Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chipotle Mexican Grill - the Good, the Bad & the Spicy

I have mixed feelings about Chipotle Mexican Grill.  I was SO excited to try this place because I've continuously heard how great and gluten free accommodating it is.  Another plus is its a fast food joint, so it would be an ideal place to grab a quick bite.

Well... I finally had the chance to try it -- here's my opinion:

The Good:   
  • There are MANY gluten free options.  They are VERY accommodating.  It was so nice to have the option to have tacos in a taco shell and chips and salsa (with confirmation that the were fried in a dedicated fryer with no chance of cross contamination).  The only thing us gluten free folk can't have is the flour tortillas. 
  • I ordered the three tacos and thought it was great that I got to choose exactly what I wanted in my tacos.  I choose white rice, beans, chicken, corn and lettuce for two, and switched to beef for the third taco.   I also ordered a side of plain chips.
The Bad:
  • No one had warned me - I took the first bite and my mouth was immediately on FIRE!  I'll admit that I have no tolerance for spice, but, I was so surprised nonetheless.  No where on the menu does it say all of the meat is spicy, none of the staff say a certain protein is more spicy than another.  I was under the false impression it would just be the spices you added that would make your dish spicy... well, guess again.  Don't say you haven't been warned!

My 3 tacos, and my side order of chips, some of which are on the right

The Spicy:
It's not a joke, these peppers in the meat were HUGE.  I spent WAY too much time digging through my tacos for peppers to remove.  These tacos were WAY too spicy for me.  Not enjoyable at all.
I wanted simple delicious tacos, and was really disappointed at Chipotle.  I couldn't enjoy any of the tacos, it was just WAY too spicy for me.  If you have a great tolerance for spice, then go for it.  For me, Chipotle is a Thumbs Down - I expect chicken to be chicken, and only spicy chicken when I am forewarned that it's spicy chicken.  I won't be returning.

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your Chipotle experience; it is one of my favorite restaurants! I love spicy food, but my kids are less tolerant (they are 2 and 1) and they both eat here with no problems. Is it possible whomever made your tacos that one time just happened to use a bit too much peppers? Or maybe you got an extra spicy batch? In the restaurant's defense, they are named after a variety of Jalepeno pepper, so they're not trying to cover up the fact that you should expect some heat!

  2. My mom and I both have celiac disease and we have found that Chipotle is great for eating gluten free. They clearly state on their website and in their restaurants what contains gluten and what may contain gluten. They also have many options for switching up your order so we hardly ever get tired of it. We use Taco Bell sauce on our Chipotle bowls and tacos since they are more mild than the salsas at Chipotle and have great flavors.

  3. I've heard rumors that they have a spicy chart for kids but have never asked. I was told the pork is the least hot but pork is worse than gluten for me! I've actually started to just have the vegetarian bowls since the meats are too spicy for me as well.

  4. I feel the same way. Every time I go to Chipotle, I order everything mild, and then add hot sauce because I do not like jalapeno heat, but I do like heat from chili peppers. Every time I go to Chipotle though, my burritos are way too hot to even flavor them up with some chili pepper sauce. That's why I go to Qdoba. At Qdoba mild means mild...not kinda mild.

  5. If you cats do not like spicy food, then why are you eating at a mexican restraunt?! You people are foolish. Stick to your classic American cusine if your not looking for a nice spice. Chipotle is one of my absolute favorite. I don't think it is spicy enough and I get the spicest salsa on the menu, and add additional hott sauce they offer by the drinks.

  6. I agree. The bread and the corn and rice is all so good, it's really disappointing that it's always way too spicy for me. :/ It's also an expensive mistake to make that I always regret.