Chipotle Mexican Grill: a guide for Oklahoma City

by | January 5, 2008 | 49 Comments

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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.

Chipotle Mexican Grill in Oklahoma City Edmond Oklahoma

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

  1. Enter the restaurant and take your place in line.
  2. Look up and you’ll see the menu.
  3. Choose a “vehicle”
    1. 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.
    2. Fajita Burrito: like a burrito, but with onions and peppers. Don’t get this.
    3. Burrito Bowl: all the stuff of a burrito without the tortilla. Don’t get this.
    4. Salad: like a salad. Don’t get this.
    5. 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.
  4. 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:
    1. Chicken. Grilled, seasoned, and very tasty. Get one taco with chicken.
    2. Barbacoa (shredded beef). This stuff is amazing. You have to try it. Get one taco with barbacoa.
    3. Carnitas (shredded pork). Farm-raise pork that’s fresh and flavorful. Get one taco with carnitas.
    4. 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.
    5. 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).
  5. When you get to the front of the line, the tortilla-press person will ask you what you want. You say “three soft tacos.”
  6. 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).
  7. Then say, “can I also get onions and peppers in those?” They will add grilled onions and peppers, which are awesome!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Saturday, January 5th, 2008. It is filed under:

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  • Tim says:
    January 10th, 2008 at 10:25 am   

    Update: I sent a note to the folks at Chipotle with a link to this article and they were kind enough to write back. They gave me a couple new pieces of information.

    First, they have recently modified the crispy taco shells to have wider openings so that they are better able to hold the fillings. Interesting. Might be worth another try for me.

    Second, they indicated that our new Edmond restaurant will be serving all naturally raised meats (chicken, steak, barbacoa and carnitas).

    Sounds good!

  • Matt says:
    January 10th, 2008 at 4:36 pm   

    Can’t wait. Called the phone number for the new restaurant the other day, and they said they are still on schedule to open the doors on 1-18.

    Oh, I have to disagree on menu choice. Burrito Bowl, with little or no rice (while it is oh so good), to be eaten with a side of chips, dip/nacho style is the way to go.

  • Tim says:
    January 11th, 2008 at 11:39 am   

    Fair enough, Matt. I’d love to hear everyone’s favorite Chipotle choices. Please keep them coming.

  • Sonny says:
    January 15th, 2008 at 2:31 pm   

    I must respectfully disagree with opting out of the burrito. That burrito is the fattest, best tasting burrito that money can buy. I would not tell folks that the tacos are the only item they should get. I would just let the public know that all of the burrito portions are big and that the taco portions may be more suitable for those with a lighter appetite. Thanks for listening.

  • Sonny says:
    January 15th, 2008 at 2:32 pm   

    By the way, Burrito with carnitas, rice, black beans, guacamole, and cilantro for me.

  • Tim says:
    January 15th, 2008 at 4:16 pm   

    Sonny, thanks for giving us the burrito-lover’s perspective. I’m sure there are many millions out there who agree with you!

  • Guy says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 9:31 am   

    Matt is right… Get a burrito bowl with everything that you want. Then get chips and eat it like a seven-layer dip. It’s easily enough food for two.

  • Tim says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 10:37 am   

    Matt / Guy — you guys are just about to convince me to give the chip and dip option a try. Sounds good.

  • Chad says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 12:19 pm   

    First off, I’m excited! Second off, the burrito is THE item to get. I can be swayed though. As Tim said above you guys have a very convincing argument for getting the burrito bowl. I think that OKC still needs a Chipotle to call their own.

  • Andrew says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 11:07 pm   

    I’m excited about their financial reviews. Double digit growth in a soft economy. Impressive. And they are Denver based. I bet they are Bronco fans. For that, I will try them out.

  • Molly says:
    January 19th, 2008 at 1:26 pm   

    I sometimes do the same thing as Matt / Guy using the chips, only with the salad. With barbacoa. I like having the lettuce in there, and they use the good stuff (not iceberg). I agree the corn salsa is good stuff.

