Free CHIPOTLE is the only good CHIPOTLE

It’s funny.  This will be my fourth post about Chipotle since Friday… and I’m embarassed.  Not just for my blog- but for Midtown too.  Why is everyone in my office so excited for Chipotle?  And why did I get so caught up in it?  I don’t even like Chipotle!  It just goes to show how starved we are in Midtown for good food.  So sick of the same things day after day, a mediocre overpriced McBurrito is like some sort of Holy Grail of dining.  Here’s what I said about Chipotle a month ago, when I heard it was opening in my building:

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.” 

Well, it hasn’t been three months… but last night I finally discovered a way to enjoy Chipotle.  Eating there for free.  Free food always tastes better… it’s just a fact.  And Chipotle proved that once again last night.  We got one of those passes for free dinner on Monday night, and decided to check it out then, rather then wait on line today during free Buritto day (which is from 11am to 8pm by the way).

What we ate, and the Chipotle +/- after the jump…

 

We decided to try two different burritos…

  • Burrito #1- Carnitas, Cilantro-Lime Rice, Black Beans, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole
  • Burrito #2- Chicken, Cilantro-Lime Rice, Pico de Gallo, & Guacamole

I have to say, the Carnitas and the Chicken are both good at Chipotle.  The carnitas is exactly as it should be.  Braised with good seasonings, it tears apart and is nice and tender.  And the chicken is good too, if you like your chicken grilled and cut in chunks- which I prefer to the shredded chicken in gravy that a lot of burrito places feature.  But that’s where the complements end…

Here’s my big problem with Chipotle.  The burrito is already a perfect food item.  Get some good meat, put it in a tortilla with mexican rice, good salsa, and good guac, and it’s gonna be good.  What’s this cilantro and lime rice shit?  Why are the chips covered in lime flavored salt?  Can’t you steam the cheese with the tortilla so I don’t have to eat clumps of cold cheese in my burrito?  Why do I feel like I’m going into food coma after the fourth bite.  I just think they’re trying too hard.  There’s just something weird about Chipotle.  I know it isn’t just “Too much salt”.  There’s something more then that.  I just can’t put my finger on it…

Is it the best burrito you can get in Midtown?  Probably.  Am I a spoiled burrito snob after living in L.A. for two years?  Definitely.  Will I forget how I feel and go back to Chipotle in three months?  To tell you the truth, I’ll probably be back within three weeks.  But I won’t like it damnit!  People who run Baja Fresh… if you’re listening.  Please… come and save us from this Burrito wasteland.  If you can open in Jersey, why can’t you be in NYC????

THE + (What people who like this place would say)

  • You don’t need a knife and fork.  Seems like common sense, but so many New York places can’t roll a good burrito
  • Quit your whining L.A. boy… it’s a good burrito (and sadly it is probably the best burrito you are going to get in Midtown)

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • The price.  It’s amazing how much better Chipotle is when you don’t have to pay $1.75 to add Guacamole to your burrito.  Normal for midtown, but too expensive for a burrito.
  • No free chips.  And on top of having to pay for them, they are covered in this lime salt (that I’m pretty sure they put in the rice too). 
  • Too much salt all around.  I thought it was a fluke the last time I went… but apparently it’s always like that.  Call it McDonald’s consistency, I suppose.
  • They’re operated by McDonald’s… and it shows.
  • You don’t feel so good afterwards

Don’t forget… today (Tuesday 7/18) is free burrito day!  From 11am to 8pm, everyone gets a free burrito.  We’ll have pictures of the line and updates during the day.  If I haven’t discouraged you enough, go have a Chiptole Burrito for yourself, and post your comments here.  Today is the best day to go… Chipotle is never going to taste better then it does on the day when it’s free!

Chipotle, 129 W. 48th St. (btw. 6th & 7th Ave.), 212-575-8424

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23 Responses to Free CHIPOTLE is the only good CHIPOTLE

  1. nosher says:

    You just lost another fan of the blog. The free burrito news was great the first time, but four days in a row is overkill. Good luck.

