Matt Motyl contributed to the reporting in this article.
Continuing the journey of finding the best burrito in Winston-Salem, freshman Micah Porter, along with guest critic, freshman Matt Motyl, test out Winston-Salem’s very own Chipotle. Located near Hanes Mall in the Southeast part of town, Chipotle offers an array of “mission-style” burritos that taste just as fresh as they look. From start to finish Chipotle provides a top tier dining experience, giving the customer much more than a good burrito.
Price – Micah: 7.4, Matt: 7.9
Chipotle is fun, unique and (from what their employees claim) authentic. The only factor that counts against Chipotle’s spotless record is its distance from the university and the costs associated. Given that Chipotle is six miles from campus, you either have to make the trek in person or take advantage of one of the food delivery services online. Chipotle’s sticker prices, however, are extremely reasonable, with fully equipped burritos running from $6.50 – $7.50. The combination of size and flavor, however, more than offsets the challenges of reaching the restaurant. The complete package that it is, Chipotle also invites customers to purchase add-ons such as queso and guacamole for an additional charge.
Quality – Micah: 8.5, Matt: 8.9
Easily the freshest burrito option for those on a budget or a time crunch, Chipotle promises speed, service and, as their motto states, “food with integrity.” Stepping up to the counter, I ordered the carne asada burrito garnished with fresh cilantro, cheddar and salsa. After laying a bed of rice and beans, I thoughtfully added garlic, salt and pepper to liven up the natural flavor of the beef. Finishing off my order with a gentle squeeze of lemon juice for added tartness, I sat down to try out my creation. Motyl ordered the vegetarian option, and to my surprise, was somehow just as satisfied with his meal as I was with mine. The texture of MY burrito was dominated heavily by the bed of rice, beans and meat, but held traces of creamy guacamole and crunchy vegetables.
Freshness – Micah: 8.3, Matt: 8.8
Chipotle offers many different cuts of meat prepared in different ways, and their homemade queso goes well with everything. After one bite of the carne asada burrito, I immediately became aware of a multitude of flavors I was unfamiliar with. The composition of herbal spices and aromatic slices of meat made for a savoury heaven in my mouth. For lovers of an authentic burrito, you need not search any further. Chipotle’s ingredients taste so fresh you would think they’re growing a garden in the back room.
Co-critic, Motyl, commented on the burrito by claiming, “I don’t think they could have made that burrito better.”
Customer Experience –
Micah: 7.6, Matt: 7.7
For a restaurant with such high quality products, the atmosphere of Chipotle is generic in nature, resembling the interior of nearly every other modern restaurant. Although its lack of originality in design does not detract from the quality of food, I would like to see Chipotle incorporate more elements of traditional Mexican architecture into their layout.
The employees at Chipotle, however, add another layer of excellence to the restaurant’s repertoire. Knowledgeable about product and flavor, the staff at Chipotle are helpful, and not in an “in your face” kind of way. Their only hope is that you enjoy the food . . . but that’s a given.