Monday, October 25, 2010


Why do I love Chipotle?

Let me count the ways:

1.Flour Tortillas
3.Sour Cream

That is EVERY single item on their menu that is forbidden on a gluten and dairy free diet. If you have only one intolerance, I bet you can guess which food is still good for you! And I bet you can still create thousands of different satisfying meal combinations with those small restrictions!

Stolen from their website:

Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Disease
Most people wanting to avoid gluten can eat anything we serve except for our large and small flour tortillas, and possibly our red tomatillo salsa (there is a small amount of distilled vinegar in it which some gluten-oriented websites still say might be problematic, although most don’t).
Everything else is fine to eat for most people wanting to avoid gluten, including our crispy corn tacos and our corn chips.

However, you should know that it’s possible our corn may have a small amount of gluten from potentially co-mingling with gluten-containing grains in the field. If you are highly sensitive and would like us to change our gloves, we would be happy to do that at your request. Additionally, because our folks work with wheat tortillas all day long, there may be the possibility of cross-contact in our restaurants. We encourage you to carefully consider your dining choices.

Chipotle holds a special place in my heart and stomach. A year ago when my stomach was on the mend from going dairy free, I was able to eat three tacos, chips and a small drink. Around January, I was only able to have one and a half or two tacos as my appetite disappeared. Forget about those chips! And now, I can once again have three (crispy) tacos (with a bag of chips and guac when I am especially hungry). Soon after going gluten free, I wrote Chipotle an e-mail saying how much I love their food and how I appreciate their variety of full meals on an allergen restricted diet. At the time, I was accidentally glutenized, so I was nearly crying when I wrote my e-mail because I thought it was so beautiful that their menu naturally was so accommodating. Now, I’m just happy to go in and have safe food. I have never left a Chipotle hungry! (Except for when I take my food to go on nice summer days…)

My preferred way to order at Chipotle is to use their online ordering. It is pretty amazing to completely skip the fast-moving line during the lunch rush and just walking up to the counter to get your food. Now, I know both of the guys who work the fax and web orders at Chipotle, so at this point, all I have to do is add a note in the comment section to “change gloves” and they make sure that my food is safely prepared with fresh gloves! (If your Chipotle food makers do not know your order by heart, I recommend adding a note WHY you want them to change their gloves for a higher level of comfort.) I have also gone through the line and have had no issues when asking people to change their gloves – they are more than happy to do so!

The food there is pretty amazing. Their fan base is insane! In college, people drove over half an hour to get to Chipotle. On their facebook page, people are constantly suggesting that they open a Chipotle in their home town. I’m lucky that now I just need to walk to the other side of my block at work to eat healthy, naturally raised meats and super fresh vegetables in overflowing portions. Since I eat there once a week, my current challenge to myself is to keep trying new foods at Chipotle. As a picky eater, my first Chipotle order was flour tortillas with chicken and cheese. Nothing else. Clearly, that was years ago, but my loyalty to their chicken has stayed fairly constant. A standard order for me now is the crispy tacos with chicken, rice, fajita vegetables and salsa. Sometimes I’ll add beans or even go veggie for an order and have their freshly made guac on my tacos! I have yet to be disappointed with a meal from Chipotle.

And as if I didn’t love Chipotle enough, this Halloween, their promotion is for a $2.00 burrito, bowl, salad, or tacos if you come dressed as a horrifying processed food product. The proceeds go to help Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. The catch is that you have to go to Chipotle after 6pm on Halloween (and come in a costume). (Check store hours!) Both Chipotle and Jamie are committed to fresh ingredients and moving away from our society’s heavy consumption of horribly processed foods. I strongly believe in both of their missions. Now I just need to find a costume…

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