  2. Zach says:

    I promise today is the last day!!! Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Yum Thai… and no more Chipotle ever again! 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Burritoville makes a pretty good burrito near midtown. I think 39th and 9th,

  4. D says:

    Not to mention these babies provide almost all of your daily calories. Oink!

  5. jpbelmondo says:

    You should check out Pompano Taqueria, 805 Third Ave. between 49th and 50th, in this under-construction food court place called the Crystal Palace — best tacos and burritos I’ve had in NYC (which, admittedly, isn’t saying much, but this place is solid.)

  6. MidtownLunch says:

    Pompano is definetely on my list of places to go…

  7. kate says:

    Just read your blog for the first time today…a friend sent cause we were in line at Chipotle. It was fun. And, just an FYI. McD’s does not own Chipotle nor does it operate it. It is a private company that McD invested in, but since Chipotle went public, it is divesting. From the news in the WSJ this morning, its been a pretty good investment for them. Anyway, happen to know that yes, the chips have fresh lime juice on them and kosher salt and the rice has fresh cilantro and lime juice mixed in. I think it is delicious. Don’t think they are trying to be a mexican restaurant…i read they call it fresh mex. And, the fact that all their meats are naturally raised…no antibiotics or hormones or animal by products in the feed, etc… they support sustainable farming and a hefty percentage of the beans they buy are organic is very cool. I think you protest too much. Perhaps you secretly love Chipotle and are addicted. relax. enjoy. life is good.

  8. milo says:

    I love mexican food, everything from the high-end stuff to taco bell, but I just can’t stand chipotle, something about it really does seem off to me. Stuff that should be hot is cold and stuff that should be spicy is bland and I agree with your assessment that the lime flavoring really is pretty weird.

    As a simple alternative, there is a mexican cart on 50th between 6th and 7th that has tasty and filling burritos. I just had that for lunch today, and I have no regrets. The beans are the best – they’re creamy and peppery with a great texture. Go up two blocks and try it. (most people here prefer the beef to the chicken, but they are both pretty good)

  9. MidtownLunch says:

    Funny you should mention that cart… I ate there a few days ago- and will be writing about it on Friday!

  10. milo says:

    Yaa!

    (Except I hope it doesn’t get all crowded now)

  11. […] It’s been a few months since I last ate at Chipotle, and the craving for a burrito is back in full force.  “I could really use a burrito.  I’m sure Chipotle is not as bad as I remember it!  Look at the gigantic lines!  Everybody loves Chipotle… i’m sure it will be delicious!”  Luckily my original post serves as a reminder of how I feel (”Free Chipotle is the only good Chipotle“), and I decided instead to hit up Burritoville with a friend from work. […]

  12. […] I love burritos, and have often lamented about the fact that there is not a good one in Midtown (here, here, here and here).  More than anything that comes from past experience, and experiences.  I have had some truly great burritos over the years, that hold special places in my heart…  the Carnitas Super Burrito at Anna’s Taqueria (Boston), the Chicken Mole Burrito at Casa Diaz in Los Feliz (Los Angeles), the Baja Chicken Burrito at Baja Fresh (locations everywhere in the U.S. except Manahattan!), the Huarache I had two weeks ago at the Ballfields in Red Hook, and finally, the gigantor Carnitas Burrito at La Costena (Mountain View California)… it’s what all carnitas burritos aspire to be. […]

  13. Leticia says:

    I’m from Texas, where there is a Chipotle on EVERY corner and I hate this place. I don’t understand the hype of it. However, if Freebirds ever makes it to NYC, I recommend it! Now that’s an awesome burrito! I’m going to NYC in May, and I love your blog!

  14. Geoff says:

    Hi Iam an englishman living in Sweden
    Ihave been reading your page and I wonder about one thing.
    What the hell is a burrito ?
    Is it a type of donkey and why the heck do you have such a fascination for it ?

