Ah, Chipotle, also known as Hipster Crack. I haven't been to a Chipotle in over 15 years. I have a handful of friends who work for and love this company to death and still I don't go. Well, I figured it was time to see what the fuss was all about. As I've said, it's been 15 years since I went to a Chipotle and I don't remember anything from the experience. But I've had a $15 gift card in my dresser for almost 2 years now, so I figured it was time. Hopefully, the card was enough to cover the bill.
So, I went to the Chipotle in the Brea Mall Food Court. For those of you who don't know anything about Chipotle, it's like the Subway of Mexican Food, except they are big on farm fresh, sustainable, organic, no gmo, etc... food. As I stood in a decent but not scary line, I tried to figure out the menu. By the time I got to the first girl, I still had no idea what to get. So, I defaulted: burrito. According to the website, you can also get various style tacos, bowls, or salads. For the meat, I got steak. I didn't even notice I could get barbacoa or sofritas. The girl with the big smile serving me must have thought me boring. I'll note right here that all of the employees were super friendly and smiling. Then the girl asked me if I wanted to white or brown rice. I had to ask her to repeat herself because it was loud in there and also because both rices appeared to be white. I went white. Time to move on down the line. Then I was asked if I wanted black or pinto beans. I dig hard on black beans, so that's what I ordered. No one mentioned that I could get fajita veggies. And dang, that sounds good right now. The next guy asked if I wanted hot or mild sauce. This chile head ordered hot. Then he asked what else I would like, so I looked down at what he had. I probably should've surveyed better but I felt rushed, not by the employees or the other customers, just the overall atmosphere. So, I said sour cream. He obliged with what looked like milk. Oh yuck. "Anything else", he asked. I answered with some of that pico de gallo stuff over there. Hopefully, it would kill that not so good looking sour cream.
It should be noted, that a few weeks before my visit, Chipotle had a huge e coli scare in some of it's restaurants. I don't know the details, but I was checking out the place anyways. No fear here. Even as I type this, they just had another outbreak in Boston.
On to the rolling girl. I've never seen a burrito rolled into a square. I thought it very strange. I'm only mildly exaggerating.
Next up was the smiling cashier. She asked me something I could not hear. This happened the whole time in the line, not just the one time I mentioned. I may be getting old; plus the food court noise did not help. She gave me a total and I asked for a beverage, so she gave me a new total. Maybe that's what she asked me? Okay, burrito and drink for under $11. Not too bad if it tastes amazing.
It did not. It was completely average. First off, although I sat down and ate right away, it was lukewarm, not even near to hot. The burrito had no flavor, mostly due to the steak being bland and tasteless, not even a char flavor. The salsa was exactly what you'd expect in flavor and heat level from a major chain restaurant. It was probably the best thing in there. The rice and beans were just there, not really taking part in the flavorless profile. And I was still scared of the sour cream. So, yes, it was completely meh.
And the best was about to come. I hope you've seen the Chipotle episode of "South Park". It's awesome and all of the people who eat at Chipotle bleed out of their asses and still go back for more. Low and behold, I had diarrhea the next day. I guess I had that coming. Don't ignore the warning signs kids.
Overall, Chipotle has a nice image, forward thinking policies and what appears to be, very happy and awesome employees. But if your food isn't safe and on point, all of that other stuff doesn't matter. Now I only have one issue: what do I do with the rest of this gift card?
Music, Food, Hockey, and Society through the eyes of a misanthrope named Quez Def.