGH. When it comes to “fast food,” you don’t often see a restaurant (let alone a chain) with such a commitment to food, the environment and the people (both who they serve and who they employ). And the fact that the food is good after all that? A definite bonus.
I couldn’t let National Chocolate Cupcake Day go by without celebrating appropriately, could I? I will say, however, that I was highly disappointed that the TWO cupcake shops in town were both closed today. We had to make do with cupcakes from the grocery store. Madeline picked them out. Mine was three shades of disgusting, although it was awful pretty to look at it. Next time, more advance planning and making them myself. In the meantime, we did our part.