The Winner Of The Healthiest Fast Food Is......
October 18, 2011 40 Comments
While the economy withers, there is a fast food company that GREW by 23% in the last year. And, crazily, it features raw and sometimes local produce.
That photo up there was taken of the lunch that I had to drive 30 minutes to try because, alas, there isn't one of these restaurants near my house. BUT, one sprouted up close enough to visit just 2 months ago, and I just had to try it.
Yes, Chipotle has arrived in a place called Chicopee (try saying that fast - "Chipotle Chicopee, Chipotle Chicopee, Chipotle Chicopee").
You know what is kinda crazy about Chipotle? Their profit margins are among the highest in the fast food industry - AND they spend more on their food and more time preparing it.
What are the others doing wrong? Is it possible the model of manufacturing food at a central headquarters and then reheating it isn't as profitable as just cooking on site? Here we are needing FRESH food and Chipotle starts actually serving it.
This place is a mecca for those of us who:
- have no time to cook
- want to eat healthy
- are watching our weight
Why? Because the food is cooked fresh and there are a whole bunch of vegetables! Check out their menu:
Here is my ordering advice:
You should AVOID the burrito. The calories in just one tortilla is going to set you back 290 calories and that is before you add anything else.
The "Bowl" has rice and no tortilla as it's base - and I didn't try it. Three ounces of rice is 130 calories but it looks like they use a lot more than that for the bowl.
They give you THREE tacos and the taco shells are 60 calories each (unless you go for the flour tortilla which is 90) so if you like tortillas the tacos are a much better choice than the burrito.
Of course, the best option for Snack Girl readers is the SALAD. I put brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, grilled chicken, fresh salsa, and a spicy salsa on my Romaine lettuce. I skipped the cheese, sour cream guacamole, and chips. Also, I asked for a light amount of chicken - as 4 ounces seemed like too much to me.
It set me back $7 and this is my best guess about its nutrition information:
405 calories, 8.0 g fat, 58 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, 15 g fiber, 1540 mg sodium, 10 Points+
Now, we can complain about the sodium in this food. I don't know why but 2 ounces of their red tomatillo salsa which I poured all over my salad instead of their salad dressing was a whopping 510 mg of sodium per serving. oops.
Their vinaigrette has 700 mg of sodium, 260 calories, and 24.5 grams of fat per serving - so don't you dare order that!
It is best to consult their nutrition facts BEFORE you go to the store - see Chipotle Nutrition Facts.
Chipotle should have the nutrition facts posted - but I didn't see them. And, their website should be interactive so us calorie counter types can easily figure out our meal.
If I went back, I would just have the salad with beans, light amount of chicken, vegetables, and fresh salsa and I would add some Tabasco that they have supplied for us heat lovers.
Leaving out the rice saves me 130 calories and leaving out the red tomatillo salsa - 510 mg of sodium.
Okay, enough about the numbers. The food here tastes good and fresh. And, they don't shove cookies in your face like Subway for dessert. There was no dessert offered. Hurray!
If you are out and about and need some lunch - give it a try. Here is a link to their Location Finder.
Have you tried Chipotle? What do you think?
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