Chipotle Mexican Grill is contemplating becoming ten times more vegan friendly. Here’s why this is fantastic news.
In my Ultimate Vegan Guide, I touch on what I call the Burrito Tax, which exists whenever restaurants screw over their vegan customers by giving them less food for more money. It works out that no cuisine is worse than Mexican food in this regard, and no Mexican-style chain is worse than Chipotle.
See, the problem with Chipotle is that their veggie burritos are way, way overpriced — they’re only a dime or two cheaper than their chicken burritos. So, unless you care about animals or the environment, you’re an idiot to buy a veggie burrito since it’s a bad deal.
And the deal gets even worse if you’re vegan, because then you’re leaving off the cheese and the sour cream — two of the most expensive incredients in a burrito. And in their place goes: nothing. So, while omnivorous Chipotle customers are walking out with burritos as big as their heads, you’re paying almost the same price for a burrito the size of a miserly Greenwich Village joint.
Happily, Chipotle’s thinking of remedying this untenable situation. In Washington DC’s DuPont Circle district, the chain is rolling out a “Vegan Garden Blend” burrito. The LunchBoxBunch blog has photos and all the details, but suffice it to say this new product is looking spectacular. There’s no burrito tax anywhere in sight: you get a big-ass burrito loaded with yummy stuff, and everything’s cruelty free.
So let’s hope that this pilot program is a success, and that Chipotle decides to make their Vegan Garden Blend burrito a permanent offering at all locations. With 837 restaurants, this would be an exciting and important advance for veganism in the United States. (Via iWorkHealthy.) Photo credit: Paul Shapiro. Link.
Update: Ann T. sent me a great email on this subject, that clarifies and partially corrects my comments about Chipotle’s vegan pricing:
Thank you for bringing up the whole “burrito tax”; and naming Chipotle as an offender. I wrote to Chipotle about this same issue; they responded by (politely) saying the high cost of the vegan entree was due to the inclusion of guacamole, their most expensive ingredient. People get upcharged for guac on the meat burritos, but the guac is included in the cost of the veggie burritos. The rep also said that I should be able to request extra beans, rice, etc. at no cost. Not that this has worked out in actual usage. Still incredibly irritating. Again, thanks for pointing it out!