Last year when I was about to get married, I had a bridal shower where we played a mini version of the Newlywed Game with me and my fiancée—now husband—as the contestants. They asked me a variety of questions, and then got him on the phone to see if he could come up with the correct answers. The questions were pretty simple, but one gave me a little trouble.
“What is your favorite restaurant?”
My favorite restaurant? That depends on the way the wind is blowing that day. Do I want sushi, fried chicken or fine dining? Am I on a date or out with my girlfriends? Do I need comfort food or am I feeling adventurous?
I finally settled on the Oceanaire. I am a total freak for seafood, and this place is the mecca of the sea as far as I’m concerned. I know it’s not cool to pick a chain, but the oysters, fresh fish and key lime pie I’ve had here can’t be denied. I also love the old-fashioned, clubby atmosphere and the service has been outstanding on each trip.
When my husband gave his answer, however, it was clear to me that he was right, and I was wrong. “Well,” he said, “Robin probably said something fancy like Nana, but at the end of the day, her favorite is really Chipotle.” Although he was wrong about Nana, he was right about one thing—clearly, Chipotle is my favorite restaurant.
I am going to say something that you might find quite shocking. I love Chipotle so much that I’ve eaten there twice in one day. By choice. I don’t think that I could say that about any other restaurant. I love Oceanaire, but I can’t imagine a scenario where I would eat there twice in one week—let alone twice in one day.
That’s the beauty of Chipotle. It’s so simple. Rice, beans, meat, veggies. All prepared to perfection, all fresh and all consistently delicious. Although some people consider it a fast food restaurant on par with McDonald’s (who happen to own Chipotle), I think that’s an unfair comparison. What dish at McDonald’s can you get served with bell peppers, chopped tomatoes, corn and guacamole?
Yes, the serving sizes at Chipotle are enormous. We all know it’s not health food, but it’s certainly a healthier alternative than a Big Mac and a large fry. And for the record, on the day I ate there twice, at lunch I had the chicken over lettuce with black beans—no rice and no tortilla.
So yes, I’ll admit it. Chipotle is my favorite restaurant. And as long as they keep turning out the barbacoa and guacamole, I don’t see that changing any time soon.