Location: As many as Starbucks
Burrito and a soda: $10
I spent a year refusing to walk into Chipotle. The word alone is nails on a chalkboard, and I can't stand the smokiness of the ubiquitous pepper with the same moniker. But it was neither the name nor the flavor that turned me off. It was a matter of pride. No self respecting Mexican who grew up eating rice and beans should spend money eating a burrito from a fast food chain owned by McDonald's. And even after Chipotle had splintered off from McDonald's, I held fast to my convictions. But then the brown bags were everywhere, and everyone in the employee lounge held my childhood neatly wrapped in foil and tissue paper. It was the silent attack of the burritos. I watched sour cream ooze from their core. I watched the burritos' kaleidoscope change with each bite, and worst of all, I witnessed the voraciousness of each individual as they chewed and swallowed without breathing.
I crumbled. The next day, I walked to the nearest Chipotle. I had them prepare me a burrito with shredded pork, rice, pinto beans, corn salsa, cheese, and sour cream. I found a corner in the already bustling dining room and unwrapped the enemy, the fast food chain burrito. And wouldn't you know, it was amazing. After that first taste, I was there every weekday for a month. The pork was moist and perfectly seasoned, the rice was buttery, and the salsa was not runny. The amalgam of burrito guts harmonized better than Boyz II Men circa 1991. More importantly, the tortilla's ability to stand up to the ingredients was second to none. There's nothing worse than having to fork up the remains of a leaky burrito.
So do yourself a favor and put the "I can" in Mexican. Make your way to the nearest Chipotle and have a burrito. Hell, do what I did and have a burrito for the next 30 days. But be careful, I found out on chipotlefan.com that these things are 1,300 calories a pop. But hey, if you're gonna be a bear, be a grizzly. Buen provecho.