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Chipotle Grill - Coming Soon To A Streetcorner Near You


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I'll piss on the party, and come right out and say it:

McDonald's!

The sodium content is horrific, and the food lacks depth and soul, though I admit to having enjoyed it in the past. Nevertheless, hidden salt often serves as the devil's mask.

I won't overstir this pot because I don't have anything so terrible to say about Chipotle Grill (just yet), but I do think a healthy degree of skepticism about the future is in order.

Look at this article. Can this level of care be exercised when the chain grows tenfold? Many years ago, I used to mail order my coffee beans from Starbucks in Seattle, and they were pretty darned good, too. What will happen when there's a Chipotle on every streetcorner? Dilution of quality? Inconsistency? Dumbed-down fare?

It's worth noting the long-term trends for an exercise in sociology.

Double, double, foil and trouble,
Rocks.

P.S. To avoid being labeled a nattering nabob of negativism, I enthusiastically concur with any recommendations of The Well-Dressed Burrito!

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GW students, including some good friends of mine, absolutely swear by Chipotle. Personally, I don't see it. It's alright...not great, but alright. I don't think it's worth the walk from campus: it takes me about 10 minutes one way, and I move quickly. It's the one over by Camelot. At that point, I'm passing The Burro and Baja Fresh, and then probably a dozen more qualified non-burrito lunch options. Hypothetically, of course...I never make that trip. I'd rather go to The Burro. There is a Chipotle across from Oyamel that I sometimes go to when I'm hung over (Obvously, that's a hangover that meets certain parameters to be motivated to walk over there). I guess that's not an all-together bad endorsement. "Chipotle: It's Sometimes Attractive Enough For Me To Forego Spaghetti-Os And Goldfish When I'm Really Hung Over". Even though I know my stomache is going to explode

You can do a lot worse. I just don't see the big deal.

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To pile on....

My own explorations of the sodium content of Chipotle provided for some interesting exchanges on eG.

The threat of expansion on quality that interests me isn't so much about Chipotle, but Niman Ranch(es), which CHipotle advertises using. How many ranches can they certify before the standards start slipping? Anyone notice any decline in their stuff? (For the record, you can get several Niman products at Whole Paycheck)

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GW students, including some good friends of mine, absolutely swear by Chipotle. Personally, I don't see it. It's alright...not great, but alright. I don't think it's worth the walk from campus: it takes me about 10 minutes one way, and I move quickly. It's the one over by Camelot. At that point, I'm passing The Burro and Baja Fresh, and then probably a dozen more qualified non-burrito lunch options. Hypothetically, of course...I never make that trip. I'd rather go to The Burro. There is a Chipotle across from Oyamel that I sometimes go to when I'm hung over (Obvously, that's a hangover that meets certain parameters to be motivated to walk over there). I guess that's not an all-together bad endorsement. "Chipotle: It's Sometimes Attractive Enough For Me To Forego Spaghetti-Os And Goldfish When I'm Really Hung Over". Even though I know my stomache is going to explode

You can do a lot worse. I just don't see the big deal.

Hey Chef Shogun:

If you're willing to walk all the way to the Chipotle by the Camelot, then you really ought to try the Well Dressed Buritto. It is in the alley across the street from CF Folks and the Palm, just up 19th a litte from Chipotle.
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Hey Chjef Shogun:

If you're willing to walk all the way to the Chipotle by the Camelot, then you really ought to try the Well Dressed Buritto.  It is in the alley across the street from CF Folks and the Palm, just up 19th a litte from Chipotle.

I'm not willing to walk all the way to Chipotle, but I'll give The Well Dressed Burrito a shot.

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I'll piss on the party, and come right out and say it:

McDonald's!

Yes, Chipotle is indeed owned by McDonald's. I've tried their stuff, and have never been terribly fond of it -- their tortillas always taste like the aluminum foil they're wrapped in.

I've had better luck with the offerings at Qdoba.

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To pile on....