  • sylvia brannon says:
    February 13th, 2008 at 8:18 pm   

    We love Chipotle’s. My fav is getting one soft and one crispy shredded beef taco. Great! The guac and chips are the best ‘outside-my-home’ guac and chips I’ve tasted. I’m Spanish I know good Mexican food and this is pretty good .. love, love, Chipotle!

  • Sarah says:
    February 17th, 2008 at 9:19 pm   

    Tim, we ate at Qdoba last night and it was also good. Have you ever been? It’s the same type set up as Chipotle’s. We had the Mexican gumbo, which sounds like the burrito bowl. Their website is cool in that it has a nutritional calculator – you can find out what you need to know nutrition-wise before you go.

  • Tim says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 5:28 pm   

    Sarah, I’ve been to Qdoba. It is similar in concept but I think Chipotle outperforms in two main areas.

    First, I think Chipotle just gets a little bit of extra flavor into each ingredient (Qdoba is a little bland to me in comparison). Second, I think Chipotle has much better design style than Qdoba. That said, I still respect people who like Qdoba.

    BTW, Qdoba is a a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box.

  • Kaye says:
    March 14th, 2008 at 11:43 am   

    I prefer Qdoba over Chipotle. I feel that they have fresher ingredients and better salsa. Also as an aside, I believe that Chipotle’s is owned by McD’s.

  • Tim says:
    March 15th, 2008 at 4:03 pm   

    Kaye, thanks for the input on Qdoba. I know there are others out there who agree with you.

    Concerning ownership, Chipotle is actually an independent, publicly traded company (ticker CMG). McDonald’s was an early investor in the company before it went public, which is where the common misconception that they own Chipotle comes from.

  • Scott says:
    March 23rd, 2008 at 4:29 pm   

    Any word on when the stores will open up in Oklahoma City? On opening day I talked to the manager and he said that four were planned for Oklahoma City proper, and one down in Norman.

  • Tim says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 7:52 am   

    Scott, I haven’t heard any word on the time frame for more OKC stores, but I’m glad to hear they’ve got them in the plans. I’d have to imagine that once you get a single store in a city, it’s a fairly rapid path to expansion, but I’m sure they are measuring traffic and everything to determine our city’s appetite for their brand.

  • Andy Koester says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 7:57 pm   

    If they get a Chipotle somewhere, like downtown, I may need to buy bigger pants. I first learned of them in Maryland. Since I moved back to OK three yrs ago, I’ve eaten at Taco Bell maybe twice.

  • Sarah says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 5:42 pm   

    I completely disagree about the burrito! Go for it. If you can’t eat it all in one sitting, Chipotle burritos are even better leftover the next day. I always get the pork- it’s heavenly. And I’m so so so happy to hear that they’re coming to Norman! Freebirds and Moe’s need some competition…

  • Jason says:
    July 3rd, 2008 at 11:48 pm   

    After reading this, I will try Chipotle again. My experience was at a location in Minneapolis. The only good thing about that visit was the guac. It was just about the best I’ve ever had.

  • Tim says:
    July 16th, 2008 at 1:01 pm   

    Ok, I was just at Panera on NW Highway last night. I looked out the window and noticed “Chipotle Mexican Grill” written in shoe polish on the strip mall space right next door. Took a closer look and, sure enough, it really looks like they’ll be putting one in there soon.

    This is pretty exciting for me as it is really, really close to my office.

  • Sam Cook'd says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 3:16 pm   

    I to fell in love with Chipotle when i lived in Maryland(mont co). And flipped when i found one in Tulsa. Last summer I stayed in Houston and i thought I died vand went to burrito heaven with a chipotle seemingly everywhere. When the one open in Edmond I was there day 2 in business, and go 2-4 times a month.

    My fave is the burrito. I get it half chicken half steak with guac, beans, grilled veggies, lettuce, cheese , sour cream, the mild and hot salsa. It sounds alot and it is but *explicitive* its GOOD!!

