On Meatless Monday, Defending Chipotle

Categories: Veg

Chipotle Vegetable Burrito.jpg
Lunch
Nearly every time I knock the food at a chain restaurant, a few commenters jump to and tell me why chains are great. Often those comments brand me as a chain-hating snob who only wants to eat trendy food, served by a waiter with bad facial hair and a fedora. But that's not true. Mostly I just want to eat food that's made well, and that tastes good. Or at least has some thought put into it.

Chipotle falls into this latter category. Its menu was designed by a classically trained chef, Steve Ells, who refused to use pork sourced from factory farms for his carnitas. It does some other cool stuff, too.

While the language that surrounds the rest of its meat sourcing is a little squishy -- the chicken and beef are sourced mostly from farms that meet or exceed some standards that the company doesn't really define on its website -- most of them aren't plugged full of hormones and antibiotics. I don't think these animals live lives as happy as the pigs in the video at the end of this post, but the chain is marketing it as a goal.

Sure, that marketing campaign is a gimmick to try to get you to eat more foil-wrapped gut bombs, but at least it's marketing the right things. And sure, not all of its ingredients are grown on a grassy knoll in the country by a lawyer who gave everything up to get back to his roots. But a significant portion of them are. And that's a decent start.

McDonald's, in comparison, uses "beef from real beef cattle to make their burger patties." Its chicken is "100% USDA-inspected real chicken." So, you know, at least it's "real."

Even if Chipotle didn't source with what it calls "integrity," its genial assembly lines still turn out decent food. The guacamole is made fresh on-site out of fresh avocados instead of using a gun to squirt it out of a pre-packaged tube like Taco Bell. They grill the fresh chicken they use in their burritos on-site as well. In comparison, Chick-fil-A and McDonald's uses pre-cooked chicken pieces with grill lines made of caramel color painted on them. They heat it up on site, call it "grilled" and then you eat it. Yum.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying I don't hate all chains. I just don't like shitty ones. And indulging in one of Chipotle's vegetable burritos with black beans, peppers and onions and a massive dollop of guac doesn't seem like a terrible idea, especially on a Meatless Monday.

In fact, I think I just came up with my lunch plans.

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27 comments
mmarks
mmarks

I vote for Gefilte Fish Mondays. Pass the horseradish, y'all.

trent j
trent j

you're right. Chipotle does it right...at least more so than just about anyone else in the chain gang. it's fresh but why do i give birth to a burrito baby a couple hours afterwards? still makes me feel like crap.

Mervis
Mervis

McDonald's bailed on Chipotle because they didn't like the burrito boys sullying their shitty image.

Chicken fajita burrito w/rice, pico, cheese, SC and the hottest hot sauce for me. Oh yeah and some chips and hot sauce. Their fountain Coke is great too.

Pike
Pike

FYI, chik fil a makes their biscuits by hand in the stores, i.e. mixing the wet and dry ingredients, rolling and cutting.  Not to say the're the best, but at least they're "real"

Shwhitley
Shwhitley

Freebirds...marketing gimmick...Scott Reitz...hipster...meh

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I wanna open up a SF burrito joint and call it "Burritos, Pendejos".

It'll be awesome.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

DirtyP1 is so, so right. The Freebirds Defense Force will be out in full soon.

Me likey Freebirds, but me likey a carnitas burrito from Chipotle more.

And me wanna hear about Burrito Jimmy's.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Thanks for your bravery, Scott. There's a Chipotle across the street from me that I frequent once a week and always get the carnitas. Predictions on this entry:-no less than 3 people touting Freebirds-at least two people talking about a burrito place that I've never heard of-Joe Tone making an appearance here or next time he talks with you about how disgusting anything chain foody is.

foodbitch
foodbitch

Skip Chipotle and head to Freebirds at Lovers/Greenville instead.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I was going to say, I was pretty sure that they made their chicken in store. Good trackback, Pike.

therrick
therrick

Freedbirds is alright, but those bastards charge extra for sour cream. Freebirds may have more choices, but they aren't necessarily better.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

My prediction was true, she just clicked post before I did by a few seconds.Yeah, where's the review on Burrito Jimmy's? Aren't there a few in our fair Meteroplex?

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

When have I ever said anything about chain food being disgusting? I've eaten more fast food than anyone on this thread, and I suspect it isn't even close. I have stretch marks shaped like golden arches from my junior year in college. You can hate me from shutting down your message board, but do NOT question my lack of taste in things.

m.
m.

Chipotle > Freebirds.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Freebirds? like as in the not so local freebirds that every local in texas claims even thought he chain started in California?  Anyhow, Ill take Chipotle barbacoa anyday of the week please

Storm_71
Storm_71

I hate you for shutting down our sporty message board.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

barbacoa and big red...mmmmmmmm....pure cane or regular, I don't give a fu**k.

Mervis
Mervis

Yah, because it is the meat......so to speak.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I tried to reason with them once, asking if I 86'd the sour cream and cheese, if I could get the guac free, but no, still get charged for it(I would never 86 sc and cheese from a burrito, but it was worth asking.) You can also order mexican rice in the store i go to, but they have to get it from the back. I'm not a big fan of the white cilantro rice.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

damn, okay anyday but mondays. you win this round

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