I love Chipotle. It’s just a perfect place to dine at in a rush, on an informal date, or if you just want something great, quickly. The portions are huge and the price doesn’t kill you either.
They say when something is perfect, to leave it as is, but Chipotle went away from that and added a new option to their cafeteria style fast food menu.
For the first time since they added an underwhelming chorizo meat option over a year ago, Chipotle has brought a new protein into the fold.
Carne Asada is defined by Chipotle as thin-cut steak seasoned with spices, fresh squeezed lime and topped with chopped cilantro. It sounded amazing so I had to do the hard research by being a culinary guinea pig once again. Such a tough and grueling life I live.
I wanted this to be a fair test, so I kept my order relatively simple; white rice, pinto beans, carne asada, mild salsa, cheese, and lettuce.
Pretty boring, but this was finding out how the meat tasted, not the time to be making some wild concoction so that I can’t differentiate one ingredient from the next. It was a real pros pro maneuver not to brag.
I was expecting big things out of this new menu item, and big is what I got.
The carne asada was massive, huge strips of meat were falling over the edge of my burrito bowl. It was so big it actually made it slightly difficult and inconvenient to try to eat. If you’re going to get it in a bowl. you’re going to want to cut it up as best you can or you’re bound to make a mess. Meat size does matter, and in this rare case the smaller the better.
When it comes to flavor, the carne asada wasn’t lacking whatsoever, it was covered in spices and had the hint of lime just like how Chipotle marketed it. The flavor was good not great, I think the spices were a little heavy handed but added some worth to the meat.
Overall it made for a tasty lunch, but it wasn’t my favorite meat at Chipotle. The carnitas, barbacoa, and steak are all superior in my mind, with chicken rivaling it as well.
I didn’t want to judge the carne asada too harshly because I went the first day of it’s menu addition, and I assume they will make improvements on the quality as time goes on.
That being said the meat was a little tough, and with it being as large as it was and tough it made for a more difficult eating experience than I’ve ever had at Chipotle. Some might say it was a little carne aharda (laugh).
All this being said I think this has the ability to be a strong new option at everyone's favorite Mexican-American restaurant, but there are some kinks to work out. The flavor is there, but could use a slight tweak, the meat is just much too large, and my batch was over cooked. It wasn’t a great first experience but I’m willing to give it another shot, for research purposes of course.
Verdict: Astonishingly Average Asada
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