Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Chipotle Diaries: East Coast Trauma

Today I went to Chipotle in Woodley Park in the District of Columbia, also known to the lay-person as "Washington DC". I went to Chipotle because as a minor share-holder it is important for me to keep tabs on company operations and also to see how they are doing at various locations around the country. This was only my second East-Coast Chipotle experience, the first being the location just north of Bryant Park in New York where I spent over eight dollars on a burrito and briefly wept.

Today's experience was, to be Frank, slightly sub-par. I hadn't eaten Chipotle in well over a week so my body was starting to react violently, showing visible signs of withdrawal from lack of cilantro-infused rice and deliciously-seasoned chicken.

The first thing to throw me off in today's Chipotle experience was that the line was moving from left to right. At the U-District location in Seattle I am used to ordering from right to left, and this is my home Chipotle so anything different is slightly disconcerting. I hesitate even to eat at the downtown Seattle location for this very reason and also because I hate downtown Seattle.

I ordered a chicken burrito with black beans, lowering my voice a few octaves when ordering to denote authority and possible share-holder status, and grimaced with dismay as she scooped on a handful of watery black beans. The ration of chicken was also slightly meager, but luckily somewhat made up for by a jovial Mexican man who scooped on large portions of tomato salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

The first bite into the burrito was pure bliss. I thought I had died for a moment or at the very least slipped into some kind of a burrito-laden coma. I had never tasted chicken so good! But as the burrito wore on things got worse and worse, and I realized why the first bite was so good but why the rest of the burrito was overwhelming: salt. There was too much salt. It was almost a chore to eat the rest of the burrito. Chipotle is usually the most uplifting experience of my day, but this day may prove to be different.

I do not regret today's East Coast Chipotle Experience, but I do regret the amount of salt in my burrito. The only thing to do now is go to the hotel pool, pull some sunglasses down over my eyes, and try to forget that part of the burrito ever happened. With today's heat coupled with the amount of admiration I have amassed for Chipotle over the years, this should be pretty easy.

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