In the Green corner we have Canadian owned and operated, 80+ locations underdog, and personal favourite, MUCHO BURRITO.
In the Red corner we have America powerhouse, with over 17 000 locations world wide, this burrito packs a punch, it's CHIPOTLE.
Yeah pretty cheesy, I know. But after dining at a chipotle for the first time in Toronto last weekend, I thought a little compare and contrast would be interesting.
The concept.Both Chipotle and Mucho Burrito are examples of what's being called "fast casual" dining. Think of it as a step above fast food, but not quite a full service restaurant. Both however, to the casual diner, are what I would think of as the Subway of Mexican food. Pick your syle, choose all over your toppings as you move down the counter and enjoy your 'made fresh' meal. With the added bonus that the meats served here are cooked/grilled in house rather than microwaved sad frozen chicken.
Both chains focus on real food, freshly prepared and preservative free. Chipotle does put a bigger emphasis on organic and GMO free, however, as a scientist, I would encourage anyone who thinks that just because something is labeled as 'organic' or 'GMO-free' it's better, or healthier to think twice. Do a little reading on those topics and make good choices about food independent of media driven hype.
In short, both Chipotle and Mucho are serving you fresher and healthier foods than the standard fast food chains you might otherwise choose for a quick meal. And I really don't feel there is a winner between the two in this category.
The Menu.Here now is where Chipotle and Mucho diverge, and in my opinion, Mucho Burrito comes out on top.
At first glance the menu's appear the same. if you're going in for a burrito, you have basically the options for filling it. Both chains also give you the option of having that burrito as a bowl, salad or tacos. But major difference the first is price and size options.
Here's the Chipotle Menu, taken from the Zomato page for their Young St location in Toronto, where we ate. Notice you have only one choice in size for the burrito, and there is no difference in price between the taccos/salad/bowl or veggie option. The whole menu comes in at a $8.95 flat rate. How do they justify the veggie option as the same cost as the meats option? well I guess they throw in the guac, and I'm assuming the grilled veg as well (the green peppers and onions) since they weren't offered as a choice on my carnitas burrito (they of course are included at mucho).
Now before we go further into the Chipotle menu, lets take a look at mucho's.
So apart from having a bigger menu in general, they also have size options on their burritos. Because come on. If Kevin and I are both going for burritos, we are not ordering the same size, and why pay more money just to throw away half a burrito?
Plus let's think about kid's for a second. My cousin Caitlin, who's 10, came with us to Chipotle in Toronto, and she's the perfect example of being two grown up to want to order off the kids menu, she's sure as heck not going to eat the giant "one size fits all, 10$ burrito mucho offers". In fact, even if their kid's menu had been visible, which it wasn't, they don't even have the choice of kid sizing their signature item, the burrito.
Over all, on base menu, Mucho Burrito is the clear leader here.
The Extra's.Really this debate can be won over one word.
To add Guac to your meal at Chipotle, you will pay a whopping $2.21. Mucho give's it to you for a dollar. Plus it's free on the salads, and the mucho sized burrito. Enough said.
One last thing.If you haven't had the Mexican Chocolate Brownie at Mucho Burrito, I swear to you, you're life is missing out.
So maybe I have a bit of a personal bias towards Mucho, and I know some people swear by Chipotle. Maybe if one opens here in Calgary then I could do something like a blind taste test, but in the mean time, I'm sticking with my Mucho Burrito, and my go to order, the tacco salad.
So that's all for today... let me know where you prefer to get your burrito on in the poll below!