Friday, October 17, 2008

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Ever since moving to Colorado in September 2004, I have to admit that I've been addicted to burritos. But not just any burritos. Chipotle burritos in particular. And seriously, what's not to like? The company started locally, in Denver. It's a leader in the realm of using organic veggies and natural meats (part of the company's Food With Integrity and sustainability initiatives). And the food is pretty darned tasty.

It's also really easy to eat gluten-free there. Basically, as long as you avoid the soft flour tortillas (large, burrito-sized or small, taco-sized) you're fine. Just go with the burrito bowl, and you're good to go. The rest of the ingredients are a-okay. That includes the chips, which are 100% corn.

The language on Chipotle's website still contains a few requisite cautionary words: there is the chance for cross-contamination since they work with flour tortillas all day. They also mention the possibility of gluten in the fresh corn, since the corn might co-mingle with wheat "out in the field." But I've never seen this as a concern with corn before, and frankly, it doesn't worry me. Similarly, they mention that the hot red tomatillo salsa has a small amount of distilled vinegar. That shouldn't be a problem at all. There's a big difference between distilled vinegar and malted vinegar, which would have barley listed as an ingredient.

In the end, Chipotle is very accomodating for folks who can't eat gluten. If you're particularly concerned, you can always ask the server to change their gloves. But after eating countless burrito bowls, I can confidently say that I've never gotten sick from eating Chipotle, and I don't hesitate to chow down on my favorite combo of fixin's - burrito bowl, no beans, extra rice, barbacoa meat, salsa verde, and lettuce. Yum.

Oh, and did I mention that Chipotle's presence is ever-expanding nationwide? Find one near you, and go order yourself a burrito bowl, pronto.

- Pete


Gluten Free Steve said...

Chipotle also has the best chips and guac. That's my pick me up when I've got the Celiac blues.

peterbronski said...

So true, Steve! The chips... the salt... the sprinkle of lime... the fresh salsas. Delicious!

Cheers, Pete

Lauren Denneson said...

Thanks for posting about Chipotle! I had heard they were gluten free (minus the flour tortillas), but was always wary about trying it. I loved eating there before I went GF and it's great to know I can once again - and not to mention have a 'fast food' place I can stop at while traveling.

peterbronski said...

So true, Lauren. Having places where you feel comfortable eating while traveling is a huge bonus - I love PF Changs for the same reason. Enjoy your next burrito bowl!

Cheers, Pete

Amanda on Maui said...

I was googling Chipotle today to see if anything had changed since I ate there last year, and your post was in the top 10 of my search. How cool. I had really good luck with them in the past, and I hope that good luck exists with them in my near future.

peterbronski said...

How fun! I don't suppose you were Googling "chipotle no gluten no problem" were you? =) I too have had a lot of success eating there. I've only been cross-contaminated once, a number of years ago. (Hope I don't jinx myself now...)

Cheers, Pete