You may have heard the news last week that Chipotle was set to go national with a new menu item: the SOFRITAS VEGAN BURRITO, which is an exciting development for vegans and non-vegans throughout the land. (I happen to be a non-vegan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate new, non-legged spins on Mexican food.) The burrito was allegedly made widely available yesterday, so I popped over to the Chelsea location on 6th Avenue to take it for a test drive.
Now, for a little bit of background (skip ahead two paragraphs if you hate little bits of background): I used to be a frequent customer at Chipotle back in college, largely because I spent ninety percent of my existence as a hungover fat person, and because living in Ohio makes chain restaurants (and Walmart) seem like fun places to see and be seen. Post-graduation, however, I put away Chipotle-ish things, because I WAS AN ADULT WHO NEEDED TO FIT INTO PANTS NOW. I only revisited Chipotle a few weeks ago, when I was stuck at the airport at 8am and decided that a burrito bowl sounded more appealing than a bagel. (And it was.) So for the last few weeks I’ve found myself back at the hands of the now-vegan-friendly seductress Chipotle.
And things have changed, you guys. For example, the pinto beans? The ones that used to be meat-filled? NOT MEAT-FILLED ANYMORE, APPARENTLY! Again, I am not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, but I’m not super into Chipotle’s traditional meat options, and this made me look like less of a freak for ordering a vegan burrito with what used to be non-vegan beans. WHEW! They also offer brown rice now as opposed to the standard white, but FUCK THAT SHIT, if I wanted the equivalent of a burrito juice cleanse, I’d have just gone to eat heaps of seaweed and kabocha squash at Souen. #NOPE
NO ANIMALS IN HERE LOL.
So I got the burrito with white rice, pinto beans, mild salsa, corn salsa, and (most importantly) Sofritas, which is organic, shredded tofu that’s braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and spices. My total came to $8.50.
Let’s just get right into it, then: the taste was nice and smoky (a little spicy, even) from the chilis, to the point that I’d say it’s my favorite of all the fillings I’ve tried at Chipotle to date. (BOLD STATEMENT! For a second opinion, consult this statement by my friend Laura: “It was a little too taco packet seasoning for my taste.” <—there is no such thing as a little too taco packet seasoning.)
Texturally, though, you’re not going to be fooled (at least I wasn’t) that this is shredded meat; obviously if you’re vegan this has come to be expected, but if you’re looking for a miracle in the Sofritas burrito, you’re not going to find it. (It’s still got that crumbly tofu in a non-meat way thing happening, and while I don’t think a carnivore would even pick up on it or find it off-putting, it’s still noteworthy.) But the texture semi-fail is a minor detail, especially when you’ve got the rice and/or lettuce and/or other fillings / toppings to mask it.
See upper right-hand burrito corner (just under the tomatoes) for that tofu crumblage.
Overall a solid new menu option for Chipotle, and definitely one I’m sure vegans can feel good about while consuming enough calories for a small army. I would like to remind everyone, however, that I find the concept of “vegan” burrito to be a funny one, seeing as that translates from Spanish to: vegan little donkey. So enjoy the meatless donkeys, guys. Enjoy them so much.