Cheers for Chipotle
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Like many other students, I came to college with a thirst for knowledge and a hunger for experience. Though I really try my best to focus on my studies, I can’t help it when my thirst and hunger get lazy and start to focus on other things, like good drinks and food.
When I arrived in Buffalo, one of my main concerns was where I would get my good-food fix. Growing up on Long Island has spoiled me; world-renowned for our bagels and pizza, the Island is loaded with places to eat that will leave you unable to breathe. You’ll be in a state of pure, bloated bliss.
No offense to the people of WNY, but for me, there’s no taste like home.
However, I digress, especially because in terms of Chipotle, I would have no knowledge of such perfection without the time I’ve spent here in Buffalo.
Though it is a chain, there are only nine Chipotles on Long Island, according to Google Maps. And though most of them are in my county, they’re far too spread out and distant from where I live for me to have ever heard of the establishment.
But I’m so happy I did.
The most important thing to know about Chipotle’s cuisine is all of the food has “integrity” – the restaurant makes sure its animals were given no antibiotics or hormones while they were raised, and the animals are kept in natural settings, not in steel or concrete pens. This is what differentiates Chipotle from other chains notorious for their barely-edible food.
In addition to offering its customers guilt-free food, it is relatively gut-free, too. Customers can order a burrito bowl –my own personal favorite – with chicken, brown rice, black beans, Chipotle’s signature chili-corn salsa and delicious guacamole, and they’ll only be racking up 700 calories.
While 700 calories is still steep for one meal, realistically anyone who’s hankering for satisfying Latin cuisine should be prepared to come off the diet for the day anyway.
Compared to sit-down restaurants like Cantina Loco that offer larger portions and multiple meal courses, Chipotle is an easy choice for those who are trying to watch their weight and still quench their cravings.
The food itself is consistently delicious and fresh, which makes it much more appealing than rival Mexican chains like Taco Bell, Mighty Taco or even – groan – Moe’s, where the food looks as if it’s been sitting in the same place for days. In every Chipotle I’ve visited, the kitchen was in plain sight of the customer line, enabling customers to watch the food being made in front of them.
For those who are grabbing food after a long day of work, Chipotle is one of the only Mexican fast-food chains to offer alcohol to its customers. Beer, wine and even margaritas are always available to thirsty customers.
Another obvious plus for the Mexican chain is the convenience. With a Chipotle located five minutes away from UB North Campus, it’s a perfect choice for students looking for a tasty study break. Students who live on South Campus can travel straight up Niagara Falls Boulevard. The trip takes 10 minutes at most – nothing compared to the 15-20 minute drive it would take to get to Allen Street, where Cantina Loco is located.
When I go home, one of the things I anticipate with the most excitement is the food I’m returning to. However, no amount of everything bagels can fill the hole left in my heart when I’m no longer five minutes away from the hearty Chipotle burritos that Buffalo has introduced into my life.