How do you Chipotle?

I have a love hate relationship with the burritos at Chipotle.  It works like this.  I love burritos.  I hate Chipotle.  It’s been a full year since I stepped foot in a Chipotle, and it was a year ago this week that I vowed not to return for complete year.  I’m addicted to burritos, and I knew that unless I forced myself into some kind of challenge, I would end up giving in to my burrito craving, and going back to Chipotle- knowing full well that it just sucks.  Or I should say, it always disappoints.

Here’s part of the problem.  I spent the two years before moving to New York, living in Los Angeles.  No shortage of good burritos in that city.  Every little tiny hole in the wall on every corner made an amazing burrito.  And so cheap too.  None of this $1.75 to add guacamole to your burrito buuuuullshit.  It’s a crime against humanity. 

Before that I lived in Boston, where you could depend on places like Boca Grande or Anna’s Taqueria…almost as good as the greatest burrito I’ve ever had (which was at Garcia’s, a little bit south of San Francisco, btw).  What have I done to deserve being stuck in the most Burrito challenged city in the country???  We have figured out how to serve Jerk Chicken from a sidewalk, Pizza from a truck and Korean food from everywhere… and yet making a good, cheap burrito seems to elude this city.

It’s not that Chipotle is a chain either.  I often revelled in the joy of a Baja Chicken Burrito from Baja Fresh, easily my goto lunch while working in L.A.  That burrito, which was the same price as the cheapest burrito at Chipotle (i.e. the one with no meat), came with guac already in it.  And they had a free salsa bar.  But you know what?  This isn’t about Baja Fresh.  This is about Chipotle.  I have my theory on burritos, and why Chipotle’s aren’t that good- but I’m going to give it one more chance.  Obviously there are alot of you who love Chipotle.  The lines, especially at the one at the bottom of my building (49th btw. 6+7th), border on ridiculous.  So here’s your chance to convince me.

I’m going to eat at Chipotle for the first time in a year, and I want to know what to get.  I love carnitas, but the first two times I ate there, I got carnitas and I didn’t like my burrito.  I thought, “Maybe carnitas isn’t their thing” and switched it up to chicken the next time.  Still no good.  What’s your secret?  Is the Fajita burrito the way to go?  Which kind of beans do you get?  Which salsa?  Do you have to suck it up, and pay for the $1.75 guacamole for the burrito to be good?  Cheese?  Sour cream?  What’s the magical combo that causes a person to be willing to wait in line for 30 minutes, just for the privilege of buying an overpriced burrito that couldn’t hold a candle to anything you’d get in California.

Let’s hear it.  Post your recommendation as a comment below.  You have to understand, I desperately want (and need) Chipotle to be good.  It’s like a drug addict wishing that methodone made him feel the same way as heroin.  Please help me.  I need to figure out a way to shoot up Chipotle, and make it feel like I’m eating a burrito that doesn’t taste like crap.  If not, I may end up in some gutter mumbling about “Carnitas Super Burritos”, and $1.75 guacamole.


  • I hate their guac. They put something in there that makes my taste buds say, “this does not taste right.”

    I mix the salsas. a little pico, some of the corn…

  • I dislike Chipotle because of how the place smells. The odor of the meat wafting out of Chipotle makes my stomach turn. It smells toxic to me.

    On the occasions where I have eaten there, the burritos haven’t been half bad, not amazing…but just mediocre.

    I suggest bringing your own bottle of hot sauce…something from, not tobasco, and using that to kick it up a notch.

  • I think Bread Market Cafe burritos are quite good. I don’t know any self respecting burrito lover who puts plantains in a burrito.

    Why don’t you just subtitute with Indian burritos? The cart on 46th now makes them with lamb also. If you go early, you get more meat.

  • Best burrito is at Burrito Box. Granted 9th is a bit far for lunch, but you can go after work.

  • The best deal at Chipotle is a vegetarian burrito with black beans and onions and peppers, fresh tomato and chile corn salsas, guacamole, and sour cream. No, it doesn’t contain any meat, but the guac is included into the price already.

  • Chipotle was good til McDonalds bought it. Now they use the same nasty meat that McD’s uses which is why their quality is low. Your b asically payin 7 bucks for a tortilla filled with rice.

  • I live in SoCal, and Chipotle is the thing to eat around here, let me tell you. Honestly, I despise Baja Fresh (so you might disregard this altogether), but as an avid Chipotle eater of about 3 years…
    I LOVE:
    burrito bol
    double steak
    no beans
    hot salsa
    sour cream
    extra cheese
    and lettuce

    I don’t think of it as Mexican food, but as Chipotle. It is unique and soo good.

