Thursday, April 7, 2011

My First Visit to Chipotle

Memphis has gone Chipotle CRAZY! Our first Chipotle opened here in the Ridgeway shopping center on Tuesday, and it's really all anyone can talk about: "Have you been to Chipotle yet?" "When are you going to Chipotle?" "Oh my god, I went to Chipotle last night and had the best burrito ever!" We have a few Moe's Southwest Grills (and they have tofu!) and a Blue Coast Burrito, but when news broke that Chipotle was moving here, everyone flipped out. Someone even started a Facebook page dedicated to determining when the new Chipotle would open.

And I confess: I'm guilty. I've been counting down the days to try this all-natural, veg-friendly burrito joint. Tonight, Paul and I made the 20-minute drive from our house to the Chipotle in East Memphis. When we arrived, there was a line out of the door and down the block. Paul wasn't really all that excited about Chipotle, especially when he saw the line. But he waited with me anyway! Here he is waiting outside, forcing a smile:

Once inside, we stood in line for at least 30 minutes. But everyone around us was very nice. Our line neighbors raved on and on about how good the food was based on the time they'd tried Chipotle on a trip to Boston.

You can choose between a vegetarian black bean burrito, a bowl, tacos, or a salad. I opted for a burrito since that seemed like the ideal first meal choice. This burrito was loaded with black beans, cilantro-lime rice, corn salsa, pico, guacamole, sauteed veggies, hot salsa, tomatillo salsa, and lettuce:

We also ordered a side of guac, and it definitely lived up to all the hype. Best guacamole I've ever had for less than $3. I mean, my mom's is better. But for a restaurant, Chipotle has the best. In the end, I could only eat half of my big-ass burrito:

The other half will become tomorrow's lunch, along with the leftover chips and salsa.

Was Chipotle worth the 30 minute wait? Absolutely! The burrito was probably on par with Moe's in terms of taste, but that guac really takes the cake. I'd stand in line all over again for another tub of guac.

Do you have a Chipotle in your city? What do you order there?

40 comments:

Tiffany said...

I agree, the guac at Chipotle is pretty good. I always get the vegetarian burrito bowl, which makes for not-too-messy leftovers (and I'm all about eating everything in its bowl form anyway).

amymylove said...

I get the burrito if I wanna get my mack on and the bowl if I wanna not get too full... Their chips are heavenly as well :) Chipotle is everywhere in So Cal

VeggieGirl said...

I have yet to try Chipotle! I know, I need to get on that :)

vegan.in.brighton said...

Now I wish Brighton had a Chipotle & that I had burrito fixin's for breakfast.

Justin Fox Burks said...

I'm not sure it could be any better than Swanky's taco shop, which is locally owned.

Screaming said...

Know that the tortillas they use are sodium bombs (670 mgs according to Kalorie King).

Vegan Georgia said...

I just went to Chipotle the other day, and my guac-hating hubby has been raving about the guacamole ever since. I don't know what it is about that guacamole, but it is awesome! It doesn't seem as "busy" as other guacamoles, I think. You can really taste the natural avocado yumminess.

Anonymous said...

I love Chipotle! Tampa has had Chipotle for years. We also have a local place call the Taco Bus. It ROCKS! If you are ever in Tampa - GO! They have tofu and vegan tamales. SO good. Anyway, about Chipotle, I always order the crispy tacos, veggie of course. I get my guac on the side though. You don't even have to pay extra if you get something veggie and don't get it on the tacos. YUM! I want Mexican food now.

misss_e said...

I agree with the chipotle hype. I havent been there since i stopped eating meat though. I always feel like what ever I make at home would be much better. LOL they do have good guac though.

Lauren (PB&G) said...

Oh yum! Now I'm craving Chipotle. I haven't had it in almost a year. I didn't realize until very recently that they are super vegan friendly. The nearest one is an hour away. =( Sadness.

Kari said...

I love Chipotle. It was a classic date spot for my boyfriend and me during undergrad, and it's still a go-to place when we want trusty mexican. They're seriously all over California.

Those burritos are ENORMOUS, but so good.

I usually get the burrito bowl and make them pile it high with the fajita veggies. I'm a pretty big fan.

Sarah S. said...

Chipotle is the only fast food I eat, oh my goodness so good! My favorite is veg burrito: black beans, rice, guac, corn salsa, and hot salsa. WANT!

Jes said...

Oh man, I wish I'd gone to Chipotle for lunch today. The one down the street is still always full of people, though it's been there for several years...I usually get everything you got, but in the bowl format. Makes me just full enough to not feel like 'sploding :)
Jes

missmuffcake said...

I used to love Chipotle - I would have to ask them to wash down the counters before making my meal or it would be smeared with dairy, they were cool. I had to stop due to the sodium, every time I ate Chipotle my head would be light from all of the salt.

Michelle said...

OMG...this is the best news I've heard all day! I know where I will be eating on my next trip to Memphis. I have so been wanting to go to a Chipotle's!! That burrito looks AWESOME!!!

Jason said...

I'm convinced! Now ready to endure the line! Thank you for the review

The Edgy Vedgy said...

AH I love chipotle...we got one close to campus here in Nashville last year and it definitely is a dream for us college vegans...glad you enjoyed your first trip!

VegInDenver said...

The original Chipotle is about three blocks away from my house. I always get the black bean burrito with all the salsas and guacamole. Mmmm.... it's great hangover food! :)

Jessica said...

