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Chipotle dreamin’. August 25, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. For years now, our friend Ben and I have read about a chain of restaurants called Chipotle (actually, Chipotle Mexican Grill) that supposedly featured healthy Southwest-style food. We love Mexican food, and the thought of a chain of healthy, organic Mexican restaurants literally made our mouths water. But living as we do in the precise middle of nowhere, PA, look hopefully as we might, we couldn’t find one anywhere. No luck on our travels, either. Rats!

Then, this past Monday, my friend Huma asked if I’d like to come with her to Reading, the largest town in the area, to visit her son Rashu, who’d just started college there. Turns out, there’s a Chipotle right across the road from his campus, so we went there for lunch. At last, a chance to see what all the excitement was about!

Not much, as it turned out. But this wasn’t Chipotle’s fault, it was mine for building it up in my imagination based on the glowing reviews. The food was fresh, the staff was informative, cheerful, and helpful—not to mention patient with a clueless first-timer—and there was an obvious effort to be as clean and green as possible.

So why was I disappointed? Simple: I’d expected a restaurant, maybe the Mexican version of Applebee’s. Instead I found a fast-food joint, more like the Mexican equivalent of Subway. I have nothing against Subway—OFB and I often stop there and split a veggie sub as a midday break when we’re traveling—but I would never choose to go there as a dining destination.

I’d say the same for Chipotle. Oh, yes, I’d way rather eat there than in, say, McDonald’s or Taco Bell. But we don’t eat at places like that anyway, so it’s not a question of either-or for us. We’ve found wonderful, unique Mexican restaurants in our travels, from Jalisco in Front Royal to Rancho Viejo in Troutville, VA to Montezuma Mexican Restaurant in Chambersburg, PA. And given a choice, you can bet we’ll be choosing them. 

So, Chipotle, keep on keeping on. I wish you well! Sorry I blew you so out of proportion.

               ‘Til next time,




1. Becca - August 25, 2011

😦 I thought I had read years ago that Chipotle was owned by McDonald’s???

Shriek, Becca, what alarming news! Rushing to Wikipedia, I saw that McDonald’s had, indeed, held a major shareholder stake in Chipotle, then “divested” it in 2006, returning full ownership to its founder. For what that’s worth!

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