By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
Chipotle Mexican Grillhas finally come to Little Rock, Arkansas, and my wife and I can not wait to try it out. They opened a mere four days ago, and even with the expected madness of a new restaurant, we forge ahead today and drive to Chipotle for lunch.
We arrive at around 12:15 on Saturday and there is not a line outside (like there was when we drove past last night.) There is no line outside, probably because of the insane heat, but the line inside snakes around like a line at Disney World. We head to the tail of the snake and begin the wait.
While we are waiting, we look at the bold menu which has only a few options. You pick your protein (chicken, pork, beef), the method you want it served (tacos, burrito, open-bowl,) the extras (rice, beans, salsas, sour cream, cheese) and that is it.
You do not pick how many tacos you want, or what combination of items, just whether you want (3) tacos or one burrito or a burrito bowl. You can opt for side dishes such as their guacamole and chips or their salsa and chips for extra. Apparently they serve beer and margaritas but do not have their liquor license yet (a sign posted says its coming soon.)
It takes us a good thirty, yes thirty, minutes to get through the line. The problem seems to be the people ordering as they are taking a long time to express what they want. It does not help that a guy in front of us orders three different orders. Anyway, by the time we get to place our orders I ask for Three Soft Tacos with Barbacoa (beef). I request the roasted corn, sour cream, hot salsa, and cheese on them. My wife orders the Three Soft Tacos with Chicken, with medium salsa, lettuce, and cheese.
The food is prepared while you order it, ala Subway, so we find a place to sit and dig in. I try one of the chicken tacos first and the chicken is well marinated, has a nice grilled taste to it, and is not too tough. It is not quite tender either but the salsa adds a good dimension to it and the lettuce has a nice cooling effect. Overall I enjoy the chicken taco.
The beef taco has way too much sour cream on it but after squeezing some out, I am able to enjoy the depth of the braised beef taco. It tastes wonderful and has a nice earthly flavor to it. The hot salsa is actually warm (for a fast-food place,) and the cheese adds an extra layer of flavor. Overall I really enjoy the beef tacos and will have them again in the future.
The Guacamole and Chips we ordered are good although the chips are a bit salty. The dip is tasty with fresh avocado, plenty of spices, and fresh onions. Overall, pretty good.
The wait was horrendous but I expect it to work itself out as time goes on. I know we will be back.