I have actually never eaten at Chipotle, I don't much like Mexican food, but I can't believe there wasn't a Chipotle in your area before! I am from the Chicago area and there are TONS of them here, so the description of the line is so surprising to me because it's definitely not a novelty here, lol

Leah said...

I guess Chipotle is pretty new in Nashville as well, and when I visit my friend there, I always want to go to Moe's or the local Baja Burrito, and she always wants Chipotle.... I like that Moe's has tofu and free salsa. I'm not a guacamole fan =\

KTBuns said...

Having had a Chipotle in my life since I was 16, I cannot even wrap my mind around how this was your first time eating there! I probably get a burrito bol every 2 weeks or so... :P Best guac ever and the rice is just perfect - top it off with Tofutti sour cream and hot sauce and I'm in heaven.

Vegyogini said...

I had to go to Montgomery, AL for work once about 5 or 6 years ago and was so thrilled to stumble upon Moe's for a tofu burrito! I personally find that way more exciting than Chipotle. We have Chipotle EVERYWHERE here and I've only eaten there twice (and not at all in the last 5 years). I'm so happy you enjoyed it, though, and that it was well worth the wait!

Billy said...

THAT wrap in the pic should have made it on the best vegan sandwiches post they did! In honor of Marly (http://www.namelymarly.com/) for calling out The Huffington Post on their not so friendly vegan sandwich article, it's an all Vegan weekend on LicketyPick.com. We've always been vegan friendly (a big chunk of our staff are vegans), but this weekend, we're going all out!

FYI, Huff Post made good and did a vegan version of their article (some really GREAT recipes). So there's no love lost.

kimberly said...

chipotle is hands down one of my favorite places EVER.

i was contemplating going there for dinner tonight. i didn't and now your post has made me regret that decision incredibly.

tamara said...

to me, chipotle has it all over moe's. my order: burrito bowl, black beans, rice (extra of both!!), hot salsa, corn salsa, guac, and lettuce. mmmm

VeganLinda said...

They are all over Illinois. My three year old eats an entire bean burrito with guacamole so it is funny you could only eat half. :-) We have a local place which has tofu as an option so we prefer it over Chipotle, but when traveling it is nice to have a place to stop for a quick bite.

Tender Branson said...

I used to eat chipotle a lot in Chicago but then found out that they were owned by McDonald's and boycotted. When they finally gained their independence I went back and have enjoyed eating there at least once every month or so. We have Moe's (and yes they do have tofu) and Tijuana Flats but as far as chain mexican nothing beats the big ass burritos at Chipotle. That's all I eat there, burritos. An earlier commenter mentioned the Taco Bus in Tampa and I am with them. Locally owned and great food.

Happy Go Lucky Vegan said...

Yes, the guac is seriously good. Next time, try the veggie burrito bowl- it's less filling, and you can dip your chips in it! Ever since one opened near me, I've become a Chipotle connoisseur. Your next!

Leslie R. said...

I haven't ever met a burrito I didn't love! (I also love you new blog look!)

Vegease said...
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Vegease said...
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Vegease said...

I love, love, love Chipotle. When I became single instead of 1/2 a couple, I lost the desire to cook. So I fondly refer to Chipotle as my kitchen. They knew when they saw me what to start making.

Burrito bowl: Rice, black beans (can I have some more black beans please), mild salsa (pico), tomatillo salsa, guacamole (on the side) lettuce....if you ask they have cilantro back there too.

And to top it off the Chipotle Tabasco....

And here's a tip, anything they have the ingredients for they'll make for you. Non-Quesadilla (Tortilla on the grill with black beans, onions, peppers, etc), "Not"-chos (Chips on the bottom stuff on top), etc, etc.

Did I mention how much I love Chipotle?

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Hell yeah, I love me some Chipotle!! We got one where I live a few years ago, and I still eat there a few times a month. I love it!

I'm picking out the cities to go to grad school in based on whether they have a Chipotle or not. Ha ha. Joking.... kind of. :)

morganbb said...

Can't wait to go there! Especially since I work in this area. I've been hoping a chipotle's would open near us since I've heard such great things about the restaurant- they try to use local ingredients, the majority of the meat they use is farm raised with no hormones (even though I don't eat meat I have to respect that). Now I do agree Swanky's locally owned is awesome, but it makes me sad that their rice is cooked in chicken stock. I wonder if Chipotle's is too?

thedalyn said...

Having lived in the southwest my whole life, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the Chipotle madness. Not only have we had them for a while, but they're not even close to the best option anywhere I've ever lived. That said, I say do what you have to do to get your mexican food fix. The thought of life without it makes me sad.

Ali - YumVeggieBurger said...

wow, a 30 minute wait for Chipotle! Glad you enjoyed it :) I can never eat a whole burrito in one sitting either.

VeggieLow said...

love! the chipotle at dupont circle in dc has gardein! heaven

Jennifer said...

We don't have a Chipotle, but we did just get a Qdoba, and if you have a chance to check it out you should. The guacamole is also amazing, and the salsa verde is super tasty. I always get the veggie burrito with both black and pinto beans because I can't decide what I like best.

Anonymous said...

I've been eating Chipotle for 10+ years in Cleveland, Ohio! I can't believe you got your first one just now. We probably have 20 locations in the area.

Josh said...

Chipotle is my favorite of the big Tex-Mex chains. But the closest one to me is too far to go at lunch. We have a Moe's nearby, but their burrito is not as good, costs more and they are stingy with the guac.

Oh Chipotle, open up one closer to me!