Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ode to Chipotle

Chipotle is my all-time favorite, quick casual restaurant.  I fell in love with it back in 2002 when I was a graduate student in the Washington, DC area.  I'm from South Jersey by way of Delaware (a.k.a. the sticks, the boondocks, the country) and we didn't have anything like this when I was growing up...

Fresh meats, tortillas, veggies, and salsas wrapped in a thin, warm tortilla.  Or, in a bowl as a salad.  Or, in a shell as a taco.  Fresh grilled chicken, seasoned chunks of beef, shredded tasty pork, crisp veggies that are never overcooked, the most delicious fresh salsas not from a jar, yummy rice flavored with cilantro and lime...

All served in a pseudo-contemporary, stainless steel meets Mexican art-styled storefront.  

The best part?  I get to walk down the assembly line and watch (through the glass) as my burrito is made.  I can say "just a little cheese" or "a bit more salsa".  As someone who is a foodie and who prefers to make her own meal, this is heaven.

When you get to the end of the line and your burrito (or taco or salad) is stuffed to your liking, you choose a drink (I'm partial to Nantucket Nectars Apple Juice), pay the cashier and find your seat.  It's a grab and go kinda place.  They pack up your burrito like a cute little present...

Now, I'm partial to the chicken fajita burrito.  I order it 99 percent of the time.  Just looking at this picture makes me smile.  Then, you peel back the foil and take a huge bite...

I like mine with chicken, rice, green peppers, red onions, pico de gallo, a bit of cheese, and lettuce.  No sour cream for me, thank you very much.  I don't like my burritos too wet.  It's just a bit spicy and warm and cool at the same time.  Perfection.

The only thing that isn't perfect is that we live 40 minutes from the nearest Chipotle.  There are no Chipotle locations in Delaware, so we have to drive up to Pennsylvania.  It's not a long ride, but with traffic it's a hassle.  When I lived in the DC area I was able to enjoy one of these babies every week since there was a location near campus.  I moved back to Delaware in 2004 and spent five years dreaming about Chipotle (and writing to the company begging for a Delaware location) until they finally opened a store in West Chester, PA in 2009.  Not exactly Delaware, but beggars can't be choosers.

Now, my husband thinks there are other burrito spots that are just as good.  He enjoys Moe's, Baja Fresh, California Tortilla, and a few other spots.  I'm sorry, but nothing compares to Chipotle.  Period.  Chipotle, if you are reading this, please open a location in Delaware.  Please.


  1. They are trying to open one up on Main Street. (Read it in yesterday's Review)

  2. Chipotle rocks! Not to mention that I saw the creator on Oprah and he strives to use organic meats... however, there is a great place in Trolley that just opened called El Diablo Burrito and its AMAZING!

    If you are ever in the area you should def check it out :)

  3. @Latoya - OMG, really? It's about time. When I wrote to Chipotle years ago I suggested Main St. as a perfect location. I hope it really happens.

    @Hillary - I'm going to make a trip to El Diablo Burrito very soon.

  4. If your gorgeous pictures are an indicator I can see why you love this place. If ever I'm in the area I'll know where to eat. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. Love chipotle. I always get their chickensoft tacos but their other meats are good too. I'mnot much onpico de gallo so I wish they'd offer just diced tomatoes, then it would be perfect!

  6. I like that place I like their bowls. Rice, black beans, chicekn, cheese, and a touch of sour cream. I LOVE their rice I need to try recreating it at home. I could eat just the rice, it's so tasty.

  7. They are still working out a parking waiver with the City of Newark. But it looks like it will be a go since the lot has been vacant for some time.

  8. @Ingrid - I've heard their rice is basmati rice with salt, lime juice, and fresh cilantro. I'm going to attempt to create some today.

    @Latoya - Can't wait for the Chipotle in Newark! I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


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