Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Eats Sheet: Chipotle

The Eats Sheet may become a regular feature. In it, I intend to review restaurants, lunch counters, diners, steakhouses, grills, oyster shacks, and other eateries. This time we look at Chipotle.

While a chain is probably not the first thing I would think of to review, I chose Chipotle because there's one across the street from the law school. Such closeness makes it a great place for law fuel, and I end up eating there more often than any other restaurant.

So what do I have to say about Chipotle at 7 Corners? There's not a bad item on the menu. Pretty much anything you order will be good. One piece of advice, however: do not make the rookie mistake of mixing salsas (or, chiles). If you want hot, get hot. If you want mild, get mild. Do not get a mixture. It will look gross, it will taste gross, and the people behind the counter will think you are an idiot. Just make up your mind. Mixing chiles is a fine art that should be undertaken only by a seasoned chile artist. They have two different salsas for a reason. You can mix pico de gallo with salsa, but even that can be pushing it.

Two things that pay off at Chipotle: 1) speaking Spanish, and 2) loyalty. I have documented on several occasions that if you speak Spanish, you get more guacamole, that shangri-la of green mush. Nothing can justify passing up an opportunity to get more guac. And the generosity towards Spanish speakers doesn't stop with the guac, either. It extends to more meat, cheese, etc.

The second, loyalty, is something I just recently discovered. I have frequented Chipotle enough to have developed a rapport with the staff. The last time I was eating there, the cashier came over to our table after we had paid and were eating and gave us all a little card that informed us that ordering online and including a certain code would yield a free burrito or bol. A boon indeed.

Meals under $6. Vegan-friendly options available. I know this because a friend went vegan for lent.

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