I think I have gained 100 pounds since I arrived in Columbus 2 days ago. I feel like Violet Beauregard, the blueberry girl from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!
I am having a great time trying new restaurants but it is so COLD and wet outside, I can’t walk it off… well, at least not outside. I have had to force myself to the mall for a serious spree, er….walk-a-thon! :-) I’m just kidding honey! (Don’t want to stress my husband anymore than he already is playing Mr. Mom for 5 days! LOL)!! I LOVE IT…a stay-at-home mom’s dream has come true, daddy getting to see firsthand what we mom’s really do all day long! ;-) Mike also gets to take the boys for their flu shots today… I don’t do shots very well!
Anyway… thus far, I have dined at Chipotle twice. It is such a great concept, just like a Subway but with Mexican Food! Everything is gluten free except for the flour tortillas. All you have to do is ask the really friendly and accommodating staff to please use a fresh pair of gloves before preparing your food!
I’ve ordered the crispy tacos (100% corn tortilla shells) twice. The first time I tried the chicken and barbacoa (spicy shredded beef). The second time I tried the carnitas (pork). Each time I topped the tacos with the Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa, (although as a current New Mexican… I would use the spelling of chile not chili because to us, chili refers to chile con carne); a white Cheddar Jack cheese blend, and shredded romaine lettuce. I love the fact that they use Romaine lettuce. It is significantly more nutritious than the more commonly used iceberg. I also ordered a side of the black beans which were yummy.
All of the tacos I have tried have been delicious, but my favorite was the carnitas, hands down. The salsa had a nice mild heat to it. They label it as medium heat but I live in New Mexico and I am used to Sadie’s Salsa, which has changed the way I view heat levels of salsa forever! If you have ever had it, you know what I mean!
This is my kind of “fast” food, it is made fast but only because everything has already been slow-cooked and is waiting buffet style. Here is a tidbit from Chipotle‘s website:
·Our foods at Chipotle have no artificial colors or artificial flavorings.
· Our foods contain zero trans fats. Although by law we can say that our large burrito tortillas and our small soft taco tortillas contain zero trans fatty acids, they actually contain a negligible amount. Since a serving of our large burrito tortillas and our small soft taco tortillas contains less than 0.5 gram of TFAs, we are required by the FDA to declare the content of these tortillas as “zero” grams. The rest of our foods do not contain any trans fats at all.
· We use no peanuts, tree nuts or any other kind of nuts in our foods. Only our cheese and sour cream contain any dairy. And there are no eggs in our foods.
· Chipotle is the largest restaurant buyer of avocados and naturally raised meats in the country.
· We offer a number of vegetarian and vegan dining choices.
· There’s a picture of Evans, our first restaurant, in every Chipotle.
· The Evans restaurant was originally a Dolly Madison ice cream parlor.
· Chipotle’s first restaurant manager, Joe Stupp, still works for us as Manager of Duct Tape and Plungers (the website guy).
· We’ve only had one change in our menu in 13 years—the addition of salads (and chipotle-honey vinaigrette) in 2005.
· Steve Ells modeled Chipotle after the taquerias in the Mission District of San Francisco.
· Over three hundred of our restaurants currently recycle glass, plastic, and/or cardboard.
Eating at Chipotle just makes you feel good. Natural food with great seasonings and without the chemicals that pass for food in so many other places. There needs to be a Chipotle in New Mexico, it would make my life significantly easier to have a place like this to run into for a quick bite on the go. I felt really safe eating here and would definitely recommend going!
Thursday night I had dinner with some very dear friends of mine at Ted’s Montana Grill. Another wonderful meal. I ordered the Filet with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus. It was delicious, although I couldn’t eat more than a third of it since I was still full from Chipotle! Thank goodness for my buddy Jeff who polished it off for me
Yesterday was really exciting for me. I met another GF blogger, Kimberly Bouldin from Gluten Free is Life. We went to Cheeseburger in Paradise and I about fell over when I saw the GF menu selection, and it included french fries! I went with the Cheeseburger in Paradise burger (without the bun), which was topped with American cheese, lettuce, red onion and tomato. I do not know what they season their burgers with, but I have to locate some! I think this was the best cheeseburger I have ever had in my life. I ate the whole thing! The french fries are really good too so I ate them as well. :-) Hey, the way I see it, I am on vacation and I do not remember the last time I even ate a restaurant fry, since they are usually fried in common fryers at restaurants. It was a real treat, so I enjoyed bite with zero guilt. I was so excited to meet Kim and her kids that I forgot to take a picture of my cheeseburger before I ate it! Which is so funny to me, because I was looking forward to meeting the only other person I know that takes pictures of all their food, LOL!
I also stopped by Molly Woo’s because they had GF California Rolls, which I love but they are usually made with imitation crab (krab) meat which contains wheat. It was a good California Roll, my only disappointment was that they did not offer GF Soy sauce like the Wheat Free Tamari. Wish I had brought some of these with me! You can see a review of Molly Woo’s GF Sushi here.
Today, I am having breakfast at First Watch with my BFF from childhood. Then I am going to try out Z Pizza during the Ohio State Football Game. You can see a review here. See where the blog mentions that there was a heavy hitter blogger at the pizza party? That is Kim, the GF blogger I had lunch with! I should have gotten her autograph! Actually, I may have gotten something better… Kim’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars. OMG!!! You have to make these, they are awesome! Thank you Kim
I am in GF heaven, but I better watch it or the airlines will charge me an overweight limit like they did for my luggage on the way out here. It was 17 lbs. over-weight and Delta charged me $90 on top of the initial $20 just to check a bag!! I don’t know what was worse, the $110 to take my luggage (one way) or the fact it was 17 lbs. above the limit for a 5 day trip! (Zip it Mike ;-))
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