The burrito bowl at Chipotle

chipotle burrito bowl

Who needs a tortilla?

Now that the Capital Region has not one, but two Chipotles, we figured we'd share our favorite thing to get when we eat there.

Even though Chipotle is known for its burritos, we skip the whole tortilla and get a burrito bowl (it's all the stuff from a burrito, but in a bowl without the tortilla). The wrapper is fine and all, but we think it's superfluous when you have all the other tasty ingredients (and we don't miss the 300 calories).

So here's what we get in our burrito bowl:

Meat: Carnitas -- the pork is usually tender and flavorful, and if you get a good scoop of it, it'll have some nicely seasoned bark on it, too.

Rice: Sure -- we don't have a problem with it like others do, but keep an eye out -- sometimes they go over board with this.

Beans: Black -- these seem to stand up better to the pork than the pinto.

Salsa: The tomatillo green (which is the "medium" spicy) -- you gotta have some spice to go along with the pork and the rice. Updated January 2009: We've become converts to the tomatillo green/fresh mild combo.

Sour cream: Yes, but again watch out. We've seen the line workers go crazy with the sour cream. A little goes a long way. You need just enough to provide a little bit of cooling for the salsa. Any more and it starts to drown out everything.

Cheese: You bet -- in moderation. See sour cream.

You may be tempted to get guacamole. That's not necessarily a bad idea, but we've found that the guac at Wilton location has been hit or miss (it was OK on our one trip to Latham). And the burrito bowl is good without it. Oh, and skip the lettuce -- it just gets in the way.

Chipotle figures there's something like 60,000 combination* you could get by by mixing they're various ingredients. So if this lineup doesn't work for you -- hey, you have choices.

* We did the math ourselves and came up with only 24,000 combinations. But small changes in how you count the options can big a difference in the final number.

Earlier on AOA: a whole bowl of items about Chipotle

Comments

*homer simpson drool*gaahh Chipotle gahhhh */drool*

You guys are just terrible. Now I want more. Moooore.

How many meat and salsa options did you figure into your calculations? Did you know that there are 11 of each (not including options with double portions of meat)?

You can split a portion of meat for a burrito into two smaller portions, so you can get the braised powerhouse of barbacoa & carnitas combo. Or if you are feeling grillalicious, you can get the chicken and steak. Maybe mix it up and do beef two ways with steak & barbacoa.

Can you smell what I'm cooking?

Yay! Another chain?

The information here is interesting to me as a food-eating person, but the lack of editing is killing me.

Blech - vile, nasty-looking spew especially with that white "ranchy" stuff on top. Completely unappetizing - it all looks so processed and fake - typical chain pablum. BTW, it's "their" ingredients.

Richard, this aggression, this aggression will not stand, man.

That "white 'ranchy' stuff on top" is actually rBGH free whipped sour cream. It is simple and pure, and tastes more like creme fraiche than the traditional American stuff.

That vile, nasty-looking spew is made of higher quality stuff than you get in most restaurants around these parts.

The cheese is shredded from blocks, on site, so as to avoid all of those commercial de-clumping agents.

I think though you have hit the nail on the head as to why these ingredients usually come wrapped up in a burrito shell. When they are all laid out before you in a bowl, it may not make for the prettiest of meals.

Typical chain pablum it is not.

NB if you take your bowl to go, it comes with a lid. The heat from the food, does a surprisingly good job at melting the cheese. I have yet to experiment with asking them to place the cheese between the rice and the bean layer, but that would obviously be the best placement for that ingredient within the architecture of the bowl.

I tried Chipotle on Friday night. Not impressed. I had a chicken burrito and it just wasn't tasty- no real spice to it, the white rice they use is sticky and gummy tasting. Yuck. The only good thing about the meal was the guacamole- yum! And, of course the chips were pretty decent too. I'll go back, perhaps, only for the chips and guac.

How much MSG / preservatives are in their lovely items?

This is one of my favorites too.

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