CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL (323 Yonge, at Dundas East, 416-596-8600) Complete meals for $16 per person, including all taxes, tip and a domestic beer. Average main $9. Open daily 11 am to 10 pm. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NN
Hogtown has gone hog wild for Mission-style burritos, those spicy Cal-Mex meal-in-one hybrid wraps first popularized in San Francisco.
Locally, Burrito Boyz launched the craze and set the local bar, soon followed by Big Fat Burrito, Burrito House, Fresh West Grill and Z-Teca. Mission Burrito (catchy name that) just launched in the Village by the Grange's food court.
Bienvenido, Chipotle Mexican Grill, the first Canadian outpost of a Denver-based chain with more than 500 outlets that was once bought, then sold, by McDonald's.
Technically, the resto in the Dundas 'n' Yonge deathstar that houses the AMC Metropolis is the first north of the 49th parallel. But haven't we already seen the Chipotle shtick at Quesada? Quesada lifted the concept so successfully, it's just opened a third QMG in the Sheraton Centre concourse (123 Queen West, at York, 647-435-8637).
Chipotle's burritos impress at first bite, but that's only until you compare them with the competition. Built on steamed 12-inch white-flour tortillas, they're assembled on a line à la Subway and come full of flavoured rice and beans - vegan black or pinto with bacon - and stuffed with either cubed steak, chicken, barbacoa beef, pork carnitas or a few strips of grilled green pepper and onions.
Next, they're optionally dressed with diced tomato, a choice of four salsas, shredded cheese, sour cream and lettuce. An extra scoop of watery guacamole goes for an exorbitant $1.99. And the finished product isn't grilled. At $8.50 with tax and averaging 24 ounces - hold the guac - they're the priciest in town.
Quesada's burritos are cheaper, the same size, come with whole wheat tortillas and more free fixin's, and they get finished in a panini press.
Quesada 1, Chipotle 0.