    The only other thing I order is the salad and load it like my burrito but in stead of the dressing i get a cup of the mild(tomato based sorta pico de gallo style) salsa and a bag of chips and guac and call it a taco salad.

  • Sarah says:
    September 21st, 2008 at 5:16 pm   

    Last week we were in Denver – home of Chipotle – so I called Tim from the Chipotle parking lot to have him remind me of what to order. I had a pork, chicken and veggie taco with his recommendation of toppings, except that I forgot to ask for the onions and peppers. I think the onions and peppers are key as it would have added some needed moistness to the rest of the ingredients. The three tacos and a side of guac and chips were just right. OH – and they also asked me what kind of tortilla I wanted and rattled off several choices. I chose the flour tortilla with safflower. It was great.

  • Tim says:
    September 21st, 2008 at 8:28 pm   

    @Sarah, interesting. I’ve never seen tortilla choices (other than big for burritos and small for tacos). Maybe that’s only a Denver thing. Yeah, onions and peppers are a must.

  • mattjank says:
    October 2nd, 2008 at 10:10 am   

    Anyone had any luck finding out when the one on NW Expressway is opening?

    I wrote to corporate via the website and got back a plain very soon, go wait in line and you can be the first served.

    Drove by the other day and it didn’t look too close to being open, so who knows. Really looking forward to not having to drive to Edmond.

  • Tim says:
    October 5th, 2008 at 9:21 am   

    @mattjank, I haven’t heard officially either. Construction seems to me to be going a little slower than expected though the other day I noticed they were getting some stuff outside on the facade. If I had to guess, I’d say first quarter of 2009.

  • Kimberly says:
    October 9th, 2008 at 11:15 pm   

    This was so useful, I wish I read this before I went. I ordered the burrito and then vegetarian. It was overfilling and what ended up happening was I ate it as if it was just rice and the vegetables I put in it. It was delicious regardless and one burrito made me incredibly full.

  • Chris says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 4:16 pm   

    So, after reading some good reviews here on this site about Chipotle, me and my wife ventured up to Edmond to give it a whirl. Upon entering the restaurant, it was colorful, clean, and smelled good(like mexican food, yum!). We were greeted promptly and with a smile. We let the couple behind us go first so we could peruse the menu. After deciding on Taco’s, I took the guides advice on how to order them. My wife did the same, as it sounded like a good idea. She then asked for Queso and Chips, and we were told “We dont have Queso.” I was in SHOCK, as she was. A mexican restaurant without Queso?!?!?

    We let it go, and ordered some chips and salsa instead. As a side note, we dont like Guacomole at all, so no comments on that. Our total was about $17, which seemed about right(maybe a bit high) for 6 taco’s, chips/salsa and 1 drink + water. My wife then asked if they had a Club Card or something of the sort for repeat visitors, and we were told no.

    We filled up our drinks at a pretty clean drink station, and sat down at one of the tables. It was pretty busy being a Friday night, but the noise level wasnt very loud. I then inspected my taco’s, and noticed that none of them were “full”. Each one had a small amount of meat, a small amount of cheese, and a moderate amount of sour cream. I then noticed how small the actual taco’s were, about the size of a party taco at Taco Bueno, only wider. I thought to myself, “Man, thats a small $2 taco.” My wife concurred by saying, “This isnt much for $6.” The taco’s were great tasting, no doubt, but left me hungry still. I tried to fill up on Chips and Salsa that we ordered, but the Chips were so stale, we threw the majority of them away. The Salsa was ok, nothing to write home(or on the internet) about.

    In conclusion, we won’t be returning to Chipotle, especially since the drive is nearly 20 minutes for us. The lack of Queso(Big Deal to us), small proportions, lack of acknowledgement for repeat customers, and “Ninja Star” chips that could stick into a wall if thrown right will definately keep our medium-level mexican food budget securely in the grips of Qdoba.

