Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chipotle Sets the Standards and We All Benefit

Eric and Neil were in the mood for a little Mexican. 
Sometimes, I like some Mexican mole myself...sí, sí!  
(I'm talking about the sauce, of course.)

      Steve Ells, the founder and CEO of Chipotle, attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and moved to San Francisco to pursue his career.  Visits to little taquerias in the Mission District put him on a slightly twisted track.  The peasant food inspired him to open the first Chipotle Mexican Grill 18 years ago this month on
Evans Avenue in Denver near the University of Denver.  Named after a smoked and dried jalapeño pepper, the restaurant was an instant success.  

      I met Eric a couple of weeks ago at the Chipotle in Highland Heights, KY.  Like all of the venues, customers move along a serving line where the simple menu comes to life.  You can choose from burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, and salads that are filled with chicken, pork, beef, or vegetarian and topped with selected ingredients.  There are gourmet touches: rice with cilantro and lime juice; chopped serranos, cilantro, and marinated red onions in the guacamole; romaine lettuce, rather than the typical iceberg.  Best of all, Chipotle is committed to "Food with Intregrity" which partners them with ranchers and farmers dedicated to raising livestock and growing produce using responsible, respectful, and sustainable techniques.  That means the food tastes better, and we can all feel less guilty.  

Burrito Bowl
On that particular night, we decided to both have the Burrito Bowl made with grilled chicken and black beans on a bed of cilantro-lime rice and topped with chili-corn salsa, jack and white cheddar cheese, and romaine lettuce.  There's a large selection of drinks from fountain to trendy bottled teas, juices, and sodas.  

The interiors are all urban industrial chic, the look that started with the very first restaurant.  It was a perfect temperature evening so we opted to dine in the outdoor space.  All was good...prompt preparation, fresh ingredients, and pleasant surroundings.  It's a hard place not to like.

Chipotle on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Glogirly and Katie said...

We LOVE the bowls @ Chipotle. And Gloman loves the Coke Zero on tap. Yup, we're fans.
(Glogirly's Cat and Puddy's Friend)