Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013

Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

Chipotle's challenge: Conscientious chain still struggles in the land of 1,000 carnitas

Photo: Chuck Kerr, License: N/A

Chuck Kerr

Foiled again: Chipotle's chicken burrito

In a supplement to a recent issue of Esquire, there was an article titled "America's Most Inspiring CEOs." Among the titans of industry touted was Steve Ells, not yet a name with the recognition of a Jobs or a Gates. And yet Ells is the honcho of 1,300 seemingly very successful restaurants. Give up? Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The elegiac article quotes the CIA-trained Ells as saying "I'm not a vegetarian, but I am a meat reducer," and notes that "Most Chipotle meat is now from smaller farms with more open space for animals … chickens are free of antibiotics, and its dairy is from cows given no hormones… " Sounds good. More mass-market chains should pay this kind of attention to thoughtful sourcing. The made-in-front-of-you production process is another potential plus. And so is the hip hardware store décor.

So what of the food? Chipotle, which launched in Denver (and had a brief fling with McDonald's) is certainly working at a disadvantage in a city with serious Mexican roots. But that it's modestly Mexican at best (and that only two items on the menu appear to see any grill time — or chipotle) appears not to be of real concern. We're distracted, instead, by nutrition facts, and those facts alone would suggest that the burrito bowl is a better option than the wrapped burrito: that tortilla counts for 290 calories and more sodium than anything else on the menu. It also tastes floury and lacks the blistery bravado of one of San Antonio's own.

As for fillings, the cilantro-lime brown rice is marginally better for you than the white version, but the seasonings work better in the white; the vegetarian black beans are boring and unnecessarily al-dente; the hottest sauce option is decently picante; we aren't told what kind of cheese is used, but we do know that an ounce is 100 calories; sour cream adds another 120 — but counts for more taste. Note that if you want to forgo the cheese and cream, adding the healthier guacamole will cost you $1.80; there's no credit for omitting anything. I had the burrito with Chipotle's signature carnitas, said to be "rubbed with black pepper and juniper and braised for about six hours" before being shredded. Not a bad product, but nothing like the chunky-lusty pork we know here. Conclusion? Give me El Chilaquil and some corn tortillas any day.

The bowl with romaine and braised, beef barbacoa, though, might bear repeating. That this isn't classic barbacoa seems to matter less here, and the flavor is really pretty good. I felt both vaguely virtuous and reasonably satisfied when finished. And, apart from the guac gouge, left feeling that the base price of $6.65 was fair. The cheery service was another plus. Maybe the staff feels inspired.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

3928 Broadway (multiple locations)
(210) 832-9812

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus