Archive for 'Chipotle'

How to Get Two Chipotle Burritos For the Price of One on Every Visit (An Addendum to the Now Famous ‘Apartment List’ Hack)


There is nothing more I love than a good Chipotle hack.  Sure, I’ve had problems in the past with their burrito construction, and called bullshit on their calorie counts, and their off the menu “quesarito”. But I also see a lot of the good in Chipotle, and none of my past run-ins have deterred me from wanting to find a personal go-to order. Aka, the perfect combination of items that will finally get me to embrace Chipotle, with no caveats.  And this week, I’m proud to say, I think I’ve finally found that order. It started with this incredible Chipotle hack article by my new hero Dylan Grosz on a website called Apartment List.  In it he details, with a FiveThirtyEight level of scientific analysis, how to get Chipotle to give you 86% more food than you would get in a normal burrito for the same price as a normal burrito.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a read… but the gist of it is this: get half and half of everything in a bowl (half black beans/half pinto beans, half white rice/half brown rice, half chicken/half steak) plus all the free add ons, including corn and fajita vegetables, and you end up getting way more food than what goes into a normal burrito.  And the best part is, they’ll give you a tortilla (in fact two tortillas) for free so you can roll your own burrito. I went to check this out for myself, with one major change at the end that solidifies this as not only the best Chipotle hack in the history of Chipotle hacks.  But possibly the best fast food hack ever invented. (Can you see where I’m going with this?)

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Shophouse is the Best Asian Fast Food Concept Ever Launched by a Major Corporation (Sorry Panda Express!)


Even though the myth of Momofuku has made its way from New York to the west coast, did you know that Ssam Bar, the second and arguably most popular restaurant in David Chang’s empire, was originally a burrito joint? In 2006, following the runaway success of Momofuku Noodle Bar, Chang went the fast casual route- opening Ssam Bar as a Chipotle style burrito cafeteria in the East Village.  There were flour tortillas and rice, but instead of carnitas there was pork belly. Roasted veggies were replaced by kimchi, and the “salsa” was Korean red bean paste.  Keep in mind this was a full 2 years before Roy Choi started stuffing tacos with short ribs and quesadillas with kimchi.   In other words, it was genius.  Sadly I might have been the only one who thought so, and Ssam Bar was quickly converted into the restaurant it is today.

But those Asian burritos left a mark on me, and I hoped one day that Chang would avenge his detractors by relaunching his only failed concept. A concept I believe in with all my fat encased heart.  Of course that is probably never going to happen, but when Chipotle first announced a few years ago that they’d be launching their own Asian concept called Shophouse, I found myself getting a little bit excited.

Midtown Lunch’s relationship with Chipotle has been quite the roller coaster ride.  Their burritos go against everything I believe a great burrito should be, and we won’t even talk about quesarito-gate.  But their work with Jamie Oliver and commitment to using sustainable and well sourced ingredients made me into a reluctant cheerleader.  But could Shophouse turn me into a true fan? Could this be the lunchtime, Asian burrito I had been hoping for?!

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How is it that Nobody Has Called BS on Chipotle’s Quesarito?

We interrupt your regularly schedule Midtown Lunch programming to bring you a quick rant on a current off the menu item at Chipotle sweeping the blogosphere this month

Please do not take photos of the crime we are about to commit…

My relationship with Chipotle has been a well documented lunchtime roller coaster ride.  They were one of the very first places I wrote about when I started Midtown Lunch almost 7 years ago, and my disbelief over how much people in Midtown loved them led to the creation of my Ultimate Burrito Theory (and how it related to Chipotle sucking.)   A year later we uncovered the absurd voodoo economics behind Chipotle’s listed calorie counts, and that was it.  Chipotle was dead to me.

Fast forward to last year, when my love of Jamie Oliver and hatred of fast and cheap McFrankenfoods caused to me to reassess my  intense dislike of Chipotle.  While I still don’t love the food, I now really appreciate what they are doing in the fast food world. And  acknowledge that if more fast food chains took their lead, the world would be a much better place.  And it was under the banner of this truce that I heard about… THE QUESARITO.  An off the menu Chipotle burrito wrapped in a quesdilla!?!

How could I not?

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