  • Tim says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 4:26 pm   

    @Chris, thanks for your comments. I will say that I have noticed of late they have been skimping on the fillings in the tacos. Not sure if it’s just that store, or maybe the economy has them scaling back across the board, but I can tell you it hasn’t always been like that. Used to be the tacos were filled up very nicely. I am looking forward to them opening their new store on NW Highway so I can see if that one does better on the portions.

    Sorry that your Chipotle experience was less than great, but I appreciate you sharing it with us.

  • mattjank says:
    November 4th, 2008 at 11:37 am   

    I’ve been skimped on in the beans and salsa side of my burrito bowls, but they are always ready to add more (at no charge so far) if I ask for a little more (of whatever was lacking). Just ask.

  • Kelsey says:
    December 9th, 2008 at 1:07 pm   

    I like to get the vegetarian burrito bowl with a tortilla on the side. That way, all the ingredients are perfectly mixed and I can eat an appropriate proportion of fillings to tortilla.

  • Tim says:
    January 14th, 2009 at 7:36 pm   

    Official word (revised): The NW Highway location opens on January 28th, 2009.

  • David says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 3:54 pm   

    It’s interesting to hear everyone else’s opinions about my favorite restaurant! I’d never heard of Chipotle until I lived in Austin for 2 years, during which time I ate there multiple times per week (sometimes even multiple times per day)!

    If you’re simple like I am, and not a big veggie person, get the burrito bowl, light on the beans and rice, then extra chicken (I think their meats are the only things that cost extra). Their chicken is so good that whatever they charge for it will be worth it!

    Burrito bowls are good for mixing up your ingredients, as opposed to eating a bite of burrito where one bite may be mostly beans, while the next bite is mostly meat, etc.

    I know where I’ll be January 23rd! If anyone hears about other new OKC locations, I’ll definitely be interested to hear!!

  • Tyler says:
    January 27th, 2009 at 11:14 am   

    Looking forward to the taco’s tomorrow night @ the new location.

  • Tim says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 12:51 pm   

    Just back from eating at the new NW Highway location. We were actually the very first customers in the line.

    Same great food, of course, and service was pretty good considering it was the first day.

    What I really like about this location is the indoor “patio.” It’s a completely glassed in room with pivoting windows that can open to the outside. This will be great in the warmer months to provide a shady, wind-free, outdoor dining experience.

  • Andrew Hawkins says:
    February 16th, 2009 at 8:53 pm   

    My feelings towards Chipotle Mexican Dining Establishment are the exact opposite that of my feelings towards Moe’s Burrito Emporium. Moe’s is, for lack of a better term, terrible. It starts as everyone in the store offers you a hearty “Welcome to Moe’s!!!” as you walk through the door. Your thought process is usually 1) “My, that’s annoying” and 2) “ I wonder if this dead eyed teenager making my burrito has washed his hands this week?”. I’m not saying that Moe’s is as bad of burrito warehouse as Freebirds in Norman….I’m saying it’s worse. When the Moe’s in Edmond shut down lasts year it was the single happiest day of my life. My wife has given birth to 3 children, I’ve been to a game 7 of the World Series and I’ve won a good deal of money in Vegas….all paled in comparison. Proving that there is a God and he has a ridiculous sense of humor Moe’s re-opened in the same location a few months ago. The day of the grand opening I walked in, ordered the side-splittingly named, “Joey, Bag of Donuts” burrito and proceeded to walk it directly to the back trashcan all the while screaming “His judgment cometh!”.
    As far as Chipotle goes though, get the Barbacoa Burrito, add guacamole and a little Chipotle Tabasco sauce and you have yourself a winner. Qudoba’s steak queso burrito comes close but still gets the silver medal.

  • AJ says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:25 pm   

    I love the step by step instructions on ordering tacos, which I still haven’t tried! I haven’t been brave enough to order anything but the vegetarian burrito with everything in it. I love it so much I’m afraid to get anything else. My secret is to cut it up, squeeze plenty of fresh lemons over it, douse it in salsa, and eat it like a burrito salad- not to mention I almost always have exactly half of a burrito to take home for later. I must admit, I am getting a little burned out on the same ol’ same ol’, so I’m going to try your pick next.

