Ithaca’s latest chain restaurant, Chipotle, has opened, and for the past week, it seems as though everyone with a working digestive system has lined up out the door as if they’ve never had a burrito in their life. People who wouldn’t wait 10 minutes for Jimmy John’s to speed up the hill will patiently stand in the hour and a half line for the name-brand nachos with salsa. I get that new restaurants are nice, but why is everyone acting as though Chipotle is the second coming of Teotihuacan?
Whenever I ask this question people look at me as though I said I’m voting for Gingrich; “Have you ever been to Chipotle,” they ask. Yeah, I’ve been there – it’s not bad, but what’s with the sense of urgency? The business isn’t going anywhere. What, is everyone afraid they’ll run out of ‘carne’ and they’ll be stuck with only black or pinto beans? Why is it so pertinent that they put Chipotle on the top of their to-do list?
Is it the sleek modern set-up that makes you feel savvy as you wolf down a burrito that rivals a small animal? Or is it because Chipotle’s menu embraces simplicity and says ‘Soft Taco’ rather than ‘Homewrecker’ or ‘Joey Jr.’?
I could understand the fuss if this were Cortland or Owego, where the most authentic Mexican food option is Taco Bell. But this is Ithaca, and between Moe’s, Viva, Garcia’s and not to mention the delicacy that is Taco Tuesday – there’s no reason to get giddy over another place that serves guacamole.
I know the frenzy can’t last too long; soon enough people will get it out of their system. As for me, I can live without the paying $1.50 for barely-salted tortilla chips. Personally, I’m a fan of Italian.