February 22, 2019: One of the new restaurants recently opened at the plaza at Woodbine and Highway 7 across from LA Fitness in Markham is Chipotle Mexican Grill. This popular Mexican fast casual joint serves tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and salads with you can customize each item with the toppings and fillings that you want. The first Chipotle that I went to was at the Shops on Don Mills plaza several years ago. I remember thoroughly enjoying the burrito bowl that I had and fascinated with how such a simple concept could taste so delicious.
Helen and I met up here for dinner at 6 p.m. This location of Chipotle Mexican Grill was very spacious and large! It resembled a cafeteria to me. The walls were a bit bland. I think the place could be livened up with some paintings or colourful artwork on the walls. There were also a lot of staff working behind the counter. Do they really need that many people for a quick casual eatery?
Despite not having tried their tacos, burritos, or salads before, I still opted for the burrito bowl once again (easier and less messy to eat). I chose to have cilantro-lime brown rice, pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and the barbacoa as my choice of protein. I asked the staff behind the counter what barbacoa was and he told me that it was a form of beef (here’s what Wikipedia says about it). Another user online says it is: “seared beef slow cooked in a spectacular spicy adobo sauce and combination of flavors that create the perfect moist and tender Mexican shredded beef.”
Indeed, the barbacoa was very, very tender and moist beef! Its texture reminded me of how pulled pork usually tastes. Just like my previous visit, every forkful of the bowl was delicious. It was such a savory mixture of beef, rice, cheese, sour cream, and beans which made the taste experience so well-rounded. For under $10, this was a very good meal and the portion was so generous that I couldn’t finish it and brought the rest home — on request, they provide you with a metal lid that you can just plop on top of the bowl.
(Speaking of forks, I wish that the plastic cutlery at Chipotle didn’t use the hard plastics that don’t degrade or recycle well. Their type of black plastic forks were the very sturdy ones too. For such a big establishment, I would hope that they can opt for something for environmentally friendly. Perhaps wooden forks?)
(Also, while choosing the type of rice or type of beans and toppings that I wanted in my burrito bowl, I would have appreciated if the options on the counter were actually individually labelled. It would save customers from guessing or having to ask what toppings are what.)
Helen ordered the Crispy Corn Tacos, which came with three tacos. She chose chicken for her protein.
We also shared an order of the Chips & Guacamole. This was presented in a paper bag with the guacamole scooped separately into a plastic container. The chips were nicely crispy but unfortunately whoever salted it was a bit heavy handed. The guacamole was good.
Someday in the future, I should try their tacos and burritos. Their tacos are available in crispy corn tacos or soft flour tacos.