The threat of expansion on quality that interests me isn't so much about Chipotle, but Niman Ranch(es), which CHipotle advertises using. How many ranches can they certify before the standards start slipping? Anyone notice any decline in their stuff? (For the record, you can get several Niman products at Whole Paycheck)

Bill has always been extremely careful about which ranches he uses. You can go on his website and see the profiles of the ranchers in the network, as well as read the protocols required to be a Niman Ranch hog farmer, how often they're inspected, etc. www.nimanranch.com. He stakes his reputation on the quality so let's hope that success (finally!) does not spoil it for this nice Jewish pig farmer.

Edited by crackers
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I read something about Niman's (in the WP this week? I'm having a "senior" moment). I would think they could succeed without the fast-food connection. Could be wrong about that. I am all for flavorful piggies raised in a "humane??" manner.

I went to Chipotle on the recommendation of SOMEONE, who shall remain nameless in his assless chaps, in our foodie circle. I have to say I was underwhelmed. Perhaps something without the rice and beans (black beans, no less) would be better, but I am not really willing to add to McD's coffers unless it is for something really special.

My bias against "Mexican" food has to do with my birth and long stay in El Paso. I am used to a type of food not found anywhere else. I would rather eat some other type of food than stuff I consider "inauthentic," IMHO. I never saw a black bean until I moved to DC. I realize that they are common throughout the Caribbean and Central America, among other places, but not on the Border.

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this place pisses me off because sometimes I'll get this amazingly overstuffed burrito that fills me up for hours and sometimes the mean burrito ladies will put barely enough in such that it even resembles a burrito.

If you are gonna put crap in a tortilla, you might as put a lot of crap in a burrito.

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I didn't feel it was right to post a reply on the board, but Don asked me (ok, begged) wink.gif to post anyway, even if I feel sheepish.

Bill Niman has been a family friend since I was a kid (not to date myself - or him-let's just say "several" decades) and my family has an adjoining ranch to his in Bolinas, CA. Some family members are also substantial financial backers of his business, so I'm not a neutral observer. But I do know that Bill has always been extremely careful about which ranches he uses. You can go on his website and see the profiles of the ranchers in the network, as well as read the protocols required to be a Niman Ranch hog farmer, how often they're inspected, etc. www.nimanranch.com

Since the family gets its meat directly from him I can't comment on the quality declining - but he stakes his reputation on the quality so let's hope that success (finally!) does not spoil it for this nice Jewish pig farmer.

Crackers,

Thanks for your response. For the record, I am a great admirer of most of the Niman products, especially the pork tenderloin (I don't really care for the bacon, but that's more a matter of personal taste than quality). I have indeed looked through the web site as part of my earlier investigation into Chipotle and appreciate the business model and the care that Niman puts into approving (for lack of a better term) ranchers to work with.

So, it's not so much ghoulish schadenfreude that causes me to ask the question, but a matter of wanting to keep something that I enjoy.

With Chipotle expanding so quickly, I fear that the choice inevitably will be for Bill to cut corners or cut Chipotle.

The purely selfish side of me would want him to cut Chipotle. I'm more than happy to pay the extra few bucks a pound that his vastly superior meat costs than buy the stuff from IBP. However, I would more than understand if the decision was to cut corners.

As always the conflict between art and commerce.

edit to correct acronym
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I do love the free parking, however, but I might pass up Oyamel for Chipotle or Jaleo next time...

Sat across the street from Oyamel tonight, outside in the open air. :lol: For me - Four crispy chicken tacos liberally doused with Tabasco. Two margaritas on the rocks. For the Mrs. - Three soft barbacoa tacos and a Negro Modelo.
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Sat across the street from Oyamel tonight, outside in the open air. :lol:   For me - Four crispy chicken tacos liberally doused with Tabasco.  Two margaritas on the rocks.  For the Mrs. - Three soft barbacoa tacos and a Negro Modelo.

A Negra Modelo makes everthing fantastic.

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Buy one get one free with this deal at Chipotle tomorrow.

Just went, and have a huge FYI for you all-- at the one I went to (19th and M) they had it set up so that the receipt machine faces the customer and it's up to you to take your receipt. While my coworker and I were in line, two people forgot to take their receipts from the printer and thus we both got not one free burrito, but two. Keep alert!

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Just went, and have a huge FYI for you all-- at the one I went to (19th and M) they had it set up so that the receipt machine faces the customer and it's up to you to take your receipt. While my coworker and I were in line, two people forgot to take their receipts from the printer and thus we both got not one free burrito, but two. Keep alert!

