Do Chipotle burritos really suck as some burrito snobs would have us believe?

I quite enjoy our new local Chipotle, but some (see article below) think Chipotle product is not that good. I live in an area on the eastern shore of Maryland where there are decent Mexican restaurants but none are really what I would consider especially rigorously authentic or upscale.

So do Chipotle burritos suck or not?

A Chipotle Burrito Is Not an iPhone

They’re fine for what they are – A slightly upscale fast food Americanized burrito. No, they’re not the same as the burritos I’d get from the authentic Mexican greasy spoons around here but they don’t claim to be and sometimes I’m in the mood for one and sometimes I’d rather have the other.

I don’t care for them. Having gone there many, many times when I lived in the Mexican food mecca of Tucson, I never ordered one of their burritos. Rice doesn’t belong in burritos, for one thing. Their only real claim to fame is that they’re big, I think. Their burrito bowl, though- heaven. Yum.

But the Mission District in SF has AWESOME burritos. Good god, man, they are bigger than your head! La Taqueria mentioned in the piece is great.

I don’t mind a Chipotle burrito but then again I’m in the Seattle area these days.

Heathen. You just haven’t had the right one :). Chipotle’s is passable, but not particularly beguiling IMHO.

I don’t know what the article’s author is talking about, but this is the only way I’ve ever seen anyone eat a Chipotle burrito.

Unless he’s arguing that a Mission Burrito should not be lifted off the table when you eat it…

Shrug. I’ve had plenty of “authentic” burritos, hated all of them. I like Chipotole (I mostly can’t handle spice, and Chipotle’s beef is just spicy enough to add flavor without me hating it – I don’t even get salsa. My burrito is brown rice, black beans, steak, that’s it). I fully accept that to anybody who actually likes burritos they’re probably low-class plebeian food, but hey, whatever.

What, you don’t consider Plaza Tapatia to be authentic Mexican food? :slight_smile:

As a Californian exiled to DC, it’s taken me a while to come to terms with fact that if I want a burrito, I pretty much have to go to Chipotle. It’s not terrible or inedible or anything. It’s just not that good, and it’s pretty expensive for any burrito, mediocre or not.

What’s wrong with it? For one, the article is right about the packing. A good mission-style burrito is a neat, tight little package of food. You slowly peel down the foil and eat it bite by delicious bite. Chipotle burritos, on the other hand, are loose and sloppy. You feel down the foil, and you get juice and stuff dripping everywhere. A good burrito leaves the foil clean at the end, while at Chipotle I’ve always got a nasty puddle of bean sauce and the like leaking out of the end, and the last few bites are almost impossible to manage as the whole burrito seems to dissolve into an incoherent mess. It’s just not well crafted. It’s like going to Subway and getting the new sandwich cut that makes lettuce fall everywhere and your hands get stained with mustard.

Taste-wise, one major objection I have is that they do not melt the cheese. Typically, I’d expect cheese to be steamed along with the tortilla, creating a warm, gooey, flavorful bed for the beans. If I wanted to eat a handful of cold shredded cheese, I’d go to Taco Bell. Seriously, who wants to eat cold shredded cheese? I haven’t found any variety of Chipotle meat that I like. I’m not a huge meat eater, so I’ll give them a pass one that. But it all seems kind of dry and chewy. The beans are bland but edible, I pass on the rice (starch on starch?), some of their salsas are pretty good, and the guac is okay but again, bland. They put way too much rice and lettuce into the thngs- these should be side-notes to provide contrast, not the bulk of your burrito. They don’t have anything you can add to make an actually spicy burrito- I eat it with a bottle of tabasco sauce in hand, saucing each bite. Tabasco isn’t the right kind of heat for that purpose to begin with, and I can’t add it into the burrito because I’m afraid it will dissolve into incoherence if I unwrap it. Anyway, the whole package just doesn’t work together. Burritos are all about contrast- hot beans and cheese, cool sour cream and guac, a hint of crisp lettuce, spicy meat, chewy steamed tortilla…all in one delicious bite, with each bite just so slightly different in balance than the last. But a Chipotle burrito is just…saucy and incoherent.

