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Restaurant Review - Chipotle Mexican Grill

While all the tables were cleaned, I noticed rice and other stuff on the ground and a wrapper behind the recycling bin.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

1 Oak Street
Westborough, MA 01581

508.366.0653

 

A word on how I write these. They are based on going out for business or with friends, so writing them becomes an offshoot of one of those events.  They are written in advance of a self-imposed Friday posting timeframe.

Sometimes, when I look at the calendar and see nothing in queue along with no upcoming business meetings, I must head out to find new alone!

Such was the case today. This is being written on Mother’s Day, and I intended to review  Alas, they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.  may be Mr. Gotta-Eat, today I was Mr. Gotta-Post.  I shot down Rt 30 with the idea of reviewing the Chateau, and they were (spoiler alert) thankfully packed and I didn’t have to go in (not a fan).

Heading west on Route 9, I was in a quandary when I saw the sign for Chipotle Mexican Grill.  I have never been to a Chipotle, and was intrigued with the idea of a Gourmet Burrito.  After all, Starbucks made coffee a gourmet item.  Most of my experience with Burritos came from food carts in downtown Boston, where Herrera’s makes an awesome lunchtime Burrito.

As I walked up to the restaurant, I was surprised the outside patio had no patrons.  That should have been a warning, and I wrote it off as Chipotle not being a Mother’s Day destination.

What I was expecting was upscale.  What I got was a Moe’s.  I like Moe’s, especially the shouted greeting.  Chipotle claims to be the initiator of a new category, fast casual.

Entering Chipotle reminded me more of a McDonalds.  With everything prepared in the back.

Heading to the back, there was no greeting.  In fact, there was nobody at the counter.  There were a handful of people in the back busying themselves.

Eventually Muhammad came to the counter, and offered to make me a sandwich.  He prepped a tortilla and asked what I would like.

There is a reason I don’t like salad bars.  I don’t make a great salad.  Hmm, how am I going to make a great burrito?

Recalling how the lunch cart guys in Boston make them, I selected a series of ingredients like a seasoned pro.  Asking for steak, Muhammad immediately turned and asked a young woman for steak.  “I’m doing chicken now,” was the response.  Not wanting to argue with a woman with a knife, we patiently waited.

Spying a beer in the cooler, I went for a Corona to go with my burrito.  Sadly, no lime was offered.  And I was firmly instructed not to go on the patio with my beer, after being carded.

The bill seemed rather high for a “burrito joint”, $13.16.  No tip was required, making this seem again more like a McDonalds.

Sitting with my burrito, inside of course, I noticed my burrito was loosely wrapped, and the ingredients didn’t all seem to be working together.  I did have guacamole, and found the sandwich was a guacamole sandwich with some additions.  Not what I had in mind.

As I began eating, I took note of the restaurant.  While all the tables were cleaned, I noticed rice and other stuff on the ground and a wrapper behind the recycling bin.  Many restaurants have messes on the floor at the end of a rush; this was at 3:00 in the afternoon, and there was no rush going on.

Overall, I was disappointed.  My burrito wasn’t great, the place didn’t seem clean, and it was overpriced for what I got.  Fast Casual?  How about Fast Overpriced?  Moe’s at 61 Turnpike Road in Shrewsbury is a far better option.

Hours

Mon-Sun 11am-10pm

Chipotle Mexican Grill gets an RED LIGHT…use caution.

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money

The Author

Gary Kelley has lived in Westborough since 1994. His reviews are what he would tell friends, and are not an academic analysis. You can follow him @glkelley or www.garylkelley.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Greenburrows May 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM
The value of Chipotle lies in its commitment to using local/organic produce when it can and in its use of antibiotic free meats. Your experience sounds worse than our usual experience there but it aims to be healthy fast food not a "restaurant".
Gary Kelley May 19, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Greenburrows, your comment made me chuckle (thank you!) "It aims to be healthy fast food not a "restaurant." If it is not a restaurant, then what is it? It's not a food cart. My experience was based on a single visit...I tend not to go back to places where I didn't enjoy the experience. Frankly, a place like Chipotle won't survive if it is consistently terrible. Thanks for your comment!!
Amy Buttiglieri May 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM
Hi, Gary. Thanks for your post. I always wanted to try Chipotle - especially since the claim of local/organic/antibiotic-free, etc. But without tasty food, patrons won't return. Without good customer service, patrons won't return. There are too many other options close by. (Personally, I love Ted's!) I won't be trying Chipotle after all.
Gary Kelley May 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Amy, thanks for your note. Ted's is a great place for a burger...although the cardboard straws are odd. For a nearby place absolutely passionate about "local", try Armsby Abbey http://westborough.patch.com/blog_posts/restaurant-review-armsby-abbey Have a great day!
Christopher Fields May 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I've been to Chipotle a hand full of times and at different locations...its average across the board in my eyes, I know a few people that love the place but I prefer Moe's in Shrewsbury if I'm looking for a Americanized Mexican style of food (my favorite true Mexican restaurant is in Taladega AL, only draw back its a 2 day drive !)...also Armsby Abbey is a wonderful place, although I was attracted by the Beer selection, the great food they serve is a big plus !
Gary Kelley May 21, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Christopher, I'm with you at Moe's. Here's a my strategy for Armsby Abbey: go right to the Bloody Mary. They are fabulous, and they make them a variety of ways. I like mine with bacon... I'm not sure the bacon adds much to the beverage, but it is really cool to see.... And of course, the bacon is never left behind.
Keith Nelson July 25, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I just found your blog on Framingham Patch. I have to agree with Chipotle. I'm not impressed. I've been to both the Southborough and Framingham (Shopper's World) locations, and the one in Framingham seems better equipped to serve customers. They overstuff the burritos with rice to make them look bigger. Why don't they give us more steak, chicken, or carnitas instead? Moe's does a much better job. Have you tried Boloco in Natick? I'd rather go to Boloco than either Moe's or Chipotle.
Gary Kelley July 25, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Hi Keith. Thanks for your comment. I have to try Boloco!!! Better than Moe's, which is already good? Sounds fabulous.

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