This is the thing. I love Chipotle. However, I hate them, in a few ways, too.
1. They always are out of something and I always have to wait (even if it’s for meat – which I don’t get on MY burrito but I have to wait for the people ahead of me. God forbid, I should move ahead in line and mess up a rotation)
2. They don’t have a lot of options, other than burritos.
3. They place more importance on online orders, than the orders of LIVE people standing in front of them.
So, I’ve been seeking out other burrito options. I’ve been to Qdoba – it just didn’t do it for me.
I looked at Currito‘s menu online and it looked horrendous AND boring.
My next option was Moe’s Southwest Grill. I’ve been to Moe’s, many a moon ago (7 years?). And, I thought it was really good. However, that was BEFORE Chipotle came into being. There is NOT a Moe’s, anywhere NEAR my house – one in Mason and one in Crestview Hills. Coming from work, Mason was closer. Hoping to find a replacement for my weekly dose of Chipotle, I gave it a go.
Even though there are many options on their menu, I just wanted a bowl – I realize that that is Chipotle speak, so I was having difficulty figuring out the equivalent. (Being as they didn’t have a veggie bowl) So, I simply told her a veggie rice bowl. Not sure if that was right, being as she gave me an odd look. ;)
Ordering is the same as Chipotle – more options though. I LOVE that the onions and peppers are separate (I’ve NEVER understood why Chipotle blends theirs OR why there are more green peppers than onions?). They have black olives, bacon, cilantro (which I took extra of!), mushrooms, queso (and, online they say they have southwestern slaw but I never saw it). With that said, I got the same thing that I would get at Chipotle – rice, both beans, pico, grilled onions (which I don’t get at Chipotle), sour cream, cheese, guacamole and cilantro.
This is what my bowl looked like…
Yes, it’s appealing.
Oh! Also, every order gets FREE chips and salsa – definite bonus! After I paid, I noticed that they have a Salsa Bar, right by the drinks. Seriously, unlimited amounts of 4-5 different kinds of salsa! I grabbed 3 kinds, to go.
I REALLY want to LOVE Moe’s. Love Moe’s so much that it wiped Chipotle off of my taste bud radar.
But, I didn’t. :(
I tried to keep an open mind. I really did. I realized that it wasn’t going to be the SAME and I was willing to accept that as long as it was awesome, in its own special way. But, it was just average. I got about 1/6 of a way into it and was over it.
I’ve been mulling it over…and over. (Hey, I have a lot of spare time this weekend) I think it comes down to 2 things. Because most of the components of all of these fast food burrito places are, really, the same.
1. The rice. Moe’s rice was overly seasoned and kind of mushy. Just not good. I LOVE that Chipotle keeps their rice simple. White, el dente (yes, I can use that for rice, too), bright lime flavor and plenty of cilantro. It becomes a bed for all of the other…
2. …Flavors! (thanks to my friend at work for helping me realize this point) Chipotle isn’t afraid to get spicy. I know many a people who bitch about it but for the most part, we want to TASTE the spicy flavors of the Mexican persuasion. When I go to other burrito places, it all tastes BLAND and the same. B-O-R-I-N-G. Chipotle knows how to just kick in the flavor.
So, where does this leave me? Well, I’ve written Chipotle headquarters 2X about their issues. And, I get the same email back – and, nothing ever changes. I guess with how busy they are, they don’t have time to fix things that don’t really affect their bottom line. And, MY bottom line is that Chipotle is what I love. Dammit. I guess I’ll continue to go there – and get mediocre service. (it’s only 5 minutes from my house, too)
My beloved, Chipotle…
What was great about Moe’s?
2. Different topping options
3. FREE Chips and Salsa (although the chips were pretty terrible)
4. Salsa Bar
5. Separate Onions and Peppers
But, for me, it all comes down to taste. And, Moe’s just couldn’t stand up to Chipotle.
I have ONE more option – Hot Head Burrito. Oh, I’ll be there.