For a steak taco, Chipotle’s a treat

My dear wife Karen and I have been shuffling the Chipotle gift card in the drawer of gift cards for months now.

It came up a winner this weekend.

Destination, DeWitt.

Destination, DeWitt.

Mexican, please.

Mexican, please.

We pulled in off Erie Boulevard East in DeWitt, and I wondered why we hadn’t gone in a couple of years since this snazzy looking place opened a couple of years ago. Looks sharp on the outside, it does.

Simple menu.

Simple menu.

Fast service.

Fast service.

We each ordered two steak tacos with medium sauce. I asked for cheese and sour cream on mine; Karen chose cheese and guacamole.

Our meal.

Our meal.

I upped my ante with a side of their chips, with salsa. My drink was unsweetened iced tea while Karen had bottled water.

We ate at one of the spacious shiny metal inside tables. It was cloudy with maybe even a drop or two falling from the gray sky, but some people were eating at the outdoor table in the almost 70ยบ F temperatures.

Yes, better than Taco Bell. I did notice and appreciate the sign that declared that the chain had phased out any genetically modified foods, though that issue is not at the front of my mind.

No, not quite as good Ponchito’s, the independent place not a mile from the Little Bitty in Eastwood.

It began to come back to me perhaps why it had been two years since we’d been to Chipotle.

It took $20 of our $25 gift card to pay of our meal. I went home with a third of a bag of the chips, too.

Have you eaten at a Chipotle, and if so, what do you think of its food compared to other Mexican places? What’s your favorite Mexican meal? Hot, medium or mild sauce and salsa?

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61 thoughts on “For a steak taco, Chipotle’s a treat

  1. this sounds good and has now made me crave mexican food again. for cheap mexican, i love taco bell, and other than that, the local independents. with all that being said – this does sound good….

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  2. We have a great Mexi place in our town, but when Chipotle opened–finally! we all gasped–it was SRO with lines out the door for the first two weeks, complaints from nearby businesses and neighbors in an adjacent residential area about parking–people filling up the lot at the bank, parking on people’s lawns. Crazy. We like Chipotle a lot–it’s a blessing for travel, when time is short, for folks who can’t face golden arches or leering cartoon kings–but after this last visit I realized that I’d built it up in my mind to the point where a perfectly tasty quick lunch was a little disappointing. Funny how that works.

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  3. Yeah, we did Chipotle once. The food was pretty quality but I remember I got a salad and was upset that I’d have to pay extra for guacamole. I don’t really like Taco Bell or Del Taco. This was better, but I’ll take El Pollo Loco over any of them any time. It’s a moot point anyway because my daughter didn’t like it. I think it was a little too authentic Mexican for her 8 year old tastes buds, which is to say, no kids menu with nuggets and mac n’ cheese.

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  4. You might think me a… what’s the word? all I can think of is highfalutin jackass as far as eating goes, but Chipotle looks like a fast food joint and I really don’t do fast food Mark.

    Glad you’re enjoying weather in the 70s, a few short weeks ago, I thought the snow madness would never end for you. โค
    Diana xo

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  5. I have been to a Chipotle once in Albuquerque, NM. We don’t have one here. It was okay but nothing to dance about. However, I do like the Chipotle seasoning and use it in my Chile. (It is just the type of seasoning and not from the restaurant). As far as Taco Bell, I am lovin’ the Chilupas they are making now. Yum yum

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  6. We don’t have Chipotle here in Ottawa. I do like Taco Bell. And when I do eat Mexican (which isn’t often)it can’t be spicy – which is why I don’ eat it much.

