Chipotle Mexican Grill

Any combination of  beans, rice, a variety of meats, cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream wrapped up in a tortilla are called what?  If it’s a corn tortilla, they’re called  tacos. If it’s a flour tortilla, they’re called burritos.

I want to stop eating animals, but I find it hard to resist tacos made with steak (carne asada) or burritos made with pork (carnitas). Luckily for my conscience and waistline, I don’t go to taquerias (restaurants featuring an assembly line of cooks putting together tacos, quesadillas and burritos behind a counter) very often.

My favorite taqueria is in the Mission district (where you’ll find a lot of the best Mexican food), but getting there from my apartment near Union Square involves taking Muni, which I am spoiled not having to take often since I walk to work and use my car when venturing to a “distant” part of the city.

So what does all this have to do with Chipotle?  It’s a chain restaurant that allows customers to walk down an assembly line of servers who put together their food as the customers make their way down the counter.  My second-favorite taqueria in the Mission district actually has a similar setup, where the customers indicate which of the ingredients behind the counter they want.

I prefer a real taqueria, but I do find Chipotle to be an excellent alternative to other fast food options.   Somehow the food seems more fresh.  After a couple of documentaries and news shows, I now fear the frozen beef patties and chicken nuggets at other fast food vendors’.

My husband also likes the fresher aspect.  Unlike me, he cannot read Spanish and does not have enough taco-ordering experience to confidently order at a Mexcian taqueria.  That’s why he loves the menu at Chipotle; it’s very, very simple to use for someone who is not super familiar with ordering “taqueria style.”

Last week witnessed the grand opening of a Chipotle location right in the Union Square area (on O’Farrell near Powel).  Those of us who pass by their every day on our way to work have been intrigued since the “Burritofication in Proggress” signs went up and a new franchise was clearly popping up.

The hubby and I missed the grand opening, but we did go Chipotle the day after, since we live close to the Union Square area.  The food seemed less unhealthy than other fast food options we had on our walk home.  I am proud to report I got a vegetarian burrito, spared some animals, saved time by not cooking and tried out the latest place for tourists and shoppers near Union Square to get their taco fix.

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