My mom was recently in Arizona, so I asked her to write up a guest post about when she visited Chipotle Mexican Grill, a fast food chain in the States I have heard some pretty great things about. Here is her review!
I’ve always been curious about Desert heat….real heat…Snowbird destinations, but in the summer.
An opportunity arose and I enjoyed real desert heat with my step-mom, at her winter home in Mesa, Arizona. I can now tell you 47°C feels a lot hotter than 42 and 37 starts to feel downright temperate once you acclimatize. You also can’t fry an egg on the sidewalk, although it will start to dehydrate. I tried. For my fellow nerds, egg proteins coagulate at about 60°C.
My husband had read about Chipotle, a trendy, newer, healthier fast food restaurant in the US and suggested we try it if we had an opportunity. Chipotle’s motto is “Food with Integrity”. There are several locations here in Mesa, and we came across one while we were shopping at SanTan Village.
The decor is minimalist in contrast to the usual colorful decorations of most Mexican restaurants in fact it felt Japanese. Although there were not many patrons, it was very noisy inside. The staff were very friendly and on hearing that it was our first time, let us sample the different meats before choosing and gave us a free serving of tortilla chips with guacamole with our meal, a $1.75 value.
You order your meal from the choices on the overhead menu, and then customize it as you would in a Subway. My mom had the beef burrito bowl and I had the beef salad bowl. My salad bowl started with a layer of lettuce with a choice of nicely seasoned brown or white rice, then a choice of 2 kinds of beans which we both left off, the meat I chose was the barbacoa (braised, spicy beef) and grilled peppers and onions, fresh tomato salsa, tomatillo salsa ( green and medium hot). All the condiments looked fresh and the cheese and sour cream were made from hormone free milk (an issue we don’t have here in Canada, thank goodness) and the cilantro was organic. The website details why sourcing each of their food choice is good for the environment or good for you. Although our bowls had different names, by the time we customized them, they were fairly similar.
The least appealing part of the meal was the tortilla chips which didn’t have that “hot out of the deep fryer taste” and the guacamole was bland and not nearly as good tasting as what my daughter makes.
The meal was tasty and a large serving. It was good, not fabulous, but perhaps we weren’t hungry enough. I really like their food philosophy and that is a good reason to support them. We didn’t stay to shop or walk outside any further. It was 43°C and despite the misters blowing outside on the blazing walkway, it was just too hot to stroll.
I had a wonderful time in Mesa. You have to respect the heat and drink lots and lots of water and take it easy walking around in the heat of the day. The car turns into an oven within 5 minutes without air conditioning running. The desert has its own beauty and the many shrubs and cactus that bloom in that withering heat are a testament to adaption… and swimming pools are a wonderful thing.
Thanks for the review Mom!