Chipotle surpasses local fast-food Mexican
By Rob Young | Wednesday, June 20, 2012
If you go
Where: 7398 Rivers Ave., North Charleston
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday
More info: 553-2106 or www.chipotle.com
With Chipotleís arrival to the Charleston area, itís nice to finally determine whether the uber-popular Mexican chain warrants the hype.
To be honest, I donít understand the madness.
The food is light, crispy (when necessary) and flavorful.
Itís good, not great. Itís certainly better than Moeís and Qdoba, a bit better than Barberitos (minus the tomatillo sauce).
But itís not quite up there with Freebirds, which is on the West Coast and in Texas. Visit if you get a chance.
As a consumer, I certainly appreciate Chipotleís easy-to-follow menu in big, bright lettering, the quick and efficient service line and comfortable, modern dining space.
And I can admit it, the place does crazy business, which means crazy profits.
Chipotle said that its first quarter earnings were up 35 percent, with Reuters reporting that the chain made $62.7 million last quarter in comparison to $46.4 million the previous year.
Additionally, according to Bloomberg, Chipotle opened 32 new restaurants last quarter with plans in the works for 160 or more this year (a Mount Pleasant location has been mentioned).
Heck, Slate even likened the chain to Apple in the way itís revolutionizing fast food.
Chipotle breaks out its menu into four categories: burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salad.
Likewise, the chain offers four proteins: chicken, steak, barbacoa and carnitas.
Another interesting fact: Chipotleís braised meats, the barbacoa and carnitas, are cooked sous-vide in Chicago before being shipped to individual units where theyíre reheated and served.
Itís a simple cost struc- ture, too: $6.65 for a bur- rito, burrito bowl or order of three hard or soft shell tacos.
Chipotle is certainly worth a visit, whether out of curiosity or genuine interest in the cuisine.
By committing itself to improved quality (and growth), Chipotle is likely the future of fast food.
Might as well get a peek.