Chipotle. Making all kinds of money, spreading all over the country, turning out great commercials. Personally I wasn't interested until I saw a poster at the BART station saying they serve---I forget---three acres of cilantro a day or something. That sounded good.
But still. I have Gordo and Cactus and Picante and Talavera and a million other local places. Why would I go to Chipotle?
Well, a reason arrived in the form of a fundraiser. Half the money I spent tonight (I'm writing this on the 20th) goes to my kids' elementary school. Good enough.
First, the good news. The chips! Holy smokes! What great chips! I don't know what sorta grease they cooked them in, but mmmwa! And the salt! Seriously. Among the best chips I've ever had.
Now, the bad news. Everything else.
I'm sorry Chipotle fans, but really? Really? What do you see in this place? It's a chain, but it's not cheaper than the good places. And it's not better than, say, Cafe Rio or Rubio's. The carnitas is simply bad and everything else ranges from the flavorless to the off. Honestly. I'm utterly mystified what people see in this place.
I mean---if the rest of the country is that desperate for a burrito, okay, but why are there two within a couple miles of my house? Can anyone explain this to me? The burritos aren't even wrapped well! The employees were nice enough (though between my head cold, their music, and some noisy fans, we could barely communicate) and the menu was reminiscent of burger places that know what's up (In-N-Out, Five Guys), but that stuff's mere trappings. The real test is the food and no matter how free-range their chickens or organic their tomatoes, their food just ain't good.
Now. Who wants to make a Gordo run?