Chipotle Experiment

Well it was about 12:30pm and lunch was right around the corner. My co-worker Adam suggested Chipotle for lunch.

It seems like there are two primary schools of thought surrounding Chipotle: Chipotle is either your all-time favorite restaurant and you suggest it as a restaurant option even while at another restaurant, or you openly detest Chipotle and express that loudly while in line at Chipotle. Both are annoying. I don’t fall under either of those as I am mostly indifferent and not annoying, but I guess I’ve had generally average experiences. All this to say, I agreed to go to Chipotle.

My only (very) real issue with Chipotle is that they have cilantro in both their brown and white rice. That is ALL the rice. Unlike my attitude toward Chipotle as a whole, cilantro is something I am vehemently against. I hate it. Cilantro is that person who puts a dirty fork in a dishwater full of freshly cleaned dishes. Cilantro is that friend who spoils the movie like, while you’re watching the movie. Cilantro is that guy at the party who trips over the power cord and shuts off the music and subsequent fun. Basically cilantro ruins everything.

However, despite how much I hate it, I usually order the rice anyway because what is a burrito bowl without rice? It is a salad.


Anyways, I’ve been tolerating this disgustingly flavored rice in my burrito bowls for years. I guess I’m just a silent sufferer, a martyr of sorts. But for some reason, today I decided perhaps I could try to find an alternative to misery. While in line at Chipotle, I began plotting.

Once it was my turn to order, in true entrepreneurial fashion, I boldly asked, “do you by any chance have rice without cilantro?”

What my voice lacked in hope, it made up for in desperation. The expression on my face was that of someone who had been burned before at restaurants – been brought the wrong order, been left too long without a drink refill, been told “wow someone was hungry!!!” on a date by a waiter, etc.

So I stood there, hands shaking, eyes wide, unsure of what was to come, wondering whether I should’ve even asked, hoping for the best but anticipating a burrito bowl being thrown in my face. Until finally the woman taking my order responded: “yeah hold on.” and then turned around.


YEAH”!! I WOULD hold on!! So many thoughts raced around my head. I can enjoy my meal! Why haven’t I ever asked about this before? What other cilantro-less options have I been missing out on? Should I ask about dairy-free queso too? (negative.) Should I ask about cilantro-less guacamole? (negative.) Should I dye my hair darker? (unrelated but have been toying with for a while so naturally it came up.)

Today was ground-breaking. My burrito bowl was unforgettable, but more importantly, I learned a valuable lesson about knowing what you want and asking for it –

– at least, knowing what you want and asking for it in terms of ordering food at Chipotle. Because when it comes to my dietary restrictions and overall pickiness, asking for alternatives usually results in disappointment and being deemed as high maintenance. So I didn’t really need this lesson because I indeed know what I want and I ask for it constantly to no avail. But in this specific instance, at Chipotle, in the form of relatively decent rice, lesson learned!!!!

Sans cilantro, my burrito bowl was less bad but not necessarily any better, so I’d still rate Chipotle around the same as before today. But I digress.