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  7. Hi Mark! I love Chipotle! I eat there at least 1 or 2 times a week. They actually fit into a category known as “fast casual food,” not fast food. I applaud their efforts in placing importance on their food quality – organics, grass fed beef, non GMO, animals raised humanely and without antibiotics, etc. Although not perfect in all of these areas, they are trying in a very difficult market to promote more informed and ethical decisions on food. They are also signed with the Fair Food Program which promotes fairness to farm workers. Working in health education, these things are very near and dear to my heart and the work that I do! I only eat chicken bowls there with brown rice, black beans, grilled veggies, lettuce and guacamole though – no cheese, sour cream or chips…I’m just no fun at all when it comes to food! Can you tell I’m just a tad passionate about this? lol

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    • As always, Kelly, I admire your passion for all things. I knew back in the recesses that Chipotle was founded around and adhered to nutritional, economic and cultural missions. Thanks for pointing all three out here, my friend. I think that’s fun, by the way, your eye on the prize.

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  8. Looks like you are having a great time there Mark. I’ve no idea if we have Chipotle in the UK. Your story did remind me of an impromptu birthday meal recently where everyone ended up contributing to the meal. My friend Pete who was visiting from New Mexico made some amazing Guacamole, refried beans and tortillas.

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  9. I greatly prefer a sit-down restaurant and not a chain (I did note your reference to the better, independent restaurant). In Georgia there were many good Mexican places, although my all time favorite is up north in Norfolk, NY (natives pronounce it “Nor-fork”), Hotel Grande, which Steven and I went to almost every Friday when we lived in Norwood. Ah, I miss that place.

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  10. I LOVE that they avoid GMOs, but I must say, I’ve still never been, lol!
    We have one not too far, but if we want Mexican, we go to our lil local family owned place — they know us well. We eat there many a Friday ๐Ÿ™‚
    Maybe one day we’ll choose it on a roadtrip, but I doubt we’ll choose it here at home.

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  11. I go when others want to go. It’s ‘okay’ . I like spicy. But it doesn’t really seem authentic to me. But to be fair to authentic, I am pretty sure I have never really had authentic….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  12. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in lots of cities big enough to support authentic Mom-and-Pop ethnic restaurants and it’s made me a bit of a snob. Like your near-by place, I just like the food in those locally owned places better. It’s been so long since someone dragged me to a Chipotle all I can remember is being very underimpressed… Didn’t know the stuff about their attempts at healthier ingredients so they get a couple of points for that. I’m not big on chains in general and when it comes to ethnic I generally stick exclusively to those small independent places unless I’m meeting someone who insists on a chain place.

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  13. Well, of course, Chipotle isn’t really Mexican food, any more than Taco Bell, but I call in my to go lunch order once every couple of weeks and walk the few blocks from my house. I usually get the veggie salad, sometimes with extra guacamole. Once in a while I change it up and order two or three chicken or veggie tacos. I could live on guacamole and I have to hand it to them, they do make the good stuff. I like that they only buy humanely raised animal meat (chicken, pork or beef) and yes, I do care that they are GMO-free. Without even going into the dark side of GMO itself, GMO crops are sprayed with a pesticide that is banned in Europe. Chipotle has raised the bar for many other fast food chains in my area that have now gotten the message… good for them.

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  14. We eat Mexican food at least twice a week, and I prefer to be waited on, and I prefer my chips and salsa FREE, as they are at most Mexican restaurants. I did like Chipotle years ago, when I could get the tacos for $4.99. We have a brand new Chipotle nearby, and they upped the price to $7 something. I like the choices of meat, the black beans, the bell pepper and onion, and it’s certainly a healthier option than Taco Bell, which only adds water to their beans and doesn’t cook their food in-house, for the most part. My son, two months ago, asked to go to Chipotle for his bday. We explained that it’s just a shopping center hole-in-the-wall, and he could go ANYWHERE for his bday, but no. He wanted Chipotle. And we went, and it was fine. But we still had to throw our own trash away. And it still was pricey for a chain order-at-the-counter place. And the worst part for him was, they were out of carnitas “indefinitely.”

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    • I think they are great when compared downward to fast food, not so great when compared upward to indie restaurants, and pricier because they actually take care to serve heatlhier food options. I’m sorry your birthday boy did not get his carnitas. That’s a bummer on his big day, Kerbey.

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  15. Pingback: Four avocados, three limes and a bunch of coriander | radicalrumblings

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