02 June 2012

Edina: Chipotle

Good ol' Chipotle.  Or, as people over forty like to call it, "Chipolte," or alternately, "Chipotl."*  We all know it, some of us love it, and the rest of us hate cilantro.  Yes.  If you don't know it already, you pretty much have to be okay with cilantro in order to eat this food.

Some interesting tidbits about Chipotle include:

  • The first Chipotles outside Colorado were opened in Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio in 1999.
  • In 2009, Steve Ells (Chipotle's CEO) testified in front of Congress to ban all those nasty antibiotics used on factory farm animals.  Nice try, Steve.
  • Chipotle is NOT owned by McDonald's.  I didn't know this until five seconds ago.  Mickey D's was an investor, but only until 2006.
  • Remember Food, Inc.?  Chipotle helped sponsor it, which sparked controversy about its questionable treatment of farm laborers.
  • In early 2011, Chipotle ran into a bit of trouble with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and fired an undisclosed number of undocumented immigrants.
Undocumented immigrants are people too!

Fun.  I just love trivia.

Everywhere, or:
6801 York Ave S
Edina, MN  55435
(952) 926-6651

So.  If you're vegan, there are two ways to do Chipotle (as far as I know, anyway).  Path one: you can order a Veggie Burrito with no meat, pinto beans, sour cream, or cheese.  Path two, and my personal favorite: snag a Veggie Bowl without the same, then eat it with Chipotle chips.  Love those things.

Side note: the Chipotle website has this great page with allergy info.  It'll tell you the possible allergens of any ingredient, so it makes spotting eggs and dairy super easy.  There's even a side note that tells you the pinto beans are cooked with bacon, and that we should avoid the chipotle-honey vinaigrette.  To be honest, I'm... not sure what that is.  I do know that it's really easy for cheese to fall into the guac, so if you're super sensitive about it, speak up!  The staff will be happy to accommodate you.

On with the meal!  Matt and I usually grab a Veggie Bowl each at $6.25.  Did you know that if you order a Veggie Bowl, the guac is included in that price?  Sweet.  That stuff is magic.  We also share a bag of chips for $1.25, then use them to shovel the bowls into our mouths.  No plastic forks necessary.

I hate to make it sound like I care more about the quality of my food than the victims of Chipotle's mass firing last year.  So let me make it clear that I care more about those people - I'm just gonna talk more about the food.

The chips aren't as good as they used to be.  The general taste is the same, but often they're not as crispy.  It's definitely hit and miss.  The chips we got today were half crispy, half chewy, all mixed up in the same bag.  Better than all chewy!  When they're good, they're GOOD.  The saltiness is what does me in.  I just love salt.  Is there lime in there, too?  I might be making that up.

The bowl I order consists of brown rice, black beans, pico de gallo (mild tomato salsa in Chipotle terms), guacamole, and lettuce.  I'm pretty sure all vegans have a compulsion to order brown rice whenever it's offered alongside white.  Prove me wrong.  Anyway, it tastes almost the same as the white, full of cilantro and lime flavor.  The beans are lovely, the pico is always fresh, the lettuce crisp, and the guac creamy and wonderful.  The guac is really the superstar of the whole ensemble.  Put all of it together with the saltiness of the chips and you are in Mexiheaven.

I can never finish a whole Chipotle.  That stuff is definitely inferior as leftovers.  Good thing I have a husband!

* Dear loved ones: Don't deny it.  It's endearing.


  1. I LOVE cilantro. I just have everything else. Like tomatoes, beans, corn, and avocados. Cilantro rocks.

    1. WAO, really? Cilantro's gluten free. I heard. So. Yeah.