Chipotle

chipotle2Everyone's prayers have been answered… but mine.  They started construction on a new Chipotle right in my building (49th between 6th & 7th), and the office is abuzz.  After all, burritos could possibly be the perfect lunch food.  A self contained, all inclusive pocket of goodness, that you can eat with your hands… no side dishes necessary (except for some chips to handle the overflow). 

Everyone seems pretty excited about the prospect of burritos being just an elevator ride away- but I can't fall into that trap.  For me, Chipotle is like a bad Chinese Buffet.  I have to go back once every three months, and feel sick, to remind myself why I only go once every three months.  See, I distinctly remember what my brain told me the last time I ate Chiptole… "Never eat here again".  But that was three months ago, and my burrito starved body is wondering, "Maybe this time it will be different…everyone seems pretty excited… maybe I was wrong about Chipotle." 

chipotle1And of course three months ago was actually a relapse of it's own.  A few months before that, I had just moved here from Los Angeles, and tried Chiptole for the first time.  My thought… "Never eat here again…"  That lasted about two months.  Why can't they make a decent burrito in this city!

I'm not saying Chiptole is a terrible burrito… but compared to the Burritos in L.A., they definetely fall short (no one would dispute that).  But I'm not even talking about the authentic Burrito shacks… I'm talking about the chains too.  Now if a Baja Fresh or Sharky's opened at the bottom of my building, then you'd see some excitement.  But alas, there is no Baja Fresh, and we'll just have to settle for Chipotle.

The +/- after the jump…

THE +

  • They wrap the Burrito up properly, no fork and knife needed (a huge plus that many burrito places in NYC have not caught on to yet)
  • A lot of different choices (Carnitas, Black or Pinto Beans, etc.)

THE –

  • We're not in L.A. anymore pal, why can't you get that through your brain
  • Why don't New York Burrito places give you free chips?  It's craziness.
  • The "cilantro and lime" has a weird salt and lime flavor that just doesn't taste right.  It doesn't have to be authentic, just make it taste better
  • A little expensive for a burrito (especially to add guacamole)… but I guess it's midtown so it's forgiveable.
  • I can't pinpoint exactly why I don't like these burritos… there's just something not right.  Maybe that's what happens when McDonald's tries to make Burritos (yes, they are owned by McDonald's).

I have to say, I am a big fan of carnitas burritos (I love pork), and both of my bad trips to Chipotle were at the hands of carnitas burritos… so maybe it's not really a fair review.  Maybe I need to go back and try the chicken burrito, or steak burrito.  Yeah, that's it… I need to go back one more time.  Maybe just one more try…  I'll order the chicken or the steak.  I'm sure it will be good this time… Shut up brain- we're going to give Chipotle one more chance.

Chiptole, Coming in a few weeks (according to one of the workers) to 1221 Avenue of the Americas, 49th btw. 6th & 7th

Already open at these Midtown Locations:

  • 9 West 42nd Street (btw. 5th & 6th) 212-354-6760
  • 150 E. 44th Street (btw. Lex & 3rd) 212-682-9860
  • 150 E. 52nd Street (btw. Lex & 3rd) 212-755-9754

Official Website [Chipotle.com]

17 Responses to Chipotle

  1. Michael Greg says:

    Good writing. Like — “You talkin’ to me!” I agree. I like to forget that I get the runs every time I eat at Chipotle in Houston. I used to enjoy the Chipotle in San Ramon California, so it really depends on the food prep and cleanliness of each shop. You may have a good one.
    Greg at

    http://sadbastards.wordpress.com/

  2. anonymous says:

    Check out Pampano Tacqueria on 50th+3rd, best burritos in the area… (still not LA, but its midtown in NY)

  3. eric says:

    Check out Sophie’s on 42nd and Lex – great Cuban, the Pernil is to die for.

  4. Sandra says:

    WHEN will a Baja Fresh be opened in the city?!?!

  5. Erica says:

    I hated Chipotle the first time I went. I got the chicken and it was just gross and didn’t taste very fresh. Since then I have only gotten the vegetarian burrito–it’s a lot harder to screw up and it comes with guacamole.

  6. B says:

    Though I totally disagree with you here (I love Chipotle’s taste), i see what you’re saying about the after effects. I can only tell you that eat there often enough and you get used to it. The sick full feeling, the runs – your body will adapt. I seriously ate these things twice a week for a long stretch (used to live next door to one) and never got sick of them. Then again, i also put on some serious Lbs.

    But aside from that, just feel the need to correct the common misperception that they’re owned by McD’s. McDonald’s owned as much as 92% at one time, that’s significantly lower now since Chipotle’s IPO (probably down to about 70%, if not less), and McD’s plans to sell their entire stake in the company within a year.

