114-116 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JR
Telephone: 0207 636 8491
I’m trying really hard to save money at the moment. Josh and I are road-tripping around the States in a few months and let’s just say we’re going to need ‘nough dollar to realise our unashamedly mega plans. So as well as succumbing to the instant-ready-filth that is Pot Noodles for dinner and a renewed vigor in making packed lunches, I have been looking for cheap ways to fill my belly. On that count, Chipotle is a very very good shout.
A ‘Mexican Grill’, and the first to open in London – there are nearly a 1,000 in the US of A – Chipotle serves a simple no-nonsense menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads. Chipolte in the States prides itself on being only national restaurant chain that is committed to serving food made with ingredients from sustainable sources, including naturally raised meat, and organic and local produce. Ace.
So first things first. Do NOT choose a window-seat. I did and in between needing a bib (I confess my vest became oh-so slightly stained with steak-grease, oops) and noticing that my unlady-like burrito-devouring was attracting stares from tourists and Londoners alike, I think, in retrospect, a badly-lit booth of shame would be the best place to scoff burritos.
The burritos though. They are big. On offer was chicken, pork and I forget what else, but I opted for steak fajita – after some very kind and helpful guidance from a sweet lady who worked there – and loaded the tortilla with pinto beans, coriander-lime rice, sour cream, cheese, salad and roasted-tomato salsa. The serving-staff were also cool and friendly and quick. With a can of coke (at a round £1) the meal came to £7.95. Not bad for a filling, tasty and fun meal but perhaps not the kind of money I would be prepared to shill every day for lunch. Blimey. If I ate one of those bad-boys every day I would be wearing a muumuu before I knew it.
The burrito was decent and the meat tender and nicely spiced although perhaps lacking in oomph and that ‘shazam’ taste I love in Mexican cooking. The playlist was eclectic and odd and really fun and really the service – if more places in London, say the tube, were this friendly I would smile alot more. The downsides are few. It could do with being a bit cheaper and they could do with turning the flavour up another notch, say all the way to 11, but until I get to the States – where I am sure I will go bananas for burritos – this will do nicely.