Chipotle Mexican Grill | 1497 3rd Ave. (bet. 84th & 85th Sts.) | 646.998.8241 | | |
[mappress mapid="154"]

I WASN'T FULLY AWARE OF how huge, wide, and popular a chain the Chipotle Mexican Grill was until I started to see previews for NBC's new competitive reality show, America's Next Great Restaurant. Among the show's judges (which include the photogenically charming Aussie Curtis Stone and the evermore ubiquitous Bobby Flay) is Steve Ells, the founder, chairmen, and co-CEO of what the Wall Street Journal has argued to be "the country's most successful fast-food chain", using more "sustainable" foods and food preparations in an effort to make tasty, healthier food that was more affordable and accessible to the mainstream diner.

As kismet would have it, in what seemed like the same week the show premiered, a Chipotle opened two blocks away from my apartment. And having never been to a Chipotle, I took this late afternoon—after the lunch rush—to visit the place myself.

After these quick snapshots I was alerted by three staff members that they don't allow photography inside there their restaurants. I thought that was odd and somewhat unwise since I made me react with the curiosity of what could they possibly be trying to hide.

But I stuck around to watch them prep the tacos and burritos of the customers before me, all before I ordered myself a carnitas (braised pork) burrito with rice, black beans, cheese, mild tomatillo-green chili salsa, and lettuce. I was still hot by the time I got it home.

And it was quite good! Lots of flavor, great textures, juicy pork, toothsome black beans, crisp lettuce; it all worked together surprisingly well—and not just for fast food—and was plentiful enough to excuse the $8 price tag (over $10 with the addition of guacamole).

So now I now what a Chipotle is, and am quite glad that I do. Especially since it will more often than not keep me out of the Micky D's that it boldly opened up right next to!

Bun Apple Tea!


Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Chipotle Mexican Grill | 1497 3rd Ave. (bet. 84th & 85th Sts.) | 646.998.8241 | | |