Its All About The
Ingredients At Chipotle
By Luann & Tricia/
In todays culinary world, it goes without saying that
a restaurant needs to do something different to survive. Well,
Chipotle Mexican Grill is not only surviving, its expanding,
and we couldnt be happier about it, given the recent
opening of its newest Long Island location in Huntington Station.
Gourmet burritos, crispy tacos, salads, bowls, and possibly
the best guacamole in town mark this spacious, better-than-fast-food
joint on Walt Whitman Road, just past the Walt Whitman Mall.
The chain, which started in 1993 and now has over 700 locations
nationwide, took over the spacious area previously occupied
by Pizza Hut at Schwab Road and made it its own, complete
with spacious indoor and outdoor seating, and plenty of parking,
making this quick food eatery stand out among its storefront
Boasting only the freshest, Chipotle (pronounced Chi-poat-lay)
uses all premium-grade ingredients. That includes Grade A
Haas avocados and naturally raised meats, with no added hormones
or antibiotics, an all-vegetarian diet. Twenty-five percent
of the bean mix is organic, and the milk used to make the
sour cream and cheeses is free of bovine hormone and free
You can truly taste the difference. The meats were quality,
all seasoned differently and accordingly. Chicken ($6.75),
marinated in a chipotle pepper adobo, then grilled, has the
slightest kick that stays with you as you munch on your burrito
and is complemented by the hints of lime and cilantro in the
rice. Carnitas ($6.75) was a welcome change, tasty and juicy
shredded pork seasoned with thyme, bay leaves, juniper berries
and black pepper, seared and braised. Barbacoa shredded beef
($6.95) had a distinctly different taste, more spicy than
the others, braised with chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic
and oregano ($6.95). Steak is simple, marinated in chipotle
adobo, then grilled.
We started with a chicken burrito, prominently displayed on
the menu above the assembly line of employees and ingredients.
Our meal was assembled before our eyes as we watched Chipotle
employees heat the giant flour tortilla, scoop cilantro-lime
rice and our choice of pinto or black beans, then top it with
Next up was our choice of salsa. Theres the mild, fresh
tomato and the medium roasted chili-corn, but our favorites
were the medium tomatillo-green chili, which had a hint of
citrus flavor to it, and the hot tomatillo-red chili, bold
but not abrasive, and full of flavor.
Cheese, sour cream and guacamole topped off the rest of our
burrito yes, we went all out before it was wrapped
ever so professionally, holding every delicious ingredient
in place. One bite encompassed a harmony of flavors, from
the rich cooling sour cream to the delicate spice of the meat.
Our first burrito looked so good that we opted for a second
this time, the fajita burrito, which includes all the
fixings of the regular burrito but with sautéed peppers
and onions instead of beans. The vegetables are crisp and
firm, and add a slight hint of tomato taste to the rice.
Our curiosity or perhaps, hungry taste buds
got the best of us, and we also ordered tacos, opting for
a combination of the crispy corn shells and soft flour tortillas.
The tacos come with lettuce, salsa, cheese and sour cream
with a choice of meat, a manageable portion of Chipotle goodness.
Also on the menu are burrito bowls a burrito or fajita
in a bowl, no tortilla and salads leafy romaine
lettuce with beans, choice of meat salsa, and cheese, with
freshly made chipotle-honey vinaigrette.
We enjoyed all this on the outdoor patio, where the traffic
of Route 110 seemed to disappear. Take our advice and splurge
on a side of chips and guacamole. As we said already, the
guacamole is out of this world fresh and thick, with
chunks of avocado. We found the chips to be well above average
as well; they come sprinkled with fresh lime juice and kosher
salt, and made the perfect crunchy complement to our soft
Chipotles green philosophy doesnt stop with its
ingredients; they translate to the restaurant structure itself.
Chipotle works closely with the U.S. Green Building Council
and uses low volatile organic compounds, primers, paints and
caulking and energy efficient fluorescent lighting, among
other environmentally friendly initiatives.
With its nearest location in Farmingdale farther south on
Route 110, Chipotle may be a newcomer to Huntington, but is
already becoming one with the neighborhood. As a pre-opening
celebration on July 24, the eatery threw a fundraiser to benefit
the Half Hollow Hills Football League, all proceeds of which
will go to purchase athletic equipment.
We look forward to more visits to Chipotle when that inevitable
burrito craving rolls around.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
435 Walt Whitman Rd.
Cuisine: Quick, quality, Mexican gourmet
Atmosphere: Slick, casual, open seating
with indoor and outdoor options
Price range: Inexpensive
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily