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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  • 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.

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

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

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

  • 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.)

  • Pompano is definetely on my list of places to go…

  • 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.

  • 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)

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

  • Yaa!

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

  • 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!

  • Please take Chipotle (and yucky Burritoville) OFF of the Mexican section in your Restaurant Index! We all know that Chipotle isn’t Mexican food.

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