I walked by there about an hour ago and the line was wrapped around the corner on to 19th street. Never seen it that bad before.

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I walked by there about an hour ago and the line was wrapped around the corner on to 19th street. Never seen it that bad before.

Yeah, we waited exactly 30 minutes in line (we started at the corner). In the end I was happy with the way things worked out!

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Did the line wrap far enough to reach any of the other dozen or so eateries in that area that are superior to Chipotle? I love when stuff like that happens.

It was almost as far down as High Noon, which I consider vastly superior. The Greek Deli has a long line too, but that is worth the wait

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Yes, and this part is hilarious:

And most Chipotle Burritos are big enough for two meals: Just ask your server to wrap each half separately.

I can just imagine asking the nice ladies at the 19th & M location during the lunch rush to divide it in half and wrap the two halves separately. Half the time they're moving so fast I have to backtrack just to get both hot salsa and corn put on the thing.

The only time I can go without cheese and sour cream is on the barbacoa. That stuff's so good it doesn't need the extra flavor.

But today I think it'll be Au Bon Pain for soup instead. The line is so much shorter.

Edited by jm chen
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Over at the Society , I had a big debate with Steve Klc and Sam Kinsey about Chipotle. I had received a nutrition breakdown on request from them and was shocked at the fat and the sodium content.

Steve's position was that they are marketing "fresh not healthy". I thought he was full of it and that they blur the lines and market "fresh" as signifying healthy.

Kinsey was on the Steingarten worshipping "no link between sodium and blood pressure". Steingarten has pulled the old "all the dr's are lying. My group of researchers show no links". Both the AMA and the British Medical Association say that some hypertension is indeed not affected by salt, but there's no way of telling which cases. As long as that is the case, I'm going to follow their advice and watch my intake.

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Really?  A burrito bigger than my wife's Volkswagen has a lot of calories?

CSPI makes me tired.

They make me tired too, and my in-laws keep getting us a subscription to their newsletter.

Gee, sour cream isn't good for you? I would have never known that without their intrepid reporting. :P

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Some samples from the Panera web site -- here

RDA sodium - 2400 mg

Smokehouse Turkey Panini on Artisan Three Cheese

Serving Size: 11.35 oz Sodium: 2320mg

Calories: 670 Total Carbohydrate: 68g

Total Fat: 23g Dietary Fiber: 4g

Saturated Fat: 10g Sugars: 4g

Cholesterol: 50mg Protein: 47g

Frontega Chicken Panini

Serving Size: 14 oz Sodium: 2260mg

Calories: 860 Total Carbohydrate: 71g

Total Fat: 42g Dietary Fiber: 5g

Saturated Fat: 12g Sugars: 5g

Cholesterol: 110mg Protein: 49g

Sierra Turkey

Serving Size: 12.5 oz Sodium: 2360mg

Calories: 950 Total Carbohydrate: 71g

Total Fat: 55g Dietary Fiber: 4g

Saturated Fat: 13g Sugars: 4g

Cholesterol: 40mg Protein: 40g

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I've taken to going to Well Dressed Burrito. So much better! I even have a really snarky away message I use in those times. The phrase "Ventworm-nut-sucking Martian pig slop from Hell" comes up, as does a challange issued to "Deluded McDonald's burrito fanboys". Snarky away messages rule. Take THAT! :P

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Where sodium is concerned, ignorance is most definitely bliss. A friend of mine had to switch to a low sodium diet in order to control a medical condition. The poor guy is living on salads (hold the tomatoes, hold the cheese, well just hold everything!).

I can only speak for myself re: the hypertension/sodium issue. I should have sky high blood pressure based on my ridiculous love of salt, but instead it's low.

Life is weird. See you at Chipotle! And Panera too (yum, creamy chicken with rice soup).

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On the window of a Chipotle in Ballston was a sign with a quote from the owner/founder saying that everyone who eats at Chipotle should absolutely go see Food Inc., since that will give said patron a better appreciation of what Chipotle does (in terms of proper sourcing?).

I find these to be extremely at odds with the desires of Chipotle's parent...

PS - I had a barbacoa burrito bowl.

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