After a delay in opening (the original opening date was in September), Chipotle is finally joining the downtown core serving up healthy casual Mexican fare. In keeping with their slogan of Food With Integrity, Chipotle uses locally-sourced organic ingredients and meats without antibiotics or added hormones. They also hand-mash their guacamole in-house, making it worth the extra $2.21.
Being the first day in business, it was busy with a long lineup as expected. A lot of people were probably ordering to go because there were still many seats available. I was impressed with how smoothly the place is managed especially considering that it’s their first day. We were immediately greeted with a friendly staff that explained the menu to us. And after about 10 minutes, it was already our turn to place our orders, just the speed downtown needs!
Carnitas Burrito ($8.95) – 2.5/5
“Flour tortilla, cilantro-lime rice, black beans, tomatillo-red chili salsa, sour cream, cheese”
The carnitas is seasoned with a mix of thyme, bay, juniper berries and pepper and braised to tenderness. It’s the only choice of meat that is not spicy at all so I picked their spicy salsa to make up for it. The ingredients melded well together, with plenty of juices from the carnitas, salsa, sour cream and some ooey-gooeyness from the melting cheese. I would’ve preferred some stronger flavors overall and a stronger presence of lime flavors. I’d probably pick another type of salsa next time because it sounds like they have more ingredients like cilantro or corn at play rather than straight up spiciness from the chili.
Barbacoa Soft Tacos ($8.95) – N/A
“Soft flour tacos, tomatillo-green salsa, sour cream, romaine lettuce”
I only tried two bites of this, not enough to give it a rating but I did like it more than the Carnitas Burrito. I found it fresher-tasting, with more citrusy and lighter which makes a great choice for lunch. It is a bit messy to eat though with the saucy barbacoa, but hey, moist is much better than dry!
All in all, quality ingredients and good textures. Perfect with a little more oomph in the flavour department!