Friday, November 22, 2013

Restaurant Review: Chipotle

Spicy, fresh salsa? Check. Cilantro-herbed rice with lime? Check. Freshly made guacamole? Check. Decent vegetarian options? Check. Free range meats and cheese created from animals raised without the use of synthetic hormones? Check. Olé-tastic atmosphere? Check.

Have I made it clear that I am a fan of Chipotle? That is why it saddens me to write that not all of the food options at the Mexican joint are suitable for those with soy allergies.

After enjoying a meal at Chipotle, I have frequently experienced a flare up of symptoms which I have come to associate with soy consumption: swelling, water retention and headaches, to name a few. I decided to look around on their website, and found an informational chart listing common allergens found in Chipotle meal components.

Chipotle does a superb job maintaining the honesty about its ingredients. In fact, Chipotle proudly states the belief, “food with integrity is our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.” That, in my opinion, is a refreshing statement to read from a company once owned by McDonalds.

Here is a list of which ingredients contain soy or soy byproducts:
  • soft flour tortilla
  • cilantro-lime rice (white & brown)
  • fajita vegetables
  • chicken
  • steak
  • sofritas
  • vinaigrette

Saddened? Yes, me too. However, Chipotle has taken the initiative to communicate which foods contain soy, allowing customers to choose something that better suits their dietary needs. This is a step further than several other common restaurants.

Overall grade: B+. Although not the healthiest food to eat, Chipotle it delicious, cheap and fresh. Displaying food allergens in an easily accessible place makes it easier for customers to enjoy their Chipotle visit without having unfortunate adverse allergy reactions. Olé, indeed! 

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