  15. Benjamin says:

    ROFL, you have no basis on which you can bash Chipotle if you think there “Fresh Tomato Slasa” is a “Pico de Gallo”. Clearly your knowledge of burritos is very, how shall we say, limited. So maybe when you call yourself a “…spoiled burrito snob…” you ment to say “snob”. kthxROFLpwnd

  16. Benjamin says:

    P.S. They use kosher salt and regular table salt, not lime salt. And Chipotle never was and never has been owned by MCdonalds. MCdonalds was merely an investor.

  17. billybob says:

    they make a pretty good, quick burrito, and you write. what with all the software at your disposal, how did u manage to misspell two words in the early paragraphs? U don’t do ur thing correctly, how can u critique anyone else? look up ‘compliment’ in the dictionary; stop through at ‘than’ if u have a moment

  18. Judy Lipman says:

    While visiting our grandchildren in Denver, we were treated to a delicious lunch at Chipotle…..Upon our return to Boca Raton, Fl. we were thrilled to learn that there is a Chipotle on Glades Rd. just a few miles from our home in Century Village……..I would be happy to write about and promote CHIPOTLE in our condo newspaper THE REPORTER, which is delivered to over 8000 residents in season. My 2 monthly columns are “FOODS – FACTS – FICTION and MYTHCONCEPTIONS” and “A VEGETARIAN’S VIEWPOINT”.

    If at all possible I would appreciate receiving complimentary, introductory coupons, which I will be happy to offer to our readers as an inducement to try CHIPOTLE….If you need to reach me by phone (561) 487 4281…….BEST WISHES Judy Lipman

  19. Diana says:

    I don’t know what’s wrong with you, I love Chipotle, it’s healthy, all natural, and they have a vegetarian menu. You are the first person I know that does not like it.

  20. mom's in tucson says:

    Here in Tucson people are also excited about Chipotle. I don’t get it either. It’s kind of the Subway of the Mexican food world.

    Put everything you’d normally get on a plate with a burrito–the burrito, beans and rice, in one tortilla, and eat. But less control over what gets in each bite.

  21. Chipo Facts says:

    As an ex regional manager with Chipo, I just must put my 2 or 10 cents in on the subject, I can disagree with a number of things but, the food quality- wow:

    Chipotle’s food cost compares to that of most fine dining establishments because the QUALITY of their food is incredible. Naturally raised chicken, steak, and pork coming from family farms. Roma tomatos, no RGhB in the sour cream, amazing salsas the hot made from chile de arbol which is a very expensive, incredibly hot pepper (The Chile de Arbol rates between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville units on the heat index). The guacamole is made by hand- literally 3+ times per day, as are all the salsas. They do not have any freezers or microwaves either- everythign is fresh fresh, the chicken has a kill date on the packaging as it arrives- normally, the chicken was alive just 2-3 days prior to making it to the restaurant where it gets cooked within 2-3 days (what other restaurant “chain” can say that?). Everything from the avocados, onions, cilantro, lime juice- all of it is freshly prepared daily. Believe me, even as a regional manager I had been known to help chop onions, and pick oregano at 9am. Also, a little known fact is that this “Mexican” restaurant uses French cooking techniques- they never claim to be authentic Mexican- just damn good.

    That sick feeling some people may get is possibly from mixing too many items- less is more🙂 A basic carnitas burrito with rice, pinto beans, carnitas, roasted chili corn salsa, and a bit of cheese is mild and just FANTASTIC. Unless you want more kick, then maybe a steak burritto with black beans and hot salsa is your path.

    Anywho- different strokes for different folks but to compare Chipolte to Freebirds… ouch that killed me. I come from Austin where there are both and Freebirds, people- is a dump.

    Thanks and happy eating!

  22. Chipotle is amazing. I just love the food. It is fresh, healthy, and the taste is amazing.

  23. In Oct 2013, Subway.com provided 6 coupons. These vouchers stood for Junk food items.

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