Ah the San Francisco burrito… such a wondrous creation that inspired dozens of businesses to reproduce and perfect this culinary masterpiece. Dating back to the 1960s, the San Francisco burrito was born in the Mission District of San Francisco. Easily recognizable by its aluminum wrapping and massive size, the San Francisco burrito is filled with rice, meat, and vegetables to the point of ripping out of its flour tortilla casing.
Several restaurants around the country, locally owned and chain, have attempted to create and sell their own twist on this creation. While some have fallen, others have been extremely successful. Chipotle Mexican Grill (pronounced chih-POAT-lay) is one of those successful chains.
The Chipotle in Nashville is relatively new. I remember driving down West End Avenue when they first open several months ago and seeing dozens of people standing outside in a line waiting to try out the new establishment. While I am no stranger to Chipotle, I was somewhat surprised in finding out that this would be Nashville’s first. Chipotle is easily recognizable from their corrugated metal, plywood, and stainless steel architecture with similarly styled tables and chairs, which is found in all stores. Some may even label it industrial, but no two Chipotle restaurants look the same.
Ordering at Chipotle is simple. A large printed menu board is hung above the assembly line where you specify what you want and how you want it. The menu at Chipotle is small, only offering burritos (also available in bowls sans the chewy flour tortilla), soft or hard tacos (3 per order), salads, and chips and dip. While this may seem too simplistic, it is anything but. The flavors just go together and when combined together, you get taste bud overload.
The rice has a hint of lime and cilantro. The beans aren’t just simmered in water. They are seasoned so they’ll have lots of flavor. The steak and chicken is marinated in adobo sauce and have bit of spicy heat. The carnitas (the most flavorful and delicious in my opinion) is abundantly seasoned with spices, marinated overnight, and then braised for hours until tender. The barbacoa gets similar treatment with plenty of spices and 8 hours of braising until extremely tender and juicy.
If that description doesn’t get your mouth watering, then realize this. Chipotle uses meat from humanely treated animals without hormones or antibiotics. They use local and organic produce when possible and their dairy products come from dairy cows that aren’t treated with synthetic hormones. They are so prideful of the ingredients they use; they have a mission statement called Food With Integrity that outlines all of the above mentioned points.
So what did I order with all those delicious ingredients? I got a burrito bowl with the cilantro-lime rice, carnitas as my meat base, sautéed bell peppers and onions, a mix of tomato pico de gallo and tomatillo-green chili salsas, sour cream, shredded cheese, and chopped romaine lettuce. The picture alone shows how monstrous the entree is in a bowl. Why did I get it in a bowl? Because when I’ve gotten it in a flour tortilla shell in the past, it was so massive it ripped the tortilla. Typically you have to double wrap my burrito in order for it to stay together. It was so much, I actually ate the other half of it for lunch the next day.
As much as I’m raving about Chipotle’s food, I am unable to show you and I apologize for that. My picture I took of the bowl during consumption didn’t turn out, so all you get to see is a bowl with lots of lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. But under all that was a very delicious and incredibly filling meal. The carnitas are seriously to die for. They are seasoned extremely well with some of the most flavorful natural juices imaginable. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. If you are ever in the mood for a massive burrito that will make your mouth water, I would advise you pay Chipotle Mexican Grill a try.
|Chipotle Mexican Grill
2825 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203
Bill Total: $15.24 For Two