Chipotle Mexican Grill

Review by Mama2Dylan
Lancaster Drive NE,
Salem (across from Lancaster Mall)
503-428-5200
Open 11am-10pm
It’s been called the fast food equivalent of a Whole Foods Market. Their slogan is "Food with Integrity", things like unprocessed, seasonal, family-farmed, sustainable, nutritious, naturally raised, hormone free, organic, and artisanal. The interior architecture design is comprised of simple materials such as metal & wood put together creatively. The artwork on the walls is original workings from Bruce Gueswel a noted sculptor (http://www.mayatekinc.com/artwork.html
) who also designed their unique chairs (http://www.mayatekinc.com/furniture.html). The music playing in the background is a stream of hand-picked eclectic tunes (http://www.chipotle.com/#/flash/restaurants_music) creating a hip, friendly, casual environment.They have a have a very focused menu. It’s so basic and to the point. You’ll never find yourself (or the patron in front of you) standing there scratching your head at the vast amount of choices and meal deals. http://www.chipotle.com/#/flash/food_menu
For lack of a better description I can only equate it with the same concept as a Subway restaurant. The food is assembled according to what and how you want it right in front of you just like Subway does. (http://www.chipotle.com/#/flash/food_ingredients). Behind that counter you can see an open kitchen where someone is standing by to prepare fresh replacements for anything they may run out of on the front line. I arrived for lunch just after opening at 11 a.m. I ordered a burrito; made w/ a flour tortilla, some cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans (they also have vegetarian black beans), adobo marinated chicken (other meat choices include (braised carnitas (pork) or barbacoa (shredded beef), then I added some cheese, sour cream, and salsa. They also have romaine lettuce as a choice. I added fresh guacamole as well (which is an added charge).The vegetarian burrito includes guacamole, and they make their fresh guacamole 3 times a day. Salsa choices include; fresh tomato-mild, roasted chili-corn, medium, tomatillo-green chili medium, tomatillo-red chili- hot. Other menu choices include; a fajita burrito, burrito bowl, tacos-crispy or soft and salad. Extras available are; chips & guacamole, chips & salsa, side of guacamole or a side of chips. Drink choices are; margarita, specialty beer, domestic beer, bottled drinks, soda and iced tea (from a self serve fountain).Frankly I was very impressed with the overall experience. The food was fast, good, fresh and reasonably priced. The atmosphere was very clean, basic and unpretentious. The music was unobtrusive and last but certainly not least the employees were extremely friendly and efficient. I would definitely recommend this place to a friend and I will be returning in the future.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I went to Chipotle yesterday for the first time. I agree, the look and feel of the place is nice. The food seemed to me to be a cross between Baja Fresh and Taco del Mar. Good, but not spectacular, I think I like Baja better.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good non-national chain authentic Mexico restaurants in Salem.

Lancaster is not the most fun part of town.

For authentic, there are several really good taco trucks on Portland road, La Perla, Chula Vista, La Mixteca, JR's Taqueria..etc. If you want American Mexican, La Hacienda is good, Los Baez...etc.

halı yıkama said...

very good

Anonymous said...

Ewwww..... taco trucks on Portland road. Not only do I not trust the quality and cleanliness of the food on what has been coined “roach coach”, but the neighbor hood is less than desirable. While there are lots of good non-chain choices in Salem what might attract me to this place is how the poster said the food is unprocessed, seasonal, family-farmed, sustainable, nutritious, naturally raised, hormone free, organic, and artisanal. I don't think many places can claim that.

mama2dylan said...

I've heard good things about Baja Fresh. My plan is to try them next.

Anonymous said...

Baja Fresh is ok. It is a hybrid American/Taco Bell kinda place. Really a nicer version of Taco Bell. Pretty generic. If you are stuck in an airport or a food court at the mall they wouldn't be a bad choice. Just don't expect anything ethnic.

To whoever talked about "taco trucks" - there is only one that I have tried that I like - it is just past Silverton road on the left - if you are heading North. I have spent a lot of time traveling in Mexico and it is pretty authentic. Slow cooked "al pastor" and homemade picante. As to cleanliness, you have to assess these individually. They are all regulated by the health department and, at least that particular stand, is very busy and the employees seem vigilent.

Taco stands/trucks are much better in general in Forest Grove or North Porland.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Chipotle owned by McDonalds?

KandN said...

At one time.
This is from wikipedia, "In the past, McDonald's Corporation owned a majority interest in Chipotle. McDonald's has since sold their entire stake in Chipotle; full divestment was completed in October 2006."

Anonymous said...

Baja Fresh is probably not better than Chipotle. Chipotle has better quality ingredients and, in my opinion, way bigger flavor. It doesn't have as many entree choices at Baja, though. To each his own.

Yikes... hopefully no one takes to heart another commenter's reccomendation for "good Mexican food" from Los Baez. Ew ew, no no no. Bad food, icky. No offense or anything to the person who mentioned them.... I just think they're awful! Try La Perla!!

Anonymous said...

La Perla tastes good, but man, have you ever seen the grease in the foil if you get tacos al pastor to go.

Los Baez is good if you order certain things on certain days. Inconsistent. Can be very good though. They make great margaritas and usually have great service. Their tortillas and salsa are excellent.

Pouszigga said...

Chipotle Serves Naturally raised meats; and other restaurants like Baja dont. The Guacamole is to Dieee for!! And, the cute guys working make it a much more enjoyable meal!!
:D

Anonymous said...

I'm mexican and la Hacienda is by far the closest to home food i can get here is salem. I want to try Chipotle but my one experience at Baja didn't leave me wanting to go back. They ran out of beans and tortillas! dear god its a mexican food place, how can you run out of your two big staples?

mama2dylan said...

La Hacienda is my favorite sit down (and be served by a server) Mexican restaurant here in town.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous from July 14th, 2009 5:22PM.
My name is Berto. I am the General Manager at Chipotle on Lancaster. I would love to invite you and 9 other people to try out my place. I hope you get a chance to read this.

Anonymous said...

love chipotle. we go once a week! will travel from south salem to north salem just to eat there! please open a chipotle in south salem!! similar to qdoba, but chipotle chicken and barbacoa are top notch! tasty! miss Robert!

Chuck Bradley said...

McMexican! Give me strength! This place is not especially good and not especially cheap. Mexican food and health food must, by definition, be mutually exclusive. With this in mind, I think Chipotle and Baja Fresh are testament to my conclusion that, if you want good Mexican food, you must go to a place that Mexicans own, operate and patronize.