Review: New Chipotle Sofritas & Welcome Back, March (Give Me Back My Hour)
Junk Food Nation, March is back. How do I know? Well, part of the reason is Daylight Savings Time CLUBBED ME OVER THE HEAD yesterday. Not only was I butt-tired and squinting at my clock, thinking, “How the hell is it 9:45am already??” but the sun was BLAZING THROUGH MY WINDOW. Great googly moogly. It was like someone was shining a spotlight down on me. Even with my eyes closed, my eyelids were lit up. It was frightening.
1) Shamrock Shakes. Need I say more?
2) SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS. Some people say the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. I suggest that the first Thursday and Friday or the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament are the two greatest days EVERY YEAR. Throw on top of that MLB Spring Training, the stretch runs for both NBA and NHL, NFL Pro Days, golf to fill in the crevices, and you have a very, VERY happy Junk Food Guy. Some day, I will take the entire month of March off and head to ARZ or FL to watch Spring Training, pausing only to watch the NCAA tournament. In Vegas. #DreamsCanHappen
3) SUNDRESS SEASON. I talked about Sundress Season two years ago, and I talked about it last year. It’s basically the season where the females in DC decide “Wait, there’s no more snow coming? Just occasional snow showers in low 60-degree weather? BEACH TIME!” Seriously, you get Fall-like weather here in DC with a few sun-rays, and girls are sunbathing, guys are jogging wearing only shorts, and sundresses are the UNIFORM. Apparently, the # of degrees out equals the % of skin you let the sun hit. A friend of mine has a competing tradition that he celebrates in March, known as Halter Top Season. They do overlap very closely. By the way, if you need us, we’ll be sitting in the creepy guy section, right over by the Shamrock Shakes.
Over the weekend, by the way, the Junk Food Gal and I had one goal in mind: to try the new Chipotle Sofritas. I’ll get to what that is in a minute. While we were running errands before lunching, I came upon this in a Walmart parking lot:
You know, I’ve seen bad potholes, but this one was pretty awesome. I felt like I could take a bath in there. Question: What was the silver car on the right thinking, parking there? THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER SPACES. Why would the driver pick the one destined to soak his/her socks upon exiting the vehicle?
Anyways, back to the New Chipotle Sofritas! I have to be honest – although I’ve eaten A LOT of fast food in my life, I don’t really tackle it very often nowadays. Part of that is because in actual DC-city-proper, where I live, there really aren’t a ton of fast food joints at ALL. Also, I usually leave all the fast food-ing to my buddy Ryan over at Grub Grade. But when he told me about the new Chipotle Sofritas – their new vegan organic tofu option – on the Nosh Show, I knew I had to try it:
So into the car we went, and off to Maryland we drove. And, at a Chipotle in Germantown, MD, I fought the Sofritas:
So let’s start with what these New Chipotle Sofritas are: “Shredded Organic Tofu braised with Chipotle Chilis, Roasted Poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices.” Vegan all the way.
New Chipotle Sofritas was test marketed in San Francisco last year, WAAAAY back in January of 2013. Then it rolled out to more West coast states (Oregon, Washington), Baltimore got it this past Fall, and finally it rolled out nation-wide LAST WEEK. Boom.
You could tell Chipotle wanted to hype up the Sofritas – everywhere I turned, there was a sign. Still, growing up, I ate tofu A LOT, so I wanted to see if this would hold up. GIMME A BURRITO!
New Chipotle Sofritas, when in the chafing pan, looked like ground chicken or pork. Definitely had a reddish hue, probably from the peppers it was braised in…
I wanted to taste the Sofritas straight up, so I opted for no beans. They gave me a decent helping of the tofu, so I was stoked.
Of course, in complete opposite-of-what-I-should-have-done-fashion, I still loaded my Sofritas Burrito full of fixins. I can’t control myself. I need that foil to be bursting at the seams when I get it, you know what I mean?
I sawed open my Sofritas Burrito, and it LOOKED GOOD and SMELLED GOOD. Look, I know some people out there don’t like tofu, and I’m not gonna try to convince you to eat this. At all. Eat the barbacoa, it’s my favorite.
But for those who DO like tofu, and want to know if this was legit…
…IT WAS LEGIT. I know that the cross section you see above only has the Sofritas packed to the very left side, but trust me – the flavor was still there, not masked, and very very tasty.
Let’s start with the texture. For anyone who has ever eaten soyrizo, or ground tofu, the texture was just like that. Like I said, it looked like ground chicken or pork, and the texture was very similar; it could also be interpreted as sort of chewy ground up scrambled eggs. Trust me when I say I mean this description in a good way – basically, it wasn’t the soft tofu many are familiar with; this texture was more “meaty” if you will.
But truth is that the texture didn’t really matter as much since it was wrapped up in the burrito. Obviously, the most important part, and IMO the best part, of the New Chipotle Sofritas, was it’s flavor. Would it hold up to meat? My opinion: YES.
The main flavor I got immediately was smoky chipotle peppers. Anyone who has ever tasted an adobo pepper from a can would know what I’m talking about – the peppery flavor of the sofritas was nice and tangy and vegetable-pepper-y and spicy and smoky. Each bite of my burrito had a nice smoky peppery taste that I didn’t ever get from the meats at Chipotle. Add on top of that the poblano pepper and other spices, and the Sofritas had a really unique flavor that was spicier and more complex than the barbacoa I always buy.
The Sofritas reminded me a lot of Chipotle’s chicken – the chain recognized that the base was not extremely flavorful, so they loaded each medium up with plenty of flavor. The chicken at Chipotle is seasoned well, and the Sofritas were DEFINITELY loaded with flavor.
Bottomline, I think the Sofritas is a GREAT vegetarian/vegan option at Chipotle. Full of flavor, great smoky pepper-y taste, and a texture that holds up to all the other things Chipotle loads into the burrito. The Junk Food Gal commented that she would definitely throw this into her Chipotle rotation. Me too. Me too.
PURCHASED AT: Wendy’s. I mean, Chipotle.
COST: $6.75 (tax incl.)
Junk Food Guy