Chipotle below me and within me

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:18 pm

There’s a brand new Chipotle restaurant downstairs from my office, and today they were giving away free burritos to building employees.

I have a general bias against Chipotle, because 1) I’m loyal to Panchero’s, which is a locally-owned joint with a similar set-up (custom-made burritos and tacos), and 2) Chipotle is owned by McDonald’s. I’m not against McDonald’s any more or less than any other international giant, but I do try to support local businesses.

However, a free burrito is a free burrito.

The one I had was pretty good, and they have an admirable commitment to using humanely-raised animals for their meat products and using recycled materials for bags and napkins. Some people don’t like Chipotle because they use a lot of cilantro, but I love cilantro so that’s okay with me. They had a nice variety of ingredients and toppings.

My coworkers and I have reached the consensus that we’ll stick with Panchero’s except when the weather is truly awful (we don’t have to go outside to get to Chipotle) and we deeply need burritos.

12 responses to “Chipotle below me and within me”

  1. map says:

    Well, this is interesting. But it reminds me of a discussion I had with a colleague the other day re: the new Sonic restaurant out on the strip. I asked why in the world I would drive by Hardee’s on my way to Sonic if I were in the mood for a burger. Sure, they’re both chains and not locally owned, but I like Hardee’s on those rare occasions I get a burger. The reply was that I could get a footlong chili dog at Sonic, which actually seemed like a damned persuasive rebuttal. However, I’d have to sit in my car to eat it. Win: Hardee’s. I can’t see walking by Panchero’s to try Chipotle. Surely some hardy soul in your office will be willing to don a coat and make the run to Panchero’s when the snow starts to fall?

  2. Does one get a deep need for burritos? Shoot. I thought that emptiness was my need for a hug, and all I was missing was salsa!

  3. Aprille says:

    Nathan: clearly you have never been pregnant.

  4. Beanie says:

    Chipotle isn’t owned by McDonalds – McDonald’s owned a ton of their shares but they broke away from the company completely in 2006 some time. So you can feel better about that part at least.

    Panchero’s does have better tortillas though. Chipotle will sell you just beans and rice which is nice if you want just that. And Chipotle has the white corn chips w/ lime and salt on them.

  5. tarsi210 says:

    Aprille: My wife and I have tried a lot, but only SHE has ended up pregnant so far. 🙂 We’re almost to month 8 and we’ve avoided cravings so far, mostly. Certainly nothing weird, and no midnight runs to the store for pickles and ice cream. But we’re not out of the woods yet.

  6. Collette says:

    As a lover of burritos, I appreciate this post. We just got a couple of Chipotles around here and I have not tried them. We don’t have a Panchero’s. Wasn’t there one of those in campustown in Ames for awhile? It seems like I have eaten there. Anyway, we have 3 nice “fast food” (as in between Taco Bell and a sit down, pay a tip restaurant)Mexican places we rotate through. Two are fairly local, but are becoming chains.

  7. Linds says:

    I prefer Chipotle because I like their rice better (and when you just get beans and rice the rice is important). I also like their chips a lot more than Pancheros. We only have Pancheros in Ames, though, so I usually go there for my burrito fix. There is a locally owned place called The Flying Buritto on Lincoln Way over by uh…Campus Garage/Taco Bell/Chinese Homestyle Cooking (awesome, btw)/Nikki Nails. They have really good guacamole as well as a few different flavors of sour cream, and they even have soyrizo! They also have vegetarian chili every day. And they deliver! It’s co-owned by the GyroMan.

  8. Ben says:

    I think they are falsely marketing the “free” burritos. I had to pay for mine a couple hours later. You don’t need the details, but I’m sticking with Panchero’s.

  9. Mike says:

    100% Chipotle all the way. It’s the cliantro in the rice. I even contacted Chipotle when they were owned by McDonalds to inquire about a franchise (Des Moines has none), and the reply was “not franchising”. Now that I hear they are free, hmmm….I could be the burrito king of Des Moines.

  10. Daniel Stout says:

    Just wait until Qdoba comes to town, and then things will really get interesting. There’s only 2 in Iowa right now, but tons elsewhere.

  11. Linds says:

    i was talking to a very drunk guy today at the tailgate and we somehow got on the subject of drunk food. as you know, iowa city has the grilled cheese guy, which i argued was the best drunk food ever, and he brought up that they now have chipotle too and that he a free buritto from them yesterday.

  12. christi says:

    Man, I started to comment with the comment that a Chicago Chipolte Grill saved our life when we were there with our one-year-old on vacation. Beer, food, kid-friendly, open late. That said, Panchheros has saved my life many more times over. On the subject of drunk food, when in IC, it’s a hard toss up between Pancheros and the George’s Gyro guy. Since we finally have Pancheros in DSM, I’m thinking the gyros from now on. As far as Qdoba goes, we don’t need any more fast food chains in this city. We have some of the best Mexican food ever and most of that comes from a honey wagon on the side of the road. Qdoba…

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