Finally, it’s just too pricey. I want to pay $4.00 for a non-guac veggie burrito, up to $6 for meat with guac. When I go to Chipotle, I pay $6-$8.50 for a burrito. Burritos are fast food. They are a cheap lunch on the go. I really don’t want to pay dinner prices for some beans on a tortilla. To me, it’s like being asked to pay good money for a hot dog…I just don’t want to pay that.

No, they don’t suck. They are pretty good. I get one at least once a week. The mistake the snobs are making is that they are saying they aren’t completely authentic like that is the ultimate culinary transgression. It is a stupid argument that they make about lots of other somewhat Americanized ethnic foods as well. Where does Chipotle use the word 'Authentic" anywhere. They don’t. They just have simple menu of a few fairly high quality ingredients that has mass appeal to a diverse range of tastes. I have had real Mexican burritos a bunch of times. Some of them are great and some are just plain odd and greasy. A chain that served truly authentic Mexican food wouldn’t do nearly as well if it lasted at all.

Adequate but not extraordinary burrito. Luckily there are a thousand better places to eat within a few miles of my home.

I’m a native Californian. Chipotle is fine for what it is, and its a sight better than most other fast food. The ingredients are fresh and it tastes fine.

Now it is as good as an authentic burrito? Not by a long shot. But its as close as I can get where I live at the moment.

Chiptole’s ok. I mean, as an attempt to sell an East-LA style burrito, it’s horrible, but in and of itself, it’s fine. And Chipotle doesn’t claim to sell an “authentic East LA” style burrito anyway so the comparison is ridiculous (didn’t it originate in Denver?). As far as fast food that’s still relatively low carb, it’s one of the better options out there, you can’t beat the fajita bowl with lettuce, meat, onions/peppers & salsa.

I find that locations can vary quite a lot in how skillfully the meat is prepared. There was one near my law school that did the shredded pork very well. But I’ve had some pretty dry pork in other locations.

It’s a bit expensive for what it is, but getting a burrito, even vegetarian, for $4 on the East Coast in a sit-down environment, is a pipe dream. That’s super cheap even for a taco truck that doesn’t pay rent (here in Queens, a mexican-style taco from a cart with meat, onions and lime on a soft corn tortilla, is $2.50, and it’s only about 5 bites.)

It is what it is. The saving grace is that their Texas fajita can feed two adults and still have some left to take home.

I live in an area with outstanding authentic Mexican food and Chipotle is not that. They somewhat recently opened one near my yoga studio so I go there from time to time because it’s easy, somewhat healthy, tasty and filling after a workout.

There are burrito snobs now? Christ’s wounds.

Everyone I know seems to go for the bowl now. The ingredients are tasty, but jamed into the big tortilla the ingredients tend not to get distributed evenly. I love sour cream, but usually as a supplement to other flavors. When I get to the layer of only sour cream, I feel like an opportunity is being missed.

Chipotle’s fine, especially as far as fast food goes. I’m not a big fan–I find their offerings bland for my tastes. And I don’t like burritos. They are just overstuffed messes of a dish, in my experience. Give me a taco any day. I have never had a burrito I really loved.

I adore Chipotole, I always get the bowl (no tortilla). Steak, rice, 2 scoops pico, extra lettuce, guac/hot salsa on the side.

As far as fast food goes Chipotle is fine. But at least while at home in the San Francisco Bay Area I can think of dozens of places I would go to.

The people around here who stand in a 20 minute line during lunch for Chipotle confuse me. As to the people willing to wait 45 minutes for P.F. Chang’s when there is so much good Chinese food around here.

I don’t contest that people can like those things, I just can’t fathom thinking them so much better to wait in long lines when there are so many other quality options nearby.

I’ve never heard of a burrito place that doesn’t put rice in their burritos.