  • Ryan Dunphy says:
    April 17th, 2009 at 11:02 pm   

    I’m just curious….what is wrong with Oklahoma? I used to live in the twin cities (minnesota) and minneapolis is 100% same size/same population as OKC but had chipotle at least 9 years ago! I just am not sure why companies come here last? If you went to mpls and you are fan of ethnic or “different” food your head might explode at the differences in the two cities.

    And for the record Qdoba in mwc is just as good as chipotle and it is where I go when i want to pretend I am in a modern metropolis. And yeah if the line is long there is nothing more annoying then someone that has twenty questions….THEY SERVE TACOS AND BURRITOS, ITS UP ON THE BOARD LOL!

  • Alexis Lux says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 9:52 am   

    Out of all the big burrito chains-Moe’s, Qdoba and Chipotle I prefer Chipotle hands down! My favorite is a burrito bowl with chicken, black beans and the toppings. I get a bag of delicious salty chips and dip/scoop. It’s enough for 2 meals and just warms my heart!

  • Lenny says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 10:24 pm   

    Have had Chipotle twice and haven’t been that impressed. I prefer Qdoba alot more than this place, everything tastes exactly the same.

  • MattJank says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 2:40 pm   

    Can anyone substantiate the rumors that a Chipotle is going in at the old Boomer Theater on Campus Corner in Norman? Heard a rumor, and there is construction going on in the building. Look like the whole bottom floor has been gutted.

  • Wimpy says:
    August 13th, 2009 at 9:55 pm   

    Jack-in-the-box, McD’s, Moes, Denver based chain!
    I’ve heard enough. I’ll patronize the many local “real” Tex -Mex and authentic Taquerias and cafes were lucky enough to have. Gimmee abreak!!

  • Tim says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 9:02 am   

    Ah, come now, Wimpy. I’m as pro-local-restaurants as anyone, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a chain restaurant when they do something unique and quality. Sure, it’s not authentic Mexican, but it’s very interesting, flavorful and consistent food with an emphasis on natural, organic ingredients. I can have a healthy respect for that without diminishing my commitment to our locals.

    For the record, Chipotle used to have MCD as an investor, but no longer does – they’re an independent, publicly traded company. Qdoba is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jack-in-the-box, and Moe’s, well, I have no idea about Moes because I find their meats to be extremely plain.

  • Andrew says:
    August 30th, 2009 at 12:36 pm   

    I just walked by the construction going on at campus corner and there were two orange cones that said “Chipotle” on them. I freaked!!

  • CPA Dan says:
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:46 am   

    I think its ridiculous that your entire website is here to promote local eating establishments and you take a side step to promote a lackluster place thats owned by the king of franchises McDonalds!!!!!!!

  • Tim says:
    June 7th, 2010 at 9:32 am   

    CPA Dan – I do understand how you feel, though I did lay out a pretty thorough case for including this review in the article itself and again a couple of comments up. However, it’s very rare that we include a chain. This one was written a long time ago. I don’t think we’ve included one any time recently.

    However, a point of clarification – Chipotle is not a franchise and it’s not owned by McDonald’s. McDonald’s was an early investor in Chipotle but they have not held a stake in the company for a long time. Chipotle is an independent, publicly-traded company (ticker symbol CMG) and their locations are not franchised. They are all owned by the central company.

  • dom says:
    February 26th, 2012 at 7:16 pm   

    I tried this place, and thought it to be mediocre at best. The meat had little flavor, in fact, didn’t even finish all my tacos. The chips and salsa were the same story. It was really some of the most blah Mexican food I’ve ever tasted. If you’re going to eat at an inexspensive chain store, Taco Bueno is much better than this. Although, you can get beer at Chipotle’s, so I suppose there’s that.

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