  • p.s. i don’t know why no on else here recommended steak- it’s so good, very spicy with a good texture, and so popular at my local Chipotle that I usually have to wait while they make more…
    worth it though =)

  • That place sucks. There’s no if’s and’s or but’s about it.
    Just go a rung down the ladder and settle for Taco Bell. I mean, at least the “Grilled Stuffed Burrito” is disgusting…yet delicious in a “God I hate myself” kind of way.

    Oh, and pray to the food gods that you get a Qdoba down there. That’ll fix everything.

  • Forget Baja Fresh or Chipotle in LA…..if you want good Burrito there, you gotta go to Lucy’s. Their burrito is totally different but works (fried egg, meat and potato – you can add extras like rice, guacomolo, salsa. Plus its really cheap and quality is pretty good). Its near LAX and they make the best burrito in SoCal. Its comes a close second to Ana’s in Boston.

    As for chipotle, its no good. Should try Pompano instead. Make sure you get their Alhambre because they had melted cheese on the burrito which makes it extra good.

  • I have a problem with the way most of the employees slop globs of the toppings on the burrito, so you sometimes get a bite of all sour cream — yuck. So I get the bol and stir everything together. Mixing the salsas is a good idea too. I like the corn for a smokey flavor and one of the red ones for tomatoes.

  • After reading the comments so far, I can say that I will never attempt to try Chitpotle for fear of destroying my taste buds from something I cherish so dearly, the burrito. I’ve been away from the US for two years now, so I have been lucky not to be victimized from the marketing gimicks of this joint. Let me tell you for the wasted dollars you guys spend on Chitpotle, it may be better to muster up a few more and make trip up to what I call Boston’s Holy Trinity.
    Here’s what you do, either rent a car or take a bus on Friday night and head towards Allston, MA. Engulf yourself into a heavy night of drinking at either Our House or Harper’s Ferry. To kill your hangover on Saturday morning, trudge over to Pho Pasture (I heard the name changed), for lunch its Anna’s Taqueria, and for dinner it’s Rod Dee.
    I guarantee you will not regret this trip to the Holy Trinity…

  • Chpotle has a pretty good burrito but you should check out Pancheros Mexican Grill. They haven’t gotten all over yet, but they are coming

  • I am no burrito expert, but my favorite Chipotle meal is the Burrito Fajita (peppers/onions) Bowl with chicken, rice, corn, mild (pico de gallo), sour cream.

    Chips and guac on the side, and some guac used for the burrito bowl.

    Small drink – half iced tea, half lemonade.

    You can’t go wrong.

    Love also the route 66 at Burritoville and the Cuban style burrito at mexican restaurant in Worlwide Plaza.

  • After having a very relaxing vacation for 2 1/2 months, i really needed to find a job to pay for my college and living expenses. I put applications everywhere. Now i find myself working at chipotle. I guess the only reason why im staying is because of the pay, otherwise i would leave in a heart beat.
    Personally, i dont like the food at all. I eat here everyday and it grosses me out. The rice to me isnt “mexican rice”, its too bold to even have in a burrito. Its just like baja fresh, white washed. The only thing I could stand eating at lunch time is 2 soft steak tacos. The chicken to me has no flavor, the steaks texture throws me off, but i find myself eating it over anything else. One thing i must say, EVERYTHING is fresh, not one thing is prepaid, nothing is frozen, everything you eat from there is fresh.
    I mean, i know im probably like 1 out a zillion who dont like chipotle, but if you grew up eating the best mexican food ever, then you really cant scoop down to the level of chipotle.

  • This is an old thread, but I have to weigh in on Chipotes.

    I get a chicken fajita burrito with extra vegetables, corn salsa, pico, lettuce, a little cheese and sour cream. The key is a good squeeze of lime on your chips and your burrito—it just tastes fresher. I think beans muck up a burrito, unless you’re having a bean burrito.

    It’s also nice to get a margarita that you can smuggle out and have in the park or on the subway. I’ve actually ordered my meal to go and a margarita “for the dining room…cuz I’m waiting for a friend here.” (Sometimes they ask and it’s best to have your story ready.)

    One thing that disgusts me about Chipotle on 42nd between 5th and 6th is the grill vents right onto the sidewalk. It smells like you’re walking into aerated slurry and it’s really unappetizing. I’ve gone there, intent on having food, and ended up just passing by.

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