  7. Midtown Rob says:

    You know, they don’t compare to Taqueria CanCun in San Francisco. Or anything within a few miles radius. But they’re not all that bad…

  8. chapstickaddict says:

    I, too, work in midtown, on 42nd st right in front of Vanderbilt Ave, and find myself eating at the same places everyday – and Chipotle once a week! Now, I know it’s not in midtown, but Kitchen/Market on 8th Avenue in Chelsea has KILLER burritos. Best in the city… for those of you who have not yet found your burrito calling, try this place.

  9. KMAC says:

    I grew up next to the original Chipotle in Colorado and your crazy if you get anything but the Barbaccoa. They did not get famous and bought by McD’s because of their steak or chicken….

  10. Josh says:

    Go across the damn street to Burritoville. Great burritos (especially the Bob Marley)

  11. Queensgirl says:

    I work next door to the E. 44th St. Chipotle and eat there once a week. I don’t eat burritos because I have an allergy to wheat so I can’t comment on them. But the bowls are some of the best deals in town. I usually do the vegetarian bowl, which includes literally whatever they offer that isn’t a meat item. It’s a meal — rice, beans (your choice of black or refried), grilled peppers and onions, corn salad, chopped fresh tomatoes, your choice of salsa (I get the medium, which is plenty hot, loaded with jalapenos), sour cream, grated cheese, a healthy portion of guacamole and chopped romaine lettuce. The cost: $5.99. If you request a “bowl” with a meat item, you lose the guacamole and the price goes up by about a dollar, but it’s still a great meal and a great deal. Just remember to ask for the “bowl” and not the “salad.”

  12. Achilz says:

    You are so right. There’s a Chipotle around the corner from my office (Lex & 44th), so I get the “one more time” message in my brain about every month. And, yes, every time I go I’m disappointed. Especially with the carnitas. It’s odd because by all measures these should be pretty good burritos (by NYC standards). They have all the right stuff going into them. That’s why I keep going back. It HAS to be better next time. But then, every time, it’s not bad, it’s just not good. There’s a Burritoville exactly parallel to the Chipotle on 43rd St (bet Lex/3rd). They’re not much better but at least they have more choices and it’s less of an assembly line, so I’m going to get my Burrito’s there from now on.

  13. […] Wednesday is the 6 month anniversary of Midtown Lunch.  That’s right… it all started on June 8th with a posting about Hing Won (naturally)- and for the past six months I have been stuffing my face at new places every single week, all for the benefit of you people.  And don’t think it’s easy.  I’m actually considering exercising for the first time in my life… and I owe it all to this blog.  (But let’s not get crazy just yet… I’m only “considering” it) Hundreds of you read the site every day, and I have to say my favorite part about doing Midtown Lunch is your comments.  Without them (and the email recommendations) it would be hard for me to find all these places to eat on my own (I do actually have a job in Midtown- and only an hour for lunch, just like the rest of you).  So, in honor of our 6 month anniversary, I’d like to share some of my favorite comments with you.  Some insightful (with great recs), some wacky, and some downright mind boggling: My first comment ever… I still remember it.  Greg from Houston wrote: “Good writing. Like — “You talkin’ to me!”” […]

  14. […] Wednesday is the 6 month anniversary of Midtown Lunch.  That’s right… it all started on June 8th with a posting about Hing Won (naturally)- and for the past six months I have been stuffing my face at new places every single week, all for the benefit of you people.  And don’t think it’s easy.  I’m actually considering exercising for the first time in my life… and I owe it all to this blog.  (But let’s not get crazy just yet… I’m only “considering” it) Hundreds of you read the site every day, and I have to say my favorite part about doing Midtown Lunch is your comments.  Without them (and the email recommendations) it would be hard for me to find all these places to eat on my own (I do actually have a job in Midtown- and only an hour for lunch, just like the rest of you).  So, in honor of our 6 month anniversary, I’d like to share some of my favorite comments with you.  Some insightful (with great recs), some wacky, and some downright mind boggling: My first comment ever… I still remember it.  Greg from Houston wrote: “Good writing. Like — “You talkin’ to me!”” […]

  15. gambino says:

    ok, i live in socal and i understand you saying that baja fresh is better than chipotle, i disagree but it is a damn good burrito. sharkys on the otherhand is crap compared to chipotle. you also need to get your facts straight, mcdonalds doesnt own chipotle, they bought their stock and chipotle still makes their own business decisions, i see no similarity in the taste of chipotle and mcdonalds. mcdonalds uses low quality ingredients with no regard to the health of their customers. chipotle on the other hand, uses quality ingredients and their final products are much healthier. and they serve beer(enough said). what it basically comes down to is personal opinion, you seem to have something against the cilantro lime rice which is partially why most of the people i talk to love chipotle. i didnt want to say anything but i couldnt watch you bash chipotle without putting the other side of the spectrum up for your readers. whatever floats your boat bud.

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