Chipotle Mexican Grill: a guide for Oklahoma City
Chipotle is located at 3315 NW Expressway in Oklahoma City (map) and 1569 S. Broadway in Edmond (map). There are many other locations around the country. For more information, you can visit their very cool website.
Confession time. I am a huge fan of Chipotle Mexican Grill and finally, yes finally, we shall have one in the Oklahoma City metro (the Edmond location opens on January 18, 2008).
UPDATE: the Oklahoma City NW Highway location opens on January 28, 2009 making two locations in the metro.
Now, I know Chipotle is a chain and this site is about local Oklahoma City restaurants, but I make a very emphatic exception to my “no chain” rule when it comes to Chipotle, and for some very good reasons.
Passion. Even though Chipotle Mexican Grill is a corporation, they manage to keep passion alive all the way down to their local stores. If you study them and the emphasis they put on employee satisfaction, you will see that they do about as good a job as can be done at maintaining passion in spite of rapid expansion.
Simplicity. They only do a few things, and they do them extremely well.
Style. Chipotle puts a lot of thought into their design, which is a fusion of ancient and modern utilizing stainless steel mixed with earthy tones and modern sculptures of quasi-Incan figures.
Taste. Everything they craft is fresh and flavorful. They go out of their way to utilize ingredients like farm-raised pork and organic vegetables. They whip up loads of fresh guacamole each day. Every item on the line has a bold flavor so when you combine them, the results are always spectacular.
At the very least, Oklahoma City’s first Chipotle is worth a try. At most, you’ll end up like many others who visit at least once a week because it’s affordable, quality fast food that you just can’t find many other places.
The only complaint I have ever heard from people about Chipotle is that “it’s confusing.” I can understand this because most other restaurants spell out what you are going to get so visiting a place like Chipotle, which gives you so many options, can be overwhelming. So, to alleviate that concern, I’m going to give Oklahoma City my overview of Chipotle’s menu and my guide to landing that perfect meal.
Oklahoma City’s guide to Chipotle
- Enter the restaurant and take your place in line.
- Look up and you’ll see the menu.
- Choose a “vehicle”
- Burrito: a very large tortilla stuffed with your choice of meat, rice, beans and whatever else you want. Don’t get this. It’s too big and heavy with all of the rice and stuff. I will say that I’ve known people who do get the burrito to order half rice and half beans and that seems to make it better.
- Fajita Burrito: like a burrito, but with onions and peppers. Don’t get this.
- Burrito Bowl: all the stuff of a burrito without the tortilla. Don’t get this.
- Salad: like a salad. Don’t get this.
- Tacos: This is the one you want! But there’s a choice of soft or crispy. You don’t want crispy (the fillings don’t fit well in there). You want to get soft tacos. You get three of them in an order.
- Choose a meat (or go vegetarian if you like). The beauty of soft tacos is that you can experience three different meats in one meal, which you should do according to the list below:
- Chicken. Grilled, seasoned, and very tasty. Get one taco with chicken.
- Barbacoa (shredded beef). This stuff is amazing. You have to try it. Get one taco with barbacoa.
- Carnitas (shredded pork). Farm-raise pork that’s fresh and flavorful. Get one taco with carnitas.
- Steak. Honestly, this is the only thing at Chipotle that I just don’t think is very good. It’s never very tender. Don’t get steak.
- Vegetarian. If you choose this option instead of a meat, you’ll get rice, beans, and guacamole (guac is an extra charge otherwise). I prefer meat, but if you prefer veggies, I do condone substituting the vegetarian option for one or more of the meats (my wife always gets all three veggie tacos).
- When you get to the front of the line, the tortilla-press person will ask you what you want. You say “three soft tacos.”
- Tortilla person will then put three soft tortillas in a press, warm them up, and then hand them to the next person and they will ask “what type of meat?” You say “one chicken, one shredded beef, one pork” (or if you’re feeling fancy, use the Spanish words instead).
- Then say, “can I also get onions and peppers in those?” They will add grilled onions and peppers, which are awesome!
- Then, you’ll go on down the line and get to pick from the rest of the ingredients. Here’s what you want — corn salsa (trust me), lettuce, and cheese. That’s it! No more.
- Then you’ll get to the person at the register who will ask if you want anything else. I always get iced tea (which is great), and often I get chips and guacamole. The chips at Chipotle cost extra but they are freshly made, and the guacamole is INCREDIBLE! You have to try it.
That’s it! If you follow the simple plan above, you will get to experience the very best Chipotle has to offer. Then later, if you want, you can experiment with other combinations and choices, but they won’t be as good. Trust me, this plan is the result of many visits. It is fine-tuned to perfection.
Get ready, Oklahoma City. January 18th is a monumental date when we will forever be able to get Chipotle any time we want, so long as we are willing to drive to Edmond.
Let me know your thoughts on Chipotle Mexican Grill in the comments.