Chipotle's new tofu "sofritas" has arrived here

chipotle sofritas bowl

The sofritas is vegan. This bowl was not.

Chipotle recently announced that its much-anticipated vegan "sofritas" would soon be arriving at Northeast locations, and there it was when we stopped into the Stuyvesant Plaza location Tuesday evening.

From the chain's description of the tofu product:

We start with organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.

The sofritas has gotten a lot of attention because 1) Chipotle almost never introduces new menu items and 2) it's tofu at a major national chain. The product has been hyped as a tofu "turning point", and the possible beginning of a "chain reaction" that could lead other chains and restaurants to add vegan items. It also didn't hurt that it was developed by Chipotle's star chef/culinary manager Nate Appleman, and that early testers said the stuff actually tasted pretty good -- so much so that it might appeal to non-vegans/vegetarians.

So, anyway, we got the sofritas in a (very not-vegan) burrito bowl. Initial reaction: It's... OK. It has the texture of crumbled sausage or chunky ground beef. And the chipotle flavor definitely registered. It sort of reminded us a little bit of ground beef with "taco" seasoning. We still prefer just the straight-up "vegetarian" bowl (something we get often) over a bowl with the sofritas.

Oh, and it should be mentioned that tofu in a burrito isn't exactly groundbreaking or anything. Bombers has had tofu burritos for a long time.

Earlier on AOA: Vegan dishes worth trying -- even if you're not a vegan

Comments

We've had this out in California since last spring, it's delicious! Great to see that this option has made it as a nationwide thing.

Just in time for Lent?

I'm pleased. Its one of the few casual, inexpensive places where I can take my veg kids and my omnivore husband and everyone walks away happy and full.

PS - always ask for extra cilantro when you get a veg bowl. They keep it back near the grill, not on the main line.

Moe's has had tofu for a long time, too.

They had this in Clifton Park the other day, too. You make it sound a bit more appealing than tofu tends to sound, that's for sure. Think I'll stick with the meats, though.

I'm glad you gave a shout out to Bombers. Chipotle has nothing on them.

Yesss! I've been waiting to try out this new option!

I'm glad you brought up Bombers... so I can complain! As a vegan who has eaten there NUMEROUS times, they can NEVER get an order correct. EVER. Yes, their tofu and nuggets may be delicious but they always add cheese and/or sour cream. And yes, I've tested both take-out and eat-in.

Okay, I'll end my rant.

Woo! Tried the sofritas when I was in CA this summer and really liked them. Chipotle is a very vegetarian-friendly place already (they quit putting bacon in their pinto beans this fall, too), and it's nice to have another veggie options.

Since I've moved back to CA, I have regularly been getting sofritas as an alternative to meat. You wouldn't even really notice that it's tofu. It's crumbled and well-seasoned with a little bit of spicy kick, so it adds nice flavor to the overall meal.

And to those who praise Bombers... I'm sorry.

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