Friday, December 11, 2009

New Chipotle Mexican Grill Opens Today in Bellevue

A new Chipotle Mexican Grill will be opening today in the Crossroads neighborhood of Bellevue. This will be the 11th Chipotle location in the state, the 4th on the Eastside. Chipotle is a chain that began in Boulder, Colorado in 1993 and has expanded very quickly to over 860 outlets.

They are best known for their burritos, but I think more importantly should be their "Food With Integrity" philosophy. Especially impressive (and important!) for a chain of this size, is the fact that they put so much focus on the sourcing of their ingredients. Here are some interesting facts:
  • Chipotle is the largest restaurant buyer of naturally raised meats in the country with all Washington locations offering naturally raised pork, chicken and beef.
  • Chipotle purchases 25 percent of a single ingredient from a local farm. All Washington locations receive red onions from River Point Farms in Hermiston, OR; green bell peppers from Fewel Farms in Prosser, WA; and herbs from Herbco in Duvall, WA. This makes Chipotle the first and only national restaurant committed to buying local ingredients on a significant scale.
  • All of the dairy products Chipotle uses (cheese and sour cream) are 100 percent rGBH-free.
Considering Chipotle is a publicly owned company that is concerned first and foremost about their bottom line, I think it is great that they are taking responsibility for their sourcing. They are a great example that will hopefully pave the way for other national chains to do the same.

Personally, I do enjoy a Chipotle burrito from time to time, but was very surprised a few months back when I saw this Nutritional Calculator on one of their fan sites and found out that a fully loaded chicken burrito came in at over 1100 calories and 50g of fat. Even though the food is sourced from local farms and their proteins are relatively natural and free of hormones, it still is definitively not "healthy."

Chipotle Mexican Grill
800 156th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98008

1 comment:

  1. I find it sad that big burrito joints such as Taco del Mar, Gorditos, and Chipotle don't advertise that they serve portions that would be considered double to a standard 2000 calorie diet. Things like cheese and sour cream often find themselves as prevelent as the protien yet are either not used very much or not at all in traditional Mexican cuisine. I think Americans have done to Authentic Ethnic cuisine what Kenny G did to Jazz.