Lots of people in the Capital Region have been excited about the impending arrival of Chipotle. I'd never been to a Chipotle, so I didn't quite see what all the fuss was about. And since I live in Albany, Wilton is sort of a haul for a burrito .
Still, last week, the lure of free food proved too great for me to resist. So on Thursday I picked up a few friends, opened the sunroof, and headed North toward free burrito glory.
Now, as I said, I had never been to a Chipotle, but one of my free burrito day companions Emma could do me one better. Visiting from Australia, she had never eaten a burrito in her life.
Chipotle is located in the center of one of Wilton's approximately 5,000 strip malls. The interior is nice, simple, brushed-steel ... sort of a fast food answer to an Apple Store. The menu is simple . Your choices are a burrito, a fajita burrito (which has sautéed peppers instead of beans), a burrito bowl, tacos, or a salad. Meat choices are grilled chicken, grilled steak, shredded pork ("Carnitas"), shredded beef ("Barbacoa") and vegetarian, as well.
You can pay for extras like chips or guacamole on non-veggie options, but it's a lot. "Are they charging as much for a dollop of guacamole as a gallon of gas costs where you live, too?" asked a friend in Boston. Not quite, but at $1.85, it's close.
When we arrived around 12:30, the line of about 50 people was out the door but moved very quickly. I counted 8 to 9 people making and packaging burritos behind the counter, and maybe a half-dozen in the back cooking more ingredients. Maybe twenty people were sitting in the tables and booths of the dining area, but most people were heading back to work, and took their burritos to go.
We made it through the line quickly and were surprised to receive free drinks as well, blackberry Izze sodas.
So, how's the food? I think I'd prefer a salad or burrito bowl, and I wasn't thrilled with the slightly charred taste of my chicken, even if I enjoyed the flavor. I'm now a bit obsessed with the corn salsa, though. I didn't see what was so special about the "cilantro-lime rice," since it just tasted like regular steamed rice within the burrito casing.
Emma, our burrito virgin, enjoyed hers immensely. She also pointed out that the amount of food we received was a decent value for the money even when it isn't free. AJ agreed about the food value and had nothing but good things to say about her marinated steak.
Overall: I'd stop in once in a while if it were closer.
3057 NY State Route 50
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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